UPDATE: Rosen reports that Carter’s injury is not considered to be severe, but that he is currently thought to be “week-to-week”, a prognosis that likely means the World Cup is not a realistic option for the L.A. playmaker.
According to Los Angeles Kings beat writer Jon Rosen, Kings forward Jeff Carter suffered a lower-body injury while training for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Rosen added that the severity of the injury remains unknown, but that there are already doubts about his participation. Elliotte Friedman also chimed in on the news, acknowledging that Carter’s World Cup status is in question, but that there should be more clarity to the situation when Team Canada players report on Sunday.
Luckily for Kings fans, there has yet to be a report that puts Carter’s NHL season debut in doubt. While the exact type and extent of the lower-body injury has not been revealed, both Rosen and Friedman only questioned Carter’s availability for this month’s World Cup, with no mention of puck-drop on the new season in late October. L.A. has not been subjected to many injury concerns when it comes to Carter’s tenure with the team, as he has played in at least 70 games in each of the last three seasons and played in every regular season game in 2012-13 and 2014-15. Second only to Anze Kopitar in team scoring last season, Carter is an invaluable member of the Kings. If the injury is anything but minor, LA supporters would likely rather have their star forward sit out the World Cup and prepare for the season.
For those worried about Team Canada at the World Cup, don’t fret. The Canadian roster is loaded with talent and center depth. In fact, Brad Marchand is the only one of 13 forwards on the roster who isn’t a natural centerman. Should Carter not be able to go, expect another winger like Corey Perry or Taylor Hall to get the first look.