On a day that will mark the end of the 2018 National Hockey League preseason, a day in which teams all around the league begin to look forward to the start of the upcoming NHL regular season, the Buffalo Sabres have just suffered what at first glance appears to be a rather serious injury.
The initial optics of this do not look good at all. According to a report from Buffalo Sabres insider John Vogl of The Athletic, Sabres practice came to a screeching halt on Sunday when veteran NHL forward Scott Wilson suffered an injury while practicing out on the ice with his fellow Sabres' teammates. The concern from the Sabres is palpable in the one image that has been made available thus far, Wilson can be seen laying down on the ice as trainers attend to him. Meanwhile his fellow teammates are huddle on the ice around him as they all look on, likely in disbelief that this injury could come on the very final day of the NHL preseason.
Now obviously given that this is currently a developing story it's not possible to gauge just how serious the injury to Wilson is at this time. That being said though there appears to be good reason to suspect that this may be a particularly bad one for both Wilson personally and the Sabres organization as a whole. According to Vogl's report Wilson had to be carted out of the practice arena in a wheelchair and was seen leaving with his leg elevated as he was being rolled out of the building. That of course would signal the fact that the injury he suffered is to that elevated leg, although again this is purely speculation based on what little evidence we have at this time.
For Wilson, a player that will be entering just his second season as a member of the Sabres orgnaization, this has to be a particularly devastating blow. If this injury turns out to be serious, as I suspect it will be, the timing couldn't possibly come at a worse time for him. Not only is the season sent to get underway, which could result in him missing significant time, but if he is able to bounce back from this injury he will be starting the season several steps behind his peers as a result.
Additionally Wilson's struggles with lower-body injuries throughout his career have been well documented and they may have even played a factor in the decision by the Pittsburgh Penguins to trade him to the Detroit Red Wings in a deal for Riley Sheahan. It's true that the Penguins were in need of depth up the middle but Wilson was a two time Stanley Cup Champion and a serviceable player when on the ice for Pittsburgh, his problem was that he simply could not remain healthy.
Given that we know very little about the nature of this injury at this time it's unclear if it may. or may not, be related to one of the many previous lower body injuries he has suffered during his NHL career.