Things continue to go from bad to worse in the injury front for the Predators as the team announced (Twitter link) that Matt Duchene has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury in advance of their game today against Florida. The center is expected to miss the next three-to-five weeks.
As has been the case for many of Nashville’s players this season, it hasn’t been a good year so far for the 30-year-old. Duchene has just three goals and five assists in 23 games which is hardly the type of production they’re expecting from a player that’s tied for the highest cap hit on the team at $8MM (along with fellow underachieving center Ryan Johansen).
Nonetheless, Duchene’s absence adds to their quickly-growing list of impact players out of the lineup; he now joins defenseman Ryan Ellis, goalie Juuse Saros, and Luke Kunin as regulars that are out while Luca Sbisa has been out since the season-opener. For a team that isn’t the deepest, it’s a tough spot to fill but in the meantime, Erik Haula – who looks like a possible trade candidate over the next few weeks – should be in line for a bigger role at some point although Mikael Granlund (another candidate to be moved) will move down the middle for now.