The NHL and union might come to an agreement that will lead to a Jan. 19 season opener, but Los Angeles Kings star Anze Kopitar might not be ready for it.
“Got tangled up in the corner and it felt funny,” Kopitar told Hugosson. “Precautionary reasons to step off. Taking this seriously.”
The 25-year-old center estimated that he will need two-to-three weeks to recover. Given that the NHL campaign is likely to start in two weeks — if the season is saved at all — Kopitar’s status for the theoretical opener is now in doubt.
Kopitar’s agent, Pat Brisson, added that his client is in good spirits and the ailment “is nothing to be alarmed with,” according to the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott.
Before the lockout began, the NHLPA warned that players recovering from injuries sustained in Europe might get in trouble once the work stoppage ends.
“We expect that your NHL club would suspend you without pay until you are fit to play,” an NHLPA memo said.
For that reason, the union recommended that players choosing to play in Europe insure their NHL contracts.