Only fours weeks in to a “minimum” six-week recovery period following impromptu wrist surgery, Auston Matthews is hopeful that he will be at full strength to begin the regular season. The Toronto Maple Leafs star tells NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger that his rehab is “coming along well”, though there are still several major steps to go. Matthews remains in a splint and remains at least a couple of weeks from moving beyond that stage of his recovery to actually testing his wrist and building his strength back up. Matthews claims that the injury, which plagued him for much of last season, is not serious, but he is happy that he decided to address it this summer after the pain had returned during his early off-season workouts. Hopefully an elective surgery for a “not serious” injury doesn’t impact the start of Matthews’ season, but as of right now he does not believe that will be the case. Matthews tells Zeisberger that he plans to resume skating this week and then take his wrist rehab “day by day” as the season approaches. The Leafs open up training camp and begin preseason play within Matthews’ minimum recovery window, so that is surely to impact his preparation for the season, but if the reigning Rocket Richard winner is at least healthy by Toronto’s October 13 opener with no more lingering wrist discomfort, then the surprise surgery will have been the right choice on all accounts.
- The Edmonton Oilers are not expecting to see much from top prospect Dylan Holloway in their upcoming rookie camp as the talented forward is still working his way back from a broken thumb. Holloway suffered the injury at the end of the collegiate regular season, but continued on with the University of Wisconsin having qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The Badgers only lasted two games, but it still delayed Holloway’s surgery into April. This was expected to still be enough time for him to be fully healed by now, but instead Holloway is still being bothered, reports The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson. Holloway had x-rays done last week and is awaiting and evaluation from the Oilers’ medical staff. He is listed on the camp roster, but unlikely to partake in much if any action. Instead, he will hope to be healed up in time for NHL camp in two weeks. Holloway’s thumb injury cost him a chance to finish out last season with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors and gain some pro experience, so the skilled forward may be looking at a slow start to the season in the minors anyhow before getting a look in Edmonton.
- Though it may seem obvious by now given that he has not played in two years and now is working as a volunteer coach, Ryan Kesler is officially acknowledging that he does not expect to play in the NHL again. The veteran forward spoke with NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman and stated that he does not see his body getting back into playing condition again. “And to be honest, I’m still a far way away to even coming close,” Kesler said. Suffering through injuries to both hips, Kesler was slowed even before being sidelined. He tells Kimelman that he lost his drive and love for the game for some time as he dealt with constant pain and lacking results and he tried to keep playing. Now, with one year remaining on his contract with the Anaheim Ducks, Kesler continues to rehab and work toward getting back into a place that he is happy with, but acknowledges that he cannot be an NHL player again, nevertheless live up to his own reputation. Hopefully Kesler can get to a point that he is at least comfortable skating and can continue to be on the ice as a coach.