The latest NHL injury updates on the likes of Parise, Letang, Vanek and more.
The Big Guns (>80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Jack Eichel – Eichel’s out of his walking boot. His original timeline has him out for up to 5 more weeks. Even though the loss of the boot is a good sign, don’t take that to mean he’ll be back sooner than expected. He’s still got a brace on and even when that comes off, he’ll have to get back into game form.
Patrick Sharp – A hit by Kings defenseman Alex Martinez left Sharp’s bell ringing on Thursday, the 20th, and he still hasn’t resumed skating. He’s been placed on the Injured Reserve, but his 83% ownership on Yahoo worries me. He scored a bunch in 2013-14, but since then has kind of gone the way of Joffrey Lupul and Thomas Vanek; his age is really starting to show.
Kris Letang – Letang’s missed the Pens last five games already with a mysterious upper-body injury that I suspect is a concussion. He’s usually glued to the shelf, but he’s getting ready to step back into games, as he’s been a part of full-contact practise already. I wrote a short series of articles on how to generate your own ranking list (you can find part 3 here), and a big part of that is explaining why Letang is still really valuable despite his Band-Aid Boy status. Basically, if your league isn’t crazy deep, those games that he’s missing can be filled in by a decent defenseman, so you’re not losing as many points as you’d think. Try and grab a guy like Justin Schultz (who will literally take Letang’s spot on the Pens powerplay) to fill in while Letang’s out, and you should be fine.
Zach Parise – Another mystery injury, this one lower-body. Parise is on week-to-week status, and he’s not new to the injury ward either. He’s missed around 11 games a year for the last three years. It still sucks to have it happen this early in the season, but if you’re a Parise owner, you should know what you signed up for.
Jonathan Drouin – Drouin took a nasty hit (below) to the head from the Islanders’ Calvin de Haan and didn’t return to the game last night. It didn’t look inte