Los Angeles Kings fans are probably in a great state of mind right now, but there’s often the stray memory of lesser times. Take Adam Deadmarsh, for example, who went from Colorado Cup-winner to Kings injury casualty because of an array of issues, most notably concussion problems. Deadmarsh eventually settled into an assistant coaching gig with the Avalanche, but Adrian Dater passes along profoundly sad news: concussions cut his coaching career short, too.
The slightly bright side is that Deadmarsh will remain with the team in a front office role, just not on the bench where a variety of elements would likely exacerbate those problems.
Dater passes along a message from Deadmarsh’s wife Christa:
“Adam was hurt (concussion issues) this season and decided that health/family and safety are his priority … Adam enjoyed coaching, but this was the right decision … We are back in Idaho and will love being close to our family again:) Hello Idaho friends … we are home:)”
There are plenty of good teams in the Western Conference, but is there a true “favorite” this year? The “unproven” status of the St. Louis Blues and the various issues for other contenders* makes me reflexively insert the Vancouver Canucks in that category. Yet there’s that nagging question: will Daniel Sedin be healthy?
“Healthy” might be a relative term, but TSN reports that an unnamed Canucks executive said the “shooting Sedin” should “be fine for next week.”
Henrik Sedin provided some pretty positive feedback about his brother’s recovery.
“Early on, maybe (Daniel had concern), but as time has moved on he’s felt better and better,” Henrik said.
Daniel Sedin is fighting off concussion symptoms and has been sidelined since Duncan Keith’s controversial elbow in a March 21 match. (Keith received a five-game suspension for his bad deeds.)
The playoffs officially begin on Wednesday, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Canucks’ first round will start then. That might depend on where they rank as far as seeding is concerned (stay tuned for the schedule to roll out on Sunday), yet it seems like the odds are in favor of the Sedin twins being reunited once the games start to really matter.
* – Some are awful on the road, others lack offensive punch, defensive savvy and stable goaltending. A few might even suffer from all of the above
It’s easy – almost natural – for people to be negative about the Canucks, especially if those people are located in Vancouver. When you look at the situation out West, it’s not crazy to call them elite, although having a healthy Daniel Sedin is a big part of that puzzle. “Healthy” might be a relative term, yet Canucks GM Mike Gillis told the Vancouver Sun that the star winger is making progress toward a return by the first round of the playoffs.
“It’s risky to make projections with these things because one day the player just may not feel right, but he’s going in the right direction,” Gillis said. “He’s feeling a little better each day. We’re hopeful if things keep going the way they are that he’ll be available [for the first round].”
Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy provides more specific details about his recovery process.
As for Daniel Sedin, he was spotted at the rink on Wednesday. I’m told Daniel is feeling better than he did the days right after Duncan Keith’s elbow knocked him out of the line-up with a concussion. Daniel is still suffering from headaches, however, and cannot exercise at all until he is symptom free.
Canucks fans and the team should be heartened to hear that Daniel Sedin is making progress, although to steal a phrase from Gillis, it’s probably risky to assume that he’s a lock to be in the lineup once the first round begins.
With a 4-1-1 record in their last six games, the Chicago Blackhawks probably aren’t quite panicking about Jonathan Toews’ absence anymore. Still, there’s no doubt that they’ve missed their versatile captain for the last 11 games, so GM Stan Bowman presents a good news/bad news proposition.
Craig Custance reports that Bowman believes that Toews won’t play against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, but he hasn’t ruled out a possible return against the Stars in Dallas on Friday or a home game versus the Washington Capitals on Sunday. At worst, Bowman stated that Toews is expected to be back within next week.
(Whether that means he’ll be back on March 20 against the Blue Jackets, March 21 against the Vancouver Canucks or even March 25 against the Nashville Predators remains to be seen … and is always subject to further change.)
With the Central Division crown just about guaranteed to be a jump ball between the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues, the Blackhawks ultimate target is probably a sixth seed, to be honest. That actually could be a pretty-much-ideal scenario at least considering the situation at hand, as that would limit the urge to rush Toews back too soon, give him time to get acclimated without feeling too much pressure and give Chicago a workable first round matchup against a likely flawed Pacific Division winner.
That’s not too awful an outlook, but most importantly, they need a healthy Toews to have a real shot in the playoffs. It sounds like we’ll have to wait a little longer to see if they’ll get that same guy back.
The Chicago Blackhawks don’t have a lot of holes at the forward position, but “No. 2 center” has been a glaring one for some time. Unfortunately for them, “No. 1 center” might be an issue now, too.
CSNChicago.com’s Tracey Myers reports that Jonathan Toews isn’t skating and that he won’t play on Wednesday. Perhaps the worse bit came from head coach Joel Quenneville, however, as he said that the 2010 Selke winner has made “no progress” in his recovery from what might be a concussion.
Speaking of worrisome Chicago concussion situations, Niklas Hjalmarsson is skating but won’t play in the Blackhawks’ contest vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs either, according to Myers.
Chicago is in sixth place in its conference with 73 points, but that’s far from a huge margin of error since they have either the same or less games remaining than the West’s bubble teams. To some, GM Stan Bowman’s lack of movement might become a huge mistake in light of Toews’ issues, but the flip side might just be that he believes that the team isn’t as close to being a legitimate contender as many think.