Injuries are a part of hockey and every team must battle through them at some point during the season, but all injuries are not the same. Losing some players carries much more weight than others.
During the first few games of the regular season, we are seeing the impact of injuries to indispensible players such as Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis, Boston center Patrice Bergeron and Minnesota winger Zach Parise.
What makes a player indispensable? When players like Ellis, Bergeron and Parise are lost, their teams take a hit at both ends of the ice and the results show up on the shot counter and scoreboard. The other aspect is team construction. Superstars like Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin would be tough to lose, but their teams are good enough they could survive a stretch without them. The indispensables come from teams that aren’t exactly stacked top to bottom, or have already had injury troubles — or both.
So who are the most indispensable players in the NHL? Here are 10 forwards and five defensemen whose team would be in trouble without them: