Might be a bit of older news, but I haven't posted anything for it yet. Joni Pitkanen was checked out by Hurricanes doctors this week, seeing how a heel injury was coming along and the initial feeling is not very good, although final word likely won't come until Monday.
Pitkanen suffered a broken heel at the end of last season and the Summer off the the injury didn't seem to help him out too much. There is a belief that Pitkanen will not start the season for Carolina and there is some fear that this injury could cost him the whole year, although that may be pessimistic.
Already, I have lowered his projections down significantly, as this could be an injury that could take some time to get back to 100% and I don't think I would risk a pick on him, despite his offensive upside.
Returning to the ice, albeit in a non-contact role, was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who underwent shoulder surgery near the end of last season and his recovery is going the right way.
Nugent-Hopkins is going the right way for injury prone status, but if he is able to bulk up a bit this season and make himself a little more durable, he could fend off the dreaded label for at least a little while. That does seem to be a big if at the moment.
Play wait-and-see with Nugent-Hopkins, because you don't want to pick him too high and then get burned in the end.
Sounds like Kris Versteeg is making strides in the right direction for the season opener, as he is coming back from a surgically repaired knee and there was some concern that he would be missing time early on this year.
As it stands right now, there is a chance that Versteeg may be ready to go for opening night, but I wouldn't get too comfortable just yet, as he will still have to see if there are any setbacks through the early stages of training camp. I don't think I will be changing any projections just yet, but at least it's on my radar.
All signs are pointing to a return to the ice, in time for training camp, for Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell.
Admittedly, Mitchell isn't exactly your prototypical pool defenseman, but he has seen a couple seasons above the 20-point plateau, so it isn't out of the realm of possibility.
Mitchell is coming back from a serious knee injury, which kept him out of the shortened 2013 season, but with a long off-season of rehab, it sounds like he will be close to returning, which is huge news for the Kings. With the depth that Los Angeles has on defense, it will be interesting to see where Mitchell fits in.
With main training camps opening up next week for all NHL teams, it looks like Flyers captain Claude Giroux will only miss about a week of time on the ice, as he expects to have the splint off his surgically-repaired finger on Monday and to be back on the ice in two weeks time.
My projections for Giroux were assuming that he would be good to go for opening night and it looks like everything is good on that front. The earlier he gets back on the ice, the better he should be come opening night and the rest of the season.
Off-season surgery to repair a hernia has the Coyotes captain in good spirits heading into training camp next week.
Shane Doan was reportedly playing with the hernia last season and it had a real negative impact on his season, but it sounds like he might have a bit more jump to his step this season and he expects to be in good shape for the upcoming year.
It would be a good talking point to say that Doan was suffering a bit in his points, because of his age, but injury is just as good of a reason, I suppose. I might be inclined to raise his projections up from the 55 points I had put on him earlier.