Here’s the latest news in the world of NHL injuries! To see injury updates from around the league as soon as they’re made public, follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza!
Josh Manson – The 28-year-old defenseman will miss four to nine weeks of action because of a sprained knee. Anaheim is 3-1-1 so far without Manson in the lineup but I’m curious to see whether his absence will have any effect on John Gibson’s numbers going forward. Don’t get me wrong, Gibson is one of the most talented goalies in the league and will perform well no matter who’s in front of him. However, Manson plays a big defensive role for the team and I wonder whether the team will allow more quality chances with him sidelined. Manson provides value in multicategory fantasy leagues as he puts up a few hits, blocks and penalty minutes.
Mikko Rantanen – Didn’t travel with the team as they visited Dallas to take on the Stars. He hasn’t started skating yet, which will be the next major step in his recovery from a leg injury. Once he gets back on the ice and eventually starts practicing with his teammates, we can start talking about a return. I get the sense he’s going to be out for at least another week. The Avalanche have been tumbling downhill without their star forwards as the team is on a five-game losing streak.
Gabriel Landeskog – Colorado hasn’t really given us much information about Landeskog’s injury. We know it’s a lower-body issue that will probably keep him out for more than just a couple of weeks and will definitely keep him out for longer than his teammate Rantanen. Landeskog was spotted wearing a walking boot last week, so one would assume the injury affected his foot or something in that general area. With that in mind, it’ll be very important to see when Landeskog starts skating again. He’ll probably need a few solo skating sessions before returning to practice, so there should be plenty of signs that hint at a return before he actually gets back in the lineup. Follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza to keep up to date with those checkpoints in his recovery.
Alexandre Texier – Will travel with the team as they embark on a three-game road trip through Arizona on Thursday, Colorado on Saturday and Montreal on Tuesday. He has also been skating, so it seems likely that he’ll make his return from a knee injury in one of those three games.
Roope Hintz – The Stars forward is dealing with a lower-body injury and the team is doubtful he’ll be in the lineup on Sunday when Dallas faces Winnipeg. Hintz has looked like the best forward on the roster for long stretches this season and his absence will certainly have an effect on the team. He has nine goals through 16 games but is currently scoring on 27.3% of his shots. While he’s a great asset in fantasy leagues, don’t expect him to maintain that shooting percentage going forward.
John Klingberg – Is expected to miss two to four weeks with a lower-body injury after he took a puck up high and fell awkwardly during Tuesday’s clash with Colorado. He is expected to have an MRI at some point on Wednesday to determine the full extent of the injury. Klingberg has had a disappointing start to the season with just four points through 17 games. I don’t see his value being any lower than it is right now, so perhaps you’d be wise to acquire him for pennies on the dollar.
Mike Green – An illness has kept him out of Detroit’s last two games and will cause him to miss two more as he won’t be available on Wednesday against the Rangers or Friday against the Bruins. He wasn’t able to practice on Tuesday and the team doesn’t have a practice on Thursday, so that’s why he’s been ruled out of Friday’s game already. They’d like to have him participate in practice before he returns to the lineup. For those of you that own Green in your fantasy hockey league, why? In my opinion, Filip Hronek is the only defenseman in Detroit worth rostering.
Vincent Trocheck – Has made some progress as he recovers from a lower-body injury, but his status for Thursday’s game against Washington hasn’t yet been determined. In a sense, it’s encouraging that he hasn’t been ruled out already, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be back in the lineup. While he wasn’t a participant in Wednesday’s practice, it sounds like he’s nearing a return.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi – The 19-year-old sophomore has been dealing with a minor groin injury that was aggravated last week when the Habs visited Arizona. He has been skating and was cleared for contact on Wednesday. His status for Thursday’s matchup with the Flyers hasn’t yet been determined, but he will travel to Philly with the rest of the team. Kotkaniemi has just three points through 12 games this season but he hasn’t been seeing a whole lot of ice time and this injury had been affecting his skating in recent games. He’s still young and will continue to develop his play with every game.
