Awful news for the Carolina Hurricanes this week, as both forward Jeff Skinner and defenseman Joni Pitkanen have both been diagnosed with concussions and both are expected to be out of the line-up indefinitely. There is no timetable for their return, but the team will follow the protocol for concussions, but I would think they will both miss some significant amount of time with the injury.
Skinner leads the team in pool scoring this season, having 12 goals and 12 assists in 30 games for the Hurricanes, now good enough for 59th overall in pool scoring, which would have him posted in as a 3rd round pick in our 22-team draft this year. He is the only Hurricanes player in the top-100 in pool scoring, as of Thursday afternoon, which doesn't bode well for the team, who have a giant hole to fill offensively.
Pitkanen is the team's leading defenseman in scoring, with 3 goals and 9 assists in 21 games this year, which is good enough for 263rd in pool scoring overall. With a concussion and a long time on the shelf, you know that ranking will drop quite a bit.
With both the team's best forward and defenseman on the shelf, you have to know that things are going to be a whole lot worse for Cam Ward, the team's starting goaltender, who is already having a poor season, statistically. If you can sell your shares in the Hurricanes, now might be a pretty good time to do it.
This is a very polarized set of circumstances in the pool, as Skinner belongs to the last place team of Darren S. and Pitkanen belongs to the pool leader, Wayne H.. I'm sure there are a number of teams in the pool that wish the players were switched, as they try to catch Wayne in the standings, but that isn't going to be the case. Wayne will lose a key piece of his blueline, but it may not be damning enough to make a huge difference to his lead at this point.
At the time of the injury, Wayne holds a 9-point lead on Stacey C. in 2nd, so we'll be keeping a close eye on this race.