Sheng Peng of San Jose Hockey Now is reporting that San Jose Sharks defenseman Jan Rutta has been placed on the injured reserve while fellow defenseman Matt Benning has been activated off IR. Rutta left the second period of the Sharks game Wednesday night against the Seattle Kraken with an undisclosed injury and did not return. Very little is known about Rutta’s ailment at this time, but the 33-year-old did miss nearly a third of last season due to injury when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Rutta underwent core muscle surgery in the offseason before he was eventually dealt to the Sharks in August as part of the package that the Penguins put together to acquire reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson. In 19 games this season with the Sharks, Rutta has posted a single assist, 36 blocks, 10 hits and a -11 rating.
In Rutta’s absence there is the possibility that Marc-Edouard Vlasic might make his way back into the Sharks lineup. The four-time all-star hasn’t played since November 14th and has no points in 13 games this season.
There is also the possibility that Benning could take Rutta’s spot as he is now available after being activated off IR today. Benning has dressed in eight games this season for the Sharks and has registered seven hits and 18 blocks while posting a single assist.