After heading all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2020-21, only to finish dead last in the NHL standings in 2021-22, it’s unclear exactly what is to be expected from the Montreal Canadiens this year. Injuries were a large part of what plagued the team last season, and heading into this season, they’re still a part of the headline. Of course, legendary goaltender Carey Price will be on LTIR and is unlikely to play this season, and it’s unclear if he’ll ever return. Still, there are some shorter-term updates available out of Montreal today.
For one, veteran defenseman Joel Edmundson, who is recovering from a back injury, was able to skate this morning and though his rehab is progressing, the team is still unable to provide a timetable for his return. Forwards Joel Armia and Emil Heineman will both be out with injury, Armia out one to two weeks with an upper-body injury and Heineman six weeks with a thumb injury. Defenseman Mike Matheson, who the team acquired in the Jeff Petry deal, is continuing to rehab a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day. Finally, forwards and expected key contributors Nick Suzuki, Mike Hoffman, and Christian Dvorak, who had all been dealing with separate ailments, were back at practice this morning.
- Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney spoke to the media this morning, including Ty Anderson of 98.5 The Sports Hub, where he discussed a number of Bruins-related topics. Most notably, he touched on extension talks between the team and pending UFA forward David Pastrnak. While many teams and players, in hockey as well as other sports, generally put off contract talks once the season starts, that doesn’t appear to be the case here. Sweeney says the Bruins and Pastrnak have been talking almost every day and are comfortable talking into the regular season. While a deal isn’t done yet of course, the continued dialogue is clearly a good sign for the Bruins and their fans, showing Pastrnak presumably has interest in staying with the team.
- Earlier this summer, the New York Rangers announced defenseman Jacob Trouba would be their next captain, remarkably their first since previous captain Ryan McDonagh was dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2018. In the interim, the team has relied on a group of alternate captains to fill their leadership group until they found the perfect fit for the vacant captaincy. Having now chosen Trouba as their man, the Rangers still have their contingent of alternates to go along with him, formally announcing them today. This season, the team will run with veterans Barclay Goodrow, Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin, and Mika Zibanejad as alternates.
- Tough news for Rangers forward Sammy Blais, who had been out with injury since last November, as he’s still dealing with the aftermath of an upper-body injury suffered after taking a hit from New York Islanders defenseman Alexander Romanov in their Saturday evening preseason contest. According to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen, the Rangers have said the forward will not practice today and is doubtful for tomorrow’s season opener against the, Tampa Bay Lightning.