The 2019 IIHF World Championship will begin next month, and Hockey Canada has finally announced their roster for the tournament. 22 players were named to the group (that could be increased to 25), including many that have represented the team at international events in the past. The full roster is as follows:
The ping pong balls have been drawn and the first 15 picks of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft are set. The league conducted its annual Draft Lottery tonight and the big winners were the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and Chicago Blackhawks. The Devils, with an 11.5% chance of winning the No. 1 overall selection, did just that and astoundingly will have their pick of the class for the second time in three years. New Jersey won the draft lottery in 2017 and selected Nico Hischier and will have the chance to add another elite talent this year. This continues the almost comical lottery luck that has followed Taylor Hall in his career, moving from Edmonton to New Jersey. The Rangers held a 7.8% chance of moving up to the second overall pick and in this specific draft class were very lucky as well, as their consolation prize will be the second of two elite players at the top of the draft board. This will also be the first time in the modern draft era that New York selects within the first three picks. The Blackhawks may have a more difficult choice facing them at No. 3, but aren’t complaining after jumping from No. 12 into the top three, a move that had just a 3% chance of happening. Chicago has been a dynastic franchise this decade and will look to return to greatness by adding one of the draft’s top talents. Altogether, these three teams all moving up in this order was a result that had just a 0.027% chance of occurring.
Following the lottery results, the odds for which were set by the final league standings for non-playoff teams, the first half of the first round will play out as follows:
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Rangers
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Colorado Avalanche (from Ottawa Senators)
- Los Angeles Kings
- Detroit Red Wings
- Buffalo Sabres
- Edmonton Oilers
- Anaheim Ducks
- Vancouver Canucks
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Minnesota Wild
- Florida Panthers
- Arizona Coyotes
- Montreal Canadiens
The biggest loser of the night has to be the Colorado Avalanche, who fall out of the top three spots despite having a 49.4% chance of winning at least one of the those picks. This is the second time in just three years that Colorado has entered the lottery with the best odds at No. 1, only see three teams win the lottery and pass them up. In 2017, it was again the Devils who stole their top pick. After swindling the Ottawa Senators, it seemed the Avs were destined to cash in, but instead end up with the worst-case scenario. The Los Angeles Kings also have to be unhappy with the results, as the team slides from their second-to-last finish to the fifth overall pick. The Kings desperately could have used an injection of elite young talent next season and may not end up with an immediate contributor at No. 5. While they didn’t have the best of odds, the Vancouver Canucks are undoubtedly still disappointed in missing out on an opportunity to pair Jack Hughes with older brother Quinn Hughes, the team’s first-round pick in 2018 who already made a splash in his first few pro games down the stretch, or to at least make a top-three selection in front of the home crowd.
The younger Hughes, who was actually in attendance at tonight’s lottery event, has of course long been considered the likely top pick this spring and should start getting used to the idea of playing in New Jersey. The U.S. National Team center is considered a high-end play-maker already and turned down a scholarship to the University of Michigan earlier this season, knowing that he could be an impact player immediately in the NHL. As for the fit with the Devils, Hischier has already climbed atop the depth chart at center, but New Jersey will soon be able to boast amazing youth and depth down the middle with the addition of Hughes. Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko has pressured Hughes to be the top pick this year, but many still see him as a close second. The Rangers won’t mind, as Kakko is an extraordinary offensive talent who will score goals and throw his body around right away in the NHL. Kakko could become a major star in the New York market with his flashy goal-scoring ability and will certainly have the opportunity to play a major role right away. At third overall, there are many options for the Blackhawks, but the early expectation based on organizational depth would be a skilled forward like Vasili Podkolzin or Alex Turcotte. Chicago already has several promising young defensemen in the pipeline and can now add an elite forward to their growing young core of Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, and Brendan Perlini. Now relegated to the No. 4 pick, the Avalanche will still undoubtedly get a strong player, just as they did two years ago with Cale Makar, if not an immediate contributor in the top remaining prospect on their board. A player like big Canadian center Dylan Cozens would fit in nicely with what Colorado is building.
Now that the order is set, the next step is the draft itself. Everyone may have their projections, but only the day of will reveal the actual futures of these teams and players. This year’s draft is set to take place in Vancouver beginning on June 21st, a day that New Jersey, New York, and Chicago are now much more excited for. Stay tuned.
