Defenseman Robert Picard has refractured the hamate bone in his right hand, making him the second member of the Washington Capitals to suffer a serious injury while representing team Canada in the World Ice Hockey Championships.
Center Guy Charron hurt his right knee a year ago and entered the 1977-78 season as a question mark. He did play all 80 games and, after a slow start, recorded 38 goals.
After Picard's injury was revealed by X-rays yesterday, Washington General Manager Max McNab said that he would discuss international hockey participation during the NHL meetings in Montreal, June 10-15.
"I think we should take a long, hard look at international hockey," McNab said. "The teams whose players qualify in the world tournament are the teams that can't afford to lose their best players. If Montreal sends two and loses them for awhile, it can stand it. But it's not Montreal, it's us, and we can't stand it."
Picard first broke the bone Jan. 19 in Boston. He wore a protector over the hand the rest of the regular season, but discarded it afterward. Playing for Canada against Sweden May 14 at Prague, he was struck by a Swedish shot.
"I didn't have a stick and I went down to block a shot," Picard said. "I had my hands out with the palms up and the puck hit me right where I had that bone broken."
Picard thought the hand had merely been bruised. When the pain continued he contacted McNab, who orded him to Washington for an examination.
"The hand has been put in a cast," McNab said. "It will be given a chance to solidify for six weeks, then we'll take another look at it."
McNab is negotiating with defenseman Yvon Labre, the Capitals' team captain, who will become a free agent Thursday if he does not sign a contract.