While many people may not have noticed as much with the impressive play of rookie Miro Heiskanen, the Dallas Stars have been missing their top defenseman John Klingberg for an entire month after suffering a hand injury. The team’s top defenseman, however, is closing on a return and is expected to be back somewhere around Christmas, according to NHL.com’s Mark Stepneski.
“The latest we would think would be Dec. 27, the game after Christmas,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said earlier this week. “But he might be right before Christmas.”
Klingberg has already missed 13 games and is not expected to join the team for their upcoming four-game road trip starting on Sunday. However, the 26-year-old hopes to begin practicing with the team when they return from that road trip. While his hand has been improving, he still has trouble of doing specific things with his hand, which includes tying his skates. However, he has gotten clearance to do more with his hand.
“It’s been tough because I haven’t been able to lift anything with this hand,” Klingberg said. “I saw the hand doctor [Thursday], and they said they you are good to go and try as much as you can and no sharp pains. So, I am going to grab a stick next week and when the guys come back home we will see where I am.”
- Sarah MacLellan of the StarTribune writes that with Minnesota Wild Mikko Koivu returning to Minnesota to get his lower-body injury looked at, the team hopes that other players might step up with more minutes available. Koivu led all forwards this season in ATOI with 18:32. That could mean more minutes for guys like Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter as well as youngsters Joel Eriksson Ek and Jordan Greenway. “Mikko’s obviously a huge part of our team,” goalie Devan Dubnyk said. “He’s irreplaceable, but that’s a good opportunity for people to fill some different roles and get some more ice time. When we’re winning, we’re winning because we’re deep and everyone’s chipping in. That doesn’t change when somebody goes down.”
- While sitting out for the last week, Winnipeg Jets’ Josh Morrissey has been doing nothing but studying film in his off time, according to Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun. Morrissey has watched more than a dozen NHL games, including some of his own to see what’s missing from his game, while keeping an eye on future opponents. In the meantime, the defenseman has passed all of his tests, while recovering from a lower-body injury, and hopes to return to the Winnipeg lineup on Sunday.
- While the Chicago Blackhawks have liked what they see on the ice from 2016 second-round prospect Artur Kayumov so far in his early career, the 20-year-old picked up some negative publicity recently as the KHL announced that Kayumov has been suspended for 13 games after a hit to the head to Jokerit’s Jesper Jensen as well as punching a referee in the process. Kayumov, playing currently for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv, has 11 points and 55 penalty minutes this season.