Those trade rumors involving James van Riemsdyk going to Toronto are about to slow down.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced today that van Riemsdyk will be out indefinitely with a concussion. Holmgren says that van Riemsdyk took a shot in the head in each of the last two games and that he wasn’t feeling like himself so they’re opting to sit him down indefinitely rather than risk it further.
In recent days, van Riemsdyk’s name has come up hot and heavy in trade rumors with the Toronto Maple Leafs surrounding a deal that would send defenseman Luke Schenn to Philly in exchange for the former second overall pick in the draft. Now with van Riemsdyk on the shelf for who knows how long, you can bet that if there was any traction for a deal there, we can only assume that discussions have slowed down.
This season van Riemsdyk has scored 11 goals and added 11 assists in what’s been a somewhat disappointing season for the 22-year-old from New Jersey. The Flyers will now have to hope they can get a little more out of Harry Zolnierczyk and Sean Couturier in his absence.
Travis Zajac’s return from a torn Achilles tendon hasn’t exactly gone so well. In eight games, Zajac has a goal and two assists but hasn’t looked like the playmaker he was in past seasons with New Jersey.
It turns out that Zajac’s Achilles is giving him troubles again and he’ll need a bit of a break to make sure he’s doing better. The Devils announced that they’re shutting Zajac down for the next two weeks so he can get back closer to 100 percent. Fire & Ice’s Tom Gulitti says that the two week layoff is more like three weeks thanks to the All-Star break coming up at the end of the month.
Zajac is a key cog for the Devils’ success and hopes of making the Stanley Cup finals. While Adam Henrique has been a revelation as a rookie and Patrik Elias looks as good as he ever has, having a solid three-way attack at center would make the Devils a pain to deal with on three lines rather than two.
The Devils will hope the rest will do Zajac some good as the stretch run for New Jersey will be important with a host of teams around them jockeying for the playoffs and the Devils themselves having to fend off other challengers.
Buffalo, N.Y. ranks pretty high on my “sports pity” list. It seemed like the humble little ‘burgh had some good things going with Terry Pegula’s spending spree and a surprise start for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, but as per typical, things fell apart with dizzying speed.
It certainly doesn’t seem like the Sabres are in a spot to buck that trend anytime soon, either.
If there was one Sabres forward who wasn’t letting everyone down, Thomas Vanek would probably be that guy. He’s been nearly a point-per-game player with 40 in 41, so naturally he left tonight’s game with an upper-body injury and did not return.
Barring a late comeback, it looks like the Toronto Maple Leafs will keep Buffalo firmly in 11th place in the East – at best. They managed to make a late surge from a similarly bleak situation last season, but if Vanek’s injury is serious, then the Sabres might need to acknowledge the jarring possibility of missing the postseason entirely.
It all seems shocking, but then again, maybe we should have seen this coming in luckless Buffalo.
Erik Karlsson has been climbing the ranks of elite scoring defenseman this season, but that rise will be put on hold for at least one night. Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Ottawa Senators star is sitting out tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins with an upper-body injury.
It’s unclear how severe that injury is and there isn’t much speculation on that being slang for a concussion at this point, so we’ll wait and see before it’s time to get extra worried.
The Senators are faring OK without him so far, as they’ve opened up a 2-0 lead against the far-more-banged-up Penguins.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s long struggles with concussions took a sad turn today.
Michael Russo of The Star Tribune reports that Bouchard is dealing with concussion-like symptoms stemming from a pair of recent hits. On the upside, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher says his symptoms aren’t as serious as he’s had in the past, but the fact he’s having them isn’t a good sign.
Bouchard missed over a season’s worth of action in the past thanks to previous concussions, but returned in December 2010 to play and has stayed concussion free until now. With this latest setback worries over how he’s able to handle the rigors of a hockey season are back in force.
Bouchard joins Guillaume Latendresse on the shelf with concussion-like symptoms for the Wild and losing your second line wingers could be a leading reason why the Wild have lost 11 of their last 12 games. Russo reports that Fletcher is scouting around for help but doesn’t want to blow things up to do so.