Blue Jackets notebook: Surgery for Dubinsky, MacKenzie

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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Two Blue Jackets players had minor surgeries this week, correcting ailments that dogged them for much of the season and into the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Center Brandon Dubinsky had ankle surgery yesterday. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t specify the procedure, except to say that it wasn’t structural.

Center Derek MacKenzie had shoulder surgery on Tuesday, an arthroscopic procedure “to clean some stuff up in there,” he said.

“It’s something that bothered me for pretty much most of the season,” MacKenzie said. “But I found a way to get around as best I could.”

Both players are expected to be healed within a few weeks and ready for training camp in September.

MacKenzie said he hopes that his training camp will be with the Blue Jackets. He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 but said the Blue Jackets have indicated a desire to talk about a new contract.

“And I’ve told everybody that I absolutely want to stay here, that I want to be a Blue Jacket,” MacKenzie said. “Usually, if both sides want to get it done …”

Kekalainen and other members of the Jackets hockey operations department held amateur scouting meetings this week at Nationwide Arena. On Monday, he and assistant general manager Bill Zito will head to Belarus for the world championships.

“When we get back, we’ve got a list of things to do,” Kekalainen said. “We’ve got some guys who need contracts, and we’ve got some decisions to make.”

Ready for the worlds

The Blue Jackets will have four players — two NHL players, one prospect and one former draft pick — participating in the world championships.

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and center Artem Anisimov will play for Russia. Defenseman Tim Erixon, who spent most of the season with minor-league Springfield, will play for Sweden. Defenseman Thomas Larkin, a fifth-round draft pick in 2009, will play for Italy. He spent most of this season in the ECHL.

Dansk signs

Goaltender Oscar Dansk, the Blue Jackets’ second-round pick (31st overall) in 2012, signed a three-year entry-level contract yesterday.

Dansk had a terrific regular season for Erie in the Ontario Hockey League, going 29-9-1 with a 2.39 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. But he was pulled in four of his final nine starts in the season and from one of two starts in the postseason.

Dansk could return to Erie as an overage player next season, or he could begin his pro career with minor-league Springfield.

Tough calls

The Blue Jackets have until June 1 to sign two other draft picks from 2012 — right wing Daniel Zaar and defenseman Gianluca Curcuruto — or they will lose their rights.

Kekalainen said no decision has been made on whether to try to sign the players or let them go back into the draft.

aportzline@dispatch.com

@Aportzline

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