Even though the latest NHL lockout required 113 days to solve, several players will not be ready to join their teammates when training camps open most likely on Sunday.
Some players have not completely healed from offseason surgeries or lingering ailments sustained last year and some suffered injuries playing in Europe.
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Technically, teams could suspend players who are not ready to start the season because of injuries incurred while competing in Europe. But it's a sure bet that the Philadelphia Flyers would not want to take to task Danny Briere at this point. Ditto for the Los Angeles Kings with Anze Kopitar.
Others like 39-year-old Tomas Holmstrom will retire prior to the shortened season getting under way.
Part of the unknown will be whether Ilya Kovalchuk returns to the New Jersey Devils and Lubomir Visnovsky joins the New York Islanders, who obtained the veteran defenceman in a trade last summer.
The NHL expects Kovalchuk and Visnovsky back because there now is an agreement in place in which KHL players have to honour their NHL contracts. But we'll see what happens with the two truant athletes in the next few days.
Two players who needed the four-month labour dispute to recover from injuries and have been cleared were Chicago Blackhawks
forward Marian Hossa (concussion) and Minnesota Wild
centre Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion).
But others were not quite as fortunate.Boston Bruins
- Adam McQuaid (blood clot in arm) questionable
- Jordan Caron (upper body) out three weeks
- Nathan Gerbe (back surgery) questionable
- Roman Cervenka (blood clot) out indefinitely
Detroit Red Wings
- Tuomo Ruutu (hip surgery) out indefinitely
- Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) 2-4 weeks
- Patrick Eaves (concussion) out indefinitely
Los Angeles Kings
- Ryan Jones (eye) out indefinitely
- Nikolai Khabibulin (hip surgery) could be cleared before start of the season
- Anze Kopitar (knee) out 2-3 weeks
- Willie Mitchell (knee) questionable
- Tomas Plekanec (ribs) likely ready for training camp
New Jersey Devils
- Gabriel Bourque (lower body) questionable
- Adam Henrique (thumb) out indefinitely
- Travis Hamonic (concussion) questionable
- Mike Sauer (concussion) out indefinitely
- Jared Cowen (hip surgery) out for season
- Mike Lundin (broken finger) questionable
Phoenix Coyotes San Jose Sharks
- Danny Briere (wrist) will miss first week of season
- Chris Pronger (concussion) out indefinitely
- Andrej Meszaros (Achilles) questionable
Toronto Maple Leafs
- Brent Burns (groin surgery)
- Jason Demers (fractured wrist) out at least two more weeks
- Justin Braun (hand) out indefinitely
- Jake Gardiner (concussion) out indefinitely
- Ryan Kesler (wrist and shoulder surgeries) out indefinitely
- Zach Bogosian (wrist surgery) out indefinitely