No one man makes a hockey team, we’re well aware of that, but the potential loss of Kraken rookie forward Matty Beniers to injury would not only impact the club’s line-up, it could prevent Beniers from playing in the NHL All-Star Game.
Yes, we’re getting ahead of ourselves, but with just eight days until the festivities get underway in South Florida, it’s reasonable conjecture.
That’s based on further conjecture; that if Beniers’s malady involves a head injury and concussion protocol and treatment, it’s nearly impossible to predict a prognosis. Like angry snowflakes, no two concussions are alike.
This injury theory is based purely on observation. As the video shows (below), Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tylers Myers essentially cheap-shots Beniers in the middle of the slot away from the puck and gets called for interference.
Beniers got up, stumbled slowly and what appeared to be groggily towards the Kraken bench and hallway.
There was no talk of raising the question of potential supplemental discipline with the league for the hit after the game. Kraken Head Coach Dave Hakstol simply said yes “(Beniers) left before the third period and didn’t return.” Hakstol seemed a bit preoccupied for a coach who just trounced a rival for the first time 6-1.
Beniers leads NHL rookie scorers with 36 points, seven points ahead of closest pursuer Cole Perfetti of the Winnipeg Jets. Defenseman Owen Power, Beniers’s teammate from the University of Michigan now playing for the Buffalo Sabres, would also warrant consideration for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie-of-the-year.
The 20-year-old, left-shot blueliner plays upwards of 28-minutes a night and has added 18 points over 44 games. Power was taken first overall, one pick ahead of Beniers at the 2021 NHL Draft.
Should Beniers miss the All-Star festivities, and again, this is purely worst-case-scenario conjecture until we’re updated by the club, then Jared McCann or Andre Burakovsky would be the likely replacement as the Kraken representative.
McCann would make more sense. Although he has five fewer points than Burakovsky, the sniper has ten more goals than his teammate, who tends to hold on to pucks too long, particularly at three-on-three.
Enough devil’s advocate. There’s a chance Beniers is fine and/or misses very little time. The Kraken would obviously prefer a clean bill of health and having this emergency hypothetical tossed in the trash.