An enormous can of worms opened up for the Blackhawks yesterday morning after Daily Herald beat reporter Tim Sassone reported that Marian Hossa had a shoulder injury that could require surgery.
Did the Hawks know about the injury before they signed him?
If so, how come nothing was said of it?
How serious is the injury?
Is surgery imminent?
With all these questions looming, newly minted GM Stan Bowman had to field a conference call to settle down the masses. All the questions were answered and Bowman did all he could to downplay the hysteria.
From the sounds of it, this injury will just have to be monitored and if everything goes alright in the rehabilitation, Hossa won’t miss any long stretch of games.
When the story was first reported, it was said that Hossa hurt his shoulder in the playoffs. Red Wings GM Ken Holland refuted that later on Wednesday evening.
“He was hurt before he got to us,” said Holland, who signed Hossa as a free agent in the summer of 2008. “Our doctors looked at him and we had conversations about whether to have surgery. Our doctors recommended he should have something done at some point, but it’s something he can play with.”
While I’d like to be more upset with the Hawks for not being upfront about Hossa’s shoulder, it’s not like they did anything that was outside the rules. Technically, since the NHL changed their injury disclosure policy, the Hawks did nothing wrong. They don’t have to disclose player injuries to anyone outside their locker room. Yes, it would have been nice and likely avoided this latest headache, but its nothing different from how the 29 other teams in the league operate.
Buried at the end of Sassone’s story was perhaps the most important Bowman quote, at least if your favorite summer activity is predicting where Patrick Sharp or Kris Versteeg is going to be traded to:
Bowman said the possibility of starting the season without Hossa wouldn’t change how he sees the Hawks’ roster shaping up for training camp.
“We’re not going to make any moves,” Bowman said. “We’ve got 14 forwards who are going to compete for jobs, and that’s not even counting guys like Jack Skille, Akim Aliu and Kyle Beach. Forward is really a strong suit for us.”
Now, that can just be Bowman posturing himself with other general managers or it could be the truth. The fact is, we haven’t seen, or heard, enough of Stan as a GM to know where he’s coming from.
Either way, someone is going to be pissed.