Thursday Thoughts: EK Breaking Finnish Hearts

In a move that is sure to upset the legions of Jokerit fans (they who contribute to the league's highest home gate), Erik Karlsson is leaving their organization. Of course, it is possible that something may have been lost in translation here. While trying to communicate with a Finnish media contingency that could not understand him, Karlsson simply could have been trying to wish the masses a happy New Year by gesturing wildly with his hands.

As one Twitter follower (@TheHodor) tweeted, we’re really going to have to wait for a Globe and Mail article to be posted, taken down and then re-posted before we can truly measure how accurate these reports are.

Having totalled 7 goals and 27 points in 28 games played, he is the SM-Liiga’s highest scoring defencemen and he has inevitably helped the league leading Jokerit create a 6-point cushion in the standings over second place SaiPa. He'll be missed if this glowing HF account of his play is representative.

It is yet to be determined whether or not Finnish truck stop food factored into Karlsson’s decision to leave, but Jokerit did provide the following: 

Karlsson’s not alone in this regard.

Per Sylvain St-Laurent, Jason Spezza could do the same once his Spengler Cup experience ends.

Lately there has been a mass exodus of NHLPA members leaving their European league teams to brace themselves for the NHL’s announcement that a season will or won’t be lost.

Surrounded by shelves stocked with canned goods and bottled water, I can just imagine these players (well, with the exception of money-phone Evander Kane), hunkering down with their families inside their backyard fallout shelters awaiting the announcement of their fate from a Gary Bettman emergency broadcast.

Mika Zibanejad Still Suffering From Concussion Symptoms? 

With Zibanejad now out of the lineup four plus weeks, we’ve seen the organization blame his absence on the removal of wisdom teeth, strep throat and the flu.

Of course, this could be the truth, but the longer Zibanejad remains out of the lineup (and off his skates altogether), the more fans will look to alternative explanations or speculation as to what ails Mika. Obviously there should be some level of skepticism reserved; however, as Scott (@Wham_City) has pointed out, the above account in question (@SensProspects); broke the Jared Cowen surgery news (a Bob Mckenzie report followed 3 hours later). 

SteffeG has heard similar things with regards to Mika still suffering from "concussion symptoms".

Professional teams are wary of the "c" word, and will go to great lengths not to use it in public, as anyone who's followed the Toronto Marlies of late will have noticed.

Mark Borowiecki is another case where it doesn't seem unreasonable to think a concussion may be why he's missed 8 games and counting, having not played since this series of repeated blows to the head:

Don Brennan reported Dec. 6 he was dealing with a "neck strain" and was slated to miss the following day's game. But like Mika, the longer he's out of the lineup, the more eyebrows will be raised. It will be interesting to watch how Boro plays when he gets back in the lineup, specifically if he contineus to drop the mitts at the rate he was posting through December, what constituted a 38 fight pace over the full season. Just in comparison, in 73GP last year, he fought only 11 times.

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