It was announced courtesy of the Detroit Free Press that Jonathan Ericsson has been dealing with an ongoing hip issue for the past few years. The ailment is called hip impingement, it is when the ball and socket in one’s joint has abnormal wear and tear.
The condition leaves Ericsson at less than 100%, which begs the question, why the hell is he still being trotted out on the ice?
When Helene St. James asked Ericsson about the ailment this is what he had to say about the issue.
“It’s supposed to be a round socket that goes into the hip, and that’s not round right now, it’s, like, square. I just try to deal with it as good as possible. Before I knew what it was, after some games, I had a hard time walking. Once we figured out what it was, then we could treat it. Now it’s not as bad.
“We’ll see how it goes. It gets a little worse every year. There’s arthritis in there, too.”
That sounds absolutely terrible and yet, he is still playing with the condition. The problem with the diagnosis is surgery isn’t a guaranteed home run either. The recovery time associated with it is four months but total remission is generally very rare.
Ericsson was never fleet of foot and he never was a player that “wow’d” you with his skill. Even when you take another gear away from a beater of a Buick, you still lose speed after it is all said and done. He was always at a disadvantage and with age it will only get worse. He used to bring you some value as a possession player and now that is gone as well, leaving one ineffective player signed to a long-term contract.
The Red Wings loyalty to certain players has always been bizarre and if they knew about Ericsson’s situation before they signed him, it is down right dumb. Continuing to give him a similar role even though he has a chronic injury is also irresponsible. How can an organization know about something as important as this and still not change the way they handle the situation. They have players that are willing to step up and be in the NHL, they’d rather hold onto a husk of a player in hopes of a magical turnaround.
Save for a major medical breakthrough, they are stuck with Ericsson until his contract is up and if he isn’t going to have surgery to get the problem fixed, utilize him correctly. Get him as far away from the top four as humanly possible. Make sure to pair him with a player that is fast enough to make up for any mistake he may make. These are basic ideas that most front offices have grabbed onto and the Red Wings would rather stare longingly into their trophy case hoping another Stanley Cup shows up.
If you want to get a higher pick in the draft keep playing Ericsson despite his chronic condition, if you want to continue the streak and help Ericsson the human being, stop playing him. It is just that simple and the Red Wings are too stubborn to make a proper decision. It isn’t doing anyone any favors.