Injury Report: Trotz offers up an update on Kuznetsov

Oh man... this is NOT the time for injuries…

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In case you missed it, Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov suffered an upper body injury in Friday’s 6-3 win over the New York Islanders. 

The 25 year old center left the game after being tripped up by Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey on a hard drive to the net. Kuznetsov lost his balance and crashed awkwardly into the end boards. When he finally got up off the ice he seemed to be favouring his left arm and shoulder. 

Here’s the play in question:

Ouch. That hurts just to look at. 

But now the good news: Kuznetsov is not expected to out of the team’s lineup long. Officially the team has him listed as “day to day”:

The team also announced that Kuznetsov will not be available for today’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Capitals head coach Barry Trotz is hopeful that Kuznetsov will be healthy enough to return when the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin next month:

Here’s hoping! This team absolutely NEEDS Kuzy if they’re going to make a strong Stanley Cup push. Get well soon!

In 71 games this season, his fifth season in the NHL, the 25 year old Russian has a remarkable 21 goals and 71 points. His career high was set two seasons ago in 2015-16 when he managed 20 goals and 77 points in 82 games.

Insider Report: The reason why so many GMs are turning down the Hurricanes job  

It has now been over two weeks since Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon has relieved franchise legend Ron Francis of his general manager duties. 

In case you missed it, the Hurricanes technically “re-assigned” Francis within the organization by promoting him to the position of president of hockey operations.

But, what is technically a promotion is really a demotion, despite the flowery job titled. It’s clear that Dundon wanted Francis out, but because Francis is such a legend in Carolina, outright firing him was not an option. By promoting Francis and keeping him within the organization, Dundon can save a bit of face while still giving the team a new direction. So far, however, there’s no indication of who might replace Francis as the Hurricanes new GM or what the team’s timeline is for finding a replacement.

"Since I took control of the team, I've had a good chance to be around and assess the operations," said Dundon in a prepared statement. "There are a lot of good people working in the organization, but I feel that a change in direction is needed when it comes to hockey personnel decisions.”

“Ron is a smart and talented hockey man. I am glad that he will continue to be a part of the team, serving in this new role."

Last week Sportsnet analyst Elliotte Friedman reported that Dundon had set his sights on four current assistant GMs and one former assistant GM. The men in question, Tampa Bay Lightning AGM Julien Brisebois, Nashville Predators AGM Paul Fenton, New Jersey Devils AGM Tom Fitzgerald, Los Angeles Kings AGM Mike Futa and former Vancouver Canucks AGM Laurence Gilman.

This week, one by one, almost each candidate has dropped out of the race. First Julien, then Futa, then Fitzgerald… the reason? Cash. 

"Apparently Carolina is not showing the money," Friedman’s Sportsnet colleague Nick Kypreos said. "I’m told in the ballpark of $400,000 a year, that’s where that job will start, and there’s just no way that they can attract good hockey people, credible people, experienced people, to take that salary.”

"Now whether or not it’s a lesser role still remains to be seen,” says Kypreos, “but it’s an nonstarter for many of the established that we’ve heard that are out there and that have shown interest."

Interesting. That “lesser role” comment is intriguing. Could the Hurricanes’ next GM act essentially as an assistant to Dundon himself? It’s no secret that Dundon is good friends with Dallas Mavericks (NBA) owner Mark Cuban, who operates his franchise in a unique way. Cuban himself makes player personnel decisions for his franchise… could Dundon be planning a similar management structure for his team?