Injury Ward: Around the Horn

Brennan Des


In this week's Injury Ward, I tried to compile the most recent updates for players that were injured before the NHL season was put on hold. I apologize for the lack of detail in these updates, but hopefully, they give you a better idea of what your fantasy hockey roster will look like if the 2019-2020 campaign resumes. 


Conor Garland – Back on March 8th, the Coyotes announced that Garland would be out week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Craig Morgan of the Athletic had a conversation with Garland back in April and reported that the 24-year-old forward has since recovered from the MCL sprain he suffered in his left knee. 


Cam Fowler – While the NHL season was officially put on hold in mid-March, Fowler hasn't played a game since mid-February due to a lower-body injury. He's continued the rehab process over the past few months and is reportedly feeling close to 100-percent healthy. 


Dougie Hamilton – Back in April, Hurricanes GM Don Waddell revealed that Hamilton would be ready to play if the 2019-2020 campaign resumed. The 26-year-old defenseman was having and outstanding year, posting 40 points through 46 games – a 70-point pace! Jaccob Slavin's offensive output had improved during Hamilton's absence, so Slavin's fantasy value may take a hit with Hamilton back in the lineup. 


Oliver BjorkstrandHis breakout campaign was derailed in March, when he suffered an ankle injury that required surgery and a recovery period of eight to ten weeks. He has been skating recently and it sounds like he could be available if the 2019-2020 season resumes. Bjorkstrand is certainly someone to have on your radar in fantasy hockey leagues as he posted 30 points in his last 30 appearances this year. 


Josh AndersonHad shoulder surgery back in March that came with a recovery timeline of four to six months. As such, I don't think he'll be available if the NHL was to resume action. 


Seth JonesHas been skating as part of his recovery from ankle surgery that he had back in early-February. The rehab process initially came with a timetable of eight to ten weeks, but that's probably not accurate anymore considering he's taking things a little slower with the season on hold. Considering it's now been about three months since he had the procedure on his ankle, I expect he would be available if the NHL resumed action. 


Alexander RadulovHad been sidelined with an illness before the season was put on hold, but fortunately he's tested negative for COVID-19. If the NHL were to resume the 2019-2020 campaign, I expect Radulov would be available for action. 


Jeff CarterThe Kings will not have Carter in their lineup if the 2019-2020 campaign were to resume. His recovery from a core muscle injury has not been ideal as he's unable able to travel and consult specialists for proper diagnosis of his injury. He continues to rehab at home, but isn't expected to play if the season resumed within the next couple of months. 


Tomas TatarIf the season were to resume, the Habs would have their leading scorer in the lineup as Tatar has fully recovered from a shoulder injury. The 29-year-old forward was having a career campaign, posting 61 points through 68 games – a 74-point pace. 


Chris Kreider The 29-year-old forward fractured his foot in late-February but has since recovered and should be available if NHL action resumed this season. He had been on a hot streak prior to the injury, posting 19 points in his last 22 games. 


Mark BorowieckiAbout a month ago, Bruce Garrioch reported that Borowiecki would be ready for action if the 2019-2020 campaign resumed. He suffered an ankle in mid-February and has been sidelined ever since. The 30-year-old defenseman is extremely valuable in leagues that count hits and blocks, he was even on pace for a career-high 28 points this year. 


James van RiemsdykAbout a month ago, it was reported that JVR was a week or two away from being cleared for NHL action. As such, his right index finger – which he broke back in early March – should be healed if the league resumes action this season. 


Jake Guentzel – Unlike a few other players on this list, we don't currently have a definitive idea about Guentzel's status if the season were to resume. In mid-April, he mentioned that he was rehabbing every day and continuing to feel better. He underwent shoulder surgery on December 31st and was expected to miss four to six months of action. Based on that timeline, he could be available if the league were to start back up again this summer. However, keep in mind that the original timeline may not be accurate anymore considering he hasn't had access to all the facilities that would be available during a traditional recovery period. 


Logan Couture – Shortly before the season was put on hold, Couture was sidelined after taking a puck to the head. In early April, Sharks GM Doug Wilson revealed that Couture was close to being 100-percent healthy.  Considering it's been more than a month since that report, I'd expect Couture would be ready for action if the 2019-2020 campaign resumed.


Erik Karlsson – Has recovered well since having thumb surgery back in February and would be ready to go if the league returned to action this season. 


Tomas Hertl – While the 26-year-old forward is well ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery, it doesn't sound like he'd be ready to play if the 2019-2020 campaign resumed within the next few months. Back in January, he tore his ACL and MCL – which usually comes with a recovery timetable of six to eight months. It's reassuring to hear that he's already walking normally and is able to move his knee freely but that doesn't mean he's prepared for NHL action just yet. He expects to be ready this fall – when the Sharks would normally begin training camp for the 2020-2021 season. 


Vladimir TarasenkoIf the 2019-2020 season resumes, Tarasenko will be available for action. The 28-year-old forward had shoulder surgery back in October and spent the next five months recovering. He had been skating and travelling with the team just before the season was put on hold, with many speculating that he was getting close to a return at that time. Coach Craig Berube revealed last month that Tarasenko was probably ready to return during the same week that the NHL was put on pause. 


Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay's captain had core muscle surgery back on March 2nd and was expected to miss six to eight weeks of action. Well, we've reached the end of that timetable and coach Jon Cooper said that he expects everyone on the roster to be ready if the season were to resume. Stamkos has had some time to rest and recover over these past few weeks and has been feeling better every day. 


Andreas JohnssonHad knee surgery back in February and was projected to miss approximately six months. Given that, it doesn't sound like he'd be available if the 2019-2020 campaign were to resume. 


Jake MuzzinThe 31-year-old defenseman broke his hand after blocking a shot during a game back in late February. He has since completely healed and would be ready to go if NHL action were to start up again. 


Jacob Markstrom – The 30-year-old netminder has fully recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of the lineup during the last couple of weeks before the season was put on hold. He's been excellent during the 2019-2020 campaign, winning 23 of his 43 starts and posting a .918 save percentage and 2.75 goals against average in the process. 


Mark StoneWas listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury prior to the season's pause. Back in March, coach Pete DeBoer said that he anticipated Stone would be available to play a few games before the end of the regular season. Of course, the NHL's regular season would have finished weeks ago, so if Stone was ready to play back then, I assume he'd be ready if the 2019-2020 campaign were to resume in the near future. 


Max PaciorettyBefore the season was put on hold, the 31-year-old forward was listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. He continues to work through the recovery process and is doing whatever he can to prepare himself for a potential return to action. Keep in mind, he said that in an interview about a month ago – so it's highly likely that he's made even more progress since then and would be ready if and when the season resumes.  


The following players had been listed as day-to-day before the season was put on hold and should be available if NHL action were to resume:


John Gibson 

Torey Krug 

James Reimer 

Sami Vatanen 

Cam Atkinson 

Nathan MacKinnon 

Mikko Rantanen 

Philipp Grubauer 

Andre Burakovsky 

Sergei Bobrovsky 

Jonathan Drouin

Josh Bailey 

Filip Chytil

Victor Hedman 


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