It is never easy to foresee the unforeseen. Injuries happen every day in the NHL, and here at FanTrax, our goal will be to help you try to stay on top of those maladies with our weekly Injury Report. Counting all the latest bumps, bites, and bruises, there were 106 players held out of lineups. Several of those are long-term injuries from a previous year. Those players are likely not going to return or have retired. Here are some of the more notable maladies out there and their possible prognosis.
Ryan Getzlaf will need surgery for a broken orbital bone in his eye. He was already out for about a week anyway. Rumors suggest this might take even longer than 8-10 weeks. For now, expect him back around the middle of January. However, do not be surprised if Anaheim just stays the course even without their top two centers. The Ducks have some good, young depth, and they may provide some value at the least. All hope is not lost.
Nolan Patrick is still out with a concussion but is skating on his own. He is progressing. The oft-injured center feels like he is perpetually day-to-day. It is prudent to keep an eye on what Philadelphia beat writers say. His fantasy value has taken a significant hit. For better or worse, Patrick needs to be in the lineup. UPDATE: Patrick could return next week, but that is not confirmed just yet.
Auston Matthews is day-to-day and missed Wednesday’s game against Minnesota. Mike Babcock expected this not to linger too much longer. He should be fine for the weekend. Matthews has been diagnosed with an upper-body injury. It’s probably a banged-up shoulder. Do not panic here!
Brad Marchand is day-to-day, but he’s not believed to be seriously hurt. Although this is not a serious injury, it does impact Boston significantly from a fantasy standpoint. Marchand’s next chance of playing will be Friday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Marchand-Bergeron combination is one of the fiercest duos in the league and historically performs well against Toronto. Keep an eye on this situation, as it’s possible the injury could linger.
Kyle Palmieri will likely return for New Jersey tonight. On the other hand, Marcus Johansson still has a concussion. Sadly, it looks like Palmieri will be activated so that Johansson can be placed on injured reserve. Check back next week to see how Johansson progresses. This seems to be more of a retroactive move than anything else. However, concussions can be fickle and setbacks are possible at any time. It will also be intriguing to see how Palmieri looks in his return tonight.
Rasmus Ristolainen is still nursing an upper-body injury. The expected recovery time is not going to be very long. Why do we say “not very long”? There are some that say Ristolainen may play Friday. So what could the injury be? There could be a wide range of issues. Either way, this is not a huge worry, but fantasy-wise, the Buffalo defenseman has disappointed in the season’s the first month.
Travis Hamonic is still out with an upper-body injury. He is on the injured reserve for now. Also, Hamonic did not take part in practice on Monday. Furthermore, the earliest he may play is the weekend. That is what the trend seems to be pointing toward. However, keep an eye on this, as Hamonic is a notoriously slow healer.
John Gibson is day-to-day with a head injury. The past few seasons have been a struggle for Gibson to stay healthy. It is expected that he could miss some time. An exact timetable has not been determined yet. Gibson may be rested on Thursday, as Ryan Miller has played well. As a result, it would not surprise anyone if Gibson was held out until next week. The real question is whether Anaheim will hold him out that long. That is not an automatic given Anaheim’s extensive injury list.
Marc-Andre Fleury’s head injury looked more serious. It’s unclear when he’ll be ready to return. However, Malcolm Subban is still out a few more weeks, as his groin slowly mends. With Oskar Dansk also still out, Vegas needs one of these three goalies to stay healthy. Keep an eye on this situation, as it could change significantly in the next several days.
Chris Wassel is on Fantasy Hockey X every week and on various places throughout the internet. Follow him on FanTrax and Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS. A special thanks this week to nhl.com, Brian Metzer, Pete Jensen, Eric Stephens, Dan Rosen, and Selene Parekh of The Fantasy Doctors for all their information. Also, thanks to all the beat writers that make this column possible each week.