Vlasic’s “Bad Lunch” Has San Jose Sharks In a Pickle


Jan 13, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman

Marc-Edouard Vlasic

(44) lines up against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. The Sharks won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks’ Marc-Edouard Vlasic* missed his fourth consecutive game with an “upper body injury”, but Sharks deny it’s a concussion

The San Jose Sharks need top defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic if they are going to make the playoffs or go very far in the playoffs. Defense is typically the bread and butter of a championship team, any way you slice it. I don’t like the way NHL teams report injuries and I complained about it a few weeks ago. The San Jose Sharks are helping to prove my point by calling his injury an “upper body injury”, allowing for rumors of a concussion.

The issue is that on February 4th against the Calgary Flames, Vlasic went out halfway through the 2nd period and he didn’t return until partway into the 3rd. Supposedly suffering from “equipment issues”. That’s roughly ten minutes of game time, an 18 minute intermission, and a few more minutes of game time. Unless the injury was to his balls and he was icing them down, equipment issues shouldn’t take that long to fix. 

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San Jose Sharks Deny Vlasic Concussion

Rumors began swirling that Vlasic had a concussion when he held a “strange” press conference on February 8th. He claimed to have a cold. In his defense, head colds and head cold medicine can leave one feeling a little loopy. The San Jose Sharks, though, flatly deny the concussion rumors. From the San Jose Mercury News:

"Responding to published reports, Sharks coach Todd McLellan on Friday flatly denied that Vlasic had a concussion that was suffered Feb. 4 in Calgary against the Flames. In that game, Vlasic missed half of the second period and part of the third before he returned to finish the game. At the time, McLellan said Vlasic was dealing with an equipment issue."

Oh, but they weren’t done yet. Both the San Jose Sharks and Vlasic himself have muddied the waters of what is going on. Also from the San Jose Mercury News:

"Vlasic said the next day he was suffering from a cold, but also said he ate a bad lunch. McLellan said at the time that it was an upper body injury and soon after, Vlasic was put on injured reserve."

So, is it a cold? A bad lunch? Equipment issues? A concussion? An upper body injury? It’s time for the Sharks to quit gherkin our chains and just tell the fans, media, bloggers, etc. what the real issue is. The best way to make everything kosher is to just come out and say, “he has bruised ribs,” or “he has the stomach flu,” or whatever. Playing coy with the public is absurd. Rumors are going to persist as long as teams continue reporting “upper body” (or lower body or, mid body) injuries, so the best way to combat that is TO TELL THE TRUTH!

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  • Teams do not have any legal obligation to keep player injuries confidential, as long as the player’s injury is diagnosed by a team doctor. And to be quite honest, the teams owe it to their fans to disclose what the injury is. The Sharks are trying to make the playoffs and with each loss they suffer their chances get a little smaller. They have lost three straight since Vlasic went out and fans should be told why one of the teams best players is out. NHL teams wouldn’t exist without fans buying tickets, watching the games on TV, and buying sweaters/jerseys and merchandise. It’s time for NHL teams to start being honest with their fan bases and that would be sweet.

    *How many pickle references can you find?