Sharks send Vlasic to injured reserve

Amid conflicting reports from the head coach and the player himself, the Sharks placed defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic on injured reserve with an unspecified injury.

Vlasic did not dress for Saturday night’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes because he was “not feeling well.”

When pressed after the game, Todd McLellan said:

“About an hour before the game, he fell ill.”

McLellan also admitted it was an upper body injury, but on Sunday, Vlasic told reporters he had a cold.

With his condition unknown to the public, the Sharks placed Vlasic on injured reserve Sunday afternoon, recalling defenseman Dylan DeMelo from Worcester to take his roster spot.

DeMelo has four goals and 11 assists in 45 games with Worcester this season.

Vlasic, one of the Sharks’ top defensemen and arguably their best defensive player, has six goals and 11 assists in 52 games this season. He also leads the team with a plus-minus rating of +15.

Vlasic will be eligible to return on Feb. 13 against the Coyotes, meaning he will miss at least two games. The Sharks play the Flames on Monday and the Capitals on Wednesday, both home games against playoff teams.

His absence leaves voids on the top defensive pairing, penalty kill, and power play with the Sharks battling to maintain their playoff positioning.

The Sharks lost 5-4 in regulation to the Hurricanes on Saturday night.