Defenseman Jordan Hendry knew something was wrong immediately. He had torn his knee before in college seven years ago.
"When [Shane] Doan hit me in the corner I knew instantly that it was my knee," said Hendry, recalling his injury from Feb. 27 against the Phoenix Coyotes.
"I think I knew right before I hit the ice that I was hurt. ... I knew it wasn't good. I kind of lay on the ice and felt the pain."
Hendry suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament. He underwent surgery on March 15.
Hendry, who will become an unrestricted free agent July 1, said he isn't thinking about his future. Instead, he's focused on the daunting task ahead: a six-month rehab.
''I'm just focused on rehab right now,'' said Hendry, who signed a one-year deal with the Hawks last summer. ''Everything will take care of itself. I'm just worried about getting healthy and being ready for the next step.''
The Hawks were in the market for a blue-liner at the time of Hendry's injury. But Hendry showed his worth as the team's sixth defenseman.
It was just a tough break for a player who tried to do everything asked of him, which included playing wing this season.
"Jordan was coming off his two best games of the year [before the injury]," coach Joel Quenneville said. "He looked like he was really involved. He had some pace to his game. Things like this can happen.
"Unfortunately, he's got that one injury that you don't want to get. We appreciate what he did for us, and even last year, he was an important part of our team."