First, Ryan Whitney underwent surgery and was informed that he would miss 3-5 months.
Now, Sergei Gonchar is on the shelf.
Thanks to a hit by Tampa Bay's colossal tough guy David Koci in a pre-season tilt, the Pens top defenseman and possibly the Eastern Conference's best offensive blueliner will be out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. The Pens staff have confirmed that the injury is serious, and an MRI is scheduled for this afternoon.
The injury will thrust youngsters Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski into the spotlight much earlier than they may have imagined.