NHL Teams Nervously Watching Their Injury-Prone Players at Sochi 2014

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NHL Teams Nervously Watching Their Injury-Prone Players at Sochi 2014
ERIC RISBERG/Associated Press

The Ottawa Senators won the Stanley Cup in 2006 on the shoulders of Olympic star Dominik Hasek. Whoops, no, they didn't!

Hasek missed the rest of the season with an injury sustained in Turin, and the Senators made a second-round postseason exit instead. Could a similar injury in Sochi derail one of this year's contenders?

Olympic injuries are taken very seriously. Hasek's was one of 47 injuries to occur in the 2006 Winter Olympics. Colin Horgan of The Guardian wrote:

Turin also saw Patrick Elias and Mattius Ohlund suffer rib injuries. Simon Gagne got a bruised knee, Pavol Dimitra injured his eye, and Alexander Frolov damaged his shoulder. Jaromir Jagr suffered a groin injury in the bronze medal game.

Fortunately there were "only" 22 injuries in 2010, according to the IIHF

Which teams are at the greatest risk of a significant injury in Sochi? For each NHL team's Olympians, I identified which players have missed the most games over the past three seasons and ranked them by overall significance.

Though the teams were ranked by likelihood and impact of all their potential injuries, the single accident of the greatest potential significance was chosen from among the top 10 teams for a more detailed look, one that potential impact of that player's prolonged absence.

While the Senators are once again nervously watching Sweden's Erik Karlsson and the Czech Republic's Milan Michalek, there are at least 10 teams tuning into the games with even more trepidation. Let's begin.


Injury data is courtesy of Springing Malik. Playoff probabilities come from Sports Club Stats, Hockey Reference and Playoff Status. All other advanced statistics are via writer's own original research unless otherwise noted. 

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