Painful questions raised by training camp injuries to key players
Traipsing around training camps can be a tiresome process. The storylines are essentially the same in each market and they only take on significance for those involved (fantasy gamers notwithstanding): Rookies hoping to prove they belong, veterans trying to show they've still got something to offer and goalies looking to assert themselves for more playing time. With slight variations, take 30 rosters and insert names and you have camps across the continent covered...until the introduction of injury as the unknown element in the equation.
A guy getting hurt changes everything. Sometimes it directly affects his situation and sometimes the impact is more from the team's perspective. Take
Savard is suffering from post-concussion symptoms after rushing back to action for the playoffs. He subsequently signed a lucrative long-term deal during the summer. His season, depending on whom you listen to or read, is in doubt. Meanwhile, the Bruins penciled
Starting a young player on the wing instead of center isn't uncommon, as the defensive burdens are far more arduous in the middle than on the flanks. Plus, heading into camp, the Bruins were deep in the middle and thinner on the wings, especially with
Savard said he will take his time and be right "in all aspects" before returning to action. The B's are deep enough to carry on in the early going without him and Sturm. Getting both proven veterans back at a later date healthy and hungry might be a playoff tonic long-term. In the near term, it means Seguin's role is potentially altered in the early going, even though he was always ticketed for the big club coming out of camp.
That wasn't necessarily true for Cormier and the Thrashers. The scenarios are different to begin with, as the Bruins appear worthy of Stanley Cup contender status while the Thrashers will hope to compete for a playoff spot. Thus, the Bruins can afford to manage Seguin's entry, whereas the Thrashers' brass really wanted Cormier to come to camp, compete hard and make the team. There is a need at the center ice position, with management seemingly favoring skating and size. Cormier also plays with a rambunctious nature that GM
That all-out style of play that is such an asset now has Cormier sidelined right. His foot was broken as he slid and blocked a shot with 40 seconds remaining in a one-sided scrimmage...in rookie camp. Subsequently, Cormier never hit the ice when main camp commenced two days later. The projected competition never materialized. After spending much of the summer in Atlanta training and preparing, Cormier will now likely begin his season in Chicago with the Wolves of the AHL. He may have done that anyway, but now, who knows? Instead, the Thrashers have third-year player
The Thrashers also have
Speaking of comfortable,
And speaking of the blueline,
And the bad news just keeps on coming for the Islanders. On Tuesday, the team announced that winger
That is the same theme now in the Minnesota Wild's camp where there is a sudden goaltending dilemma. Backup
Moving on the Flyers, starting goaltender
Okay, upon further review, training camps aren't necessarily by rote, especially when injuries occur and throw plans and expectations into turmoil..