It was a rough weekend for defenseman in the NHL and a rougher one for the poor saps that own the newly fallen. The biggest blow due to injury fell from the heavens like Mjölnir and smashed me right in the face when my sun and stars Victor Hedman broke his finger while trying to block a shot. He’s out 4-6 weeks after successful surgery to fix his mangled digit. Now where can I go to get successful surgery on my broken heart? Nowhere?! What a world. I guess I’ll just have to pine away and gaze longingly at his stat line over the last week plus and wonder what could have been had he not tried to block a slap shot with his damn hand. The Rangers lost Dan Boyle to a similar injury and it makes me wonder, why the hell are these guys trying to block shots with their hands? Have they not seen the fastest shot competition? Do they not know they’re trying to use their hands to stop a frozen piece of vulcanized rubber flying at nearly 100mph in their direction? I’m all about sacrificing the body for the good of the team and some of us totally need those blocks, but come on! Suffice it to say there is no replacing Hedman but Anton Stralman is reportedly moving to the Bolts’ top powerplay unit with Jason Garrison slated to get time on the second unit, so the value of both jumps a bit with this news.

Unfortch for fantasy owners broken fingers (and hearts!) weren’t the only issue that plagued some of fantasy hockey’s defenseman since last week. Slava Voynov was suspended indefinitely today due to a domestic violence incident that apparently left the victim hospitalized. I won’t joke about this because there is nothing funny about it. I also don’t know the details of the situation, but what I have read says that whoever he attacked (assuming he did) was rushed to the hospital and the extend of their injuries was such that the hospital staff called the cops on Voynov. This doesn’t sound good at all, but details are scant right now so if you can afford to, I’d try to hold off on dropping him until we get a clearer idea of how long he could be out. That being said, since this is non-hockey related absence he won’t be eligible for IR or IR+, so if you can’t afford to have a deadweight defenseman clogging up your bench, drop Slava and add whomever you can to fill the void. Luckily his season started somewhat slowly so the void isn’t that big. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey this weekend:

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Honestly folks this is getting ridiculous. If you care about your star players please, do the right thing, lock them up somewhere safe, padded and guarded, because we haven’t played a single game that matters yet and key guys are dropping like flies.The pain train continues to chuggeth along around the league and picked up not one, not two, but three new passengers guaranteed to make their owners bust out the sadface. I’m not sure what the hell is going on this preseason but it seems like everyone and their mama is getting hurt before a single game that means anything is played! At any rate, all we can do is take it in stride and not get stuck drafting the wrong guys and the wrong guys start with Derek Stepan. Step broke his leg in an apparent non-contact injury during a conditioning drill. So not only did the Rangers no. 1 center break his leg at a time where nothing counts, he wasn’t even in a game. He couldn’t be in a game because he missed the previous tilt with the Devils due to a foot injury. Yikes. He followed that up by fracturing his fibula and unfortunately there is no timetable for his return. It sounds like he could easily be out 4-6 weeks and possibly as long as two months or more. I know his deal was way out of whack for what he could contribute, but you have to think that Brad Richards stings the Rangers just a little bit right now. This injury really leaves them in a bind and J.T. Miller seems like a possible replacement for Step on the top line with Rick Nash and Chris Kreider. Whoever it is it’s someone you don’t want to bother with. Drop Stepan off your draft sheets because baby, he isn’t even worth drafting right now unless you’re in a very deep league with IR slots to burn.

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First Josh Harding kicks a wall, breaks his foot and/or ankle and gets suspended. Then the Flyers lost Claude Giroux to a “lower body injury” that will cost him at least two weeks of camp. Then the Red Wings lost highly touted prospect Anthony Mantha for six-to-eight weeks to a fractured tibia. Then we hear that Evgeni Malkin is dealing with a “minor” injury that will cost him all of camp, though he’s expected to be ready for the Pens’ season opener. And lets not forget when everyone held their breath in Florida when Panthers top pick Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion that he has since recovered from. And now the pain train chugs along through it’s next stop in Tampa Bay as everyone’s Calder favorite and newest hockey Jesus Jonathan Drouin will be out for three-to-four weeks with a “slightly fractured thumb.” Ah yes, tis the preseason o’ pain and misery for players and fantasy owners alike.

