How much of a difference will Patrick Kane make?

Jared Clinton
Patrick Kane featured

It’s official. Patrick Kane will be back in the Blackhawks’ lineup Wednesday night for the first game of Chicago’s first-round tilt with the Nashville Predators.

Kane, who has been out since February with a broken clavicle, is coming back seven weeks after the injury was suffered. Initially, when he went down, the thought was Kane wouldn’t see action until the Western Conference final, were the Blackhawks to make it. The news that he’ll play in the first game of Chicago’s playoff run comes as somewhat of a shock and it begs the question: how effective will Kane really be? Read more

Stars’ Jamie Benn headed for surgery, won Art Ross on one hip

Jared Clinton
Jamie Benn

Not only did Jamie Benn win the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top scorer, he did it while hobbled by a hip injury that will require off-season surgery and at least four months of rehabilitation.

Benn’s response when asked about the injury? “I was healthy all year,” Benn told Mark Stepneski of Stars’ Inside Edge. “I played every game this year. That’s it.”

Well, that’s not quite all there was to it. Stars GM Jim Nill, in his season-ending meeting with media, said Benn not only played injured but required two or three shots to stay in the lineup, never complained about the injury and even found his way onto the ice on nights when the staff believed he would be watching from the sideline. Read more

Mark Giordano ahead of schedule, could return if Flames advance

Jared Clinton
Mark Giordano (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

First it was Chicago winger Patrick Kane making an early return for the Blackhawks, and now there’s potential for Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano to be back with the Flames earlier than expected.

Giordano, who has been on the shelf since Feb. 25 with a torn biceps muscle, was on the ice Monday for a short skate to see how his body was feeling. According to Flames GM Brad Treliving, Giordano getting out on the ice was part of the rehabilitation process.

“We’re sort of living day-by-day now,” Treliving told the Flames’ website. “That’s down the road a little bit. But yeah, our first priority with Mark is making sure we’re staying with the program in terms of the proper rehab procedure.” Read more

Canucks’ Ryan Miller to suit up Thursday night, ready for playoffs

Jared Clinton
Ryan Miller. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Ryan Miller has been out of the Canucks’ lineup since injuring himself in a Feb. 22 contest against the New York Rangers, but the Vancouver netminder will be back just in time for the start of his team’s playoff run.

According to Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy, Miller, who was out with a lower body injury, will suit up as the backup for Eddie Lack tonight. There’s even the possibility that Miller will get a start before the Canucks’ season ends on Saturday night against the Edmonton Oilers. Miller has been practicing with the Canucks and began taking shots on March 29. He then began participating in full practice on April 3. Read more

Kings’ Pearson, Sekera out for final two games as title defense hangs in the balance

Jared Clinton
Andrej Sekera (Jared Silber/Getty Images)

If there’s one team that could ill afford an injury at this point of the season, it’s the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. Unfortunately, however, they’ll have to battle for their playoff lives without the services of Tanner Pearson and Andrej Sekera.

Pearson has been out since Jan. 10 with a fractured left fibula, and the leg injury has kept him on the shelf since then. He did, however, resume skating in March and participated in a full practice on March 22. While there was the slight hope he could find his way back to game action when the Kings needed him most, it appears that won’t be the case and he’ll likely only slot into the lineup should Los Angeles make it to the post-season.

As for Sekera, who was the Kings’ major acquisition at the trade deadline, a lower body injury suffered March 30 against the Chicago Blackhawks will be the end of his regular season and the Kings will have to re-evaluate whether or not he can play if they make the playoffs. Read more

Columbus can’t escape season without another injury, Atkinson’s wrist cut as team celebrates

Jared Clinton

Entering play Wednesday, the Columbus Blue Jackets had players miss 499 games this season, according to Man Games Lost. As they took the ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the counter officially turned over to the half-millenium mark, which is the most of any team in the NHL this season.

But even in a 5-0 victory over Toronto, and in the midst of one of the hottest — yet ultimately ill-timed — streaks of the season in which the Blue Jackets have gone 13-1-1 in their last 15 games, yet another injury struck. This time, it was to Cam Atkinson, one of the few players who has been able to suit up for 70-plus games for Columbus this year.

As the Blue Jackets leapt over the bench to go congratulate goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky on his shutout, the skate of teammate Alex Wennberg sliced Atkinson’s wrist, reported the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline. The clip below shows when the injury occurred, but, thankfully, does not show the severity: Read more

Brad Richards sidelined until playoffs with upper body injury

Jared Clinton
Brad Richards (Rebecca Taylor/NHLI via Getty Images)

Nothing says playoffs like players missing time with secretive injuries, and the Chicago Blackhawks are off to a roaring start. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville announced Tuesday afternoon that center Brad Richards will miss the final three regular season games with an upper body injury.

Richards, who inked a one-year, $2 million deal with the Blackhawks this past off-season, is expected to be back in time for the playoffs, so it could be a minor ailment that the Blackhawks are simply allowing the 34-year-old Richards to nurse back to health. Read more