New Jersey Devils reporter Amanda Stein tweeted today that Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald doesn’t think that center Nico Hischier will be travelling with the team on their upcoming four-game road trip. Fitzgerald has reportedly talked with New Jersey’s medical staff and Hischier is being evaluated on a day-to-day basis. The ailment is being called an upper-body issue at this time and could it keep Hischier out of action for the next four games. That would mean that his earliest return date would be November 10th against the Washington Capitals.
The former first-overall pick is off to a slow start this season with just two goals in his first seven games after putting up 31 goals and 49 assists in 81 games last season. His lack of offense hasn’t hurt the Devils thus far as the team is off to a 5-2-1 start and currently sits third in the Metropolitan Division. If Hischier is sidelined for some time it is possible that former NHL regular Chris Tierney could fill in during his absence.
In other Metropolitan notes:
- Columbus Dispatch reporter Brian Hedger tweeted today that Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Erik Gudbranson has again missed practice. This is the second day in a row that the Ottawa, Ontario native did not skate after playing in Monday night’s game against the Dallas Stars. The 31-year-old was questionable for that game after taking a puck to the foot against the New York Islanders on Saturday night but did play in the 5-3 loss. Gudbranson has no points in nine games thus far this season but has averaged over three blocked shots a game.
- Carolina Hurricanes reporter Walt Ruff tweeted today that Vasily Ponomarev and Ryan Suzuki are both very close to returning to action and will likely be assigned to the AHL shortly after they do. Ponomarev suffered a knee injury in September and started the season on the injured reserve. Last season he played for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL posting 24 goals and 22 assists in 64 games. Suzuki on the other hand has been dealing with a shoulder injury that has kept him off the ice. He also spent last year with the Wolves in the AHL posting 13 goals and 19 assists in 50 games. Carolina doesn’t currently have an AHL affiliate now meaning that both players could find themselves on different teams once they are assigned to the AHL.