A couple of weeks into the NHL lockout, we’ve seen several players make the jump overseas, whether it’s to Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, or a number of other countries. Some big names have left, but most remain here. The stars that are already in Europe, though, are already seeing game action.
One of those names is Rick Nash, who is currently playing with HC Davos along with Joe Thornton, just as they did during the last lockout. It didn’t take long for Nash to become the first casualty of this lockout.
Nash was injured during a game for the Swedish club on Friday. He left the game for “precautionary reasons” after sustaining a shoulder injury. The injury is not considered to be a serious one, and he will be evaluated over the next few days. But that doesn’t eliminate the concern for the New York Rangers or a number of other teams.
The biggest fear for any NHL club is that one of their players, let alone a first line guy like Nash, sustains an injury while playing overseas. That’s especially if this lockout comes to an end within a matter of weeks, as I am still expecting it to.
Nash is a top tier player in the NHL and expected to be on the left side of the Rangers’ top line. Any serious injury he sustains would be a tremendous hit to their Stanley Cup hopes, as he was acquired to put them over the hump and get them within striking distance of a Cup.
Obviously this isn’t a case where a serious injury took place. But if it does, it’s going to make the league look worse for this lockout than it already does. That help a deal between the owners and players to get done any quicker? Doubtful. But it’d be nice to pretend that it might.