Saturday, September 27, 2014

Injury Updates (Sep 27, Draft Day Edition)

As promised, a quick injury update before the draft starts this afternoon. I should have a sheet of all the players who have suffered injuries, heading into hockey pool draft time. This will be any new updates, as well as some updates on the day-to-day guys, since they are going to be on the fence, come draft time.

News got worse for the Arizona Coyotes' top pick in this Summer's draft, Brendan Perlini, who is to now have surgery on his injured hand, an injury he suffered during the team's rookie camp. Perlini didn't get to see any action in training camp and wasn't likely to make the Coyotes' roster, but I thought I would just follow this injury note.

Perlini should be one to watch next season, when training camp comes back around.

On Friday, it sounded like Boston forward Milan Lucic was growing awfully close to being ready for tonight's preseason game against the Red Wings. I think with how the update process has gone, he should be safe to pick up in the pool draft today.  Lucic has been working on the finishing touches of healing from an off-season wrist surgery.  There was no rush for Lucic to get back, but now it seems like now is the right time.

A new injury from Friday night's action, as Flames forward Markus Granlund left the game against the Canucks in the 2nd period with an upper-body injury. There was no immediate word on his status, so he'll be considered day-to-day right now, assuming that the Flames will hold him off game action until the season starts.

Other day-to-day players, forward Mason Raymond and defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon, are just that... day-to-day.  Raymond should have his spot locked up on the side, while Wotherspoon may still be in the mix for a spot on the blueline, but will more likely start in the minors.

The Blue Jackets have a couple of young players on the list as day-to-day, as forward Boone Jenner is expected to return to some preseason action on Monday, which should mean he'll be good to go for opening night. Defenseman Ryan Murray is still dealing with his rehab on off-season knee surgery, but he is skating on his own, which is a good sign, but it doesn't appear that he is practicing much, so his return to game action is still up in the air.

Blackhawks prospect Teuvo Teravainen hasn't seen any action since getting drilled in a team scrimmage last weekend, suffering an upper-body injury.  The young Finn is currently listed as out day-to-day, but there hasn't been much for updates since his injury, which doesn't necessarily bode well for his outlook on the season.  Take Teravainen at your own risk today at the draft.

The Dallas Stars had a couple of day-to-day players on the list, forward Valeri Nichushkin and defenseman Sergei Gonchar, but both players returned to action on Friday night against Tampa Bay, neither player picking up points, but both players returned to about average ice-time for themselves.  It would appear that these two are safe to pick-up today in the draft.

Detroit Red Wings forward Darren Helm isn't expected to miss any regular season action since suffering a broken nose earlier in the preseason.  Helm has been held out of preseason action since the injury, but he is likely just being given time to get back to a playable state.  It will likely be some time before Helm is 100%, but being as though it is a facial injury, he doesn't play a great deal with his face, so he should be fine.

Forward Jarret Stoll is aiming to play in two preseason games ahead of the regular season, as he comes back from off-season hip surgery.  Stoll has yet to participate in training camp, but being as though he is more of a bottom six role player, he shouldn't need too much time to find his timing.

Defenseman Drew Doughty is waiting patiently to figure into some preseason action of his own, after suffering an upper-body injury earlier in camp.  It sounds a lot like the Kings are being cautious with one of their key cogs to the Cup-winning machine and rightfully so.  I would assume that he'll be fine for opening night.

Wild forward Kyle Brodziak is not much closer to returning to the line-up, as he hasn't returned to practice just yet, although he is reportedly skating on his own.  Brodziak is dealing with a back issue in camp, but being as though he is a fringe player for the hockey pool draft, I don't think there will be much concern paid this way.

There are some reports that both Thomas Vanek and Keith Ballard are suffering from injuries, but neither are considered to be major.  Vanek dealing with some bumps and will likely be held out of action for a bit, while Ballard's ailment is a bit more of a mystery.  Both should be okay for the draft today.

Lars Eller was back at Canadiens practice on Saturday morning, as he makes his way back from a lower-body injury.  He will remain on the list as out day-to-day, but it sounds like he is making all the progress he needs to return to the line-up for some more preseason action, before the regular season starts.  Eller was practicing with the top group, according to the team's Twitter account, so I would count that as a green light to take him today.

There has been no real update on Nashville's Matt Cullen, who suffered an upper-body injury earlier in the week.  He's still on the list as out day-to-day and that's about the best we've got so far.  With still plenty of time before the regular season starts, it does seem likely that the team will hold him out for as long as he needs, just to be 100%.  Cullen is considered to be a fringe player among forwards this season.

As of Friday morning, New Jersey Devils defenseman Jon Merrill had not resumed skating, but had been working off-ice to keep his fitness levels up. Merrill suffered an apparent head injury early on in camp, colliding with tryout Ruslan Fedotenko in a drill. He remains day-to-day, but it does sound a lot like he has suffered a concussion, although the Devils have not announced it as such.  Take at your own risk.

Evgeni Malkin is not having any kind of success, as he hasn't been on the ice this week, nor has he been working out of the ice.  The team insists that this isn't a long-term problem, but the evidence begs to differ.

Pascal Dupuis has improved to wearing the regular practice jersey this week, so it sounds like he'll be ready to go.  Olli Maatta has been practicing for the last week, which is a definite plus, as he will likely be a popular pick-up this year.

Sidney Crosby was due to play in his first preseason game on Saturday, but that was put on hold, as he has gone back home to attend to a death in his family.  He will likely be afforded whatever time needed, but should be back in time for opening night.  All health concerns appear to be over, for now.

Looks like the San Jose Sharks are taking as much caution as they need with one of their star forwards Logan Couture, who has been skating this week, after taking an awkward fall on Tuesday night against Vancouver.  Couture is considered to be day-to-day with an undisclosed injury, but I think all assumptions that he will play on opening night are fair.

On Friday night, the Maple Leafs welcomed both Tyler Bozak and David Clarkson back to their line-up for their preseason game against the Sabres. Both were nursing minor injuries and have now found some preseason action to wet their whistle. Clarkson, however, did end up in a fight with Buffalo's Cody McCormick and took the worst of it, taking a punch to the face, which has swelled up around his eye. This may cost him another preseason game, but it shouldn't cost him any regular season time.

Defenseman Stephane Robidas appears to be close to returning as well, heading back to practice on Saturday, although there is no official word about whether or not he has been cleared for contact from his broken leg last season.  He's close and that's good for everyone.

The Vancouver Canucks announced early on Friday that defenseman Alex Edler did indeed suffer some damage to his dental work, which needed to be worked on and he should be okay to go in one more preseason game, maybe two, before the regular season starts.  I think it is safe to say that he should be okay for opening night for the Canucks.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

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