Last week, Marian Hossa was cleared from a season-ending concussion suffered during last year’s playoffs.
This week, he’s thinking about his playing future.
That’s what the Blackhawks forward told CSN Chicago on Monday, confirming he’s been medically cleared to resume playing hockey — possibly overseas, if that’s what it comes to.
“It definitely feels good to be cleared,” Hossa explained. “Basically after all the testing I’ve done I feel really comfortable with myself. Right now, I’m skating with the guys, I’m feeling good, and when the season starts, I’ll be ready.”
Just one catch: Hossa, like everybody else, has no idea when the season will start.
The 33-year-old suggested he’d eventually explore his European options — which isn’t all that surprising. Hossa was a busy guy during the last lockout, playing for two different European clubs: Trencin Dukla, the Slovakian team of his youth, and Mora IK of the Swedish Elite League, where he skated alongside Shawn Horcoff, Dan Cleary and Andreas Lilja.
“In the next few weeks we have to get a result [on if there is/isn’t an NHL season] — hopefully it’s a positive one,” Hossa said. “If not, I’ll do the next step and maybe look for other options.”
Philadelphia defenseman Bruno Gervais — who, it should be noted, has yet to debut for the Flyers — is on the move again, agreeing to join Swiss club Fribourg-Gotteron for the Spengler Cup.
Getting to Switzerland won’t take Gervais very long. Prior to joining Fribourg he was playing with Heilbronner of the German second division, appearing in seven games while recording two assists and 18 penalty miuntes.
The 28-year-old rearguard signed a two-year, $1.65 million deal with the Flyers this summer after spending the 2011-12 season in Tampa Bay. He’s expected to be a significant contributor to Philly’s defense once the season gets underway, especially with the likes of Chris Pronger (concussion), Andrej Meszaros (torn Achilles) and Andreas Lilja (hip surgery) all out of action.
Gervais has been a busy guy during the work stoppage. Prior to heading overseas, he was one of the driving forces behind La Tournee Des Joueurs, a barnstorming circuit of locked-out NHL players that participated in games throughout the province of Quebec.
Months after undergoing hip surgery in mid-July, Andreas Lilja looks set for a conditioning stint in the AHL, according to Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News.
The Philadelphia Flyers blueliner is expected to practice with the Adirondack Phantoms, but not play in any games for the team’s affiliate.
He’s currently still collecting checks from the team – this season’s salary is $700K – as a player who was still injured as the lockout began. If he’s eventually cleared, he’d feel the lockout pinch like most NHL players.
Injuries and other issues have kept Lilja from getting anywhere close to 82 games played in a recent regular season; he’s missed a lot of time since playing in 60 games in 2008-09 and 79 in 07-08.
Lilja played 46 games in his first campaign with the Flyers last season, collecting six assists, 34 penalty minutes and a +9 rating.
The former Detroit Red Wings defenseman eventually needs to impress if NHL action starts up again because he’s in the last year of his current deal.
Philadelphia defenseman Bruno Gervais has agreed to join Heilbronner of the German second division on a lockout deal, according to agent Alan Walsh.
Gervais, 28, signed a two-year, $1.65 million deal with the Flyers this summer after spending the 2011-12 season in Tampa Bay. He’s expected to be a significant contributor to Philly’s defense once the season gets underway, especially with the likes of Chris Pronger (concussion), Andrej Meszaros (torn Achilles) and Andreas Lilja (hip surgery) all out of action.
Most recently, Gervais was one of the driving forces behind La Tournee Des Joueurs, a barnstorming circuit of locked-out NHL players that participated in games throughout the province of Quebec.
Along with Flyers teammate Max Talbot, Gervais oversaw a tour that raised more than $400,000 for local charities.
In Heilbronner, Gervais will join Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier, who signed with the club in mid-October.
While he’s unable to keep tabs on a number of his locked-out players, Paul Holmgren is able to stay in touch with injured defenseman Andrej Meszaros.
And for the Flyers GM, that’s a good thing.
Meszaros tore his Achilles tendon in August and has recently been rehabbing at the Flyers’ Skate Zone. That’s allowed Holmgren to monitor the 27-year-old defenseman’s progression from an injury that can take up to eight months to heal.
“I would say Meszaros is on schedule,” Holmgren told CSN Philadelphia.“He’s coming along good. He’s using his leg. Let’s put it this way: He’s out of his [walking] boot and doing rehab.”
The Flyers are hoping Meszaros’ rehab mirrors what ex-Flyers forward Justin Williams accomplished with Carolina in 2008 — Williams tore his Achilles in Sept and missed just 11 weeks of action, returning to the ‘Canes lineup in the first week of December.
Holmgren said a similar return date for Meszaros — December, that is — is definitely in play.
“I would not think that would be out of the question,” he said.
Meszaros’ return is going to be huge for the Flyers this season given Chris Pronger appears unable to return and Andreas Lilja is out for another month.
Without those three, Philly is looking at a top-six blueline of Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann, Bruno Gervais and one of Erik Gustafsson/Marc-Andre Bourdon/Brandon Manning.