The Injuries They Begin Again...
The mostly like phrase I will usually utter to hockey fans and writers alike is "I didn't do it". If one thinks I am kidding then just ask my fiancee. September often brings training camps, pre-season, the occasional World Cup, and injuries! Without these maladies, the weeks between now and the start of the regular season would be pretty damn boring.
Why Do The Injuries Keep Happening
Other writers even ask this question so no one should feel bad. However, any sport that is played where they get bigger and faster every year is open to maladies. Older fans can think back to the 1980's and 1990's (or earlier) and remember that bumps, bites, and bruises were just not quite as part of the vernacular. Now, it seems like one cannot go a night without "Player X" suffering a lower body injury or worse. Okay, multiply that by about ten on busy nights or more.
It just becomes so hysterically bad anytime after a major competition takes place. Look at now, for example, where some teams are missing up to a quarter of their opening night roster. The Dallas Stars have at least a dozen players currently out of their lineup. Some will return by opening night or even sooner. However, to get off on the wrong foot this time of year can be a little unnerving.
Keep an early eye on rosters and note that the normal eight veteran minimum for rosters has been waived due to the World Cup Of Hockey. There will be nights where teams look more like goon squads or beer league specials. That may be even more concerning for those hoping their team and/or fantasy players make it out of this 2 1/2 week exercise unscathed. Some are already not so lucky.
The Walking Wounded Or Not So Walking
Here are a few prominent players that are out of action.
Aaron Ekblad -- upper body
Tyler Seguin -- hairline heel fracture
Marian Gaborik -- foot injury
Frederik Andersen -- shoulder
Duncan Keith -- rest from knee issues
That is just to name a few. Commonly around March there can be as many as 150 players out with some sort of ailment. We are talking over 20% of the league or damn close. Again with pre-season games and training camps heating up, we almost forgot Clarke MacArthur, who received another concussion. His career is now in serious jeopardy.
No one ever quite knows when the bad is going to occur. It just does. This happened during a team scrimmage over the weekend. I do not know if I would call MacArthur a star but at one time he figured prominently in the top six at one time.
One has the feeling this is all just the beginning of a long, strange trip. Strap on in hockey fans because it is going to be another long season of highs, lows, and for quite a few players...sadly pain.