If it wasn’t for bad luck, Colorado wouldn’t have any.
That was the story out of Denver on Sunday as Avs head coach Joe Sacco informed reporters that defenseman Ryan Wilson would be out indefinitely with an ankle injury.
Wilson, 26, was hurt during Saturday’s 3-1 win over Edmonton.
An undrafted free agent that’s matured into one of Colorado’s most dependable blueliners, Wilson had played in all eight games for the Avs this year, averaging 19:17 per game while leading all rearguards in points, with three.
Colorado is now without the services of Wilson, captain Gabriel Landeskog (head, on IR), Steve Downie (out for season, torn ACL) and Ryan O’Reilly, last year’s leading scorer (contract dispute).
The Avalanche have been carrying eight defensemen, however, so they will have bodies available to replace Wilson in the interim.
Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports it’ll either be second-year pro Tyson Barrie jumping into the lineup, or Shane O’Brien — the veteran defenseman made his season debut on Saturday against the Oilers.
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.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: