The 2017/2018 has not been good for the players. Each week, more players make it to the injured list. This list includes the players that cannot get back to the ice for some weeks. The Winnipeg Jets have several players on this list. Most recently they added Dmitry Kulikov. The Russian defenceman will be out for about eight weeks.
A BRIGHT CAREER
Kulikov is only 27 years old but he is a veteran on the NHL. He played for seven seasons with Florida, the team took him for the first time in 2009. After that, he played for the Buffalo Sabres. His performance with the Sabres was not optimal. Kulikov injured his back after he was thrown against an open door. This injury kept him out of the ice for some time, he played only 47 games with the Sabres.
In 2017, despite the negative record with the Sabres, Kulikov was signed by the Winnipeg Jets. As a free agent, the Russian signed a contract for $12.99 million. He was supposed to play for three years with the Canadian team.
Kulikov went through a recovery process since his time with the Sabres. Unfortunately, on March 8 he was hurt again. On the game against New Jersey, the Winnipeg Jets took the victory home but the price to pay was high.
The medical team tried to improve Kulikov’s condition with therapy. It was not enough and soon it was announced that the defenceman required surgery to fully recover. After 62 games with the Jets, the Russian player was an important figure on the team.
The defenceman is not the first Jets’ player to enter the injured list. Other important figures are also out of the ice due to an injury. This kind of problems are common among the NHL players. In many cases, the players and even the staff, ignore the condition of the injuries. They take pain killers and keep playing. Not handling the problems on time will lead to permanent conditions. The players are facing consequences that will stay with them after their careers are over.
Hockey players are not the only with this problem. There has been some controversy around the injuries and how the teams turn a blind eye just to get better results. Kulikov’s injury is an example. A representative from the team said that Kulikov’s situation was a complete surprise for them. Some are wondering how honest the teams are about the condition of the players.
After many years of struggle, the players are finally trying to get something back. The lawsuits against the NFL and the NHL are millionaire affairs. The leagues are facing a difficult situation because of the players they failed to protect in the first place.
The NHL is trying to get ahead of the situation. There is a new figure in the matches, the concussion spotter should determine if after a fight a player is in good enough condition to stay. Better protocols will not erase the regular injuries a player suffers in game but it could prevent permanent consequences.