With an abbreviated schedule set to drop in the next week, it will be hard to curb the high emotions as the NHL returns to action. From a fan and journalist perspective the condensed schedule gives us tons of games and content to absorb and enjoy. It will be hard not to enjoy the massive coverage and game load that will take us into July with NHL action almost every night.
Conversely, the wear and tear of so many games so close together will put players at risk while allowing less recovery time. While some players might be a little closer to game shape from playing in other leagues around the globe, there will be a certain level of rust on the players who chose to stay home and work out on their own.
There is something to be said for not taking on the risk of playing in other leagues, but with the indefinite nature and gridlock from the lockout, it was potentially a season lost for some who were unwilling to sit idle and wait.
There are some injuries that will carry over into the shortened 2013 season. Injuries severe enough that several players still haven’t been cleared to play. Chris Pronger and Patrick Eaves come to mind immediately as they both continue to deal with concussion symptoms. Nathan Horton of Boston has been cleared to resume play after missing nearly a year of action from two separate concussions.
Here’s a list of more players with injuries and potential time missed.
Valtteri Filppula-Detroit- Filppula has resumed skating this week after spraining his knee in Finland. Should be ready for opener.
Daniel Briere-Philadelphia-Injured his wrist playing in Germany. Should also be ready in time for season opener.
Brent Burns-San Jose- Burns had significant groin surgery during the off-season and is still trying to rehab. His return date is not known at this time.
Jason Demers-San Jose-Demers broke his wrist playing for Team Canada in the Spengler Cup tournament in Switzerland. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
Marian Hossa-Chicago-After the brutal blindside hit Hossa took from Raffi Torres, Hossa has been cleared since December to return to the ice.
Anze Kopitar-Los Angeles- The Kings center injured his knee playing in Sweden and is expected to be out for at least three weeks.
Ryan Kesler-Vancouver-The Vancouver center had shoulder surgery and wrist surgery and is still not ready to return.
Claude Giroux-Philadelphia-Giroux had surgery on both wrists this offseason and also injured his neck while playing in Germany during the lockout. He should be ready for the start of the season
Adam Henrique-New Jersey-Losing Zach Parise to free agency will be tough enough to contend with, but the Devils’ second year center injured his thumb playing for Albany of the AHL. He could miss another 3-4 weeks.
Tuomo Ruutu-Carolina-Ruutu recently had hip surgery and is expected to miss the entire regular season.