Last week, the Blue Jackets sent veteran forward Brandon Dubinsky back home to Columbus due to "personal reasons," as the situation sounded very serious.
Aaron Portzline reported back then that Dubinsky has been dealing with undisclosed personal issues that are now threatening both his current season as well as his entire career in the National Hockey League. Portzline had also hinted that this is the second public disciplinary measure used by the Jackets this season, something Dubinsky's agent did deny.
“He was sent home for medical diagnosis,” said manager Kurt Overhardt as per The Athletic. “He's had several injuries this season. The club and my client decided that this was best. There are several issues we've been dealing with behind the scenes to get him healthy.”
On Monday, the man himself finally discussed why he left the Blue Jackets last week: "to look after himself." He however declined to dive further into details as he closes in on his return to the team's lineup.
"It feels good,” Dubinsky told the Columbus Dispatch of being back on the ice with his teammates Monday. “I had to deal with some medical issues for myself. It’s nice to be back in practice and have the opportunity to try to play (Tuesday).”
“I came home to look after myself,” Dubinsky said of leaving the team's road trip early last week. “I had some stuff going on, and I just had to take care of it.”
The 31-year-old veteran, who has been sidelined since Dec. 12 due to a fracture orbital bone, did respond to the rumors of him being sent home by the club to deal with personal issues which were considered career-threatening, but did fire back at the media.
“You guys can speculate all you want. That’s up to you,” Dubinsky said. “I’m telling you what I’m going to tell you. We’re people, too. We have stuff that is private to us and we want to keep that way. So, that’s just the way it’s going to be.”
“I’ve been around long enough. I’ve seen the media say all sorts of things about all sorts of players, so it’s not just me," he added of the chatter. "You’ve got to have a thick skin when you play sports and you’re in the public.”
Dubinsky has only taken part in 31 games this season due to injuries. He did manage to record
“I’ve always said I feel like a big part of this team, an important part of this team,” Dubinsky said. “I’ve had some big injuries this year, some scary injuries. I just want to make sure when I get back, that I’m here to stay and everything’s good to go... Hopefully, I can provide a spark for this lineup and we can continue on our way.”
He is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild.