Let’s check in on the latest news regarding injuries…
The Bad News
Zach Parise was expected to miss somewhere between two and three weeks due to a bruised foot sustained earlier this week, but the Minnesota Wild winger was spotted at practice on Wednesday. So what should fantasy owners make of this situation? It looks like the initial timetable for his recovery is no longer accurate, so it’s probably safe to consider Parise as day-to-day right now.
Concussions sustained by key players often leave fantasy owners unable to determine the severity of those injuries and therefore make informed roster decisions. Fortunately, it looks like the concussion suffered by Detroit veteran Pavel Datsyuk (thanks to an ill-advised elbow to the head, courtesy of Ottawa’s Jared Cowen) will not keep him sidelined for a lengthy amount of time.
Unlike Datsyuk, whose health status should be considered day-to-day, Carolina winger Alexander Semin is dealing with a concussion that is serious enough to warrant a stint on injured reserve. At least the Canes got Jeff Skinner back from an upper-body injury that kept him out of the lineup for nearly a month.
There has been no recent news regarding the timetable for Marian Gaborik’s return to the lineup. The middle of December remains a reasonable expectation for the Columbus winger to get healthy and recover from a sprained knee that took him out of action about two weeks ago.
Another injured Blue Jackets winger, Nathan Horton, is getting closer to making his debut with Columbus after undergoing offseason surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder. A good bet for 20 or so goals most years, the former Boston Bruin practiced this week for the first time as a member of the Columbus organization (albeit while wearing a non-contact jersey). Expect Horton to crack the lineup for the first time at some point around the middle of December.
It’s been a tough year for New York Islanders netminders. Both Evgeni Nabokov and Kevil Poulin have been unreliable fantasy options with sub-.900 save percentages on the season, and recent callup Anders Nilsson has all of five NHL starts on his resume. Nabokov is out for about three more weeks with a groin injury, so Poulin has been the No. 1 goaltender (by default). It’s difficult to imagine that will change due to a lack of proven alternatives.
It’s hard to say whether this means anything or not, but all-world Tampa Bay Lightning winger Steven Stamkos is walking around without crutches or a boot a little more than two weeks after breaking his right leg. It was just Nov. 11 when Stamkos was taken off the ice on a stretcher after colliding with a goal post, so it’s amazing for him to be doing as well as he is less than a month after the injury occurred. However, it should be noted that there is no timetable for his return.
Jakob Silfverberg is now expected to return to the Anaheim Ducks lineup in late December – not the middle of December. His recovery from a broken hand will take closer to 8-10 weeks.
Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was placed on injured reserve this week. He is expected to be sidelined until the last few days of December.
Injuries have completely derailed Viktor Fasth’s season thus far, as he has seen action in just five games for the Anaheim Ducks. He’s been struggling to overcome a lower-body injury and was recently diagnosed with muscle inflammation in his lower body. The inflammation caused him to remove himself from pre-game warmups in a game last week. Fasth is expected to miss three or four weeks.
Winnipeg blueliner Zach Bogosian was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury. He has been out of the lineup since Nov. 15, and there is no timetable for his return at this time.
Veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is still dealing with the effects of a lower-body injury suffered early last week. He missed Wednesday night’s game against the host Detroit Red Wings. It marked the third consecutive game Seidenberg was sidelined. He is considered day-to-day at this point in time.
Lubomir Visnovsky is still dealing with the effects of a concussion that knocked him out of action in the middle of October. He’s been riding a stationary bike and is looking to do some light skating in near future, but he doesn’t seem anywhere close to being ready to return to game action.
Minnesota Wild netminder Josh Harding is day-to-day with a hamstring injury. However, it does not seem to be a serious injury.
Forget about Beau Bennett breaking through anytime in the near future. He’s out for as many as 10 weeks after undergoing surgery on his broken wrist/hand. All that preseason hype, and all fantasy owners got was three points in 12 games played. That being said, Bennett remains an intriguing player once he returns around the first of February.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Matt Read is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
The Good News
Jeff Carter returned to the lineup Monday after missing 10 games with a foot injury. He notched an assist and skated on the same line as Mike Richards and Dwight King in his squad’s 3-2 overtime win over Vancouver. Furthermore, he saw almost 16 minutes of ice time. Carter should be good to go moving forward.
Ryane Clowe has begun skating this week. The New Jersey Devils winger has been out since the middle of October with a concussion. He had been working out off the ice, but now Clowe is starting to really make strides in his recovery. However, there is no specific timetable for his return.
Ray Whitney made a return to the lineup after a nagging groin injury that has kept the veteran sidelined since Nov. 9. He notched an assist. Whitney should be good moving forward.
Though he is hardly a useful fantasy asset this season, Washington Capitals netminder Michael Neuvirth won’t be available in net for the immediate future. Neuvirth left practice earlier this week with a lower-body injury. Braden Holtby (20 starts in net on the year) should shoulder the load in goal for Washington until Neuvirth (7 starts) is ready to return.
Gifted, young blueliner Jacob Trouba came back from a neck injury that left him sidelined for more than a month. It remains to be seen what his role will be with the Jets right now, but he’s certainly one of the more talented rookies playing in the NHL right now. His future fantasy outlook is quite bright, even if the he fails to provide great fantasy production. Trouba saw more than 20 minutes of ice time in his return to the lineup Thursday (working alongside fellow Winnipeg defenseman Grant Clitsome).
In case you hadn’t noticed, Toronto center Tyler Bozak returned to the lineup Monday from a hamstring injury. He should be very useful for fantasy as long as he sees a considerable amount of time alongside gifted wingers Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk.
Mikael Granlund recently missed two games due to an upper-body injury, but he was back in action Wednesday night against visiting Phoenix.
Stephen Weiss returned to the lineup on Saturday, a little more than two weeks after the oft-injured veteran suffered a groin injury.
Don’t look now, but 40-year-old Daniel Alfredsson scored a goal in his return from a groin injury. Though he missed nearly two weeks, Alfredsson has totaled 16 points this season (in 20 games played). He remains a solid option in all leagues, as he is having his best season in five years.