NHL Fantasy Hockey Injury Update: Feb. 24, 2017
Chris Wassell takes a look at the latest injuries around the NFL and what the potential impact might be for fantasy hockey owners.
It is never easy to foresee the unforeseen. Injuries happen every day in the NHL and here at FantasyAlarm, our goal will be to help you try to stay on top of those maladies. Counting all the latest bumps, bites, and bruises, there were 84 players held out of lineups. Five of those are long term injuries from a previous year. Those players are likely not to return or have retired. That leaves 79 who have been hurt this season. Here are some of the more notable ouches out there and their possible prognosis on this Friday. Periodic updates and returns are provided as well. The latest walking wounded is listed below.
Pavel Zacha is now out with a concussion which will keep him out another couple games at a minimum. The concussion was suffered earlier in the week. New Jersey’s first round pick from 2013 was just starting to heat up too. The best bet on advice is just to wait as he goes through the protocol of recovery. At some point, he will be able to skate with contact. Until then, there is no real way of knowing when he will return.
Mitchell Marner is still out with that upper body / shoulder issue and the concerns are rising some. There are a few suggesting it may be something else entirely like a hand or finger/thumb. The longer he is out, the more speculation there is. His next opportunity to return is Saturday but with Mike Babcock’s vague description of day to day, do not assume anything at all.
Sam Reinhart is still day to day with an illness. Admittedly, fantasy people are getting restless as this has lingered for a little over a week. It is rumored that he is feeling better but his status for Saturday and the weekend is uncertain. This will be a fluid situation so it is best to keep an eye on social media for the latest on Reinhart’s condition.
Mark Stone was injured against Winnipeg last weekend. The neck injury was thought to be a concussion perhaps and it may have been. However, he is practicing so tonight’s game is one he will miss. Sunday may present another chance to return. If not, then the waiting game continues into next week. At least, this is not as serious as first feared.
Mike Hoffman is kind of in the same boat as Stone in some ways. He has a groin injury that will likely keep him out for Friday. The forward is practicing and may be able to return over the weekend. It comes down to if he can play at or very close to 100%. The groin is a fickle injury and his status could change at any time. This will be one to keep an eye on as Hoffman is an important part of Ottawa’s offense and most fantasy teams.
Jonathan Drouin is day to day with the flu. The funny part is that he has been sick for over a week at least. It is just that the symptoms worsened. He was scratched against Calgary on Thursday. Tampa Bay has the weekend off anyway so it is likely that Drouin will return Monday. This does explain why the flu keeps spreading. Players are playing through symptoms. It is the age old argument of wash your hands, go home when one feels sick, and rest plenty.
All of Pittsburgh’s defense is injured. That is not the case but it sure feels that way. Four of their top six defensemen are now out. Olli Maataa and Trevor Daley are out for the rest of the regular season with their injuries. Justin Schultz is no closer to returning from his concussion than he was last week. Now, we add Kris Letang to the mix with a lower body injury. This was suffered sometime during the game against Carolina on Tuesday. He is questionable for Saturday. Pittsburgh had to acquire Ron Hainsey out of necessity more than anything else. They need healthy bodies.
Adam Larsson and Andrej Sekera both may be out of this weekend’s games due to a lower body injury and undisclosed injury respectively. Edmonton has had to give Matt Benning a more prominent role once more because of it. Late word has come in that Larsson is not limping and may just play against Washington tonight. Sekera is more of a wait and see at this time.
John Gibson was an unexpected late scratch on Wednesday after suffering a lower body injury earlier in the week. Initially it was thought to be illness but that was not the case. His next chance to return will be on Saturday against Los Angeles. The thought process err hope was to give Gibson time to rest his ailment so he would be ready for the weekend. Let’s see if that was the case.
Jonathan Quick is seeing more and more action in simulated games. Also, these games are involving contact as well. He may return next week perhaps. The groin seems just fine so it is a matter of getting in game shape now. For now, Peter Budaj remains the starter but the clock is ticking.
Chris Wassel can be heard on Fantasy Hockey X every week and on various places throughout the internet. He can be followed on Fantasy Alarm and Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS. A special thanks this week to nhl.com, George Richards, Brian Metzer, Dan Rosen, and Selene Parekh of The Fantasy Doctors for all their information.