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Fantasy Hockey Injury Report

It is never easy to foresee the unforeseen. Injuries happen every day in the NHL, and here at FanTrax, our goal will be to help you try to stay on top of those maladies with our weekly Injury Report. Counting all the latest bumps, bites, and bruises, there were 64 players held out of lineups. Several of those are long-term injuries from a previous year. Those players are likely not going to return or have retired. Here are some of the more notable maladies out there and their possible prognosis.


Patrice Bergeron missed the opening week of the season with a lower-body injury. He did take a spin on the ice in Colorado on Wednesday, so there is some encouragement. This may be a case of waiting for the weekend for further news. Bergeron is getting closer to returning, and Boston could use the stability that their No. 1 number center provides. The Bruins and fantasy hockey owners alike are feeling the pain.

Chicago’s Nick Schmaltz did make some significant progress with his upper-body injury this week. He could even be ready for Thursday night, according to the coaching staff. However, this is not automatic. The shoulder is believed to be the issue. Schmaltz has now been banged up twice this month. Speed has a price, so be vigilant with the pivot and keep an eye on how he fares after he returns. Younger players do not always have the keenest hockey awareness on the ice. It is just a fact of life.


David Backes is out another several weeks with diverticulitis. What is that, you ask? It is a colon/large intestine issue where folds form along with bruising and bleeding. The pain can reach a level that is unbearable for even the highest of pain tolerances. This is normally an ailment that happens in adults that are 50+ years old. Unfortunately, the likelihood is that the forward will need the full time to recover.

Mikael Granlund is out this week and next week with a groin injury. This has the feel of being a slight tear, but no one has said it officially. Granlund was certainly not expecting a start like this. He struggled in the last quarter of last season. The news is not all bad with the Minnesota Wild, though, as Zach Parise (back) is looking better and is nearing a return. The Granlund injury does hurt, as Minnesota has felt the pinch depth wise. Fantasy owners have, as well.


Dustin Byfughlien is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Few seem to even know what is going on other than the fact that the defenseman cannot play. A weekend return is quite possible, but then again, he is just returning to the ice on Thursday. This was a slow injury in the sense that it got worse gradually. Therefore, it may take time to mend. Fantasy hockey players love Byfughlien for his risk-taking and, more importantly, his point potential. He is a vital cog in most people’s lineups. Fortunately, this is not a long-term injury. Be patient.

Erik Karlsson is the player everyone wants to know about. He had half of his ankle taken out and fused. It will be a bit of a learning process. Consider that he has done little over the last several months. The going forecast here is that Karlsson could return as soon as next week. Now, at what level does he play at when he returns? This is a huge question. Karlsson prides himself on being the No. 1 fantasy hockey option. Owners may have to temper expectations a bit early on. Then again, his return will be very welcomed.


Mike Smith suffered a groin tweak on Monday but was fine on Wednesday night. Ben Bishop is fine after taking a puck in the head last week. Some goalies are hurting, but that is because of their on-ice performance.


Chris Wassel is on Fantasy Hockey X every week and on various places throughout the internet. Follow him on FanTrax and Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS. A special thanks this week to, Brian Metzer, Pete Jensen, Eric Stephens, Dan Rosen, and Selene Parekh of The Fantasy Doctors for all their information. Also, thanks to all the beat writers that make this column possible each week. 

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