It looks like Marc Staal is nearing a return to the Rangers lineup. The defenseman told reporters, including Mollie Walker of the New York Post, that he’s hoping to return next week. Staal last played on November 7th before undergoing ankle surgery due to an infection in his ankle. Head coach David Quinn has suggested that he’d like to give the veteran a full week of on-ice workouts before re-inserting him into the lineup though so Staal may have to wait a little longer than he’d like before he suits up again. Through 11 games so far this season, he has a goal and an assist while logging a career-low 18:25 per game.
Other injury notes from around the league:
- Florida is set to welcome MacKenzie Weegar back into their lineup on Saturday. Head coach Joel Quenneville told Jameson Olive of the Panthers’ website (Twitter link) that the defenseman has been cleared to return from his upper-body injury, one that caused him to miss the last eight games. The 25-year-old was off to a hot start offensively before getting injured; his 10 points through 17 games was two-thirds of the way to his career-high that was set last season.
- Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin met with reporters today, including Sportsnet’s Eric Engels, to discuss the injury he sustained back on November 15th. The incident occurred when he fell and landed awkwardly on his wrist, tearing a tendon and didn’t have anything to do with a hard hit he had received earlier in the game. The original timeline for his recovery was eight weeks and so far, he appears to be on track with his recovery.
- Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn suffered a lower-body injury early in today’s game, the team announced (Twitter link). Tampa Bay was playing seven blueliners in the game anyway and will have Erik Cernak available to return from suspension so if Coburn misses any time beyond this, they likely won’t need to bring someone up to replace him.