Nashville Predators forward Patric Hornqvist suffered a lower-body injury on Saturday and while the details are still scarce, it’s becoming clear that this is a serious problem.
While his teammates are in Phoenix for Monday’s game against the Coyotes, the 26-year-old returned to Nashville for further examination, according to the Tennessean.
“Obviously he’s out for the rest of this trip, and maybe longer,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said.
Nashville still has four games left on its current road trip and they won’t head home until after playing in St. Louis on Feb. 5.
Hornqvist is an offensive leader on a team that doesn’t have that many weapons to begin with. Replacing his presence around the net won’t be easy, but the Predators will likely turn to forward Brandon Yip, who used to serve in a similar role during his stint with the Colorado Avalanche.
“If I’m called upon to fulfill that role I’m going to try my best to get in there and muck it up the way (Hornqvist) does,” Yip said.
Trotz listed Gabriel Bourque, Colin Wilson, Paul Gaustad, and Nick Spaling as other forwards who might be asked to step up now that Hornqvist is out for at least a week.
Nashville has a 1-1-3 record this season and is averaging just two goals a game.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.