If and when the NHL unlocks its doors and welcomes back its players, some notable names will be sidelined by serious injuries suffered playing elsewhere.
Here is a quick update:
Valtteri Filppula, W/C, Red Wings: He suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee while playing for Jokerit in Finland’s top league. That injury could sideline him for up to two months.
This versatile forward is a critical offensive piece in Detroit. Last season he scored 23 goals and added 43 assists. He scored 15 points in his first 16 games in Finland this season.
Ryan Murray, D, Blue Jackets: Columbus counted on Murray, the second pick in the 2012 draft, to quickly emerge as a defensive cornerstone. But he could miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn shoulder labrum while playing for Everett of the Western Hockey League.
Murray has 17 points in 23 games this season. He captained Team WHL squad in the Subway Super Series against Russia and figured to be a key performer for Team Canada in the World Junior Championships this winter.
This was just more bad news for Columbus, which recently saw the 2013 NHL All-Star Game cancelled due to the lockout.
Jared Cowen, D, Senators: Ottawa had big plays for this imposing D-man, but he suffered a torn hip labrum Oct. 19 while playing for Binghamton of the American Hockey League. The injury eventually resulted in season-ending surgical repairs.
Cowen, 21, is a former ninth overall draft pick. He played all 82 games last season, scoring five goals and adding 12 assists. He was ticketed for a Top Four role this season.
“We’re disappointed for Jared,” Senators general manger Bryan Murray told the Ottawa Sun. “This was a big year for him to get more playing time in Binghamton until we’re going to play in the NHL.
In Cowen’s absence, prospects Andre Benoit, Mark Borowiecki, Patrick Wiercioch and Eric Gryba will get extra attention from Ottawa’s management team. The Senators may also look outside the organization for help.
Blake Geoffrion, C, Canadiens: He suffered a depressed skull fracture while playing for Hamilton of the AHL. He was injured when J.P. Cote of Syracuse checked him and then apparently made contact with Geoffrion’s skull with his skate.
Geoffrion, 24, had five goals and eight assists in 55 games last season for Nashville and Montreal. He is recovering from head surgery but faces an uncertain hockey future.