With the signing earlier today of former Chicago Blackhawks forward Nick Schmaltz to a seven-year, $40.95MM contract extension, The Athletic’s Scott Powers (subscription required) wonders what kind of extensions might forwards Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome earn, as both will be eligible to sign new deals on July 1.
DeBrincat, who is in the second year of his three-year, entry-level contract, has already tallied 68 goals in two years, including a 40-goal campaign this season. With those numbers, Powers writes that the Blackhawks are most likely going to get DeBrincat to eventually sign a six-year deal, likely heading into the $8MM AAV-range, pointing out that a seven or eight-year deal is unlikely since a six-year deal will leave him looking for a third contract at age 27, the perfect age for a long-term extension. If he can continue posting 30-to-40 goal seasons, DeBrincat could be in line for double digit cap hits in the future.
As for Strome, the team may be better off waiting for another year to lock up the young forward. Strome has played well in Chicago with 14 goals and 45 points in 53 games, but both sides would be better off to wait another year for more proof that he deserves a big contract extension. Plus, it would be wise if Chicago doesn’t have two big contracts handed out in the same year, which could get expensive, possibly between $13-15MM combined.
- The Athletic’s Adam Vingan reports that the Nashville Predators have activated defenseman Dan Hamhuis from injured reserve. The veteran blue liner has been out with a leg injury since February 23rd, but it finally ready to return. The team’s third-pair defender has played 53 games this season for the Predators and will now partner up with rookie Dante Fabbro, who is expected to make his debut Saturday against Columbus. The Predators also announced they have assigned Troy Grosenick to the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL.
- SportsDay’s Matthew DeFranks reports that the Dallas Stars will be without goaltender Ben Bishop on Saturday and likely longer, as he is considered to be day-to-day. The 32-year-old Bishop has been a key reason why Dallas has been playing so well as they fight to hold onto their wildcard spot. Bishop has a 2.03 GAA and a .933 save percentage so far this year and may even be a Vezina Trophy finalist at this rate. NHL.com’s Mike Heika writes that he suffered a lower-body injury while going down into the butterfly in the Stars’ last game. DeFranks also adds that Mats Zuccarello and Justin Dowling are about three days away from returning to the lineup.
- The Athletic’s Michael Russo (subscription required) writes that the Minnesota Wild are expected to be one of the most active teams in trying to sign St. Cloud State defenseman Jimmy Schuldt in the next few days. Schuldt finished his four-year college career Friday night, posting 38 career goals. Russo reports that the Wild hope to sign the four-year blue liner by burning the first year of his deal this season and allowing him to play in the NHL for the team’s final few games.
Nick Schmaltz only played in 17 games for the Arizona Coyotes this season, following a November trade from the Chicago Blackhawks and prior to a season-ending lower-body injury. However, the 14 points he recorded in those 17 games certainly made an impression on the ’Yotes front office. The team has signed the young center to a long-term extension, reports The Athletic’s Craig Morgan. The Coyotes have confirmed the signing. Morgan adds that the breakdown of the deal, which carries a $5.85MM AAV and is considerably backloaded, is as follows:
2019-20: $2.5MM base salary, $500K signing bonus
2020-21: $3MM base salary
2021-22: $5MM base salary, $1MM signing bonus
2022-23: $4.5MM base salary
2023-24: $7.5MM base salary
2024-25: $6.95MM base salary, $1.5MM signing bonus
2025-26: $7MM base salary, $1.5MM signing bonus
The deal also carries a ten-team no-trade clause in the final three years.
Schmaltz, 23, has three years of NHL experience to his credit already, but was working on a breakout campaign after the move to Arizona. A first-round pick of the Blackhawks in 2014 out of the U.S. National Team Development Program, Schmaltz starred for the University of North Dakota for two years before turning pro. His rookie year was split between the NHL and AHL, but he still manged to record 28 points in 61 games. However, it was his sophomore season when Schmaltz began turning heads. He compiled 52 points in 78 games for Chicago, playing much of the season as the team’s second-line center. Yet, the team still decided to move on from Schmaltz even after another strong start this season, swapping him for young Coyotes forwards Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini. The Blackhawks likely have no regrets about the deal, but Arizona is happy to have a new core forward, as evidenced by the extension. Schmaltz had 25 points in 40 games prior to his injury, but if he had continued his scoring pace after landing in the desert, Schmaltz would have been a 60-point player this season.
The Coyotes certainly hope that the young pivot can rebound from his injury and get back to that scoring trajectory next season. Arizona is pushing for a playoff spot this season, but is still a ways away from being a true contender. Schmaltz’ continued development will play a major role in the team’s ongoing pursuit of consistent success. A poised play-maker, Schmaltz has the potential to grow into the team’s No. 1 center and power play quarterback. That is certainly the expectation, as the extension makes Schmaltz the team’s third-highest paid player heading into next season. GM John Chayka said of Schmaltz that “Nick is a highly skilled, creative, young center with extremely high upside. Getting Nick signed to a long-term extension is another positive step towards building a sustainable contender here in the Valley.” Even if Schmaltz never exceeds the 50-60 point range, this is still a good signing for the Coyotes, who needed another trusted forward and now have one for the next seven years in the intelligent and confident center. The only concern with the term will be if nagging injuries slow Schmaltz down over the course of the contract.
For his part, Schmaltz is not worried about injuries and is only looking forward to the years ahead of him in Arizona. The team press release quoted Schmaltz as saying “I’m very excited to sign a long-term contract with the Coyotes. We have a great core of young, talented players in Arizona and I’m looking forward to coming back healthy next season and contributing for many years to come. We have a very bright future here and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.” That is exactly what ’Yotes fans want to hear from a player that is now in for the long-haul, expected to be a star and leader for years to come.
While the Blackhawks will undoubtedly look to extend winger Alex DeBrincat’s contract this summer when they can do so starting in July, John Dietz of the Daily Herald details the more challenging decision they’ll face with center Dylan Strome who is in a similar situation. The soon-to-be 22-year-old has been quite productive since joining Chicago with 40 points in 42 games but his struggles in Arizona would also play a factor in negotiations as well. Accordingly, it may make sense for both sides to hold off on pursuing an early extension with an eye on seeing if his success alongside DeBrincat extends over into next season and is sustainable.
Elsewhere in the Central Division:
- The Blues have converted winger Sammy Blais’ recall from an emergency one to a regular one, using the first of their four non-emergency post-deadline call-ups, notes Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. With St. Louis heading out on their California road trip and David Perron’s uncertain injury situation (he has been skating with the team for a little while now but is not with the team), they’ve decided that having Blais around as insurance is the best move for the time being.
- Par Lindholm told Postmedia’s Ken Wiebe that he gave strong consideration towards signing with Winnipeg last offseason, calling them a close second to Toronto who he ultimately signed with. As it turns out, he wound up with the Jets after all after being acquired late on trade deadline day. The 27-year-old center will once again be an unrestricted free agent this summer and with only one goal and a dozen points in 62 games, he may be hard-pressed to beat his current $925K deal.
- Predators defenseman Yannick Weber is dealing with an upper-body injury, the team announced (Twitter link) which resulted in him being a late scratch on Tuesday night. There’s no word on when the injury occurred as he suited up in their previous game against Minnesota while playing close to his season average in ice time.
The NHL has released their three stars of the week, and once again a young goaltender leads the way. Jordan Binnington is the top star for last week after going 3-0 with a .954 save percentage. The St. Louis Blues have turned their season around after a rough start, and Binnington looks like he might be the answer to their goaltending woes. The 25-year old had just a single NHL game under his belt before this season but is now 9-1-1 on the year with a .931 save percentage.
While the second star is a familiar face in Patrice Bergeron, third place went to a player who has faced a lot of turmoil in a short career. Dylan Strome has found immediate success with the Chicago Blackhawks and now has 30 points in 32 games since being acquired earlier this season. The 2015 third overall pick didn’t live up to expectations in Arizona, but seems to have found his footing alongside former junior teammate Alex DeBrincat and the rest of the Chicago lineup.
- Long-time NHL forward Joel Ward has retired from his playing career, and will finish with 726 regular season games played. Suiting up for Minnesota, Nashville, Washington and San Jose, Ward was a beloved teammate and consistent producer in both the regular season and playoffs. He scored seven goals and 13 points with the Sharks en route to their 2016 Stanley Cup Finals appearance, but never did get to raise the Cup over his head. The undrafted forward ends with 304 points and 261 penalty minutes.
- The Florida Panthers have already traded away Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann to free up some cap space moving forward, and Frank Seravalli of TSN believes they may do it again. Seravalli has added Jonathan Huberdeau to his Trade Bait board and suggests that the 25-year old forward could be used to entice the Columbus Blue Jackets to give up Artemi Panarin—as long as he comes with a contract extension. Huberdeau has a full no-movement clause that begins on July 1st, and four years remaining on his contract that carries an average annual value of $5.9MM.
The Colorado Avalanche went out of its way to bring in goaltender Philipp Grubauer via trade during the offseason to be their heir apparent in goal, but with Semyon Varlamov playing well throughout this season, Grubauer hasn’t had much of a chance to claim that role. However, that might be changing.
With the team having lost five of their last seven games and Varlamov struggling, the team got a brilliant performance from Grubauer on Tuesday as he saved 35 shots in a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. After that performance, The Athletic’s Ryan S. Clark (subscription required) wonders if this is the turning point where Grubauer takes over as the team’s No. 1 goaltender. With Varlamov slated to hit unrestricted free agency this summer, the team needs for Grubauer to take that next step and that looks to be the case. In the last six starts (not including Friday’s 2-1 loss to Chicago), the 27-year-old is 5-0-1 with a 2.29 GAA and a .936 save percentage.
“(Grubauer) gives us a chance. He gives us a real good chance,” head coach Jared Bednar said. “He keeps it at 1-0 and guys are saying the right things on the bench. … I just felt like he looked really solid in the net. Like he was in control tonight. I haven’t felt that way about our goaltending for the last little bit and that’s what we need.
- The Athletic’s Scott Powers (subscription required) writes that when winger Brendan Perlini was traded from the Arizona Coyotes to Chicago Blackhawks, he had high hopes that a change of scenery would jumpstart his career as he has struggled to put up points. However, while the Blackhawks liked what they have seen from center Dylan Strome, Perlini quickly found himself on the team’s fourth line and even found himself a healthy scratch early on. “To be honest, you never like to sit, but it’s good because I can watch the game and say, OK, here’s certain spots where maybe I can get the puck or things like that or realize watching I can settle down there, there’s a lot more time than I actually think. Like I said, you never like watching, but you can take good things from it. I think I’ve done that and just try to build off it and learn every day.” Perlini since then has looked much more comfortable and has picked up a couple of goals in the past four games. The hope is he continues to make adjustments in Chicago’s lineup.
- Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun writes that with the impressive play shown by Winnipeg Jets’ goaltender Laurent Brossoit can be attributed back to last year when the back-up lost his job in Edmonton to Al Montoya and he found himself in the AHL for the remainder of the season. That experience made him work harder to get back to the NHL. “Now I’m more aware of who I am as a goalie and as a professional, if that makes any sense,” said Brossoit. “It was unfortunate I had to go through those growing pains during my biggest opportunity with that club. I wouldn’t say that I performed at the level I normally do.” Brossoit was offered to return to Edmonton, but instead opted to start fresh in Winnipeg.
The Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes have gotten together once again on a huge trade. The Blackhawks are sending forward Nick Schmaltz to the desert, while Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini will be headed back to Chicago.
Schmaltz, 22, was an integral part of the Blackhawks future as recently as last season, after finding chemistry with Patrick Kane and posting a 21-goal, 52-point season. He looked like the answer as the next first line center in Chicago, given his immense offensive skill and playmaking ability. That moniker was removed a bit this season with Jonathan Toews early resurgence, but there was little warning that Schmaltz had worn out his welcome in Chicago. His offensive numbers weren’t where they were a year ago—the young center has just 11 points in 23 games—but he had begun to play better and even had a three-game point streak over the last few days.
Still, even if Schmaltz still had the full confidence of the front office and coaching staff the Blackhawks may have been unable to pass up this trade. In Strome, the team is getting a player who was selected third overall in the 2015 draft and has shown himself to be an elite talent even at the minor league level. The 21-year old forward scored 53 points in 50 games for the Tucson Roadrunners last season, but had still not been able to carry that success to the NHL level. In fact, through 48 games with the Coyotes, Strome has registered just 16 points and has sometimes seemed to struggle with the pace of play. His two-way skills are easily apparent, but there has always been concern over Strome’s skating ability. If he can put that behind him in Chicago there’s no telling how high his offensive ceiling is.
Beyond even the promise of Strome, there is also Perlini who is an accomplished NHL player in his own right. The 12th-overall pick from 2014—eight spots ahead of Schmaltz—recorded a 14-goal season as a rookie in 2016-17 and followed it up with 17 goals and 30 points last year for the Coyotes. The talented, big-bodied winger has a powerful shot and can protect the puck well in the offensive zone. The fact that he’s only 22 himself allows for plenty of growth still in his career, something the Blackhawks will surely try to cultivate immediately.
That may seem like a lot to give up for Schmaltz if you look at just his body of work this season, but the Coyotes are obviously hoping he can get back to the high level he was at a year ago. Arizona GM John Chayka released a statement explaining why they went after Schmaltz:
Nick is a dynamic forward with top line potential. We feel he can be a core player of our team now and into the future. He’s a good complement to our evolving forward group and a rare combination of speed, skill and creativity.
The last part of his comment is quite interesting, given that Schmaltz and Strome use such different skill sets to achieve their offensive performance. The Coyotes obviously valued the speed and pure playmaking ability of Schmaltz, especially as the league seems to get faster and more skilled each and every year. Smaller players, like the 6’0″ 177-lbs Schmaltz have found jobs all over the league as the NHL moves away from the big, bruising styles of decades passed. Still, it’s not like Strome and Perlini don’t have applicable skills that may shine in Chicago. In fact the former is reuniting with his friend and former junior linemate Alex DeBrincat, something that may bring out another level of his production.
Amazingly, after trading Schmaltz today, the Blackhawks have no players on the roster that they selected in the first round between 2008-2014. They’ve often found great talent in the round, but have seen Kevin Hayes, Phillip Danault, Teuvo Teravainen, Ryan Hartman and now Schmaltz all leave in one way or another, while lacking a first round pick altogether in other years. That’s a tough way to build a franchise, but with the additions of Strome and Perlini GM Stan Bowman is betting on their potential to bring about the next great wave of talent in Chicago.
It’s important to note that Schmaltz is also scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer, and perhaps could have demanded a quite hefty raise given his previous point totals. Perlini is a pending RFA as well but doesn’t have the same kind of leverage given his pedestrian assist totals and less important position, while Strome is still under his entry-level contract through next season. While Chicago does have some substantial contracts coming off the books at the end of the year, they’re still always looking for a financial advantage given the huge commitments they’ve made to their core.
In all, this turns out to be a change of scenery deal for all three players that could end up win-win in the end. There is plenty of talent going to both teams, and if all three players fulfill their potential neither side will be able to complain all that much. Though Chicago may be taking on a little more risk with the less established names, they needed to take a home run cut while they still have the chance to compete with the likes of Kane and Toews.
Late last week, it was reported that Arizona Coyotes forward Alex Galchenyuk had been sidelined with an injury. However, the team had not yet evaluated the injury or its severity. Head coach Rick Tocchet was tight-lipped about how it occurred, what type of injury it might be, or how long Galchenyuk could be out for. It seems now that the team has taken the proper time to consider Galchenyuk’s status and the results are not optimal. Arizona announced that Galchenyuk is “week-to-week” with a lower body injury and is expected to miss the team’s opener in Dallas on October 4th.
Missing just one game would be a best case scenario at this point, as there continues to be a lack of details or answers regarding this injury. As the Coyotes biggest off-season acquisition, there was a lot of hype and excitement surrounding the young scoring forward entering this season. Beginning the season without him is less than ideal, but even hinting at a long-term injury would be a tough pill for fans to swallow before the season even begins. “Week-to-week” is a difficult time frame to estimate, especially for a player who has been rather resilient in his career. However, when Galchenyuk did suffer a serious knee injury in 2016-17, he had a tough time getting healthy and would up missing 21 games over two stints on the injured reserve. A similar outlook for this mysterious lower-body ailment would be disastrous for Arizona.
