The latest information on injured players from around the NHL…
The Big Guns (>80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Ryan Getzlaf – He missed Tuesday’s practice to receive treatment and Chris Wagner was recalled, so I wouldn’t expect Getzlaf to be in the lineup Wednesday night against the Red Wings. With 30 points in 36 games, he was putting together another quality season, so monitor how this absence affects the production of his teammates. Not many details are known at the moment, but keep your eyes peeled for updates.
Marian Hossa – Although Coach Joel Quenneville was hopeful that Hossa would play in the Winter Classic, the Blackhawks’ forward just wasn’t ready. Fortunately, he has been skating, and his health has been improving with this time off. With 23 points in 34 games this season, Hossa was defying all expectations that came with his ‘elderly’ status. Look for him to be back in the lineup in the next couple of games.
Steven Stamkos – Goodbye crutches, hello exercise bike. The Tampa Bay Lightning captain has been recovering very nicely from knee surgery and is still on schedule to return in the middle of March. The team has been struggling without their leader, so let’s hope they can hold on to a playoff spot until he comes back.
Jamie Benn – The Stars’ captain will sit out Wednesday night’s game against the Canadiens with a foot injury. Coach Lindy Ruff revealed that Benn is probably healthy enough to play, although not yet at a 100%, inserting him in the lineup could increase the severity of the injury. For now, consider Benn as day-to-day, this shouldn’t keep him out for too long.
Aleksander Barkov – After an amazing 2015-2016 season, in which he racked up 59 points in 66 games, we saw why Sasha was drafted 2nd overall. After a slow start to this season, he has been gradually improving his numbers, but a lower-body injury will put that on hold for the next two to three weeks. If you’re trying to trade for him at this point, you’re certainly not Bark(ov)ing up the wrong tree. The Panthers forward should have a great end to the season once reunited with Jonathan Huberdeau.
P.K. Subban – In what was a big disappointment for hockey fans, Subban missed his first opportunity to play against his former team on Tuesday night. A herniated disc in his back has caused him to miss Nashville’s last 8 games, and doctors have prescribed two to three more weeks of rest. Being a Habs fan, I’ve come to admire Subban’s drive and desire to play over the years, so expect him to push for a retun sooner rather than later.
Matt Murray – Fortunately, the Penguins have five days of rest. This gives Murray plenty of time to recover from a lower-body injury, which means he could be available for Pittsburgh’s next game on January 8 against the Lightning.
Rick Nash – Could return Saturday against Columbus. The Rangers are going to need all hands on deck if they’re going to beat a hot Blue Jackets team who are currently on a 16-game winning streak (The Coyotes, Avalanche, Sabres, and Islanders don’t even have 16 wins yet…).
The Second Liners (50%-80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Max Domi – The youngster took part in his first skate during Monday’s practice since breaking his hand on December 8. That being said, he didn’t handle the puck at all. So although progress is being made, Domi is still far from returning.
Justin Faulk – The Canes’ defenseman missed his fourth consecutive game on Tuesday night, but there is some good news. Faulk participated in the morning skate, wearing a regular jersey. Faulk is always a fantasy asset when healthy, and his 16 points in 30 games should see improvement in the latter half of the season. Expect him back in the lineup very soon.
Jonathan Huberdeau – The Florida Panthers have been missing their top left wing this season, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and closer. Huberdeau is expected to return in the middle of February, with 0 points in 0 games so far this season, let’s see if he can maintain this point per game pace when he comes back.
Tyler Toffoli – An undisclosed lower-body injury will continue to keep the Kings’ forward out of the lineup for the near future, but coach Darryl Sutter is hopeful that Toffoli will resume skating soon. Los Angeles has been struggling to put the puck in the back of the net recently (but we all know Anze Kopitar is Mr. Second Half Performer), so things should pick up when Toffoli returns.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Took a puck to the face against the Flyers on December 30th, putting the Sharks in quite a pickle. Fortunately, he doesn’t require surgery and could return Saturday against the Red Wings.
The Depth Guys (20%-50% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Semyon Varlamov – Although he has been skating, he isn’t expected to start against the Flames of Wednesday night, which means Calvin Pickard is probably going to get the start. If Pickard is getting the start, then I guess this is a good time to express my sympathies to all of his owners. I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, but please don’t own a Colorado goalie. Please. For my sake and yours.
David Backes – A concussion will keep the Bruins’ forward out of the lineup for the foreseeable future. Boston’s offense has been struggling recently (David Pastrnak hasn’t registered a point in the past 7 games), so this injury certainly doesn’t come at a good time.
Antoine Roussel – The Stars’ forward is a possibility to return to the lineup Wednesday night against the Canadiens. He has missed the last five games with an upper body injury, but Coach Lindy Ruff said that the decision is up to Roussel, and whether or not he feels good enough to play.
Mike Green – Although he has been skating, the Red Wings defenseman isn’t expected back in the lineup for the duration of the team’s road trip, meaning he’ll most likely be out for the next week or two.
The Mr. Irrelevants (<20% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Zack Smith – He’ll have plenty of time to heal from an abdominal injury considering the Senators next game is on January 7th, against the Capitals. He suffered the injury on Boxing day against the Rangers, but has been skating since then.
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