Mar 1, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros (41) shoots the puck against the New York Islanders during the 1st period at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Szagola-US PRESSWIRE

Key Injuries Hitting Teams Already


With NHL training camps set to begin in just over a month the last thing a team wants is a key player injured before games even begin.  A few teams within the last week have lost some key players due to injuries already.

Mar 22, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler (17) warms up before the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Canucks defeated the Stars 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

The Vancouver Canucks are dealing with a goaltender in Roberto Luongo saying he is ready to move on from the team, but as of today no deals have been made to move him via trade.  My guess is the news of Ryan Kesler’s injury and possible amount of time missed is not the distraction they wanted.

The shoulder injury itself is not new news, as Kesler had surgery in May, but recently his agent stated Kesler would be out until at least December.  Just to add more drama to the Canucks, the organization said Kesler was ahead of schedule only to have his agent contradict the statement, and say Kesler is definitely  not ahead of schedule.

Kesler played in 77 games last year and although he did not have his best offensive production year he still ranked 4th on the Canucks in points with 49.  Kesler served as an alternate captain for the team last season and was a Selke Trophy winner in 2011 for his two way play with the Canucks.

Kesler, due to his two way play, has been a solid penalty killer for the Canucks and is usually matched up against the opposing teams best line.  Kesler is the type of player that allows Vancoucver’s more skilled offensive players like the Sedin twins focus on scoring.  Kesler is a player who is willing to get in front of the net, provide screens, and score off rebounds for his team.  He will be a missed component of the Canucks overall team success.

Mar 1, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros (41) shoots the puck against the New York Islanders during the 1st period at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Szagola-US PRESSWIRE

Defensman Andrej Meszaros had surgery to repair a torn right Achilles tendon.  Although surgery was considered a success there is no current timetable for his return.  Probably not considered a first line defensman Andrej still played in 62 games for the Flyers before having back surgery in March. Since 2005, he has had 5 seasons where he played in at least 81 games and the Flyers could have used him on the ice for a full season. Flyers’ defenseman Chris Pronger is still dealing with concussion issues and his future is still cloudy at this point.

With the Flyers putting in what seemed to be a desperate offer sheet in for restricted free agent Shea Weber, but losing out when Nashville matched the offer, the Flyers still seem to have a glaring need on the blue line.

It is still very early and the NHL season has not even started so it is hard to know how these injuries will affect their respective teams, but it is obvious the teams would be better having them on the ice.

 

Tags: Andrej Meszaros NHL Philadelphia Flyers Ryan Kesler Vancouver Canucks