With training camps about to get underway (if the players and owners can agree on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement of course), now seems like an ideal time to take a look at a few of the players who suffered injuries toward the end of the 2011-12 campaign or during the summer. One of the most frustrating mistakes you can make in a fantasy draft is to take a player only to find out he’s expected to miss the first two months of the season…
Horton hasn’t played since January 22nd due to a concussion, but fortunately the news is good for him going into the season. He’s been cleared for contact since July and should be fine for the start of training camp. In other words, he might be a nice buy-low candidate if your competitors have soured on him due to his concussion history.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is almost no size or type of league where Savard should be drafted. It’s incredibly unfortunate, but we’ve seen no indication that Savard will play at all next season. As it currently stands, he’s 35 years old and hasn’t played since January 22nd, 2011. We wish him nothing but the best, but we wouldn’t put him on any of our fantasy teams.
News regarding another concussion victim Hossa, has been a little hard to come by lately. What we do know is that he has resumed working out and has been encouraged by the results, but it’s not clear if he’s resumed skating. Exercise a degree of caution when drafting him, but don’t avoid him entirely.
After Derek Roy
was traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the Dallas Stars, he underwent shoulder surgery to deal with an issue that bothered him last season. He’s coming off a very rough season where he recorded just 44 points in 80 games, so the fact that he’s addressed the injury might help him in the long-run. Just keep in mind he isn’t expected to return until November.
Hall underwent shoulder surgery in April and was initially expected to miss five-to-six months as a result. However, in late August he suggested that if the lockout delayed the start of the season by two to three weeks, it might be to his benefit from a recovery perspective. It sounds like he’ll probably be available in October, should the season start on time, but it will take him a bit of time to reach peak form.
Assuming the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel’s sources are accurate, the Florida Panthers were dealt a setback in early September when Gudbranson sustained a shoulder injury. He might miss four months as a result of the injury, which would put him in line for an early January return. Gudbranson looked like a candidate to take a decent step forward after getting eight points and 78 penalty minutes in his rookie season, but at this point he should be avoided in standard league drafts.
Bourque needed abdominal surgery in late August, which was expected to sideline him for eight to twelve weeks. He was coming off a disappointing season as it is and it’s hard to put our faith in a comeback when we anticipate him missing at least the first month of the regular season. Even if you assume that there’s going to be a lockout, Bourque will still be recovering while his peers will potentially be playing in the AHL or Europe. In other words, he’ll be a step behind the competition even if a lockout wipes out the games he would have missed anyways.
It figures that Gaborik finally played a full season only to need off-season shoulder surgery. He’s tentatively projected to return in late November. If you’re looking for the silver lining, it’s that Gaborik, Brad Richards
, and Rick Nash
could be on the same power-play unit – and maybe the same even-strength line – when they’re all healthy. That’s a scary combination.
Lilja needed hip surgery in August and was initially expected to be out until December. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren later said he should return by late October or early November, but Holmgren’s predictions sometimes end up being overly optimistic. Either way, you would have to be in a very deep league to be entertaining the possibility of drafting him.
Meszaros is recovering from a completely torn Achilles. He underwent surgery on August 7th and wasn’t expected to even move past crutches until mid-September. There’s a decent chance he’ll miss the entire 2012-13 campaign.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren recently stated that Chris Pronger
is “the same.” In other words, things have not been going well in his attempt to recover from a concussion. Pronger hasn’t played since Nov. 19 and he’s still getting headaches. Concussions are notoriously difficult to put a timetable on, but we recommend exercising extreme caution when it comes to trying to determine Pronger’s fantasy value. If you’re in a standard league, anything other than a late round pick is too big a gamble for Pronger.
Kesler underwent shoulder surgery in May and was initially expected to miss six months as a result. Since then, if there’s been a theme to the news regarding Kesler, it’s that he won’t be rushed. In early August, his agent revealed he doesn’t expect Kesler to play before December. As we mentioned with Bourque, that’s a setback worthy of note even if a lockout wipes out the months he would have spent recovering. Kesler is coming off of a rough campaign and the rust factor makes us a bit hesitant to project a bounceback season.