While injuries limited Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron to just 27 games played last season, many hoped that a summer of rest and recovery would allow the two-time 20-goal scorer to return to the ice for the Canadiens’ 2022-23 campaign. Now, though, it seems those hopes may have been a bit too optimistic. As reported by The Athletic’s Marc Antoine Godin, (subscription link) Byron is currently dealing with “ongoing problems” in his left hip, problems that not only have kept him from skating but have also “started to cloud” Byron’s playing future. Per Godin, Byron underwent surgery in order to fix chronic hip pain, and despite his rehab going well for much of this summer he reached an additional step of the process that he “didn’t respond well” to, resulting in a major setback in his road to recovery.
According to the report, Byron is still dealing with “lingering inflammation” in his hip, and it’s gotten to a point where it could affect the rest of his career. Canadiens GM Kent Hughes told The Athletic that if Byron’s health fails to improve, he will be placed on long-term injured reserve. In the immediate term, what this means for the Canadiens is they will gain additional breathing room under the cap, and Byron will join Carey Price on the team’s LTIR list. In the long term, what this means for Byron is that he may not be able to play again if this condition fails to improve. While this is definitely an unwelcome development for Byron, he can look back at his time in Montreal with great pride, as he became a useful scoring winger and one of the better waiver claims in recent NHL history.
Now, for some other injury updates from across the NHL:
- Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller was in the midst of a breakout campaign in 2021-22 before his season abruptly ended when he underwent surgery to repair a broken leg. Now, though, Keller looks ready to pick up where he left off. Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong said (via Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports) that Keller is expected to play his first preseason game tomorrow and has been practicing with the team as well. The Coyotes aren’t expected to be a contender this season, but if they want to play meaningful hockey for as long as possible getting Keller back to full speed should be a top priority.
- The Detroit Red Wings also issued an injury update today, theirs regarding forwards Andrew Copp and Oskar Sundqvist. As reported by Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde said today that he expects Copp to be ready for the start of the regular season, and is “optimistic” that Sundqvist will be ready then as well. Copp has been practicing with the team, while Sundqvist has been injured since the beginning of camp.