Nick Leddy – Was deemed to be about a game away from a return before sitting out of Tuesday’s clash with the Senators. Logic would indicate he’ll be back in the lineup on Thursday when New York hosts the Penguins, but nothing’s set in stone. The team’s defensemen have been productive to start the season as Devon Toews has nine points in 14 games, Johnny Boychuk has seven in 13 and Leddy has six in 11. Did I mention that the Islanders have won 10 in a row?
Jordan Eberle – Has been skating while sporting a no-contact jersey. Unfortunately, there’s no concrete timetable for his return, so we still don’t know when he’ll be back from a lower-body injury. As I mentioned above, the Islanders are on a 10-game winning streak, so there’s no need to rush Eberle back into the lineup. Once he starts practicing with the team and taking contact, we can start expecting his return.
Mika Zibanejad – The Rangers’ top center isn’t expected to be in the lineup on Wednesday against Detroit or on Thursday against Carolina. Zibanejad last played on October 27th but has been day-to-day with an upper-body injury since then, often skating but not taking contact. Ryan Strome has been centering the top line in Mika’s absence, he has 11 points in 12 games.
Nolan Patrick – Remains week to week as he deals with a migraine disorder. The uncertainty surrounding his return is very similar to that of a concussion. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when we’ll be back because it all depends on how he feels – and how he feels can vary every day. Recovery from a head injury isn’t as easy to measure as recovery from a broken bone or torn muscle because there’s less physical evidence of the healing process. A doctor might be able to take an X-ray of a broken arm and tell you how long it’s going to take to heal. Taking an MRI of the brain won’t reveal how you’ll be feeling the next day. Fortunately, Patrick continues to take part in solo drills on the ice and even practice with the team while wearing a no-contact jersey. Once he starts taking contact in practice, we can get optimistic about a return.
Kris Letang – Last we heard, he was being evaluated by the team’s medical staff to determine the severity of his lower-body injury. While the Penguins were expected to release more information at some point on Tuesday, there have been no new updates as I write this (Wednesday morning). Letang has been outstanding to start the 2019-2020 campaign, with 12 points through 15 games. Justin Schultz could see a bigger role if Letang happens to miss some time with this injury.
Patric Hornqvist – The Penguins forward is out long term with a lower-body injury. He had been playing well to start the year, with 10 points in 14 games – roughly a 60-point pace. Pittsburgh can’t seem to catch a break in the injury department this season…
Victor Hedman – Has been practicing with the team in Sweden as they prepare to face the Sabres in the NHL’s Global Series. While his official status remains day-to-day, I’d expect him to be in the lineup on Friday when the puck drops in his home country.
Zach Hyman – The Leafs forward feels very close to a return after practicing with his teammates. He was originally expected to miss 14-15 games while recovering from offseason ACL surgery, but Toronto is already 16 games into the season. He’s an underrated piece of the team’s roster and as strange as it sounds, his return should elevate the play of his expected line mates – Mitch Marner and John Tavares.
Micheal Ferland – Remains in concussion protocol after the head contact he took while fighting Kyle Clifford of the Kings last week. As I mentioned while discussing Nolan Patrick, there’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to recovery timelines for head injuries, so we don’t know exactly when he’ll be back.
Alex Tuch – Remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury. While he didn’t travel with the team to Columbus for Tuesday’s game against the Jackets, he his status for the rest of the road trip is still up in the air. The Golden Knights are in Toronto on Thursday, Washington on Saturday and Detroit on Sunday.
Bryan Little – The Jets forward was hit near the ear with a shot during Tuesday’s game with the Devils. Around 30 stitches were used to close the resulting laceration and his mental faculties are currently being evaluated by doctors. Obviously when you take a puck up high, there’s always concern about a potential head injury. The team will release more information when it becomes available.