With the Steven Stamkos Sochi Rehabilitation Holiday officially upon us, the NHL is on vacay until February 25th - more than two full weeks for your players to rest and recover at home, unless of course, they are battling for patriotic pride and the kingdom of Winterfell in Russia. Let's hope everyone returns home with all bones and most of their teeth intact.
Jordan Leopold (St. Louis): After falling awkwardly behind the Winnipeg net on a clean hit by Zach Bogosian, the 33-year-old defenseman left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return. He has already missed two months with a hand injury and has only scored one goal and five assists on the season.
Max Pacioretty (Montreal): In a very scary moment, Max Pacioretty left the game in clear pain with a lower-body injury after he was checked into the net by Brett Bellemore; he did not return. Although it was initially rumored that he would have to be replaced for Team USA, he is apparently okay and headed to Sochi. Whew.
Daniel Paille (Boston): The forward left Saturday's game due to an undisclosed injury and did not return. Although there is little information about what actually happened to him, Paille left for "precautionary reasons" and will return as soon as the Olympics are over. He has eight goals and five assists in 2013-2014.
Dan Boyle (San Jose): The slumping defenseman has been struggling through a thumb injury for the past five games. He admits that he returned from his earlier concussion too early and is looking forward to the Olympic break to feel healthy again. Boyle has eight goals and 14 assists this season, but he has not scored a point since January 18th.
Clarke MacArthur (Ottawa): MacArthur suffered a foot injury on Saturday after 7:23 on the ice and did not return. He has been surprisingly productive so far with 18 goals and 24 assists. Consider him day-to-day for now, but he will hopefully return when the Senators resume playing later this month.
Jay McClement (Toronto): The center fell into the boards in the second period and did not return with an upper-body injury.
Ladislav Smid (Calgary): The big goon endured a lower-body injury and did not play in the third period, but he is still headed to Sochi to fight for Czech pride and a dragon, or at least that is what he thinks is the prize.
BACK IN ACTION
Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay): After leaving Thursday;s game with an upper-body injury, the goalie returned on Saturday night against the Red Wings. He stopped 31 of 33 shots for the win and will use the next two weeks to recover fully from the ailment.
Mikhail Grabovski (Washington): The 30-year-old forward is slowly recovering from a serious ankle injury and should return shortly after the Olympics are over. He has not played since January 24th, but participated in a full team practice for the first time on Friday. Grabovski has been one of my favorite pick-ups this year, chipping in 12 goals and 21 assists through 49 games.
Martin Hanzal (Phoenix): Although he missed Friday's game due to illness, Hanzal was back in action on Saturday with four shots and two hits in 16:10 on the ice. The center has already surpassed his career-high in points with 14 goals, 22 assists, a -5 rating, 71 penalty minutes, 11 power-play points, 145 shots, and 164 hits this season.