Hockey is a tough sport, which means that there will never be any shortage of injuries. But when an injury comes for your team’s star player, things are especially tough. Injuries can change the course of an entire season if they strike the wrong guy, and several NHL teams are already reeling thanks to the bad luck they’ve had in the 2015-2016 season. Let’s take a look at the six most crucial NHL injuries right now.
Zach Bogosian, Buffalo Sabres
Lower body injury
You have to love these vague NHL injury reports. Defenseman Bogosian hurt his “lower body” somewhere. Whatever it is, it must be bad: there’s no timetable yet for his return. Bogosian is the Sabres’ best defenseman, so this is a serious loss for the team. The Sabres weren’t going to be too competitive this season anyway, but things might be even worse than planned.
Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks
This is no good. Couture is a young center with the Sharks, and he won’t be back until later this month. The Sharks have been mediocre this season, and they’re certainly missing the scoring potential that Couture gave their second line. The Sharks are 6-6-0 and hope Couture gets well soon.
Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers
Eberle was a big part of the Oilers scoring attack, until he hurt his shoulder and was knocked out for 4-6 weeks. He’s skating with the team again now, but isn’t quite back – and the Oilers have already suffered another brutal injury (more on that in a moment). Edmonton hasn’t been able to catch a break lately.
Jaromir Jagr, Florida Panthers
It’s not clear how bad Jagr’s hamstring injury is, but the Panthers need to be careful with their aging star. They’ll hold him out for as long as it takes. His absence is a huge loss for the Panthers, though: he’s their top scorer. Jagr is the veteran leader of a young Panthers team that was hoping to defy expectations this year. If Jagr can’t stay on the ice, the Panthers won’t be going anywhere fast in the 2015-16 season. This injury was apparently something that Jagr re-aggravated, so it could be a factor all season long.
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
Duncan Keith is a key player on this Chicago Blackhawks team, especially after their salary-cap maneuvering left them without some of the stars from their recent Stanley Cup years. But now the Blackhawks are without Keith, too, because he injured his knee badly enough that it required surgery. Keith will miss 4-6 weeks rehabbing from the surgery, which is about a quarter of the entire season. The Blackhawks were 3-3-0 when he left and are now 7-5-0. Not so terrible – except that it’s only good for second-to-last in the tough Central division. Yikes.
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
This is a rebuilding year for the Oilers, so right now this team is all about their young talent – particularly McDavid, who was the number one pick in this year’s NHL draft. That it was absolutely devastating when McDavid suffered a fractured collarbone earlier this week. The Oilers want McDavid to develop and gain confidence by seeing on-ice action, not the inside of a doctor’s office.