The Jets appear to be on the verge of getting a key forward back as centre Bryan Little appears to be likely to return to their lineup tomorrow, reports Postmedia’s Paul Friesen. He suffered a concussion in Winnipeg’s final game of the preseason and has been on injured reserve ever since. While his offensive numbers have dipped a little bit in recent years, the 31-year-old should be able to give them a bit of a boost offensively which would bode well for a team that is currently third in the league in goals scored.
Meanwhile, Friesen adds that defenseman Anthony Bitetto will miss Thursday’s game due to an undisclosed injury. That will open up a spot for rookie Ville Heinola to return to the lineup. That will mark the sixth game of the season for the Jets’ first-round pick meaning he will only be able to play three more this season without burning the first year of his entry-level deal.
Other injury notes around the league:
- Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant told reporters, including Jesse Granger of The Athletic (Twitter link) that winger Alex Tuch and defenseman Nate Schmidt are a week or two away from returning and should begin skating soon. Tuch has missed the entire season so far due to an upper-body injury and was transferred to LTIR early in the year which means he has to miss ten games or 24 days (as of the start of the season). Vegas will need to make a move to get back into cap compliance before he can be activated. Meanwhile, Schmidt sustained a lower-body injury in the first period of their season opener. He’s simply on regular IR and has missed the required week so he’s eligible to be activated at any time.
- Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny has been skating for the past two weeks as he works his way back from a torn hamstring that he suffered back in March but curiously, he has yet to receive the green light to return. J.J. Regan of NBC Sports Washington notes that the blueliner hasn’t had a setback but at the same time, head coach Todd Reirden still is unsure when he’ll be able to return. The team opted to not put Kempny on LTIR to start the season with the belief he’d be ready before the ten-game mark. However, he has already missed seven and it doesn’t sound as if he’ll be available for their next game on Friday either.