Brent Burns took part in 81 games last season and all five of the San Jose Sharks playoff contests despite the fact that he was suffering through a groin injury and sports hernia in the second half of the year.
“We didn’t really know what it was, found it, found out and tried to fix it,” Burns said in a CSN Bay Area report.
The 27-year-old defenseman had surgery in May and was medically cleared on Oct. 9, but that might not be the end of the story.
He was only on the ice with his locked-out teammates for 20 minutes on Friday and when asked if he’d be available for the season opener if it takes place on Jan. 19, Burns dodged the question.
“I don’t know if you’re going to get a comment on that one. I’m going to plead the fifth on that one,” Burns said.
Losing Burns, who had 37 points and averaged 22:32 minutes per game last season, for any length of time would be an obvious blow, but it might be just part of a bigger problem for the Sharks.
San Jose blueliner Jason Demers is out with a broken wrist and isn’t likely to be available until the end of January at the earliest.
The silver lining is that the Sharks have a number of other defensemen capable of eating up ice time, including Dan Boyle, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and off-season addition Brad Stuart.
The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins are going to take their rivalry outside on Saturday.
The Flyers visit the Penguins in a Stadium Series clash at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. You can catch the action on NBC or online with the NBC Sports Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Goalie nods: Murray, Neuvirth get the call at Heinz Field
Kris Letang won’t play in outdoor game; Schultz game-time decision
NHL On NBC: Penguins, Flyers meet in Stadium Series
Giroux: ‘It’s all business’ between Penguins and Flyers at Heinz Field
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes have made a minor league trade.
The Bolts on Saturday acquired right winger Stefan Fournier from the Coyotes in exchange for right winger Jeremy Morin, who has played 82 career NHL games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fournier stands six-foot-three-inches tall and 226 pounds. He has two goals and four points in 29 games with the Tuscon Roadrunners in the AHL.
Morin, who has spent the majority of his pro career in the Blackhawks organization, has been a productive minor league player over the years. He has nine goals and 21 points in 43 games this season with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL.
The New York Islanders entered today with a three-game winning streak and holders of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
But yeah, it’s been a disastrous start for the Islanders on Saturday. The Blue Jackets scored three times in the first period, chasing Thomas Greiss from the New York net after he stopped 14 of 17 shots faced.
Jean-Francois Berube entered the game to begin the second period and promptly surrendered a goal to Josh Anderson, who scored his 12th of the season.
Oh, look at that: Another heated melee involving the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. Kings.
You’ll recall a first-period fight fest in a pivotal Pacific Division game between these teams almost one full year ago. On Saturday, in another meeting between these California rivals, the Ducks and Kings were once again at odds.
This latest conflict? Well, Corey Perry was involved. Again. (Last year, order had been restored during a brief scrum before Perry gave an extra shot to a Kings player, resulting in mayhem.)
Perry was called this time around for interference on Anze Kopitar. Kings players, as you might expect, suddenly rushed over before Nate Thompson and Brayden McNabb squared off in the main event.