It may take a little longer for Jake Gardiner to make his official Hurricanes debut. The defenseman was believed to be ready to return just a couple of days ago but was held out of their final preseason contests and head coach Rod Brind’Amour told Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer (Twitter link) that Gardiner’s status is the most worrisome among their banged up players heading into Thursday’s opener. While the exact nature of the issue hasn’t been disclosed, it’s worth noting that Gardiner battled back issues last season which likely was a factor in why it took until just three weeks ago for him to land a contract.
Other injury notes around the league:
- Vegas will be without winger Alex Tuch for the start of the season. He suffered an upper-body injury partway through Friday’s preseason game and as a result, he’s listed as week-to-week, notes Ben Gotz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. That’s a tough blow for their attack as the 23-year-old was fourth on the Golden Knights in scoring last season. Gotz also adds that center Cody Eakin is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body issue of his own.
- Dallas winger Corey Perry was hoping to be available for the start of the regular season after fracturing his foot. However, head coach Jim Montgomery told Mike Heika of the Stars team website (Twitter link) that the veteran will be out for two more weeks. This is Perry’s first season away from Anaheim after spending 14 years with them but he’ll have to wait a little longer to make his debut.
- The results on the testing for Senators winger Rudolfs Balcers’ leg injury are in and Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch reports that the youngster will miss the next month. He looked to have an inside track at a roster spot heading into training camp after spending the second half of last season with Ottawa but now, some time in the minors to get back up to speed seems like a probable outcome when he’s cleared to return.