Not that Philadelphia GM Ron Hextall would ever wish an injury on any opponent, but he can't be too distraught over today's breaking news out of Nashville.
Just when it looked like the Predators were going to ice their deepest and most dangerous forward group in years comes news that center Mike Fisher, who famously had a run-in with a Chipmunk last off-season, could miss a good chunk of the season after suffering an injury during his offseason workouts.
“Predators forward and alternate captain Mike Fisher sustained a ruptured Achilles tendon during a training session and underwent successful surgery on Thursday, July 3," Nashville's President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile said in a statement. "We expect Mike to make a full recovery in four-to-six months, and look forward to his return to the ice.”
Best-case scenario, by Poile's estimate, is that Fisher sits around the rest of the summer, skips training camp and hangs out in the press box through October. That sounds bad...but not as bad as writing him off until 2015.
Fisher, the team's de facto No. 1 center last season, scored 20 goals and 49 points. He led Predators forwards in minutes played (1,481:51) and TOI/G (19:45) and was top-five in both power play and penalty kill time. You don't replace those minutes easily.
And that's where Hextall comes in. The Flyers have a contract, er, player, they would love to move in Vincent Lecavalier. The Preds have been in the market for an upgrade at center, in particular someone to skate with the team's prize acquisition, James Neal. Though the Preds have kicked the tires on Lecavalier for a few weeks, the sides have been at an impasse over how much of the veteran's salary the Flyers would be willing to pay. Now that the Preds are behind the eight-ball, they might not be so adamant about that amount ... and might be able to make a deal. Something to keep an eye on during the next few weeks.