Jason Dickinson of the Dallas Stars accomplished what Radko Gudas of the Florida Panthers failed to do: he took defending Norris Trophy winner Roman Josi out of the division indefinitely.
It was announced this afternoon that Josi was out week-to-week with an upper-body injury. The Nashville Predators are unusually tight-lipped about player injuries, reporting everything simply as either upper-body or lower-body, so we are unlikely to get any further information from them.
However, it seems extremely likely that the injury came on a hit late in the third period of Sunday night’s game, as Stars forward Dickinson checked Josi headfirst into the boards. Footage on the bench afterward showed that the impact had split Josi’s lip, and between that and the fact that he finished the game without apparent difficulty—even scoring the winning goal in the shootout—many fans, me included, were hopeful that Josi was fine.
Despite the obvious safety risks of the hit and the injury that followed it, obvious even during the game thanks to the blood, Dickinson was not penalized. Instead Ryan Johansen cross-checked him for the hit, helping to spark the Stars’ comeback, and the game continued. Dickinson will also not be receiving supplemental discipline, as the Department of Player Safety has not contacted him about his actions and it’s been nearly 48 hours.
None of us who are around at the time have forgotten that in January 2017, Josi told a Swiss newspaper that the concussion he’d received then was his seventh. This makes the non-specific announcement of an upper-body injury, especially after what looks like a head injury, particularly nerve-wracking. I’m not worried about the Preds’ season—a lost cause, at this point—but about Josi’s long-term health. Here’s hoping that this particular injury is literally anything else.
Our best wishes to Josi and his family.