Checking in on the various injuries around the league as we get set for the regular season to begin.
The Big Guns (>80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Sidney Crosby – The heaviest news of the week. A top-3 pick in almost any league, Crosby likely won’t be suiting up for the Pens’ season opener vs. the Capitals as he’s been diagnosed with concussion symptoms. Even through his optimism, it’s tough to say whether or not he’ll be back anytime soon. Concussions are the trickiest of injuries, and among the most serious. Treating them without the concern they demand can have serious long-term effects, including mental illness and depression. Having been through the ringer already, Crosby knows more than most about the steps he needs to take to get healthy. Bench him, but watch for further news, as he’s been skating and participating in practice already and could play without a ton of notice.
Tyler Seguin – The Dallas Stars don’t play tonight, so Seguin has an extra day to get to 100%. He fractured his heel sliding into the boards during the World Cup of Hockey, but Head Coach Lindy Ruff expects him to be ready for Thursday when Anaheim comes to town.
Jack Eichel – Eichel turned awkwardly during a drill in Sabres’ practice and looks like he messed up his ankle pretty bad. He’s a late addition to this column, so news about his injury is scarce until further evaluations. He’ll miss at least the first game, but he’s young and can heal up a ligament pretty easily, so keep an eye on this situation as well.
Justin Faulk – After suffering a lower-body injury in preseason action against the Capitals, Faulk should be ready to start playing games that actually matter. Head Coach Bill Peters says he’d be “shocked” if Faulk couldn’t play.
Kyle Okposo – The new Sabres’ winger is recovering after a slapshot hit him in the knee a few days ago. He hasn’t returned to the ice yet, so look for news of him skating as a sign that his recovery is progressing. He definitely won’t be ready for the season opener, but might play again before next week.
Ryan O’Reilly – O’Reilly’s in a bit of a better situation than Okposo. He also missed practice, but he got in some powerplay time. His concern is his back, where he’s been experiencing spasms. Consider him day-to-day for now, although he could play in tomorrow’s game vs. Montreal if he feels better.
The Second Liners (50%-80% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Jonathan Huberdeau – The Panthers lost a top forward this week, as Jonathan Huberdeau’s leg injury will keep him out until around December. After Devils’ forward Sergei Kalinin’s skate cut open his leg, Huberdeau’s been getting around with the help of stitches and a walking boot. Normally a cut wouldn’t keep a player out for so long, but this caught him in his Achilles tendon. Keep him on the IR and go bargain hunting until he’s back.
Michael Stone – Stone’s been able to practice in contact drills and practice after having knee surgery in the offseason, but didn’t play in any preseason games and was put on the Injured Reserve by the Coyotes. Of course, this can be changed at any moment and Stone could be reactivated to play. Why place him on the IR just to take him off? It might have to do with some cap shenanigans that GM John Chayka’s trying to pull. Either way, keep an ear to Coyotes twitter until puck drop.
The Depth Guys (20%-50% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Niklas Kronwall – Kronwall was also placed on the Injured Reserve with an injured knee. He’s been practicing lately, so he could be in the lineup much sooner than most. He’s a good bet to play fairly soon, so we’ll put him in the day-to-day column for now.
The Mr. Irrelevants (<20% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Zach Bogosian – The last of the Sabres to grace this edition of the Injury Report, Zach Bogosian is struggling to recover from a groin injury. He’s been skating on his own, so a return within the next week or so isn’t out of the cards.
Marian Gaborik – Finally, the Band-Aid Boy of the last decade, Gaborik, has made his monthly trip to the Injured Reserve after taking a Mats Zuccarello shot off his foot at the World Cup of Hockey. He’s expected to recover by late November, so don’t hold your breath for him.
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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