Here’s this week’s latest in the injury world. If you don’t see a certain player below, there probably haven’t been any major developments in their progress. Once there is a significant update, I’ll be sure to have it for you on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza!
Darcy Kuemper – So I’ve seen some reports that Kuemper has been activated from Injured Reserve according to the NHL’s official media site – but I personally haven’t been able to verify that. To the best of my knowledge, there haven’t been any recent official updates about his return. Hopefully I’ll have something more concrete for you next week.
Tuukka Rask – Has been skating recently – less than a week after suffering a concussion. From my understanding, Rask will have to sit out Boston’s first game after the break for ‘skipping’ the All-Star Game. That means the earliest he would be available is February 1st against the Wild.
Victor Olofsson – Was with the team as they travelled through Dallas and Nashville for their final two games before the All-Star Break. He’s been doing off-ice workouts without a walking boot but is probably two to three weeks away from a return.
Jeff Skinner – Has been skating on his own and it’s possible he returns from an upper-body injury shortly after the All-Star Break. Buffalo’s next game is on January 28th against the Senators. While Skinner hasn’t yet been ruled out of that contest, there’s still a lot that can happen between now and then.
Dougie Hamilton – The Hurricanes defenseman will be out indefinitely after surgery to repair a broken fibula in his left leg. Unfortunately, coach Rod Brind’Amour said the team is not counting on Hamilton returning this season. To give you some perspective on the recovery timeline, Jordan Staal had surgery for a broken fibula back in 2014 and missed just over three months of action. It seems possible that Hamilton will be back in time for the NHL playoffs, but not your fantasy hockey playoffs. He had 40 points through 47 games this year. While guys like Jake Gardiner and Jacob Slavin should see increased roles during Hamilton’s absence, I don’t think they’re capable of the same offensive output.
Dylan Strome – There’s no guarantee, but coach Jeremy Colliton is hopeful that Strome will be back either right after the bye week, or very soon after. Chicago’s next game is on February 1st against the Coyotes. If Strome isn’t ready to go then, he should be ready for the team’s following game on February 4th against Minnesota.
Joonas Donskoi – Was a full participant in Sunday’s practice and seems to be progressing well since suffering a concussion. Colorado’s next game is on February 1st against the Flyers, I would expect Donskoi to be back in the lineup for that game.
Josh Anderson – Haven’t been too many updates regarding his recovery from a shoulder injury. The team announced on December 17th that he would be sidelined for four to six weeks. While there’s just over a week left in that timetable, it doesn’t sound like he’s close to returning.
Miro Heiskanen – Entered concussion protocol after taking contact to the head during Thursday’s game against the Sabres. According to coach Rick Bowness, Heiskanen is doing fine and the team hopes to have him back when they come out of the break. Dallas’ first game after the All-Star break is on January 27th against the Lightning.
Mike Green – Will be out for at least a couple of weeks as he deals with an upper-body injury. The 34-year-old has just eight points in 41 games this year as his injury-riddled career seems to be taking a toll on him.
Anthony Mantha – The 25-year-old forward is expected to miss at least another month of action and coach Jeff Blashill said, “it’s going to be a long process before he’s healed”. While Blashill doesn’t necessarily anticipate it, there is a chance that Mantha sits out the rest of the season. Mantha broke out during the second half of the 2018-2019 campaign and has 57 points in 67 games since then.
Chris Driedger – Is expected to miss several weeks with a lower-body injury. The 25-year-old netminder has been solid when called upon this season, sporting a 5-2-1 record alongside a 2.35 GAA and .923 SV%.
Brendan Gallagher – Last we heard, his headaches had subsided, but doctors hadn’t officially diagnosed him with anything. They don’t believe this has anything to do with the concussion he suffered on New Year’s Eve against the Hurricanes. Ilya Kovalchuk has been excellent in Gallagher’s spot on the top line with Philip Danault and Tomas Tatar, posting eight points in eight games. His strong play should help prevent the Canadiens from rushing Gallagher back into the lineup.
Jonathan Drouin – Doesn’t sound like he’ll be back immediately following the All-Star Break. I guess that rules him out of Montreal’s first game after the break on January 27th against the Capitals. After that his status is up in the air.
Kyle Palmieri – Is dealing with a foot injury but there hasn’t been much information regarding the projected length of his absence. New Jersey plays next on January 27th against the Senators. Palmieri will have had eight days to rest and recover before that game.
Artemi Panarin – Sat out Tuesday’s game against the Islanders as he had been limited by an upper-body injury over the past five days and hadn’t felt any improvement. It was announced that Chris Kreider would fill in for him at the All-Star Game, which should give Panarin a few extra days to rest. I don’t think we appreciate just how good Panarin has been this season, he sits fifth in league scoring and has 34 points in his last 19 games!
Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Sat out of Ottawa’s last two games before the All-Star Break because of a sore neck. Fortunately, the injury isn’t believed to be too serious and Pageau will benefit from an extended break as the team’s next game is on January 27th against the Devils. He has 19 goals through 46 appearances this season.
Carter Hart – Should make his return in a week or two as he recovers from a lower right abdominal strain. Brian Elliot has allowed just four goals in three games during Hart’s absence, his strong play should prevent the team from rushing Hart back into action.
Dominik Kahun – Suffered a concussion during Sunday’s game against the Bruins and is going through the necessary protocol. Pittsburgh’s next game is on January 31st against the Flyers, which gives Kahun over a week to recover. With that being said, we all know how unpredictable concussions can be, so there’s obviously no concrete timetable for his recovery.
Justin Schultz – Was a full participant in Monday’s practice and it seemed like he could be back in the lineup against the Flyers on Tuesday. While he ultimately didn’t make his return, the fact that he was so close makes me think he’ll be ready for Pittsburgh’s next game. The All-Star/bye week break will give Schultz another nine days of rest as the Penguins don’t play again until January 31st – expect him to feature in that game.
Colton Parayko – It sounds like he could have returned in one of St. Louis’ games before the All-Star Break, but the team opted to delay his return until after the break to ensure he was feeling 100-percent. The Blues play next on January 27th against the Canucks, I expect Parayko will be available for that contest.
Vladimir Tarasenko – Tuesday marked the first time he was on the ice since undergoing shoulder surgery in late October. I know it’s tempting to be overly optimistic about this news, but you have to remember that he still has a long way to go before returning to action. Following his surgery, the team announced that he would be re-evaluated in five months and we still have two months left in that timetable. While this is an important part of the recovery process, the fact that he’s skating doesn’t tell us anything about the status of his shoulder. He still needs time to get comfortable stickhandling and shooting the puck. Even then, he’ll probably need to participate in a few full practices as he prepares for the physical demands of an NHL game. Once he starts reaching those checkpoints, we can start talking about a return.
Jake Muzzin – There’s a chance he returns for Toronto’s first game after the All-Star Break – a clash with the Predators on January 27th. He has been skating recently as he recovers from a broken foot.
Micheal Ferland – According to his agent, Ferland is feeling great and hopes to be back in a couple of weeks. He’s been seeing less than 10 minutes of ice time a night through 14 games with the Canucks – a far cry from the 14 minutes he averaged with the Hurricanes last season.
William Karlsson – Sounds like he’s expected to return shortly after the All-Star Break. Vegas’ next game is on January 31st against the Hurricanes, which gives Karlsson plenty of time to rest and recover from an upper-body injury. He has just 10 goals through 49 games this year after scoring 24 last season and 43 the year before.
Cody Glass – The team is expected to provide an update on his status following the All-Star Break. It sounds like he should be close to returning from a lower-body injury after these extra few days of rest.