Earlier this week, the Canucks were hopeful that Elias Pettersson would be able to return to their lineup when they returned to the ice and it was only pending a sign off from a specialist to give him the green light. That won’t be happening. Instead, GM Jim Benning told reporters, including NHL.com’s Kevin Woodley, that the visit to the specialist has yielded a longer recovery timeline including the possibility that Pettersson doesn’t come back this season after all. It has been a tough year for the 22-year-old who had a big slump early in the season and now could wind up missing more than half the year with this wrist injury. He’s set to become a restricted free agent this summer.
More from the North Division:
- Also from Woodley’s column, goaltender Michael DiPietro is expected to be on Vancouver’s roster when they play against Toronto on Sunday. While Benning wouldn’t identify which goalie isn’t ready to return, he suggested that DiPietro, who hasn’t played a game at any level in more than 13 months, could see some action which implies that whichever netminder out of Braden Holtby or Thatcher Demko doesn’t dress then could be out for a little while. The 21-year-old has two career appearances with the Canucks, allowing eight goals on 31 shots.
- Top Senators prospect Shane Pinto will make his NHL debut this afternoon against Montreal, notes Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch. The 20-year-old turned pro after a strong season with North Dakota where he posted 15 goals and 17 assists in 28 games, opting to forego his final two years of college eligibility.
- Oilers defenseman Slater Koekkoek is still several weeks away from returning to the lineup, the team announced (Twitter link). The 27-year-old has been out for nearly two months with a broken collarbone but is expected to start skating with the team in the coming days. Koekkoek is currently on LTIR but at the moment, they have enough space remaining to activate him when he’s ready.