Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
A leg injury is keeping the Sharks forward on the shelf as he and the Jets' Evander Kane have disappointed when in the lineup for Dinamo Minsk.
Some KHL teams are having more success with their NHL imports than others. Place the league's Belarussian outpost of Dinamo Minsk into the "others" column. After cutting ties with star Winnipeg Jets winger Evander Kane in what team athletic director Igor Matushkin called a "mutual decision" (I'd be surprised if Kane agrees with that assessment) the club has apparently placed Sharks forward Joe Pavelski on its injury list.
Pavelski hurt his leg in just the seventh game he suited up in for Dinamo Minsk but the good news is the injury is reportedly minor and shouldn't keep him out of the lineup past the end of next week. While he appeared in all 82 games for the Sharks last season, Pavelski has struggled through foot and leg injuries throughout his career, most notably missing 15 games with a foot injury early in the 2009-10 season. But with how poorly CBA negotiations are progressing, it's almost a guarantee this will have no effect on Pavelski's performance when the NHL season eventually begins.
Worse news for Dinamo Minsk has been Pavelski's lack of production thus far in his KHL career. The man who was arguably the Sharks' MVP during the 2011-12 campaign has yet to deliver a similar effort overseas with just one assist and a minus-four rating in seven games. He also hasn't exactly been given the kind of role he deserves with five Dinamo forwards averaging more ice time. Seven games isn't much, however, and Dinamo would be wise not to jettison Pavelski as quickly as they did Kane when he finally returns to the lineup.