Flames defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka is on pace in his recovery from offseason hip surgery to be able to suit up for Team Finland at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey, writes Aaron Vickers from the Flames’ official site. Calgary GM Brad Treliving had the following to say about how his treatment is going:
“Based on today and based on the medical opinion, I would say it’s promising to likely that he be ready for that. Everything is looking good. He’s been back here for a little bit of time now and our staff has had a chance to check him out. Everything looks good. He’s been training. He’s been skating. I think there are a couple final checks to do, but everything is looking positive.”
Jokipakka was acquired at the trade deadline from Dallas along with prospect Brett Pollock and a 2016 2nd round pick (Dillon Dube) in exchange for Kris Russell, who happens to be the most prominent remaining unrestricted free agent on the open market. He got into 18 games with the Flames last year, recording six assists while seeing his average ice time increase by over three minutes compared to his playing time with the Stars. He’s likely to play in a third pairing role for Calgary this season.
[Related: Calgary’s Depth Chart]
More from the Pacific:
- In a separate piece from Vickers, center Daniel Pribyl, an offseason signing by the Flames, may not be fully healthy when training camp gets underway. The 23 year old underwent ACL surgery back in May. Pribyl, originally a sixth round draft pick of Montreal back in 2012 (168th overall but went unsigned), averaged a point per game (16 goals and 29 assists in 45 contests) with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga last season which got him back on the NHL radar.
- The Oilers are interested in signing college free agent defenseman Matt Benning, reports Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal. Benning was a sixth round pick (175th overall) of the Bruins in 2012 but went unsigned prior to the August 15th deadline. Benning is the nephew of Vancouver GM Jim Benning (who was Boston’s Assistant GM when he was drafted) which has yielded speculation that the Canucks may be interested in the services of the 22 year old as well. (Update: Edmonton has indeed signed Benning to a two year deal.)
- Also from Matheson, he noted that the Oilers inquired about the availability of Blackhawks prospect Mark McNeill back at the draft in June. McNeill made his NHL debut last season but has spent the bulk of his professional career at the minor league level. The 23 year old former first rounder (18th overall in 2011) has to clear waivers if he doesn’t crack Chicago’s roster in training camp so it’s certainly possible that talks could rekindle closer towards the beginning of the season in mid-October.