James Sheppard’s make it or break it year with the Minnesota Wild may have just been decided for him before it even started. Michael Russo of The Star Tribune breaks news that Sheppard will miss the next 3-4 months after being injured in an ATV accident.
Wild center James Sheppard was in an ATV accident yesterday while training in Vail, Colo., and sustained a serious knee injury. Richards called it an injury to his kneecap. He’s already had surgery and will miss up to four months.
This was to be an integral season for the maligned Sheppard. The fourth-year center was already on the bubble to make the team with last month’s signing of veteran John Madden and the emergence of youngsters Casey Wellman and Cody Almond.
Sheppard was signed this off-season to a one-year deal and after multiple underwhelming seasons with the Wild, this was being viewed as his last chance to make something of his career. Sheppard was the Wild’s first round pick (9th overall) in the 2006 draft. In his three seasons in Minnesota, he’s scored a total of 11 goals in 224 games. It might be viewed as being polite to call Sheppard a full-blown bust. As for how the Wild will cope without him, they should be just fine thanks to having John Madden around now as well as Pierre-Marc Bouchard back on the ice as well.
Players getting injured in bizarre recreational vehicle accidents isn’t anything new, unfortunately, as Blues defenseman Erik Johnson was injured two seasons ago while goofing around in a golf cart.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.