If the NHL and NHL Players’ Association somehow reach an agreement this week and are able to begin the regular season on Nov. 2—as proposed by commissioner Gary Bettman—the Devils will have to begin it without defenseman Anton Volchenkov.
Volchenkov fractured his ankle while playing for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the Kontinental Hockey League. He is expected to miss four to six weeks, according to Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello. Lamoriello said he has not spoken to Volchenkov, but did speak to his agent, who informed him of the injury. Lamoriello did not know how Volchenkov fractured his ankle.
If the NHL lockout were to end while Volchenkov was still recovering, the Devils could suspend him without pay until he is healthy enough to play.