Tough news, New Jersey Devils fans. If the lockout gets resolved get quickly, the team will have to start the 2012-13 season without defenseman Anton Volchenkov. The 30-year-old fractured a small bone near the arch area on the inside of his foot. He is expected to miss four to six weeks.
The injury occured while Volchenkov was playing for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the Kontinental Hockey League. He currently does not have any plans to come back to Jersey to receive treatment. If he is to visit Devils team doctors, he must do so on his own. Team doctors would not be allowed to examine him at the team’s facility due to the labor situation. Because of the the injury, if Volchenkov is still injured when the season starts, the Devils can suspend him without pay.
Volchenkov played in 72 games last year and recorded two goals and nine assists. He played to a plus-3 rating on the ice. He added a goal and an assist in 24 postseason games. The Russian defenseman missed 25 games during his first season with the Devils in 2010-11.
Editor’s Take: Just using pure logic, I would assume Volchenkov is out for most of November. Even if it’s only the minimum of four weeks, he would be cleared to skate around the 19th. He’ll need a few days/skates to test it out, get conditioned, as well as an AHL game with Albany before he came back to the big club. If the lockout does end quickly, I’d expect him to be ready to for the November 30 game against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Prudential Center. While the loss of Volchenkov would hurt early, the Devils certainly have enough bodies on defense to survive in the short term. The likes of Bryce Salvador, Mark Fayne, Henrik Tallinder, Marek Zidlicky, Adam Larsson, Andy Greene and Peter Harrold will be able to hold down the fort. There are no studs on the Devils blue line, but the good news is that the loss of any singular defensive player will not hurt the team all that much. There are many adequate bodies that can step right into the lineup.