With the NHL finally set to return in just 10 days, there are a few significant injuries that need to be addressed. These setbacks may, or may not, impact your decision on drafting them in your fantasy leagues.
So, with fantasy leagues being started rapidly, let’s get right to the injuries.
Danny Briere, C, Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers are preparing to start training camp this weekend but it may be without veteran Briere. The 35-year old suffered a sprained left wrist on Dec.28th. Starting from the season opener (Jan.19) Briere believes he will miss around 7-10 days. Briere cannot see his hand specialist until the new CBA is ratified, which appears to be on Saturday. Luckily, an MRI revealed no fracture.
Anze Kopitar, C, Los Angeles Kings: Kopitar has an even worse chance of suiting up on opening day after suffering a knee injury on Saturday while playing for Mora IK of Sweden. Kings general managers Dean Lombardi stated that Kopitar likely suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain, suggesting that the Kings center could be sidelined for at least three weeks. When he does return, I still like his fantasy value, as he is one of the better centers in the league.
Adam Henrique, C, New Jersey Devils: Henrique underwent surgery last month to repair a torn UCL in his thumb. Now that he has had his cast removed, Henrique will now have to regain full motion in his thumbs before being able to suit up for the Devils. It appears that will take about three and a half to four weeks, obviously keeping him off the ice until at least February. If you can still get him in the later rounds, I would because he will be a key part of that offense with Zach Parise gone and Ilya Kovalchuk’s situation cloudy.
Nicklas Backstrom, C, Washington Redskins: Backstrom may also miss the season opener for the Capitals after suffering an apparent neck injury while playing in Russia during the work stoppage. On Tuesday, he was seen at the Capitals practice facility, however, he was seen watching his teammates from a distance. Captain Alexander Ovechkin, who played with Backstrom in Russia, said his teammate was “a little dizzy.”
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy football/hockey columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.