Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 27)

I thought I would do a quick recap of those players on the to start the post-Christmas break, see if there is any help coming for some teams and we'll start with the oldest name on the list, Minnesota's Zach Parise, who has yet to take the ice for any game action in this 2018 season. Before the break, there were reports that he was back on the ice for practice with his teammates, but there was no exact timetable for a return. As of Wednesday morning, Parise has indeed been sent down to the AHL for a conditioning stint, which will begin right away and he could be back for the Wild next week.

The reports of Parise getting back on the ice were surfacing a way back at the beginning of December, which led Brian to believe that he would be a pretty good bet to return early from this injury and so far, he has been three weeks without.  The move, on top of some other bad luck, has cost him some big positions in the draft standings, dropping from 1st to 7th, but if Parise is starting to make his way back, maybe the free fall can end before too long.

The Arizona Coyotes lost the services of defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson at the end of November, due to an upper-body injury, and he has yet to return, being placed on the IR at the beginning of December.  It was hard to predict the timeline about this injury, which didn't help anyone's situation, but the 30-year old has remained out since then, coming up on a month of being out, and there is no indication of coming back any time soon.

Stacey M. isn't getting the kind of blow back on this injury, since it is on the blueline and Hjalmarsson wasn't exactly lighting it up to begin with, 4 assists in 17 games.  Her team has managed to hover in the middle of the standings for the last three weeks, sitting 12th now, but she still waits to see if she's getting the Swede rearguard back any time soon.

With James Reimer playing so well of late, the Florida Panthers may not be in any rush to get Roberto Luongo back in the crease from his hip injury, further risking any harm, without getting clearance from the doctor's that he is 100%.  Luongo did get back on the ice on the 21st, just ahead of the break, but Reimer also took the pool's Player of the Week nod for Week Twelve, so as good as Luongo might feel, Reimer should occupy the spot, until there's some troubled waters.

Just the sign that Luongo is getting closer is good news for Stuart's team, which has suffered without Luongo since the 4th of December.  His team has managed to stay well within the money race without him, which is more good news, only dropping a couple spots, from 4th to 6th, since the Waiver Draft players were activated.  13 points back isn't a precarious spot to be in.

Before the Christmas break, Justin Schultz still hadn't returned to the ice and it doesn't sound like he was on for the morning skate today (Wednesday), so he could still be a ways away from returning from his lower-body injury.  Without an immediate timetable for even a return to skating, Schultz's status has to remain as out indefinitely for the time being and that's far from positive news.

Ryan's team can't seem to catch a break this year as well.  He wasn't in the worst shape at the Waiver Draft, sitting in 16th, but things got horribly worse with this injury, just after the swap, and it has seen his team drop down to 21st and his team could potentially fall further without much quality help.

The Vancouver Canucks' injury situation isn't great at the moment and they might still be a few weeks away from it getting much better.  Bo Horvat is still a week away from his earliest available date and upwards of three weeks away, while Sven Baertschi is two weeks away from his earliest date and still could be another month.  Chris Tanev is probably still a couple of weeks away from returning from his groin injury, which would desperately help their back end, but there just doesn't seem to be any immediate help coming at the moment.

In order, this isn't exactly good news for Cam, Wes or Scott, who could all use more points, since they are not in the thick of the money race.  Cam especially is in need of Horvat returning, since his team sits in 11th, only 26 points out of the money.

St. Louis Blues forward Jaden Schwartz is still a few weeks away from his earliest projected date from his lower-body injury, which he suffered a week into December.  He was looking at six weeks on the shelf then and that would still put him three weeks away, but there's always a chance at a quicker recovery, especially with some of these exceptional athletes.  There has been no updates in the last week of his condition, so no news is probably good news in this case.

This was another one of those huge losses for Brian's team, which was just poor luck for him out of the Waiver Draft.  It just piled on to the gamble that didn't quite work out for him yet and there's still better than a couple weeks left without his best forward.  This has definitely hurt and may continue to do so for a bit yet.

What is believed to be a knee injury is what keeps Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry out of the lineup and it appears it will continue to do so for a while yet.  Perry hadn't returned to the ice, ahead of the Christmas break and there are more indications than not, that he isn't expected back in the lineup until the New Year.

This was another tough blow to Neil's team, which has had more than its fair share of these kind of injuries.  With 22 points in 31 games this season, he was putting up some numbers and on Neil's side, that was very important, since there were a few duds on his team in the first segment of the season.

There are certainly a few more players on the IR, but this is the last of the big ones and Dustin Byfuglien might not be too far away from returning from his week-to-week lower-body injury, but it won't be tonight's game, at home to Edmonton.  Byfuglien was back on the ice before practice this morning and there is an indication that he could be back in the active lineup for January 1st, which isn't very far away now.  That seems to be the hope for this team and the current word from the coaching staff.

At least there is some positive news for Wes' team, which is mired with the least amount of projected games in this shortened week, but he still has a healthy 8-point gap from his team in 22nd to Eric's team in 23rd.  If his team can get some of these bodies back, then it might be able to find its way back up to respectable spots in the standings.

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