Los Angeles Kings Place Dion Phaneuf on IR; Activate Ilya Kovalchuk

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PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 15: Los Angeles Kings Defenseman Dion Phaneuf (3) celebrates his first goal as new member of the Kings during the second period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Los Angeles Kings on February 15, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Kings have announced that defenceman Dion Phaneuf is sidelined for a week-to-week basis with an upper-body injury. Los Angeles activated Ilya Kovalchuk for the IR in a corresponding roster move.

Dion Phaneuf Injured

Phaneuf left during a Dec. 11 game against the Buffalo Sabres. The Edmonton native’s move to the injured reserve is retroactive to that date. There’s hope he can return by the start of the new year.

The 33-year-old has handed out an assist for one point in 32 games so far this season. Phaneuf has also logged 23 penalty minutes in 2018-19. His possession numbers are 47.8 percent CorsiĀ and a relative Corsi of -3.0.

Phaneuf has played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators and Los Angles Kings during his 14-year NHL career. He has 136 goals and 353 assists for 489 career points in 1,013 career games. Calgary originally drafted him in the first round, ninth overall of the 2003 NHL draft.

Ilya Kovalchuk Returns

Kovalchuk is back after being out since Nov. 29 after he needed ankle surgery. He had inflamed bursa removed from the ankle.

So far this season, Kovalchuk has scored five goals and nine assists for 14 points to go along with six penalty minutes. His possession numbers were 47.7 percent CorsiĀ and a relative Corsi of -3.2.

Over his eight-year NHL career, Kovalchuk has played for the Atlanta Thrashers, New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings. He has 422 goals and 408 assists for 830 career points in 841 career games. The Atlanta Thrashers originally drafted the Russian first overall of the 2001 NHL draft.

What This Means for the Future

The return of Kovalchuk means the Kings get some scoring pop. Los Angeles has been 2-for-23 on the power play and the Russian will add some offence.

Sean Walker has stepped up with Phaneuf out of the lineup. The Kinds defence has been shaky, but Walker has played well with the added responsibility.

PITTSBURGH, PA – FEBRUARY 15: Los Angeles Kings Defenseman Dion Phaneuf (3) celebrates his first goal as new member of the Kings during the second period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Los Angeles Kings on February 15, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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