Ever since Kovalev said "there were 7-8 players who kept playing with important injuries" I was wondering who these were. We will probably never know for some, but besides those confirmed (Koivu, Tanguay, Schneider, etc..) my biggest question is Roman Hamrlik.
We can all agree he had a poor season. Mostly because he clearly avoided physical involvement and was slow to get on the puck.
Problem is - last year and at the beginning of the season he was our second best defenceman after Markov. When he missed a few games because of injuries it was significant.
He was physical, and even had an offensive side. Somewhere during autumn though he started playing a lot softer till the end of the season. So I wonder if maybe he was hiding an injury.
Blaming it on his age is a cheap option. You don't regress so fast from age. And you cannot really blame it on lack of experience or hockey sense - those were there during his career.
Yeah it appeared he was going to try to take on a more offensive role in the first couple weeks this year. He wasn't the same rock he was last year but when Markov went down, I noticed a visible improvement in his game for the first few games. I can't really recall if he maintained it during the playoffs, but I do remember glimpses of the old Hammer at the tail end of the reg. season
The buzz has been that in Calgary he had 1 up year and 1 down. Same thing happened here. Question is - does the trend keep up? It's a shame we won't know for another 7 months
He was pretty horrible out there, he probably was injured because he had no speed whatsoever. Either that or he wasn't trying, so I will say he was injured. It's too bad because he was so bad that they should have just let a youngster take his place who can skate.