A look around the league updating you on all the major injuries.
The Big Guns (>80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Steven Stamkos – This “news” isn’t really new, but c’est la vie when you’ve got a weekly column and the story breaks immediately after your article is posted. The Lightning captain is out for four months, maybe more. This will really give Tampa’s depth a chance to shine, but also might actually give them a better chance to take home Lord Stanley’s Cup. “Whaaaaat? You’re a crazy man”, says you. “No sir”, says I. There’s no salary cap in the playoffs, so if he’s out until game 1 (and there’s every chance this might be the case), the $8,460,613 in cap relief that the Lightning are getting from his long-term injured reserve status can actually be used to get $8M worth of players. The catch is they’d have to acquire those players before the trade deadline. If they go this route and he comes back before the end of the season, though, the Lightning and Stamkos are both in deep $#!+. Penalties can include a fine to Stamkos of up to $1M, voiding his contract entirely, forfeiting games and/or draft picks, and suspending any Lightning officials who helped orchestrate the scenario.
Taylor Hall – Hall’s lower-body injury is a torn meniscus and will keep him on the injured reserve for up to three more weeks. This is all part of the deal when it comes to ownership of Taylor Hall. Despite a boatload of talent, the guy is practically a shoo-in for missing ten games a year.
Johnny Gaudreau – The last bit of news that came in too hot to handle last week, Johnny Hockey needed surgery to repair the damage that those 21 whacks dealt to him. Rehab will take him another five weeks or so, and the Calgary Flames need him soon. They’re 8-12-1 so far, and Sean Monahan isn’t looking like his usual self. Calgary’s on the outside looking in this year, and they might start looking at the list of draft-eligibles instead of the list of playoff teams if this goes on much longer.
Anze Kopitar – Kopitar’s still not sure if he’ll return to NHL ice soon, but the Kings aren’t in trouble, having gone 3-1-1 in his absence. He certainly sounds antsy to return, but it also must be nice to have the luxury of time to heal properly. Check the LA Kings’ twitter before their game tomorrow to find out if you should slot him in.
Gabriel Landeskog – While the Avalanche got their top center back, their captain remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Thankfully, Nathan MacKinnon has been heating up lately and has led the Avs to three wins in their last four games.
Patric Hornqvist – It’s hockey season, and that means injury season for the Pens. Just a short couple of weeks after Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang returned from their injuries, Hornqvist leaves with a concussion of his own. He’s skating on his own, so we can consider him day-to-day. Conor Sheary’s taken his spot on the top line and the top powerplay unit, so if you’re looking for some immediate, comparable relief, he’s your guy.
Alexander Steen – Steen stayed behind while his Blues beat the Bruins on their first game of a two-game road trip. That likely means he’ll miss the second as well with his upper-body injury, so mark him down as day-to-day.
David Pastrnak – The Bruins’ hot hand, David Pastrnak is day-to-day with a suspected concussion. The Bruins aren’t being as generous with information as I’d like them to be, but them’s the breaks. He’s missed three games since he’s started taking “maintenance days”, but there’s no indication that he’s anything worse than day-to-day.
The Second Liners (50%-80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Kyle Palmieri – The Devils are trying to keep it together without Hall, but with Palmieri missed a game with upper-body soreness, and Mike Cammalleri (more on him later) has been absent as well. They’ve lost their last three games, scoring just four goals total, which sounds like last year’s Devils, except they’ve let in seven.
Zdeno Chara – Chara left last night’s game after taking a hit in the corner from St. Louis’s Jaden Schwartz. It’s maybe the reason why he has a lower-body injury now, and won’t travel with the Bruins to Ottawa. Check back on his status on Friday ahead of the game versus Calgary for an update.
Bobby Ryan – The Senators’ winger is day-to-day with a broken finger. General Manager Pierre Dorian said that he’ll be “ready for the weekend”, but it might happen sooner than that, as he’s been practising.
Chris Kunitz – Kunitz is week-to-week with a lower-body injury. That’s the reason why we see Conor Sheary on the top power play and not our favourite coattail-riding Olympic gold medalist. Taking his spot at even strength is rookie Jake Guentzel, who scored his first goal on his first shift with his first shot. The list of players who can say the same includes Le Magnifique himself, Mario Lemieux, other great players like Alexander Mogilny and Nikita Kucherov, and current Maple Leafs assistant GM Mark Hunter. I mean, there’s also fourth-line goon Luke Gazdic, but no one likes that wet blanket of a stat when we’re trying to keep the hype train rolling.
Tomas Hertl – When talking about Hertl and right-knee sprains, you have to remember that this is the injury that cost him 45 games in his rookie year. If it wasn’t for that, I think he’d have challenged for the Calder at the end of the year, but it was not to be. This time, GM Doug Wilson thinks it won’t be nearly that bad, though it is the same knee that he sprained. He’s week-to-week for now.
The Depth Guys (20%-50% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Anton Stralman – Stralman remains day-to-day by all reports, but I have no idea how, given that he apparently suffered a torn muscle. The Lightning haven’t put him on injured reserve yet, so I guess a short recovery is actually a possibility here.
Mika Zibanejad – Check out the video below (or definitely don’t if you’re not into tasting your lunch for the second time today) to see the play that has Zibanejad out of the Rangers’ lineup for the next six weeks. To be honest, I thought six weeks was too short. That play was gnarly, man.
Michael Cammalleri – Cammalleri’s been away from the Devils for personal reasons. They managed five straight wins without him, but have dropped the last three in convincing fashion. He rejoined the team for the morning skate, so expect to see him tonight against the Leafs.
Michal Neuvirth – The Flyers’ backup is on the long-term injured reserve with a knee injury, so expect him to miss ten games at a minimum. He had a 3.54 GAA and a .859 save percentage, so maybe it’s not that heavy of a loss.
All stats courtesy of Dobber’s own Frozen Pool Line Combinations tool.
As always, thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter for more frequent injury updates and general hockey-related tomfoolery! @AjayDaCosta, in case that address bar is too far away.
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