Demers out 4-6 weeks

Demers out 4-6 weeks
January 2, 2013, 9:15 am
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Jason Demers is the third Sharks player to suffer an injury overseas. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

If the NHL season begins later this month, the Sharks will be without one of their defensemen for a significant period of time.

Jason Demers suffered a broken wrist playing for Team Canada in the Spengler Cup final in Switzerland on Monday and will be out for four-to-six weeks, his agent told on Wednesday. A report originally surfaced on Tuesday that Demers would miss only three weeks.

The 24-year-old had been playing well in Finland, where he had five goals and 16 assists for 21 points in 30 games for Karpat in the SM-liiga. He's due to become a restricted free agent this summer after having an inconsistent 2011-12 season for San Jose.

In order to fill Demers’ spot in the event of a shortened season beginning on Jan. 19, the Sharks would likely recall defenseman Matt Irwin from Worcester. Irwin is thought to be the most NHL-ready blueliner playing for the organization’s AHL affiliate, and has a goal and 13 assists for 14 points in 27 games this season. The 25-year-old was recalled by the Sharks last season for precautionary reasons, but never got into a game and has yet to make his NHL debut.

Demers is the third Sharks player to suffer an injury overseas. TJ Galiardi had been playing in Germany before he returned to Canada with a minor knee injury, while Justin Braun suffered a hand injury that ended his stint in Finland. San Jose has the option of suspending Demers, or any other injured player, without pay if they are unable to play when (if) the season begins. Braun "should be ready" if the season starts on Jan. 19, according to his agent.

The NHL and NHLPA will likely get together again on Wednesday or Thursday after meeting for 30 minutes late Tuesday in New York. The two sides have been exchanging proposals in the hopes of ending the now 109-day lockout.