Wed Jul 22 12:30am EDT
To those of you convinced that the recent behavior by Chicago Blackhawks management has adversely affected the hockey karma for the franchise: Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald reported Tuesday night that winger Marian Hossa(notes) has a shoulder or rotator cuff injury that, in a worst case surgery scenario, could shelve him until December.
Sassone's "source close to the situation" confirms that the Hawks are monitoring the injury. The Hawks beat writer opines that "it would be logical to assume the Hawks gave Hossa a physical before they agreed to the deal and were satisfied with the results."
(UPDATE: ESPNChicago confirms the report, saying that surgery hasn't been ruled out. Also, Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland said Wednesday afternoon that Hossa had played with a slightly torn rotator cuff during his tenure with the team.)
The recent Dale Tallon affair has created a cottage industry of critics ready to skewer the Blackhawks for the next calendar year; and the team's trotting out Hossa to an adoring public, while hiding his injury from them, won't go without censure. The extent of the injury will determine the volume of the ridicule -- and no one knows the extent quite yet.
(Our best guess is Hossa was injured in the finals after shouldering the responsibility for selecting the wrong team as having the best chance to win the Stanley Cup.)
Of course, a shoulder injury allegedly suffered in the Stanley Cup playoffs would have been a problem for anyone who signed Hossa this summer; be they the Blackhawks, the Detroit Red Wings or the Los Angeles Kings. And the extreme prediction of two Hossa-less months should be completely survivable for a Western Conference finalist.
So yeah, Hossa's injured, but it sounds like a red-faced moment for management rather than a dire situation for the team on the ice.
That said, it is a bit of a cosmic joke that the historically porcelain Martin Havlat(notes) was bypassed in favor of damaged goods with a higher price tag. But think about it this way, Chicago: He's got until 2021 to prove himself to you.
(Thanks to Puck Buddy Mike and Second City Hockey for the tips.)