The Vancouver Canucks have sent Brock Boeser back to Vancouver to see a specialist about his groin injury, and will not play tomorrow night against the Boston Bruins according to Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet. The move is precautionary in nature, but the Canucks cannot risk further injury to one of their star players after surprising the league with such a hot start. The team is currently on a six game road trip that will end in Boeser’s home state of Minnesota a week from today.
Vancouver is currently tied for the lead in the Pacific Division despite having played one more game than the San Jose Sharks, and will continue to try and ride a hot Elias Pettersson towards at least a wild card spot. Boeser is the obvious complement to Pettersson up front, but after a serious injury ended his 2017-18 season and already missing three games earlier this year with the groin issue, the team can’t afford to rush him back again. Even with their surprise performance through the first month of the season, GM Jim Benning and the entire organization has to worry about the future and how to get a healthy and productive Boeser back on the ice.
- It may have been just GM Paul Fenton that traveled to Russia to speak with prized prospect Kirill Kaprizov, but don’t think the entire Minnesota Wild organization wasn’t keeping close tabs on the meeting. According to Michael Russo of The Athletic (subscription required), Wild owner Craig Leipold wanted to accompany Fenton on the trip but thanks to an injured hip could only send a personal letter, written in Russian. Though the young forward is still under contract in the KHL until 2020, Fenton told Leipold that he thinks Kaprizov “would come right now if he could.” The Wild are still a long way from knowing for sure if they can pencil the dynamic forward into their 2020-21 lineup, but this meeting—and the letter—seem to have at least moved the conversation in the right direction.
- Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic caught up with Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly on TSN radio today, and was told that it is “inevitable” that there will eventually be NHL teams in Europe. The league has worked hard to expand their brand overseas in recent years, including the Global Series games that have seen NHL teams play regular season matches on foreign soil (or ice, as it were). The KHL has already expanded outside of Russia and into several other countries including China, Finland and Slovakia, meaning the NHL would have a fight on their hands if they wanted to put down roots in any of those markets.