Early indications had Galchenyuk not at center, but at left wing for the Coyotes and certainly in the top-six. Until he returns, his spot will likely return to what it was last season – a revolving door of options including Richard Panik, Brendan Perlini, Mario Kempe, and Lawson Crouse. That lineup is even less appealing than last year, when Max Domi (traded for Galchenyuk), Jordan Martinook (also traded), Tobias Rieder and Anthony Duclair (free agency) were also in the mix. The ’Yotes have to hope that the rest of their forward corps can pick up the slack and could use a hot start from free agent addition Michael Grabner and rookie Dylan Strome. Either way, the team will need Galchenyuk back as soon as possible if they want to take a step forward this season.
Although the injuries have not been reported as anything major, fans of the Arizona Coyotes can’t help but feel nervous that two players expected to be major additions to the team’s forward corps this season – trade acquisition Alex Galchenyuk and top prospect Dylan Strome – are currently sidelined with injuries. The Athletic’s Craig Morgan reports that Galchenyuk is currently out with a lower-body injury and has yet to be evaluated and cleared by the medical staff, per head coach Rick Tocchet. Tocchet did not relay when and how the injury occurred and the Coyotes will have to wait for him to be examined to determine the severity and recovery time. Galchenyuk has been a very durable player to this point in his six-year career, but did struggle to return from a knee injury in 2016-17, which ended up costing him 21 games over two stints on the injured reserve. An extended absence to begin his tenure in Arizona would be an unfortunate start for Galchenyuk, who seemed primed to embrace his change of scenery. As for Strome, Morgan writes that he is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury. One of the knocks on Strome, the third overall pick in 2015, is that he has struggled to fill out his 6’3″ frame. The lanky forward can be pushed around – and thus susceptible to injury – far too often for a player of his stature. Arizona needs Strome to get healthy and toughen up if he wants to be an impact player this season.
- The quantity, not quality, of injuries for the St. Louis Blues is starting to become a concern. With starting goaltender Jake Allen still not ready for game action due to back spasms and Nikita Soshnikov out indefinitely with a concussion, the team also has three key forwards on the sidelines with minor injuries. The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford updated the statuses of David Perron, Tyler Bozak, and Robby Fabbri today. Fabbri’s injury history is well-documented; the undersized winger has had back luck with his knees, missing the final 30 regular season games and all 11 postseason games of the 2016-17 season, only to tear his ACL last preseason and miss the entire 2017-18 season. While Fabbri’s knees seem to be back at full strength, his current injuries could be related to getting back to a game level of skating. Rutherford states that Fabbri did not practice today due to a sore back and hip flexor. Fortunately, these are conditions that the young forward should be able to bounce back from very soon. Meanwhile, veteran free agent additions Perron and Bozak also missed practice today and were pulled from tonight’s preseason roster with matching groin injuries. The experienced forwards, who added significant depth for St. Louis with their signings this summer, have no previous lower-body injury history and should hopefully be back on the ice soon.
- The Capitals have just three players who have yet to suit up for a preseason game so far: defenseman John Carlson, center Lars Eller, and winger Devante Smith-Pelly. While Carlson and Eller had documented lower-body injuries and are simply being eased back into game action, NBC Sports Washington’s J.J. Regan points out that Smith-Pelly’s absence has been more curious. In speaking with new head coach Todd Reirden, Regan discovered that Smith-Pelly’s conditioning has been an issue and he has been working toward getting back in game shape. Reirden states that the physical forward is not dealing with any injuries, but simply not yet at a level where he would benefit from playing. A short and celebratory summer likely has Smith-Pelly slightly out of shape and fatigued, but it is not an issue that seems likely to impact the regular season and certainly not a Jake Dotchin-type scenario.
- Injury-prone Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian is taking it easy this preseason. Beat writer Bill Hoppe says that the veteran blue liner is being eased into camp to ensure that he is fully healthy for the start of the regular season. Bogosian has yet to skate in a preseason game and may not see much exhibition action at all. While Bogosian has a lengthy injury history that features IR stints for knees, ribs, groins, wrists, and more, it was his hip that cost Bogosian all but 18 games last year. He missed the final 39 contests after undergoing hip surgery in January. With the Sabres already fighting the injury bug, it is important that Bogosian be given the time he needs to start the season off on the right foot. Hoppe adds that while Conor Sheary appears ready to re-join the team next week, his former Pittsburgh Penguins teammate, defenseman Matt Hunwick will not. Hunwick will not be ready for the start of the regular season due to a neck injury, making Bogosian’s availability all that more important.