Let's check in on the latest news regarding NHL injuries...
The Bad News
Columbus Blue Jackets winger Marian Gaborik is expected to be sidelined for as long as two months because of a broken collarbone. The injury, suffered in his first game back after a six-week absence due to a knee issue, will keep Gaborik from playing for Slovakia in the upcoming Winter Olympics.
There isn’t much more Alexander Steen’s fantasy owners can do other than speculate about the health of the highly-productive St. Louis Blues forward. He’s out with an upper-body injury. Steen missed Monday’s game against Calgary, but there’s been no indication if he’ll miss more time (or how much time he’ll miss). Stay tuned.
San Jose Sharks rookie winger Tomas Hertl is expected to be out of the lineup for a considerable amount of time because of a knee injury that will require surgery. Hertl, one of the most exciting and productive first-year players in the league, doesn’t have a timetable for his return.
Kris Letang’s dealing with an infection in his elbow, and it’s expected to keep him out of the lineup indefinitely. While Letang has not been placed on the long-term injured reserve list, the Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner is not expected back soon. He’s been out since Dec. 13.
Alex Tanguay remains sidelined for the foreseeable future due to knee and hip injuries. While he may take to the ice and skate at some point this week, Tanguay is not ready to return to the Colorado Avalanche lineup.
Curtis Glencross recently suffered his second serious injury of the 2013-14 season. The Calgary Flames winger will most likely miss eight weeks due to a high-ankle sprain. Glencross, who has only played 21 games this season, was sidelined earlier in the year because of a knee injury. He was back in the lineup for only six games before the injury bug struck again.
Stephen Weiss’s disastrous season continues. In addition to being incredibly unproductive in his inaugural campaign with the Detroit Red Wings (4 points in 26 games), Weiss had surgery to address a sports hernia. He’s not expected to return to the lineup until after the Olympic Break. At this point, the longtime Florida Panthers winger should not be considered a fantasy-relevant player until further notice.
He’s not much of a fantasy-relevant player at this point in his career, but it should be noted Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson had surgery on his orbital bone late last week. There is no timetable for his return.
The Good News
Tim Thomas has only seen action in one game since Dec. 7, but it looks like the Florida Panthers netminder will be ready to take over the lion’s share of starts in net in the coming days. Thomas was activated off of injured reserve on Christmas Eve. Fellow Panthers netminder Jacob Markstrom (who served as the primary backup to goalie Scott Clemmensen during Thomas’s absence) was sent down to AHL San Antonio as part of the move.
Injured Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford is expected to start practicing soon. Crawford, who has been out of the lineup since Dec. 8 because of a lower-body injury, should force the effective Antti Raanta (.916 save percentage in 12 appearances) to the bench once he returns.
No return date has been set for Jonathan Quick as he recovers from a groin injury that has kept him off the ice since Nov. 12.
Look for Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to return to the lineup soon. Bobrovsky, who hasn’t played since Dec. 3, traveled with the team earlier this week for a game against the Carolina Hurricanes.