MikeCammalleri


The NHL season is just days away. Let’s take a look at some key injuries involving fantasy-relevant players…

 


The Bad News

 

Tough luck for Edmonton’s Sam Gagner. A Zack Kassian stick to the face during the Oilers-Vancouver Canucks preseason game Saturday broke Gagner’s jaw. It looks like the freak injury will keep the unheralded Oilers centerman out for about two months. As a result, the Oilers will be without two of their top three centers (the other being Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who is rehabbing his surgically-repaired shoulder) for the first month of the season.

 

According to the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson, Boyd Gordon could see significant action at center on the second line behind Taylor Hall. Other options include Will Acton, Ryan Smyth or farmhands Mark Arcobello and Anton Lander. It’s a shame, as Gagner’s fantasy value seemed destined for a boost with Nugent-Hopkins sidelined.

 

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The Nashville Predators were counting on Viktor Stalberg to provide some much-needed offense as a member of their top-six group of forwards. Now they’ll have to wait until late October, as the former Chicago Blackhawk winger is out for about four weeks with a sprained shoulder. However, he remains an intriguing sleeper and candidate for a breakout campaign in 2013-14. Fantasy owners will just have to wait a little while longer.  

 

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The Calgary Flames need all of the offensive help they can get, but it looks like they will be without veteran winger Michael Cammalleri for an extended period of time. According to Pro Hockey Talk, he is dealing with a serious hand injury and is questionable for the start of the regular season. More information regarding Cammalleri’s availability should surface between now and the end of the month. However, it doesn’t look like he’ll be in anyone’s fantasy lineup once October rolls around.

 

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Pittsburgh’s goaltending depth took a significant hit this week when it was announced that veteran Tomas Vokoun is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to dissolve a blood clot. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Vokoun will definitely not be ready for the Penguins’ regular season opener.  Obviously this is a serious situation. Once has to assume the Pittsburgh organization will give Vokoun all the time he needs to recover. Furthermore, expect fellow Pens netminder Marc-Andre Fleury to get all the work he can handle in the early going this season.

 

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The San Jose Sharks lost a key veteran forward when Raffi Torres went down with knee injury following a collision with Anaheim’s Emerson Etem during last Friday’s preseason game. The injury is pretty serious. So much so that Torres is expected to miss at least six weeks (and possibly three or more months if he undergoes knee surgery).


The Good News

Never fear, the hip injury Nathan MacKinnon has been dealing with the past week or so should not prevent him from making his NHL regular season debut on October 2.  The 18-year-old Colorado Avalanche centerman remains a clear contender to win the Calder Trophy this upcoming season.

 

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Patrice Bergeron’s fantasy owners had to be happy to see Boston’s talented, two-way centerman return to action Saturday. It marked the first time he made his way into the lineup since suffering a litany of injuries during the 2013 playoffs. Boston’s No. 1 pivot should be 100 percent heading into regular season play.

 

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A torso injury kept Anaheim Ducks star Corey Perry out of the lineup for Tuesday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings. According to the Orange County Register, the injury was sustained in practice earlier this week. However, it stands to reason that Perry will be ready to roll once the regular season begins.

 

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Marian Hossa and Jakub Voracek are two high-end forwards who are a little nicked up heading into the final days of the preseason. However, both aren’t expected to miss any time once the regular season gets under way. 

 

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Filip Forsberg isn’t expected to see action in any more preseason games, but the talented, young prospect should be ready to assume a significant role in the top six for the Nashville Predators once the regular season rolls around.  He’s a sleeper to win the Calder Trophy this year, even though he plays for a squad that lacks offensive punch.

 

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After an injury-plagued 2013 campaign, Florida Panthers winger Kris Versteeg is fully healthy and ready to go. He made his preseason debut Thursday and should be ready for Florida’s season opener.

 

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Francois Beauchemin made his preseason debut this past Sunday against Colorado. The 33-year-old blueliner needed ACL reconstruction this past season, but he looks to be fully healthy after logging 20 minutes of ice time.


Anybody’s Guess

 

There are more questions than answers regarding the health Scott Clemmensen and how his knee injury affects the goaltending situation in Florida. While it seems like he’s progressing nicely, there are no assurances he’ll be ready for regular season action in early October. Furthermore, the presence of newly-signed netminder Tim Thomas and up-and-coming goaltender Jacob Markstrom on the roster make it a difficult situation to read.

 

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Dustin Brown suffered a “minor” hamstring injury a couple of weeks back. Well, now it appears it is a significant hamstring injury because it is expected to prevent the Los Angeles Kings winger from being ready once the regular season begins. He took the ice and skated Monday, but he hasn’t seen action in any exhibition games. Time will tell when the veteran forward will be ready to return, but it shouldn’t be long into October.

 

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Oft-injured David Booth re-aggravated a groin injury late last week and will be out of action for the remainder of the preseason.  Vancouver’s veteran winger was bothered by the same injury earlier this offseason, so it’s unknown whether he’ll be ready to contribute right away when the Canucks open the season. 


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Comments (7)add comment

MikeTSchmidt said:

MikeTSchmidt
... He signed a professional tryout offer with the Panthers early last week.

September 26, 2013
Votes: +0

MikeTSchmidt said:

MikeTSchmidt
... Thomas is expected to sign and should play in Florida's final preseason game on Saturday: http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/e...tim-thomas

He signed a professional tryout agreement with the organization early last week.
September 26, 2013
Votes: +0

Devil10 said:

Devil10
Thomas Did Tim Thomas sign in Florida? If so I can't find his contract numbers. My draft is tonight and its a salary cap league and I am thinking of drafting him as my third goalie. Thanks.
September 26, 2013
Votes: +0

MikeTSchmidt said:

MikeTSchmidt
... Looks like Ryan was favoring his shoulder, but avoided significant injury. He should be fine. Hornqvist is day-to-day with a lower bpdy injury. Not serious, however.
September 26, 2013
Votes: +0

Savvy1982 said:

Savvy1982
Hornqvist & Ryan Both Hornqvist and Bobby Ryan apparently got dinged up a bit last night? Any new news on these two?
September 26, 2013
Votes: +0

shingy said:

September 26, 2013
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
thanks Critical time of the year for this kind of information - very much appreciated, Mike and well presented for easy consumption.
September 26, 2013
Votes: +0
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