Those who believe that the World Hockey Championship should take a year off following Winter Olympics have some ammo in 2014, as the list of injured players is a little disturbing (whether it’s all about bad luck or not).
The latest addition to the list is Minnesota Wild forward Erik Haula, who suffered a fractured (non-displaced) jaw in Finland’s gold-medal game defeat to Russia on May 25. The bright side is that the Wild announced that he won’t require surgery and is expected to be healthy after three-to-four weeks.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Evgeni Malkin delivered the hit that injured Haula.
Haula, 23, scored 15 points in 46 regular season games, but really made a difference in collecting four goals and seven points in 13 postseason games. He was especially effective in a spirited series against Chicago; he scored five points in six games versus the Blackhawks.
Again, the list of injuries can’t make GMs feel great about sending their players overseas after rigorous seasons and/or partial playoff runs:
- Jacob Trouba suffered a neck injury.
- Alex Ovechkin and Alex Burrows dealt with knee injuries.
- Dmitry Orlov broke his arm.
- Andrei Loktionov and Roman Polak suffered shoulder injuries.
- Sven Baertschi broke his ribs.
- Marc Methot tweaked his back.
Injuries happen in hockey, including tournaments like these, but one can assume that this summer is an especially sensitive time for such matters. On the bright side, it seems like Haula won’t be hampered too greatly by this ailment, even if it’s not an ideal way to begin his “vacation.”