Not what they needed: Jets place Scheifele on IR with concussion

Eight points back of a playoff spot, the Winnipeg Jets have been forced to place center Mark Scheifele on injured reserve with what they originally called an “upper-body injury.” In a related move, they’ve recalled forward Adam Lowry from AHL Manitoba.

Scheifele was hurt yesterday in practice. According to the Winnipeg Sun, his “head accidentally collided with teammate Andrew Ladd during a drill at MTS Centre. He was bleeding and looked woozy as a couple of teammates eventually escorted him off the ice.”

It’s a big loss for the struggling team. The 22-year-old has 12 goals and 10 assists, his 22 points good for fourth in team scoring.

Winnipeg went into the Christmas break with a 15-17-2 record and just two wins in its last six.

The Jets host Pittsburgh tonight and Detroit Tuesday, before embarking on a five-game road trip.

Update:

Jets coach Paul Maurice confirmed today that it’s a concussion:

Related: Here are the five most disappointing teams in the NHL

From bad to worse: Fleury may have a concussion (Updated: He does)

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Welcome to the struggle, Mike Sullivan.

The Penguins’ new coach delivered two bits of bad news this morning, following last night’s 4-1 loss to Washington.

First, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury — arguably the number-one reason the Pens have managed to tread water this season — may have a concussion.

“He came to us last night and said he wasn’t feeling right,” Sullivan said. “He’s being tested but there’s a possibility it’s a concussion.”

Whatever the tests reveal, Fleury (13-10-2, .925 SV%) will not play tomorrow in Boston.

On top of that, Sullivan said that forward Beau Bennett will be out 4-6 weeks with an upper-body injury.

Bennett has five goals and five assists. His 10 points are good for seventh in team scoring.

Update:

GM Jim Rutherford confirmed to the Post-Gazette that Fleury does indeed have a concussion.

“I haven’t talked to the doctor yet. I don’t have any further information other than he was examined, and it was determined he was concussed,” said Rutherford. “At a minimum one to two weeks. You can’t put a timeline on these things though.”

The newspaper reports that goalie Matt Murray is likely to be recalled from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Related: Penguins focused on cleaner breakouts

Amid concussion issues, veteran d-man Ballard retires

Minnesota Wild v Dallas Stars
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After 10 years and over 600 games, longtime NHL defenseman Keith Ballard has officially announced his retirement.

Ballard, 33, is walking away from the game nearly one year after suffering three facial fractures — and what ended up being his last concussion — in a collision against the Isles on Dec. 9, 2014:

Ballard, who had a history of concussion issues prior to that incident, never played again following the Islanders game and has since re-enrolled as a student at the University of Minnesota, where he starred from 2001-04.

“I didn’t want to retire at this time, but with the bigger picture in mind, it was a no-brainer,” Ballard said, per the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “You look at so many athletes and they struggle for so long and I don’t want that to be me.

“I want to live a healthy life, be there for my wife and kids.”

Ballard said he still experiences headaches, dizziness and fogginess, but explained the symptoms “aren’t bad like they were.”

Prior to finishing his career with the Wild, Ballard had spent time with the Coyotes, Panthers and Canucks. His most prolific season was in his rookie campaign, when he scored a career-high eight goals and 39 points.

Flyers’ Gagner has been dealing with a concussion

The evening of Nov. 23 turned out to be a rough one for Flyers forward Sam Gagner.

Gagner was left bloodied after he was flattened along the wall by Carolina’s Brad Malone.

Gagner finally admitted that the nasty gash wasn’t the only injury he suffered on the play. He’s also been dealing with a concussion.

Not many will be surprised by this news.

As you can tell from the video at the top of the page, Gagner clearly whacked his head on the ice as he was falling.

The Flyers placed the 26-year-old on injured reserve, which opened the door for free agent bust Andrew MacDonald to be recalled from the AHL.

Gagner skated for the first time on Monday and hopes to be back in the lineup sometime next week, per CSN Philly.

Update: Red Wings put Franzen (concussion symptoms) on LTIR

Johan Franzen
AP
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DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Red Wings have put forward Johan Franzen on long-term injury reserve because of concussion-like symptoms.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland says Franzen is out indefinitely.

Franzen played on back-to-back days in October, returning to the ice for the first time in nine months. He missed 49 games last year because of a concussion and also missed much of the previous season with concussion-like symptoms.

When healthy enough to play, Franzen was a key scorer for the Red Wings. He has 187 goals and 370 points in 602 games since making his NHL debut during the 2005-06 season.

Also Thursday, Detroit sent center Andreas Athanasiou to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League.