Injury/Illnesses and Personal Leave Around the NHL–February 6, 2021

Although a couple of top players (Vladimir Tarasenko [STL] and Nikita Kucherov [TBL]) are getting closer to a return, there is another star who has been added to the list of injuries, Nathan MacKinnon (COL). MacKinnon is listed as week-to-week with a lower body injury.

An even bigger story than injuries this week is COVID, which is really taking its toll on the NHL teams and its players. As of last night, the New Jersey Devils have 17 players on the COVID protocol list; Minnesota has eight; and Buffalo has five. All their games have been postponed; Add Colorado, whose games have also been postponed, and you have a pretty big outbreak in the league. The NHL, however, said earlier this week that 20% of the way through the season, fewer than 50 players have tested positive for the disease, and many of those 50 have not been symptomatic. The NHL has indicated that the almost 100 players who have been in the protocol (twice as many that tested positive) reflects their priority to act with an abundance of caution. The NHL states that it “will continue to act conservatively … understanding that there are many things about the transmission of COVID-19 that are still being discovered.” In the meantime, there are folks (including at least one public official in Buffalo) who disagree that the NHL is being sufficiently conservative. As of Thursday, even more strict protocols are in place. Glass was removed from behind the benches to improve air flow; there are increased limits on how long teams are allowed in the arena before games; meetings are now all virtual; and players have to be spaced apart in the locker rooms. We shall see if these new precautions work to stop the spread.  

We are trying to keep you abreast of who is out (and why, if it is announced). Just know that this list can change quickly, so come back often.

Today’s List

The way this is set up is by team, with the player’s name; the nature of the injury; whether he is on the IR or LTIR or just “out”; the nature of the injury; and when he is expected to return.

Anaheim
Ryan Kesler–LTIR–hip injuries–unlikely return (one more year on contract); Brendan Guhle–LTIR–MCL (Knee)–2 to 3 more weeks; Josh Manson–IR–oblique muscle injury–4 weeks; Sonny Milano–IR–upper body injury–day-to-day; Ryan Getzlaf–out–lower body injury–day-to-day

Arizona
Marian Hossa–LTIR–skin disorder–not returning; Oliver Ekman-Larsson–IR–lower body injury–day-to-day; Christian Fischer–IR–upper body injury–unknown; Dryden Hunt–out–lower body injury–day-to-day; Lawson Crouse–out–upper body injury–unknown

Boston
Ondrej Kase–IR–upper body injury–week-to-week; Matt Grzelcyk–out–lower body injury–day-to-day; Jake DeBrusk–out–lower body injury–day-to-day; John Moore–IR–lower body injury–unknown

Buffalo
Zemgus Girgensons–IR–hamstring surgery–6 months; Sam Reinhart–out–upper body injury–day-to-day; Taylor Hall–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Rasmus Ristolainen–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Brandon Montour–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Tobias Rieder–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Jake McCabe–out–COVID protocol–unknown

Calgary
Derek Ryan–hand injury–unknown

Carolina
Petr Mrazek–out–thumb surgery–unknown; Max McCormick–IR–upper body injury–unknown

Chicago
Jonathan Toews–LTIR–medical condition–unknown; Kirby Dach–LTIR–wrist–4 months; Alex Nylander–LTIR–knee surgery–3 to 5 months; Zack Smith–IR–back injury–unknown; Brent Seabrook–IR–back–unknown;  Adam Boqvist–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Lucas Wallmark–out–COVID protocol–indefinite; Ryan Carpenter–out–COVID protocol–unknown

Colorado
Pavel Francouz–LTIR–lower body injury–week-to-week; Matt Calvert–out–upper body injury–unknown; Pierre-Edouard Bellemare–out–lower body injury–week-to-week; Devon Toews–out–lower body injury–week-to-week; Erik Johnson–out–upper body injury–week-to-week; Nathan MacKinnon–out–lower body injury–week-to-week; Tyson Yost–out–COVID protocol–unknown ; Gabriel Landeskog–out–COVID protocol–unknown

Columbus
Brandon Dubinsky–LTIR–wrist–will not return; Gustav Nyquist–IR–shoulder surgery–2 to 3 months; Elvis Merzlikins–IR–upper body injury–unknown

Dallas
Tyler Seguin–out–hip surgery–2 months; Stephen Johns–LTIR–post-concussion issues–unknown; Ben Bishop–LTIR–knee surgery–6 to 8 weeks; Andrej Sekera–out–COVID protocol–unknown

Detroit
Henrik Zetterberg--IR–back–will not be returning; Jared McIsaac–IR–shoulder surgery–2 to 3 months;  Jonathan Bernier–out–upper body injury–day-to-day ; Tyler Bertuzzi–out–upper body injury–day-to-day

Edmonton 
Oscar Klefbaum–LTIR–shoulder injury–out for season; Mike Smith–LTIR–unfit to play–unknown;  Ethan Bear–out–upper body injury–day-to-day

Florida
Gustav Forsling–IR–upper body injury–1-to-2 weeks

Los Angeles
Matt Luff–out–undiscl0sed–day-to-day; Andreas Athanasiou–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Blake Lizotte–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Sean Walker–IR–upper body injury–indefinite; Matt Roy–out–upper body injury–indefinite

