On the conference call to announce the acquisition of Alexei Ponikarovsky, the Devils also announced that Dainius Zubrus will have exploratory wrist surgery and could miss anywhere from two to eight weeks.
Earlier today, the Devils placed Zubrus on injured reserve and said they would know more about him in the next 48 hours. I speculated the injury to Zubrus would cause the Devils to do some roster shuffling, which they certainly have done today with the Ponikarovsky trade, calling up Andrei Loktionov and eventually sending a player down to Albany to make room for Ponikarovsky.
Corey GriffinI think everyone’s first reaction is along the lines of “2-8 weeks? That’s a hell of a gap.” At first, it caught me off guard, too, but then I noticed the term “exploratory” in front of surgery. My guess is when the injury first happened, the Devils took a “wait and see” approach. When the wrist was still sore, the Devils sent Zubrus for tests (MRI, X-ray) and the results were inconclusive. Both sides had probably hoped to avoid surgery, hence the Devils playing coy about the nature of the injury and any sort of recovery timeline as late as this afternoon. Once Zubrus undergoes surgery Thursday, I’d expect the Devils to announce a timeline that is at least more compact, if not much more specific.
I won’t overreact yet, because it could be a contusion or a sprain and Zubrus could be back by the end of February, which, along with Ponikarovsky, suddenly makes the Devils a much deeper team up front. If it’s closer to eight weeks? Well, then the Devils will have to hope Ponikarovsky has the same game that he had last season or else they’ll be waiting until April to adequately fill their first line left wing.