It was a scary injury. Last Thursday in Minnesota, Jason Zucker slammed into the wall as his legs went in different directions, and his right leg buckled as he hit the dasher. After Sidney Crosby and teammates helped Zucker off the ice, all feared the worst.
However, after Zucker posted an optimistic message via social media late Sunday night, head coach Mike Sullivan also offered encouraging news regarding the bad-luck winger on Monday.
“He’s continuing to be evaluated today. We should have more information on that tomorrow…,” Sullivan said. “…I spoke with him this morning, and his spirits were really good this morning. You know, he’s feeling better. We’ll see where it goes. But he was in much better spirits. He was much more encouraged this morning when I saw him.”
Zucker, 30, skated after practice in a tracksuit.
Last Thursday, he had an emotional return to Minnesota, where he played for nine seasons before the Penguins acquired him for a first-round pick, defenseman prospect Calen Addison and Minnesota accepted Alex Galchenyuk’s nearly $5 million salary, too.
Zucker’s Pittsburgh Penguins tenure has been marred by injuries, including a fractured leg last season and core muscle surgery this season. Since arriving in February of 2020, Zucker has played just 85 games. He has missed 56 of the last 126 games.
This season, Jason Zucker has 14 points (6-8-14) in 32 games. He was re-united with Evgeni Malkin in the Penguins’ top-six upon his return. In his absence on Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche, Sullivan flipped Jeff Carter to Malkin’s right and Rickard Rakell to Malkin’s left.
Zucker has not yet been placed on IR. On Monday, the Penguins recalled Filip Hallander on an emergency recall basis.