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Hockey Hospital: Garret Sparks is Flying in Toronto

December 9, 2015 | By Scott Maran | comment on this post
The Canucks will be without Brandon Sutter for at least another month. (Gerry Kahrmann, PNG files)

Is it just us or did it seem that there was a lot of injuries recently to guys that have almost no Fantasy value (we’re looking at you, Steve Ott and Andrew Ference)? Find out for yourself with this week’s edition of Hockey Hospital.

Brandon Sutter, C, Vancouver Canucks: While Sutter has been out of action for a while, it was announced that he had to undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia and will miss the next 4-to-6 weeks. Given the secondary scoring he was providing (see video below), it’s a blow to the Canucks’ team that is currently struggling and losing ground in the Pacific Division.

Clearly, Sutter will be out even longer given this news. While we were never too fond of Sutter as a Fantasy option, he did hold down the second line centre position for the Canucks. Most likely, Vancouver will rotate the spot between Bo Horvat and Jared McCann, but neither provides much Fantasy value.

Mike Fisher, C, Nashville Predators: Fisher has been placed on injured reserve because of a lower-body injury.

His injury opens up a spot in Nashville’s top six and it looks like Calle Jarnkrok is the player benefiting most from it. While Fisher was in the lineup, Jarnkrok was forced to play bottom six minutes. However, since Fisher got hurt, Jarnkrok is seeing over 19 minutes per game and has collected two points in the past four games. The fact that Jarnkrok is even getting a chance to play on a line with Filip Forsberg and Mike Ribeiro bodes well for his Fantasy prospects.

While we wouldn’t suggest you go run out and grab Jarnkrok now, he does have interesting potential given the offense he flashed in the minors and the fact he drafted relatively high. It’s possible that he starts heating up in Fisher’s absence.

Tyler Ennis, C, Buffalo Sabres: Ennis is considered week-to-week because of a upper-body injury. Jamie McGinn has moved into a top six role to fill the hole, and he’s riding a six-game point streak, so definitely give him a look in deeper formats.

Travis Zajac, C, New Jersey Devils: Zajac missed his third straight game on Tuesday because of an upper-body injury. Consider him day-to-day for now.

Nick Bjugstad, C, Florida Panthers: Bjugstad is still out of action from an upper-body injury suffered at practice on November 30. On Wednesday, Panthers Coach Gerard Gallant said Bjugstad is not dealing with a short-term woe, so he’s still out indefinitely.

Milan Michalek, LW, Ottawa Senators: Michalek will be out indefinitely with a fractured index finger. Despite missing Michalek, Andrew Hammond, Clarke MacArthur and Chris Phillips, Ottawa continues to play very well lately.

Joffrey Lupul, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs: Lupul was moved onto injured reserve because of a lower-body injury. He’s expected to return to practice Thursday and will likely be back in the lineup at some point next week.

Devante Smith-Pelly, RW, Montreal Canadiens: Smith-Pelly has been placed on injured reserve. Charles Hudon, recalled Tuesday, could see his first game action to fill out the Habs’ forward ranks.

Benoit Pouliot, LW, Edmonton Oilers: Pouliot was put on injured reserve by the Oilers because of a lower-body injury. The Oilers got a real bargain here as he’s been excellent since joining Edmonton last season, however, the injuries are starting to pile up for this team, just as they’re playing better of late.

According to, the Oilers have the second most man-games lost to injuries with (108). Right now, the whole line of Pouliot, Connor McDavid and Nail Yakupov is injured.

Steve Ott, LW/C, St. Louis Blues: Ott will miss at least three months thanks to hamstring surgery. He suffered the injury in the first period of Saturday’s loss to Toronto.

Jason Demers, D, Dallas Stars: Demers, who has four goals in 22 games this season, is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Devan Dubnyk, G, Minnesota Wild: Dubnyk was forced to leave Saturday’s game early because of a groin injury. The injury is not believed to be too serious but the Wild is not willing to rush him back into the lineup, so for the time being, Darcy Kuemper will be given a lot more starts. Despite his lacklustre numbers, Kuemper should be able to pick up some wins and good be a good short-term add for Fantasy owners in need of goaltending.

James Reimer, G, Toronto Maple Leafs: While Reimer did return to the ice on Friday, he is now out again after aggravating his injury in his one game back.

Just when you thought Reimer was going to come back and continue his hot streak, he’s back on the sidelines. Now Garret Sparks will still have some value because Jonathan Bernier in still the minors getting his conditioning back.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below which Fantasy hockey injuries are affecting your team and how you’re dealing with them.

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