NHL Injury Role Call—January 4, 2016

NHL and Caps  Injury Update

Defenseman John Carlson ended his consecutive game streak (412) on after he skated in the game against the Montreal Canadiens. He has been out with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Carlson skated this morning, albeit in sweat pants! According to Katie Brown, NHL, he is expected to travel with the team but not play on January 5 against the Boston Bruins. He could return to play on Thursday.

Center Jay Beagle injured his hand December 30 during the match against the Buffalo Sabres. He left the game and did not return. He reportedly underwent hand surgery on 2 January 2016 and in a statement the Capitals said he could be out for at least six weeks. No additional information today.

Defenseman Brooks Orpik is on the Long-Term Injured Reserve list with an undisclosed injury. There is no timetable for his return. He too will travel with the team to Boston and not play.

It was a great practice this morning as the team worked hard to correct any problems that cost them the last two games. Here are some great shots of them from this morning:

Around the NHL

It is the time of the season when hockey players’ bodies begin to exhibit the stress of months of of hard hits and long shifts. The numbers of injuries seem to be growing and some teams are also showing the negative impact of missing players, including the Caps.

Every team, with the exception of the NY Rangers, has players on the injury list. Injuries range from sprains to severe concussions. Teams typically will not provide specific details about a player’s injury. Part of it is to protect their privacy and part of it is to protect them from opponents when they return to play so that teams can’t take advantage of their vulnerabilities. Here is a look at some of the recent injuries around the league, including goalies that are out and a list of players out with disclosed concussions.

Recent Injuries

Arizona Coyotes:              Defenseman Zbynek Michalek was injured Januayr 3td and is considered ay-to-day with upper-body injury.

Boston Bruins                    Left wing David Pastrnak injured his finger in World Juniors. He is expected to return to play against the Capitals on Tuesday.

Buffalo Sabres:                 Left wing Tyler Ennis left the game against the Capitals when he sustained an undisclosed upper-body injury after a hit from Alex Ovechkin on New Year’s Eve.

Carolina Hurricanes         Left wing Phil Di Giusseppe left the game January 3 after a collision along the boards. His condition and return is unknown.

Columbus Blue Jackets: See the goalie report below for information about Bobrovsky and McElhinney.

Dallas Stars:                        Right wing Valeri Nichushkin (lower body) sustained an injury December 31 and is listed day-to-day.

Detroit Red Wings:          Tomas Jurco was listed day-to-day Dec 31 after sustaining an upper body injury.

Montreal Canadiens:      Right wing Dale Weise was placed on injured reserve January 1 with an upper-body injury he sustained during the Winter Classic.

NY Islanders:                      Johnny Boychuk sustained an possible surgery injury on New Year’s Eve. He was placed on IR January 1.

Washington Capitals:      See above for information on Jay Beagle and John Carlson.


There are 10 goalies out with injuries. For many of the players it is unclear how severe their injuries are or when they are likely to return. The loss of a goalie and change a team’s playing strategy and alter their winning confidence—as seen in Montreal with the loss of star goalie Carey Price.

Arizona Coyotes:              Goalie Mike Smith has been out since December 10 and underwent surgery for a muscle on December 15th and is expected to be out for up to 10 weeks.

Buffalo Sabres:                 Robin Leher is out with an ankle sprain and could return soon. He has been out since late-November.

Colorado Avalanche        Goalie Reto Berra sustained an ankle injury during pregame warmups on December 22. He could miss 10 days and is on the IR list.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has been out with a groin-strain since 9 December. He was briefly activated off the IR list on December 30th but apparently injured himself again during practice. He was placed back on the IR list, retroactive to December 31. He will be out at least until January 6th.

Curtis McElhinney left Saturday’s game against the Capitals with a leg injury’ He is not expected to play in the Blue Jacket’s next game on Tuesday,

Minnesota Wild:               Darcy Kuemper was out December 28 and is believed to have a “mild” concussion according to the team. He was placed on the IR list January 2.

Montreal Canadiens:      Goalie Carey Price has been side-lined since November 25 with a right-leg injury. This is an irritation of an injury he sustained earlier in the season. It is expected that he will be out at least six weeks to heal.

NY Islanders:                      Goalie Jaraslov Halak was placed on injured reserve 26 December, He woactive to 21 December for an undisclosed upper-body injury. He could be back this weekend but no details are known.

Pittsburgh Penguins:      Goalie Marc- Andre-Fleury is out with a concussion and reported to be “progressing” toward his return. No details on how he was injured other than he reported that he did not feel well following the Pens loss to the Caps on December 15. No timetable for his return.

Toronto Maple Leafs:     Goalie Garret Sparks left the game on December 17 with a lower-body injury—potentially to his leg. The team reports he will be out for the ‘long term.’

James Reimer was taken off the IR December 23 but has not returned to play.

Winnipeg Jets:                  Goalie Ondrej Pavelec left the game November 21 and was later seen sporting a leg cast. He was placed on IR and there is no timetable for his return.


One of the more destabilizing injuries a player can sustain is a concussion. The recovery period is much harder to predict because it is different for each person. Quite frequently a team will list “upper-body injury” as code for a concussion. The following list includes only those for which the team has listed “concussion” as the injury.

Anaheim Ducks:               Defenseman Simon Depres, who signed a five-year contract with the team in October 9, was injured on October 17 (upper body). The team revealed on November 14 that the injury had resulted in a concussion and as of December 22 was still feeling the effects. No timetable for his return.

Colorado Avalanche:      Defenseman Nate Guenin left the game December 21 with a “head injury.” It is thought that he is suffering with concussion symptoms although the team has yet to confirm. He will be out for at least a week.

Center Jesse Winchester has been out with concussion symptoms since the end of the 2014/15 season. He is on the IR list because on reoccurring symptoms.

Detroit Red Wings:          Left Wing Johan Franzen was placed on LTIR November 20 after suffering reoccurring concussion symptoms. He was originally injured during the 2014/15 season. It is unclear if he will return during the 2015/16 season.

Winnipeg Jets:                  Center Mark Scheifele sustained an apparent head injury in practice on December 26 and was placed on IR the next day.


Injured Reserve:                            A team can place a player on injured reserve if that player is hurt, sick or unable to play after seven days. Once a player is placed on the list, the Club may replace said player on its NHL roster with another player.

Long-term Injured Reserve:     A player is placed on LTIR if he is expected to miss 10 games and 24 days. There is a complicated formula used to bring relief for the team against its salary cap.

Author: Maggie Marcum

Managing Editor for Friends in Cold Places.

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