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Roenick has surgery on broken jaw

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 15 -- Star center Jeremy Roenick of the Phoenix Coyotes today (Thursday) underwent surgery to repair his broken jaw, which reportedly was shattered in three places on a vicious hit by Derian Hatcher of Dallas Wednesday night. A team spokesman said Roenick is out indefinitely. Based on the force of the hit and severity of the injury, only a miracle would bring Roenick back on the ice this season. Both teams are awaiting word from the league's enforcement chief, Colin Campbell, on what disciplinary action will be taken against Hatcher. Coyotes coach Jim Schoenfeld left no doubt about how he felt. 'It was a pre-meditated hit on the heels of the (Mike) Modano incident in Phoenix,' charged Schoenfeld. 'He left his feet and led with his elbow, banging (Roenick's) head against the glass. There's really nothing I can say as far as any suspension. That decision will be made by people above me. (NHL Senior Vice President) Colin Campbell will take a look at it and will dish out the punishment as he sees neccessary.' The 6-5, 225-pound Hatcher left his skates and delivered an elbow to Roenick's chin just under six minutes into the first period. Roenick was bleeding severely from an apparent cut inside his mouth. He skated three more shifts before going to the locker room, where members of the team's medical staff diagnosed the injury. Hatcher received a major penalty for boarding and was ejected. 'I guess it's an unfortunate incident,' said Hatcher.

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'I feel bad that he does have a broken jaw. It's tough to say what the league is going to do. The hit by Roenick on Modano and the (Eric) Lindros hit were worse. He saw me coming and I saw him before the hit. I was just going into the corner to make a hard check and no matter who it was, I was going to hit him. He braced for the hit but it's unfortunate that the only part of his body that was exposed got hit.' The hit may have been retaliation against Roenick, whose hard hit the last time these teams played on March 23 left Dallas All-Star center Mike Modano with an eye laceration. Like Hatcher, Roenick received a boarding major and a game misconduct. The loss of the 29-year-old Roenick could not have come at a worse time for the Coyotes, who will face either Anaheim or St. Louis next week in the Western Conference quarterfinals. Roenick leads Phoenix in scoring with 24 goals and 48 assists in 78 games. He also is third on the team with 130 penalty minutes. The Coyotes franchise has not won a playoff series since 1987, when it was based in Winnipeg.

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