Mar 3: Zucker has been placed on long-term injured reserve by the Penguins, retroactive to February 23. He will need to miss at least ten games and 24 days.
Feb 25: The Pittsburgh Penguins are dealing with another substantial injury, as head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters this morning that Jason Zucker would be out “longer-term” with a lower-body injury. The veteran forward fell awkwardly into the boards after clipping skates with Washington Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen and stayed down in obvious pain.
Zucker, 29, hasn’t played quite up to his standards this season, but still had seven points in his first 17 games before suffering the injury. His absence leaves a gaping hole in the Penguins lineup, one that isn’t the easiest to fix. Sure, Pittsburgh has other talented forwards, but the team’s depth was already being tested as names like Mark Jankowski, Sam Lafferty, and Colton Sceviour failed to provide much scoring punch.
Luckily, the team is expected to get Jared McCann back before too long. While Sullivan said he will not play tonight, he was a full-contact participant in practice and should be back in the lineup soon.
If Zucker is out long-term, it also may give the Penguins some cap flexibility to make an addition. The team is already in LTIR with some of their other injuries, and Zucker can be added to that group whenever necessary.