The prognosis is not good for Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi and a potential return this season. Bertuzzi, who got off to a hot start early this season and looked like he could be in for a breakout campaign, was instead injured before January was even over and has not played since. According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Bertuzzi has not been making consistent progress toward a return in the past six weeks either. Head coach Jeff Blashill has stated that Bertuzzi’s rehab of his undisclosed upper-body injury has been “back-and-forth” and at the current time he is not skating. Blashill believes that Bertuzzi is not “close at all” to a return. The coach says that they are taking the situation day-by-day and that all options are on the table, including season-ending surgery. While the Red Wings are not playing for a playoff spot this season, there is still reason to avoid sending Bertuzzi under the knife if he is able to get back to full strength without it. Blashill did acknowledge that they will not rush Bertuzzi back before he is ready and that they need to see him skating over a longer period of time before they will even consider a return this year. Everything seems to be pointing toward Bertuzzi likely being done for the year in this shortened season.
- Another player who has not yet returned to skating is young Ottawa Senators forward Logan Brown. Brown, whose usage (or lack thereof) by the Senators has been a hot topic in Ottawa, suffered an undisclosed injury in practice earlier this month. Though not initially believed to be a long-term absence, Brown’s injury still lingers. AHL Belleville head coach Troy Mann tells The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch that Brown has yet to return to the ice since his injury occurred and “isn’t close”. Mann does not expect the prospect center to be back in action any time soon. This was intended to be a make-or-break year for Brown; the No. 11 overall pick from 2016 had been used sparingly through his first two pro seasons, playing in just 29 total NHL games, but this year was supposed to see him earn a regular role. Instead, he has yet to suit up for Ottawa at all in 2020-21. Prior to his injury, GM Pierre Dorion shared that there were plans to give Brown his shot later this season, but that is now in doubt given the apparent severity of his injury and a possible prolonged absence. Brown will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season, with little to show for his entry-level contract.
- The St. Louis Blues continue to have tough luck with injuries this season. Whenever a player returns to the lineup, it seems another is forced out. This time, Oskar Sundqvist is the victim. The veteran forward suffered an injury on Friday night in a collision with teammate Kyle Clifford and had to leave the game. The team has announced that the lower-body injury will sideline Sundqvist indefinitely, but that more information will be known following an MRI next week. Sundqvist is one of eleven Blues currently out with an injury or ailment.