The NHL Injury Report makes for some really good reading. The trick is to being able to read between the lines.
Duvie Westcott of the Columbus Blue Jackets has an upper body injury and is sidelined day-to-day. Truthfully, his career has been in a bit of a downward spiral since silent films went to talkies. I still remember Grandpa flipping me two bits, insisting that I catch the latest Duvie Westcott flick at the Bijou, while he and Grandma stayed home to Â“flip the mattressÂ”. Rumor has it, Duvie's upper body injury may be a broken heart.
Mario Lemieux is sidelined indefinitely with an irregular heartbeat. Personally, I think his predicament has all the makings of substantial lawsuit. They're telling him he can't play because his ticker literally marches to a different drummer and that he's not like the other boys. If he had an irregular foot or unnaturally thick back hair, would he be prohibited from playing? Fight the power, Mario. Your people need you.
At least three players in the league are reporting sports hernias. What happened to regular hernias? If I have a lifting hernia and a bending hernia can I trade up to a sports hernia? And, if I get a sports hernia but don't play sports, is this considered an infectious disease?
Jeremy Roenick has a fractured left ring finger. If the puck had hit any one of his other nine digits he would have been able to keep playing. Now he is out of the lineup until late January and has been advised against (a) stickhandling (b) heavy lifting (c) getting engaged.
It's no wonder the Blackhawks are doing so poorly. Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin is listed as Â“left game, pulled groinÂ”. Please Niki, you couldn't at least wait until you get back to the hotel?
Historically the NHL has been somewhat dubious in its reporting of injuries. Teams aren't eager to go public with sensitive team information for fear of targeting players. Perhaps it's simply because they're concerned about needlessly upsetting fans with potentially devastating news.
Calgary, for example, has center Stephane Yelle with a relatively minor ankle injury, but lists him as Â“questionable for WednesdayÂ”. It can't be good when they can't guarantee the poor sap will even see tomorrow. Tragically, the Maple Leafs' Nik Antropov is listed as Â“doubtfulÂ” for Wednesday. People, we must find a cure for knee sprains.
Finally, what the heck is this IR thing? Â“Legwand has a knee injury and is on the IRÂ”, Â“Tkachuk's hand has him on the IRÂ”. Is this some sort of superdrug? Is this like Tylenol 8? If it's such a brilliant elixir shouldn't we, the people, have access to it? Or maybe, the knee injury is just a ruse and IR is the real problem. Perhaps it's the new coke. Maybe some of our favorite NHLers are hooked on IR. Somebody call Dick Pound.
Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Tuesday and Thursday, only on thehockeynews.com.
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