While the Red Wings are projected to be over the cap as things stand when the season starts, MLive’s Ansar Khan notes that defenseman Ryan Sproul may not be ready to start the season and could be a candidate for LTIR along with Johan Franzen which would help get them back under. Sproul suffered a torn ACL in early March and missed the remainder of the season.
The 24-year-old played in 27 games with the Red Wings in 2016-17, collecting seven points (1-6-7) while averaging over 15 minutes per night in ice time. However, he’s not waiver exempt and Detroit has several rearguards pushing for the last couple of spots on the roster. If Sproul is ready to go by the start of the season, he could find himself a trade or waiver candidate pretty quickly if he’s unable to lock down a roster spot.
Other injury notes from around the league:
- Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist told NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti that he has fully recovered from the knee injury he sustained at the World Hockey Championships. Although the injury had a rehab time of four-to-six weeks, the netminder noted that he was still able to resume skating and begin his normal preparation routine at the same time he usually does during the offseason. The 35-year-old will be looking to rebound from an uncharacteristically weaker 2016-17 campaign where he posted the highest GAA (2.70) and lowest SV% (.910) of his NHL career.
- In a reader chat, Sam Werner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is progressing well in his recovery from a neck injury but that he might not be 100% by the time training camp opens up next month. Even if Letang weren’t quite ready to start the season, Pittsburgh has been active in supplementing their defensive depth so they shouldn’t need to make any other moves to add some help on the back end. [Related: Penguins Transaction Tracker from Roster Resource] Letang missed half of 2016-17 plus their entire postseason run between the late-season neck issue and various upper-and-lower body ailments earlier on but still had the second most points of all Pittsburgh defenders with 34 (5-29-34) in 41 contests.