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SAN JOSE – Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart won’t make the team’s upcoming road trip to Philadelphia, Buffalo and New Jersey, head coach Todd McLellan revealed on Monday.
Stuart suffered an upper body injury in the Sharks’ final game before the Olympic break on Feb. 7 against Columbus, and has not practiced the past two days. He skated on his own on Monday morning.
McLellan danced around an inquiry as to whether Stuart’s ailment was short term or long term.
“Any type of games missed for us, it feels like long term now, because he’s had the two weeks to heal,” McLellan said. “But, he won’t get through this road trip. After that, we’ll see where he is when we get back.”
San Jose is expected to activate forwards Logan Couture and Raffi Torres from long term injured reserve before playing in Philadelphia on Feb. 27. The club is up against the salary cap limit of $64.3 million, and with back-to-back games coming up against the Flyers and Sabres, McLellan addressed how he’ll field an active lineup moving forward. The club has waived Bracken Kearns, and the 32-year-old forward was not with the team on Monday.
“With injuries, cap space, we’re going to have to review things every morning once we wake up, where we are at, who do we have, who can we use, and assemble a lineup that way,” McLellan said. “That’s basically how we have to deal with it. We know Stuey won’t be a part of it, and [we’ll] make decisions after that.”
The Sharks could recall a defenseman from Worcester to temporarily replace Stuart, who has three goals and six assists in 51 games. Matt Tennyson and Taylor Doherty recently had stints with the NHL club, although neither played.
“Obviously, we don’t want to move ahead just with six defensemen, so we’ll review what’s happening in Worcester, talk about it as a group and make some decisions from there,” McLellan said.