The injury situation for the Carolina Hurricanes is not exactly getting better, however, Thursday’s news could bring a fair amount of hope, depending on perspective.
After leaving the Oct. 24 game against the Minnesota Wild with an upper body injury, forward Jeff Skinner‘s status remained somewhat in flux. He had been listed as day-to-day, but was showing no signs of any immediate return.
Right wing Radek Dvorak was also nursing injury, having sustained a lower body injury possibly in the same game. Dvorak also remained day-to-day for a fair amount of time, however, had made the occasional appearance in practice.
Both players were added to the team’s injured reserve list late Thursday afternoon, bringing more concern to fans. Thankfully, there is an explanation for this preceded by some good news.
Skinner is listed as “out for the weekend,” which gives him a great chance at playing early next week. Dvorak, though still on the injured reserve, is a possibility for Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both of these are pieces of good news, as it puts a finite end to their injuries and shows they are returning soon.
What many fans might miss is that an NHL player placed on injured reserve must remain there for a minimum of seven days. The league’s Hockey Operation Guidelines mandates this for a litany of reasons too numerous to list. Both Dvorak and Skinner had been day-to-day since their initial date of injury. Since medically both of them would be unable to play until Friday and Monday, respectively, the team could not carry them on their roster with the number of injuries they had.
Carolina wisely placed both players on injured reserve retroactive to their initial injury date. This allows time injured to count towards their return, but also allows the team to replace them on the roster. When listed day-to-day, the rules do not permit this.
When all is said and done, listing Dvorak and Skinner on injured reserve is a sign of good things to come, though it may not seem like it. With goalie Anton Khudobin cleared to skate again next week and the return of Skinner and Dvorak, Carolina is beginning to regain their full roster, just as long as nobody else gets hurt.