The World Cup of hockey has kicked off with some pre-tournament exhibition games this week and the big concern early on has been a couple of injury scares for Vladimir Sobotka of the Czech Republic and Marian Hossa of Team Europe.
Sobotka was dealing with a clavicle injury that was initially believed to be fractured after taking a hard hit during their game against Russia on Thursday. The good news for the Czech Republic team, a roster that is already perhaps the weakest ones in the tournament, is that Sobotka’s injury is not believed to be serious.
NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti reported on Friday that following an MRI the team has said Sobotka will be OK. He will sit out Saturday’s exhibition game as he recovers, but he should be ready to play on Wednesday against the North American team in Pittsburgh.
Sobotka last played in the NHL for the St. Louis Blues during the 2012-13 season. He has played in the KHL the past two seasons and the Blues are hopeful he will return to the NHL this season.
Hossa, meanwhile, was injured during Team Europe’s lopsided loss to North America on Thursday night and had to be taken to a Quebec hospital to have X-rays due to a foot injury. But Scott Powers of The Athletic reported on Thursday night that even though Hossa might miss the remaining exhibition games, he is going to remain in the tournament for when the actual competition begins next week.
The 37-year-old Hossa is coming off of a 2015-16 season with the Chicago Blackhawks that saw his offensive numbers take a significant fall from where they were in his previous years. He is hoping to rebound this season, and given the Blackhawks’ questionable depth beyond their top forwards they not only need him to bounce back, but to also be healthy and in the lineup.