The Anaheim Ducks have dealt with more than their fair share of injuries over the past year or so. The team is still far from healthy, but finally full strength is within sight, particularly among their battered forward corps. The likes of Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, and Patrick Eaves are healthy, and recent injuries like those to Jakob Silfverberg and Kalle Kossila have also run their course. Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase are on the mend and expected to be active sooner rather than later. Corey Perry (knee) and Carter Rowney (upper body) are still far from a return, but in terms of players the Ducks reasonably expected to be healthy, things are looking up. However, a full set of healthy forwards also brings with it some tough choices. While Anaheim has the flexibility to send the likes of Ben Street, Pontus Aberg, Sam Carrick, and Kiefer Sherwood – currently on the roster – to the AHL, they have to be concerned about whether there is enough ice time to go around for the more permanent pieces. Already, the team sent promising rookie Isac Lundestrom to the AHL today to bring up Kossila and fellow top prospects Sam Steel and Troy Terry are already down with the San Diego Gulls. As the team grows healthier, it it possible that they could explore returning rookie Max Comtois to his junior club, the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltiguers. While Comtois has already played in ten games this season and tolled the first year of his contract, he cannot be sent to the AHL and could be better served getting guaranteed top-six minutes at the junior level than fighting for ice time with the Ducks. Comtois is currently sidelined, buying Anaheim some time on the decision, but with conceivably an upwards of 20 forwards expecting to see action in the NHL this season, eliminating even just one option by sending Comtois back to junior would help the Ducks with their impending roster crunch.
- The Los Angeles Kings took another hit in net today with the news that backup goaltender Jack Campbell will be out four to six weeks with a torn meniscus. The team is already without starter Jonathan Quick due to the same injury and are left to lean on veteran Peter Budaj and rookie Cal Petersen for the time being. Fortunately, GM Rob Blake did assure the media later on that Quick remains on track to return sometime around the end of the month, per beat writer Curtis Zupke. Quick underwent surgery on October 31st and was given a timeline of roughly a month to return. So long as his rehab continues to progress positively, Quick could potentially be ready to return by the Kings’ November 30th clash with the division rival Calgary Flames. Yet, even in that best-case scenario, Budaj and Petersen will still be on the hook for the nine games between now and then.
- In more immediate injury news, The Athletic’s Craig Morgan reports that Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun is “probable” to make his season debut on Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings. Chychrun has been sidelined since late last season with a torn ACL in his right knee. The first-round pick was establishing himself as a reliable top-four defender prior to his injury and his return should come with an automatic starting spot, likely bumping Ilya Lyubushkin down to the minors and Jordan Oesterle from his starting slot.