Minnesota
Marco Rossi–IR–upper body injury–indefinite; Mats Zuccarello–LTIR–arm surgery–unknown; Alex Stalock–IR–upper body injury–indefinite; Matt Dumba–IR–lower body injury–day-to-day; Marcus Johansson–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Marcus Foligno–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Nick Bjugstad–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Nick Bonino–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Joel Eriksson Ek–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Jared Spurgeon–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Nico Sturm–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Ian Cole–out–COVID protocol–unknown

Montreal
Joel Armia–out–concussion–unknown

Nashville
Connor Ingram–out–player assistance program–unknown; Luca Sbisa–IR–upper body–unknown; Luke Kunin–out–lower body injury–day-to-day; Brad Richardson–out–upper body injury–day-to-day; Ryan Johanson–out–upper body injury–day-to-day

New Jersey
Nico Hischier–IR–foot issues–day-to-day; Sami Vatanen–out–COVID protocol–day-to-day; Connor Carrick–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Kyle Palmieri–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Travis Zajac–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Jesper Bratt–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Jack Hughes–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Andreas Johnsson–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Janne Kuokkanen–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Michael McLeod–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Damon Severson–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Matt Tennyson–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Pavel Zacha–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Nikita Gusev–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Nathan Bastien–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Ty Smith–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Yegor Sharangovich–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Dmitry Kulikov–out–COVID protocol–unknown

NY Islanders
Johnny Boychuk–LTIR–eye injury–not expected to return; Anthony Beauvillier–IR–lower body injury–day-to-day

NY Rangers
Filip Chytil–IR–upper body injury–4-6 weeks; Jack Johnson–out–groin strain–day-to-day; Colin Blackwell–out–upper body injury–day-to-day; Brendan Smith–out–upper body injury–day-to-day

Ottawa
Vitaly Abramov–IR–unknown–unknown; Christian Wolanin–IR–lower body injury–day-to-day

Philadelphia
Isaac Ratcliffe–IR–rib injury–unknown; Wade Allison–IR–unknown–unknown; Kirill Ustimenko–IR–hip surgery–3 to 4 months; Sean Couturier–IR–shoulder–1-2 weeks; Morgan Frost–IR–shoulder injury–unknown; Philippe Myers–out–upper body injury–unknown; Carter Hart–out–back spasms–day-to-day

Pittsburgh
Zach Aston-Reese–LTIR–shoulder surgery–day-to-day; Sam Miletic–IR–unknown–unknown; Zach Trotman–IR–knee surgery–2 to 4 weeks; Marcus Pettersson–IR–upper body injury–week-to-week; Juuso Riikola–LTIR–upper body injury–unknown; Evan Rodrigues–LTIR–lower body injury–unknown; Brian Dumoulin–IR–lower body injury–week-to-week;  John Marino–out–COVID protocol–unknown

San Jose
None

St. Louis
Vladimir Tarasenko–LTIR–shoulder surgery–week-to-week; Alexander Steen–LTIR–back injury–will not return; Robert Bortuzzo–IR–upper body injury–day-to-day; Scott Perunovich–out–upper body injury—unknown; Tyler Bozak–out–upper body injury–day-to-day; Marco Scandella–out–upper body injury–day-to-day

Tampa Bay
Nikita Kucherov–LTIR–hip surgery–out for regular season; Marian Gaborik–LTIR–back injury–will not return; Anders Nilsson–LTIR–post-concussion syndrome–indefinite; Mitchell Stephens–out–leg injury–month-to-month

Toronto
Nick Robertson–LTIR–knee injury–3 weeks;  Joe Thornton–LTIR–rib injury–3 to 4 weeks; Jack Campbell–out–leg injury–week-to-week; Travis Dermott–outleg injury–day-to-day

Vancouver
Michael Ferland–LTIR–concussion–indefinite; Jayce Hawryluk–LTIR–unknown–unknown; Travis Hamonic–IR–upper body injury–unknown

Vegas
Alex Pietrangelo–out–COVID protocol–unknown; Brayden McNabb–LTIR–lower body injury–unknown

Washington
Beck Malenstyn–LTIR–achilles surgery–4 to 6 months; Michal Kempny--LTIR–achilles surgery–2 to 3 months; Henrik Lundqvist–LTIR–heart surgery–indefinite; Evgeny Kuznetsov–out–COVID protocol–day-to-day; Ilya Samsonov–out–COVID protocol–day-to-day; Lars Eller–out–upper body injury–day-to-day; Brian Pinho–out–undisclosed–day-to-day; Justin Schultz–out–upper body injury–day-to-day; Conor Sheary–out–lower body injury–day-to-day

Winnipeg
Bryan Little–LTIR–head injury–out for season; Nate Thompson–IR–lower body injury–day-to-day; Jansen Harkins–out–lower body injury–unknown

About the Author

Leslie Treff

Leslie Treff is NY Sportsday's Hockey Editor. She has been covering the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils for more than 15 seasons. Leslie is a recognized expert in hockey prospects and has served as a scout for several independent agencies. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, in her former life, Leslie was an attorney in the judiciary in New York City.

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