Saturday, February 04, 2012

Sheet Player News (Feb. 4)

Rough year for Panthers forward Marco Sturm, who didn't have a great start to the year in Vancouver, dealt to Florida, where he was met with injury after injury. This week, a game after returning from a concussion, Sturm suffered a groin injury and that appears to be serious enough to keep him out of the line-up for at least a week, so the team has placed him on the Injured Reserve and will evaluate him closer to next weekend.  Sturm hit my injury prone list back in 2010 and he will not get a glowing review when I go back over it in the off-season, closer to next year's draft.

With the trade for Erik Christensen on Friday, it appears that the Minnesota Wild are preparing for life without forwards Guillaume Latendresse and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who are both suffering from concussions.  Latendresse, the Box 8 forward on the sheet, has now been confirmed to have a significant concussion and it doesn't appear that he'll be rushed back or pushed into a situation where they'll need him to exert more energy than he has.  The official word isn't that he is done for the year, but they are certainly not ruling out the possibility.

With games on back-to-back nights, the New York Islanders don't appear to be taking any chances with veteran forward Brian Rolston, especially since the team doesn't have much for playoff hopes to aspire to. The Box 23 forward was a healthy scratch on Friday night, when the Islanders visited the Senators in Ottawa and then they will jet home to play the Sabres on Saturday night. I would expect Rolston to be in for that one. If Rolston's production was up a bit more or his salary cap wasn't over $5 million, I would say he would have been ripe for the picking at trade deadline time, but that to me, looks like a long shot.

The Senators were unclear as to the status of their number one centre Jason Spezza, who had a couple of maintenance days and was held off the ice, so the team called up Jim O'Brien from Binghamton of the AHL.  Spezza was able to play against the Islanders, but they made the most of the O'Brien recall, having him in the line-up and coming out of the line-up was Box 25 forward Bobby Butler, who has been struggling this season.  It's hard to say what the plan going forward will be, especially since both Butler and O'Brien do not have to clear waivers. Don't be surprised if O'Brien gets a longer try out.

The St. Louis Blues lost the services of veteran forward Jason Arnott in the 1st period of Friday night's game against the Kings, leaving the game with a reported shoulder injury.  The immediate word is that the Box 7 forward only suffered a minor injury, something he might be able to shake off before the team plays again, which is tonight in Nashville.  The Blues are right in the thick of the playoff mix, if not the division mix, so I don't see why they would rush Arnott back in the line-up, with still nine weeks of hockey left to play.  He will be needed for the push, but I would imagine they would give him at least a game to make sure of his health, unless he is 95-100%.

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