SAN JOSE -- Defenseman Brad Stuart has an upper-body injury and will miss the Sharks' upcoming three-game trip, which begins Thursday in Philadelphia.
According to coach Todd McLellan, Stuart suffered the injury Feb. 7 when San Jose played Columbus in its last game before the Olympic break. Stuart, who has nine points in 51 games, skated briefly Monday morning but left the ice before practice began.
Asked if Stuart's injury would keep him out of the lineup for the short term or long term, McLellan said: "Any type of games missed for us feels like long term now because he's had the two weeks to heal. He won't get through this road trip. After that, we'll see where he is when he gets back."
With just six healthy defensemen, the Sharks could call up Taylor Doherty or Matt Tennyson from Worcester. Both had recent stints with San Jose. McLellan said the team will "review what's happening in Worcester, talk about it as a group and make some decisions from there."
The Sharks are brushing up against the NHL salary cap of $64.3 million. With Raffi Torres and Logan Couture expected to come off long-term injured reserve later this week, McLellan was asked how he might manage his players on the trip, which includes back-to-back games against Philadelphia and Buffalo.
"With injury, cap space, we're going to have to review things every morning," McLellan said. "Once we wake up, 'Where are we at, who do we have, who can we use,' and assemble our lineup that way. That's basically how we have to deal with it. We know Stuey won't be part of it, and make decisions after that."
Kearns had three goals and one assist in 22 games for the Sharks this season, and was a plus-1 with six penalty minutes. If Kearns, 32, clears waivers, he will be assigned to Worcester of the AHL.
"We're only allowed so much space and so many spots, and Bracken is the unlucky one right now," McLellan said. "I still consider him part of our team. I think he has the ability to come back and play a significant role for us. He's done a good job. But we just have to make some decisions at this point, and we've made them."
Still, McLellan was pleased with Demers' play before the break, and Demers, who leads all Sharks defensemen in scoring with 25 points, said he has been more focused on taking care of his own end.
"I had a good little run there when the team was doing well. Sometimes it's hard to stay that hot or stay with that kind of production for a long period of time," Demers said. "It was going to cool down eventually. I was just worrying more about playing well in my own end and just helping the team."
Sharks (37-16-6) at Philadelphia (30-23-6), 4 p.m. CSNCA