Thu 29 Oct 2009
Well, the New York Rangers are not the only team in the Atlantic Division faced with one of their offensive stars battling the injury bug. Marian Gaborik has company as the two Pennsylvania teams will be without key forwards.
According to Josh Yohe of the McKeesport Daily News, Pittsburgh Penguins star center Evgeni Malkin will be out of action for two weeks with what coach Dan Bylsma calls a “shoulder strain”. Yohe writes that Malkin has been playing in pain for the last couple of weeks and the team has decided that rest is the best course of action for Malkin.
Yohe points out the shoulder is not the one that Malkin hurt during a pre-season collision with John LeClair in 1996. That injury delayed Malkin’s NHL debut by four regular season games.
The Penguins are already without defenseman Sergei Ginchar for the next four to six weeks due to a broken wrist.
Things look even bleaker in the City of Brotherly Love. While Philly fans are rejoicing in the Phillies Game 1 victory over the Yankees, things are not as good for the Flyers as they have placed Simon Gagne on the Injured Reserve List as a result of two hernias according to Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News.
In order to free up salary cap space, Gagne was placed on the Long Term Injured Reserve List. As a result, he must miss a minimum of 10 games and 24 days – which should not be a problem given Gagne’s injury.
According to Seravalli, the normal recovery time from hernia surgery is eight weeks. However, Gagne has two small hernias in the same area so it is not certain how long Gagne would be out. The one thing to consider is that Gagne has had three previous hernia surgeries in the same area during the past four years.
Seravalli reports that defenseman Randy Jones will be recalled to replace Gagne as long as the blueliner clears re-entry waivers. The other 29 NHL teams have a shot at claiming Jones for $1.5 million – half his 2009/2010 salary. Seravalli said that Jones was originally sent to the AHL because his full salary was too much of hit for the cap-strapped Flyers.
Could Jones be in the mix for the Rangers seventh defenseman position? Here is his scouting report from the Toronto Star:
ASSETS: Has good size and solid puck-moving skills. Is capable of logging important minutes and will play the body. Can also chip in with some offense.
FLAWS: Is extremely inconsistent in the hitting department and could stand to play a more physical game. Must tighten up his defensive-zone coverage.
CAREER POTENTIAL: Top six defenseman.
You can scratch Jones off the Rangers list because he was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Kings.
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