Injury updates around the NHL today:
- Buffalo Sabres defenseman Cody Franson is close to returning from a “mid- to lower-body” injury, reports John Vogl of the Buffalo News. Franson has missed the past three games with the semi-undisclosed injury right before the holidays. Franson has 1G and 7A in 31 games for the Sabres, but only 1 powerplay point all year. The 29 year-old defenseman will look to improve those numbers upon his return.
- Staying with the Buffalo Sabres, forward Tyler Ennis is “7–10 days” from returning to practice, reports the NHL’s Bill Hoppe. Ennis is currently out with a sports hernia suffered in early November, and is sorely missed. The Sabres are 29th in scoring this season, and while Ennis only had 1G and 1A in 12 games before his injury, he led the team in scoring two years ago. Ennis played only 23 games last season, and he’ll need to rebound this season if the Sabres hope to progress in their rebuild.
- The Ottawa Senators do not expect forward Clarke MacArthur back before mid-January, reports the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch. MacArthur has been sidelined with a concussion since the the season’s start, but has skated regularly with the team as of late. He joins in on most Senators’ non-contact drills but hasn’t made the jump to sustained physical contact yet. Ottawa must be careful with MacArthur because he has a history of concussion problems. He missed all but four games last season with concussion symptoms.
- Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher also do not expect goaltender Craig Anderson back “for awhile”, reports the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch. Anderson left the team to be with his wife Nicole as she battles cancer. Anderson has left the team for short stints before but this absence looks to be an extended one. The Senators acquired goalie Mike Condon from the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 5th round draft pick and the goalie has been thrust into the starting role.
- Adding to the Sens roster woes is forward Zack Smith will miss at least two games with an abdominal strain, reports the Ottawa Citizen’s Ken Warren. Smith suffered the injury Tuesday night against the New York Rangers. Smith has 8G and 7A in 35 games. Smith is looking to build on his surprising goal-scoring prowess last year—he scored 25 goals in 81 games.
- The St. Louis Blues have activated forward Paul Stastny from Injured Reserve, reports NHL.com’s Lou Korac. Stastny suffered an upper-body injury on December 20th against the Dallas Stars. Because of the NHL’s three-day holiday break, Stastny has only missed one game—a 5-2 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning—and will return against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight.