The knee-jerk reaction to Ales Hemsky being out three weeks with a rotator-cuff problem in his right shoulder is to say that he has become awfully injury-prone, but it misses the point.

Hockey is a violent game. People get hurt, and Hemsky has the puck most of the time.

"I don't see him as carefree. I see him as courageous," said Edmonton Oilers coach Tom Renney.

"I would rather have a player who puts himself in harm's way than a guy who finds himself in harm's way."

Is it a problem for the Oilers? Yes. He's their best player. Is it a concern? Yes. The right-winger has missed 104 games the last five years and now has had problems with both shoulders the past two seasons — he only played 22 games in 2009-10 and needed surgery on his left shoulder — and has had torn a groin muscle and had a concussion this year. But bigger players than the six-foot, 184-pound Hemsky get hurt, like the Anaheim Ducks' 225-pound Ryan Getzlaf, who sprained his ankle badly last year and broke some bones in his sinus cavity this year. Like the 210-pound Marian Hossa, who played 57 games last year for the Chicago Blackhawks and has missed 17 more this year.