Interesting moment the other day in the hallway outside the Lightning locker room: Right wing Radim Vrbata limped by, obviously hurting. Asked what was up, he growled something about his groin.
Didn't seem like a big deal, though you would have thought it more serious because the Lightning's official report was Vrbata had a "lower-body injury."
Guess we should have been thankful for even that bit of information, because under the league's new policy on injury disclosure, even that is more than what is required.
All teams need do is acknowledge a player is injured and will be out for a given length of time. They also cannot give out false information.
Teams say they are trying to protect their players, that opponents will target those they know are hurt. As former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk said:
"If I know a guy broke his foot and he's coming back from a broken foot, you know, figure it out, I'm knocking him in the foot, right?"
Andreychuk said he understands the fans' perspective to have information about their team. "But as a player's perspective, it's the way to go. It keeps it in-house. It allows the other team not to get an advantage."
Okay, so it's a legitimate concern. But can't the league severely punish players who try to injure an opponent?
"How do you know their intent?" Andreychuk said. "A guy might have a bad hand, goes around the net, and you go to get his stick and get his hand. There's too much discretion between the guy's intent and if he actually tried to hurt the guy."
In other words, get used to a little less information.