The New York Islanders have announced that after crashing hard into the boards on Thursday night, Johnny Boychuk will miss 4-6 weeks with an upper-body injury.
The injury came only two games after the return of Kyle Okposo, but the Islanders are still plugging along, sitting third in the Eastern conference.
It was already considered to be serious – he was placed on injured reserve on Friday morning – but this is the first we’ve heard of a timeline. As so often happens in the NHL, the Islanders aren’t releasing information about the full extent of the injury and we’re not going to play doctor. One thing we will point out is how similar the play looks to the one that Connor McDavid suffered his injury on earlier in the year:
The silver lining is that McDavid’s initial diagnosis was much longer than Boychuk’s so it’s hopeful that his ailment isn’t as serious as a broken clavicle.
Boychuk will leave a large hole in the lineup for the time being and as Arthur Staple of Newsday wrote yesterday, that may also put a hold on any hopes of moving Travis Hamonic. There has been little noise of any progress on a Hamonic deal since the information became public on November 18th, and with their increased need for him with the Boychuk injury, it seems unlikely a deal is done while he’s out.
The trade deadline is exactly eight weeks away, so if Boychuk is out for the longer end of his timeline, that would leave Garth Snow with 2 weeks to get a deal done.
One other note of interest is who was put in the lineup in place of Boychuk. Brian Strait had been checking into the lineup regularly, but this time it was Adam Pelech that was recalled from Bridgeport to take Boychuk’s place. For Islanders fans, it’s a promising development.
It’s good to see the opportunity being given to a young defenseman with potential rather than an aging defenseman that isn’t cutting it in the NHL.