- Editor's note: Sheng Peng will be a regular contributor to NBC Sports California's Sharks coverage for the 2021-22 season. You can read more of his coverage on San Jose Hockey Now, listen to him on the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast, and follow him on Twitter at Sheng_Peng.
Kevin Labanc‘s star-crossed season has taken another tough turn.
The San Jose Sharks winger has already missed five games because of COVID-19, one game because of a suspension for slew-footing Tyler Bozak, and one game because of a healthy scratch.
Labanc is now going to miss approximately the next three months after opting for surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder suffered on Saturday against Dallas.
Judging by the replay, it appears Labanc’s right shoulder is dislocated by defenseman Jani Hakanpaa in a corner collision.
It’s been that kind of season for the 26-year-old playmaker, who has just three goals and six points in 20 games. This is a far cry from the career-best 56 points that he notched in 2018-19.
San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner says Kevin Labanc will have surgery in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
“I saw him the other day and he looked like he was pretty down about the shoulder. I’m sure he’s a little frustrated with the season,” Boughner shared. “Coming into camp, I’m sure he had big expectations this year.”
The Sharks have no plans to place Labanc on Long-Term Injury Reserve (LTIR) at the moment.
“LTIR allows a team to exceed the cap, it provides no benefit if a team is under the cap,” Hart Levine of Puckpedia pointed out.
The San Jose Sharks are currently $4.581 million dollars under the salary cap, even with Kevin Labanc’s $4.725 million AAV on the books. The winger is under contract with the Sharks through 2023-24.