Gonchar to miss most of season
Defenseman Sergei Gonchar will be sidelined until March after undergoing surgery scheduled for Thursday to repair a dislocated left shoulder, sources told the Tribune-Review late Monday.
The Penguins are expected to make an official announcement today.
Gonchar had a terrific season last year, logging nearly 26 minutes a night and playing a ton on both the penalty kill and power play. He put up 65 points, finished fourth in Norris Trophy voting and then had 14 points in 20 games in a run to the finals.
Pittsburgh's pretty snug against the cap, so bringing in a high-priced reinforcement is unlikely, and it's going to fall to a rather ordinary group of blueliners led by Brooks Orpik and Hal Gill to hold the fort until Ryan Whitney can return in midseason.
Who would have ever thought David Koci would have this big of an impact on the 2008-09 season?
Minus Gonchar and Whitney, the Penguins are going to be a considerably different team and there's going to have to be an adjustment period. They now desperately need Kris Letang to log a lot more minutes than he has to date.
The Atlantic Division is looking at lot more wide open these days.