Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators might capture San Jose Sharks’ rookie Tomas Hertl’s high-profile week perfectly. In the first period, he scored his seventh goal of this young season. Yet, for the second game in a row, he took a worrisome hit.
Hertl, 19, is reportedly “under evaluation” after colliding with Senators forward Clarke MacArthur, the Mercury News’ David Pollak reports. As of this writing, he hasn’t returned since that second-period hit.
Multiple onlookers agree that the contact was incidental, but see for yourself in this video from CSNBayArea.com: (In other words, few if any people are comparing it to the check that earned Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler a three-game suspension.)
In fact, Sharks blog Fear the Fin fears that the young forward is putting himself in harm’s way far too often.
If Sharks fans want to feel a little better, San Jose won 3-2 to push its record to 5-0-0. Also, here’s the Hertl goal:
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:
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.