According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, defenseman Justin Braun is the latest Shark to return to North America from Europe after fracturing a bone in his hand. Braun signed with Tappara of the Finnish SM-liiga for the remainder of the lockout about three weeks ago and had thus far managed three assists in six games.
Braun's injury could have a significant impact on the Sharks' roster if it proves serious enough to prevent him from taking the ice should training camp open in the next few weeks. Braun's injury would ease the logjam at the bottom of San Jose's defensive depth chart, ensuring Jason Demers and Douglas Murray spots on the team's opening night roster. Which would be unfortunate given how well Braun and Demers functioned as a pairing down the stretch last season.
While there was once as many as eleven Sharks plying their trade overseas during the work stoppage, the only ones left are Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Michal Handzus, Tommy Wingels, Demers and Thomas Greiss.