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Today was the day that the sky fell on Isles fans everywhere when it was announced that John Tavares destroyed one of his knees tearing his MCL and meniscus requiring major reconstructive surgery and is, of course, done for the season. What really has to sting is Tavares was doing eff all in the Olympics so far posting no points in four games with a plus-3 rating with six shots on goal; hell, he was only averaging 10:39 of ice time to begin with. Hmn, seems like I’m just rubbing salt in the wound there, but I’ll go with it! This injury affects three types of people; Isles fans, Tavares owners and Kyle Okposo owners. What does it do to Tavares owners? It basically cripples your team unless you made some killer trade or ended up getting really lucky with solid wire grabs earlier in the season. You can’t replace his production, you can’t even get close, but feel free to drop him and add whoever you can to make up some of the loss. I’m sorry to say it, but that’s how it rolls. You have my condolences, y’all. As for Okie owners this one is easy, trade him immediately. I don’t think Okie’s production is going to fall off a cliff, but it’s going to take a hit regardless, it’s only a matter of how much. Before anyone gets a whiff of just how badly it will affect Okie you have to move him while his value is this high. As I type this it’s falling ever so slightly and slowly with these questions now looming over him for the last 30 games of the season. To make matters worse for Okie owners it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Thomas Vanek is going to get traded when NHL play resumes next week and that will really erode Okie’s value. He is as talented as he has been playing this season but lets not fool ourselves into thinking that losing Vanek and Tavares on his line won’t hurt his value. You don’t move him for a bag of pucks and a sixer, but you definitely want to try and move him before Vanek is gone and the world gets a look at lonely Okie on a line with, uh, Mike Grabner and, er… Frans Nielsen? Yikes. Act quickly, but not foolishly. Anyway, this isn’t all the injury news from the Olympic pains, err games:

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Steven Stamkos (broken effin’ leg) is actually skating already. Yes, you read that right, just one month and three days after he broke his tibia Stamkos was back on the ice. He wasn’t practicing, nor did he wear any gear, but he’s on his feet and looks like he’ll actually make it back before the Olympic break.

Jimmy Howard (knee) has a grain-1 MCL sprain and will be out for 2-4 weeks. I’ve been telling everyone to pick up Jonas Gustavsson for weeks now, so I hope y’all listened! If not, he’s still owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! Leagues. Yar.

Shawn Thornton (assault and battery) was suspended for 15 games for his vicious attack on the Pens’ Brooks Orpik a week ago. That sounds about right.

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Pavel Datsyuk was out for the Wings’ morning skate and returns to the Wings’ lineup tonight after missing seven games with a concussion. Get him in there!

Corey Crawford is out for 2-3 weeks, so grab Antti Raanta where you can. Kent Simpson, who is not worth adding in any formats, will back up Raanta.

Brooks Orpik is “doing quite well. Up and moving around just fine.” According to Pens head coach Dan Bylsma. It can’t be good that Bylsma goes right to “He can move okay!” to illustrate that he’s okay. It’s safe to assume he, too, has suffered a concussion.

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Looks like the flu is going around and a few guys are down with illness, tis the season!

Shea Weber returns tonight after missing three games after taking a puck to the face. Apparently he’s going to sport a visor now. Get him in there.

Evgeni Malkin did not travel with the team to Boston so he won’t be on the ice tonight. He’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury and is questionable for tomorrow night as well. If he is a part of the Pens’ morning skate, he’ll be in there.

James Wisniewski suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury last night against the Wild and is undergoing tests today to see how severe it is. It would be a shame if his season is derailed by injury.

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Hockey is a dangerous sport, apparently, and enough key players have been bit with the injury bug recently that I felt it warranted an injury roundup post to keep y’all appraised of the situations. I will make injury update posts periodically when enough build up like they have this week.

Sergei Bobrovsky was helped off the ice with a lower-body injury Tuesday night with about 15 minutes left in the third. He was replaced by Curtis McElhinney. Bobber hurt himself being all fancypants and doing a split while making a glove save on just the 18th shot he faced all night from the Bolts. He’ll have an MRI later today.

UPDATE: Bobrovsky is out for four to five weeks, Curtis McElhinney is the new starter.

Pavel Datsyuk participated in morning skate this morning, his first in more than a week. Wings GM Ken Holland said that Dats needs a solid week of practice before he can be cleared to play again. Still, it’s encouraging for his owners to hear that he’s skating again, at least.

Henrik Zetterberg is out for at least two weeks with a herniated disc in his back. This has been a problem for Z going on a few years now, though he hasn’t missed any significant time because of it in recent memory. How screwed are the Wings without Dats AND Zetterberg?

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