Andreas Valdix could be out for six weeks as Sheffield Steelers count the cost of last weekend’s injury-laden match against Belfast Giants.
Valdix was slashed twice on the hand and suffered ligament damage which will require surgery on Saturday. He could be out for four to six weeks - long enough for Steelers to need a replacement.
Also Yared Hagos, blindsided by Belfast Giants’ David Rutherford in the same game, is also a big doubt for the weekend games against Edinburgh Capitals (Sat, iceSheffield) and Cardiff Devils (Sun, away.)
If Hagos misses both games, he will have been absent for three straight - he missed last Wednesday’s Challenge Cup first leg in Scotland.
And Steelers have not missed the irony that three games is one more than Rutherford received, in terms of disciplinary suspension.
A late decision will be made on Hagos - but Sheffield would not rush any player back that has suffered a head injury.
I find it difficult to believe the 33-year-old would want to put his fledgling Steelers career at risk by playing - which means Sheffield, for the second game
running, will be down two recognised centremen.
Steelers have already started to process finding a new import for the line-up. Pre-Christmas is a difficult time of the year to make a signing, but Paul Thompson’s list of contacts is better than most.
Saturday’s match starts level, after Steelers and Capitals slugged out a 2-2 tie earlier this week. It is clear that Edinburgh have a much better team than in previous years, they have nine excellent import forwards and a stellar goalie in Travis Fullerton.
They also know how to win at iceSheffield - they did it last season.
*Jace Coyle is on his way back to Sheffield Steelers - according to his last club.
ECHL side Quad City Mallard tweeted: “TRANSACTION: D Jace Coyle to return to Sheffield Steelers in UK- for whom he played last season- and is placed on Mallards’ suspended list.”