Wagner suffers upper-body injury on Karlsson hit, does not return - LA Kings Insider

During Los Angeles’ 3-2 overtime win at San Jose on Saturday, forward Austin Wagner was was woozy and in pain after this second period Erik Karlsson hit:

After retreating to the bench, Wagner soon returned to the dressing room and did not rejoin his teammates over the remainder of the game; a Kings representative shared that he had suffered an upper-body injury and was not expected to return. Prior to Saturday, Wagner had been healthy in his pro career since undergoing June, 2017 shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and dislocated bicep tendon that he had played through in the WHL Playoffs that spring.

The 21-year-old Wagner, who registered two hits on seven shifts before leaving the game, has three goals and seven points in 24 games in his rookie season.

There doesn’t seem to be firm, rock-solid consensus on whether this hit will draw supplemental discipline. Karlsson hits high, above the core, and makes head contact, but is the head the principal point of contact? (There is obviously deeper criteria to balance in such a multi-dimensional evaluation.) During a mid-game glance, this seemed less likely to draw supplemental discipline than Pierre-Edouard Bellemare’s high hit on Kyle Clifford two weeks ago that went un-penalized and didn’t draw as much as a fine from from the Department of Player Safety. LA Kings television color commentator Jim Fox was situated between the benches as an analyst on NBCSN’s broadcast, and this is how he saw it:

UPDATE, via NHL Player Safety:

“It’s easier for me once I’ve watched the video,” said Willie Desjardins, who hadn’t yet spoken to the team’s medical staff to determine whether Wagner would continue with the team to Las Vegas or return home. “He got him in the head. Did he get the shoulder first? I don’t know. But, he did his head, though.”

Because San Jose plays at home on Sunday, there will be a quicker verdict here. Now in his 10th NHL season, Karlsson was fined $2,500 for slashing Florida’s Sean Bergenheim in the 2011-12 season but has never been suspended.

Here’s to hoping Wagner is OK after suffering what appeared to be a head injury. After Saturday’s game, Los Angeles has now lost 154 man-games to injury. Prior to the game, Dion Phaneuf (upper-body) was placed on injured reserve – joining Trevor Lewis (fractured foot), Alec Martinez (upper-body), Carl Hagelin (MCL sprain) and Jonny Brodzinski (shoulder surgery) – when Ilya Kovalchuk (bursectomy) was activated.

–Lead photo via Harry How/Getty Images

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.