As you may have noticed from musing around in fantasy leagues that don’t involve hockey (namely all you fans of fantasy basketball out there), a shortened season and extended lockout equals injuries…and boy have they begun to pile up.
Injuries to four different players were announced on Wednesday and there's a good chance they're all on a fantasy roster in your leagues (ok fine so maybe Steve Downie is better reserved for deeper leagues but he does offer a ton of minutes in the sin bin and he can chip in a few points every once in a while).
Let's start with the aforementioned Downie, who tore his ACL in Tuesday's 3-1 win over the LA Kings. Downie had one assist in six penalty minutes in two games this year and he may have been eligible at more than one position depending on your league's settings. The fact he can score 40 points in a season is a bonus when you consider the guy can easily get over a 150 minutes in penalties in a healthy season (which he hasn't had since the 2009-10 campaign when he played 79 games).
Then there is the heart and soul of the Philadelphia Flyers Scott Hartnell, who is out indefinitely with a foot injury and is also no stranger to the penalty box. Hartnell scored a career high 37 goals and 67 points last year, leading the team to the Eastern Conference Finals. Indications are he just generally has a sore foot but there's no telling how long he'll be out as he didn't practice Wednesday.
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul took a slapshot from teammate Dion Phaneuf on a second period power play in Pittsburgh and suffered a broken forearm. Chances are he'll be out until mid-February with Clarke McArthur best suited for replacing Lupul on the top line in his place. The news is bad luck to Lupul's owners who may have drafted him high based on his 67 points in 66 games last year.
Lastly, Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith left Wednesday's game against Columbus with a lower body injury (don't you just love it when they don't tell you what it is?). It goes without saying that backup Jason Labarbera is the goalie you'll want to grab in his place, but for now it looks like Smith's injury looks like something short-term as he's still travelling with the team, so don't be set to throw him on injured reserve just yet.
You're updated for now, stay tuned to see if the injury merry-go-round continues later this week...let's hope not, hasn't even been a week yet and I'm already sick of hearing about how lockouts increase injuries...as if Lupul's forearm would have been made of steel if the season started on time! Did I mention I'm a Leafs fan?!
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