Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski has dealt with significant injury issues in recent years, including an injury that knocked him out for most of last season. That bad luck continued last night when Werenski was knocked out of the team’s game against the New Jersey Devils after an awkward collision with Devils forward Ondřej Palát.
Today, team reporter Jeff Svoboda relayed word from Blue Jackets head coach Pascal Vincent, who said that Werenski is still being evaluated but the injury is most likely going to keep Werenski out on a week-to-week basis. An extended Werenski absence could very well deal a killing blow to the Blue Jackets’ already long-shot playoff hopes, as the team would need to replace a defenseman scoring at a 60-point pace who plays over 24 minutes per night, including on both special teams units.
Some other injury updates from across the NHL:
- The San Jose Sharks announced that forward Ryan Carpenter has been activated off of injured reserve. In a corresponding move, the team placed forward Givani Smith on injured reserve, retroactive to December 21st. Carpenter has missed the last 10 games with an undisclosed injury and has five points in 18 games so far this season playing as a defensive/penalty-killing specialist in San Jose. Smith 25, has played in 26 games this season and has logged three points and 33 penalty minutes.
- According to The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz, Philadelphia Flyers forward Noah Cates skated today as part of his recovery from a lower-body injury that was originally slated to cost him six to eight weeks. Cates was not having the strongest sophomore campaign before his injury, and his offensive production had declined sharply compared to last season. But in his rookie year he showed himself to be a promising defensive forward, so regardless of his struggles so far this year the Flyers have to be hoping that he’ll return to full strength relatively soon.