Demers might want to avoid giving on-ice piggyback rides in the future. - Ezra Shaw
Should the lockout end, Sharks defenseman Jason Demers could be unavailable to the team after sustaining a slash to his wrist.
Jason Demers and Team Canada defeated Joe Thornton and HC Davos 7-2 in the Spengler Cup final yesterday but Demers may have unfortunately been injured in the process. According to Matias Strozyk of Elite Prospects, the Sharks defenseman sustained a slash to his wrist that will keep him out of game action for at least three weeks. This comes weeks after a report surfaced that another of San Jose's young blueliners, Justin Braun, fractured a bone in his hand although Braun's agent informed Kevin Kurz that the MRI his client underwent was inconclusive.
Both Demers and Braun had spent the lockout in Finland's SM-liiga, where Demers tallied 21 points and was +6 in 30 games with Kärpät. The two would have been in direct competition with each other and Douglas Murray for the fifth and sixth slots on San Jose's blueline. It seems like an unlikely scenario but if both are unavailable through the beginning of the season, the team would likely turn to Worcester for warm bodies. Of course, with Sena Acolatse, Nick Petrecki, Danny Groulx and Taylor Doherty all injured, the viable options are pretty much limited to Matt Irwin and Matt Tennyson.
On the bright side, the start date the NHL is targeting for a shortened season is January 19th, meaning Demers would likely be available to the Sharks within the first week of games if three weeks is all he needs to heal his wrist. If he isn't able to, the Sharks could exercise the unsavory option of suspending him without pay until he recovers according to the memo the NHLPA sent its membership prior to the lockout.
UPDATE: Per Kurz, the timeframe for Demers' recovery is more like four-to-six weeks than just three so he could miss a significant portion of the shortened season should it begin on the 19th.