If it wasn’t for bad luck, the Columbus Blue Jackets wouldn’t have any.
Today, center RJ Umberger left practice early and didn’t return. Shortly thereafter, interim head coach Todd Richards informed reporters that Umberger “wasn’t feeling right” and would be out indefinitely with concussion-like symptoms.
“He wasn’t feeling right, and by that, I mean it was his head,” Richards said. “He’s got concussion-like symptoms. He’ll be on the shelf for a little bit here.”
Umberger will be held out of Friday’s home game against the Coyotes, stopping his franchise-record ironman streak at 288 games. The 29-year-old hasn’t missed a contest since being traded to Columbus from Philadelphia in 2008.
The injury puts a further damper on Columbus’ forgettable season. The Blue Jackets are the NHL’s worst team, winning just 11 times in 42 contests, and now without four of their top players: Umberger (concussion), James Wisniewski (broken ankle), Jeff Carter (separated shoulder) and Kristian Huselius (lower body).
Mark Letestu (broken hand) and Radek Martinek (concussion) are also out indefinitely.
The timing of these injuries couldn’t be worse. On Jan. 21, Columbus will set out on a six-game road trip — its longest of the season — that will see them travel to Detroit, Nashville, Tampa Bay, San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim over a 13-day span.