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On Oct. 13, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Greene played just over a minute of the third period in a loss against the Vancouver Canucks.
He took a maintenance day at practice the next day. He hasn’t appeared in a game again for the Kings, and won’t be any time soon.
Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider reports that Greene, who had been trying to overcome his shoulder injury through rest and rehab, will actually undergo shoulder surgery on Thursday. He’s out indefinitely, and the recovery time is expected to be “long term.”
With Greene out, his third-pairing defenseman spot initially went to Derek Forbort and then to Jamie McBain, who was initially a bright spot in Greene’s absence.
The Kings’ defense has been solid this season – the Kings were No. 24 in the NHL in shots allowed at 28.4 – so perhaps they roll with this group of seven until Greene can return, assuming he does. Jewels From The Crown made that assumption before the injury news hit:
Matt Greene is still out of the lineup for an undetermined amount of time. At some point, he will come back. If you insist on having a bruiser in the lineup, Greene is a solid option. I would rather see Greene in the lineup than McBain or Derek Forbort, but the change isn't particularly important. In Forbort's case, it's probably important to figure out what he has to offer to this team anyway.
There just isn't any other way to look at this team. The Kings do not need a defender. At all. They have an excellent defense that is playing well almost across the board: the only regular defender with a negative Corsi Rel on the entire team is Alec Martinez. They have excellent defensive forwards littering their top three lines. They have good goaltending. They're fine! Legitimately. One hundred percent.
That said, it was recently reported that Dean Lombardi was “scouring the market in search for a top-four defenseman and a depth forward with an eye for the net.” And that was before Greene decided to go under the knife.
Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
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