As reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Columbus Blue Jackets franchise defenseman Zach Werenski exited last night’s game after suffering a quad contusion. Werenski was injured on an apparent knee-to-knee collision with Philadelphia Flyers forward Garnet Hathaway, and Blue Jackets head coach Pascal Vincent told reporters that Werenski’s injury is not believed to be one that will cause a long-term absence.
This development is extremely unfortunate, as Werenski, 26, was limited to just 13 games played last season due to injury. Although this injury may not keep Werenski out “long-term,” it is not clear exactly when he’ll be able to return to the ice for Columbus. That alone is a major blow for the club, as Werenski is the best player in an organization dripping with desperation to return to the playoffs after a nightmarish 2022-23 campaign. In what is expected to be a cutthroat Metropolitan Division playoff race, the Blue Jackets will have to hope Werenski can return to full health quickly so they can avoid falling behind.
- Minnesota Wild forward Marcus Johansson left last night’s season opener with an apparent injury after being “crumpled into the boards” by Florida Panthers rookie defenseman Uvis Balinskis. Per The Athletic’s Michael Russo, Wild head coach Dean Evason did not give any update on Johansson’s status postgame. Russo surmised that a Johansson absence might force the Wild to either run seven defensemen for their next game, swap Dakota Mermis off their roster for a cheap call-up from the AHL’s Iowa Wild, or play a man short.
- Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo had a scary moment during last night’s season-opening victory against the San Jose Sharks, one where he took a Nic Hague shot up high. The result, as reported by The Athletic’s Jesse Granger, was that Pietrangelo was bleeding “a lot.” Granger adds that Pietrangelo was able to “skate off” the ice and “seemed fine” given the circumstances, so perhaps that painful moment from last night’s game won’t end up having any more lasting implications for Pietrangelo’s health.