The Los Angeles Kings’ regrettable home opener against the Chicago Blackhawks just got a lot more regrettable.
Defenseman Matt Greene, a cornerstone of the Kings’ defense corps, was likely lost for the season with a back injury he suffered in the game. TSN’s Bob McKenzie first reported the news; Lisa Dillman of the LA Times wrote that GM Dean Lombardi indicated in an email that Green was “out for the year probably.”
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter was typically cryptic with Greene’s status after the loss to Chicago, calling it a “mid-body injury” and saying he was questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche.
“Greene came in banged up, couldn’t come in today and saw the doctor,” Sutter said. “Mid-body. I don’t know what you call that. We’ll see. Once we see what happened, we’ll let you know what it is. He was one of the guys who played hard for us (in Saturday’s loss to the Chicago Blackhawks), so there’s a chance he’s going to get banged up.”
Greene averaged 16:40 TOI per game for the Kings last season, and was second to Willie Mitchell in TOI shorthanded at 3:03. In the playoffs, Greene was again second on the Kings in shorthanded ice time (3:35).
What do they do to replace the alternate captain? The Kings recalled Andrew Bodnarchuk from Manchester in the short term, a player with five NHL games to his credit. So we watch and wait for GM Dean Lombardi to address this one; paging Chris Campoli? Maybe Sean O'Donnell can un-retire? Maybe they can call up Thomas Hick... er, scratch that.