The Los Angeles Kings were hoping that Drew Doughty would recover enough from concussion problems to return to the ice for Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, but that’s not going to happen.
In fact, the team apparently placed Doughty on the injured reserve, according to the Los Angeles Times.
While that means the all-world defenseman will miss that Wednesday game in Chicago, the team might be able to play him on Thursday against the Dallas Stars. Helene Elliott explains exactly how the Kings managed to put him on the IR yet could still dress him against the Stars.
The Kings announced late Monday that they had put Doughty on injured reserve retroactive to last Thursday and have recalled defenseman Jake Muzzin from Manchester of the American Hockey League. Muzzin began the season with the Kings but was sent to Manchester on Saturday when Matt Greene returned from shoulder surgery.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Doughty missed the game in Dallas and beyond, as concussion problems aren’t something you really want to mess with. Especially with a young player who means so much to a franchise attempting to transition from up-and-comer to full-blown contenders.
Then again, Doughty’s absolutely the most important player for the Kings, although Anze Kopitar is strongly in second. The more time Doughty misses, the more perilous the position for Los Angeles.
It’s a difficult tight rope to walk, but the Kings need to consider Doughty’s long term health more than the team’s short term needs in the standings. Naturally, we’ll keep you up to date as this story goes along. We should know whether or not he can play by Thursday or this weekend in the next couple days.
(H/T to The Royal Half.)