Friday, March 23, 2012

Greatest Injury Shortened Seasons Ever

Sidney Crosby has missed 60 games this season and if he plays all of Pittsburgh's remaining games he will play up to a total of 22 games in 2011/12. With 21 points already, Crosby is having one of the better injury shortened seasons in NHL history. Below are the greatest seasons of 25 games or less since 1930 that were cut short by injuries.
  • Sidney Crosby, 2011/12         13-2-19-21

  • Bobby Orr, 1975/76                10-5-13-18
Orr underwent one of his many knee surgeries after injuring it during training camp. He managed to get into 10 games, but still ended up missing all of the playoffs.

  • Mario Lemieux, 1993/94        22-17-20-37
After a late start to the season, Mario injured his back on Nov. 11, '93 and was out until February. He played the majority of games until the end of the season, and all six of the Pens post season games.

  • Pavel Bure, 1998/99                11-13-3-16
He missed the first half of the year holding out from the Canucks before being traded to Florida. After 7 games he'd injure his knee and played sparingly down the stretch.

  • Paul Kariya, 1997/98               22-17-14-31
Similarly to Bure, Kariya held out to start this season but ended up re-signing with the Ducks in December. His season was ended by a gutless cross-check to face from Gary Suter that also knocked him out of the Nagano Olympics.

  • Cam Neely, 1992/93                13-11-7-18
Neely could make the list for any number of his seasons. A knee injury kept him out until late February. Neely played most of the remaining games including all four in the playoffs as the Bruins were swept.

  • Marian Gaborik, 2008/08         17-13-10-23
Two long stints on the disabled list with hip issues. Returned strong to score 10 goals in the Wild's final 10 games.

  • Mario Lemieux, 2001/02          24-6-25-31
It's only appropriate that Le Magnifique and Bobby Orr each make this list twice. Hip issues kept Mario out for most of 2001/02.

  • Pat LaFontaine, 1994/95          22-12-15-27
Returned in mid-March 1995 after 15 months of recovery from knee surgery and played every game including all five in the playoffs. He won the Masterton Trophy this year.

  • Bobby Orr, 1976/77                 20-4-19-23
Just about Orr's last kick at the can. After starring in the '76 Canada Cup he got into only 20 games for Chicago but was still dominant at times.

  • Mel Hill, 1943/44                     17-9-10-19
'Sudden Death' Hill broke his ankle on Dec. 16, 1943 and missed the rest of the season.

  • Terry O'Reilly, 1982/83           19-6-14-20
O'Reilly broke a finger on Nov. 18, 1982 then injured his knee on New Year's Eve.

  • Tom McCarthy, 1985/86         25-12-12-24
Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy on Nov. 23, 1985 and missed the remainder of the season and playoffs.

  • Grant Warwick, 1943/44          18-8-9-17
Two years after winning the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year, Warwick suffered a concussion just before Christmas 1943. As an aside, in 1991 while I was in college, I coached Grant Warwick's 9-year old grandson. One day during a practice he brought the 1942 Calder Trophy that his grand-dad was awarded. Pretty cool holding a 50 year old NHL trophy.

  • Adam Deadmarsh, 2002/03      20-13-4-17
Suffered his last of numerous concussions on Dec. 15, 2002 and finally retired officially 3 years later without playing another game.

  • Tim Kerr, 1982/83                    24-11-8-19
Kerr's first of many injuries was a knee suffered on Nov. 24, 1982. He managed to return to play 2 of 3 playoff games for the Flyers.

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