Detroit defenseman Ryan Sproul has been given the green light to return to the lineup and will make his preseason debut on Monday, reports MLive’s Ansar Khan. Sproul underwent ACL surgery on April 18th, a procedure that typically requires six months to recover from so it appears his recovery process is a little bit ahead of schedule. Had that not been the case, he was a potential candidate to land on LTIR to start the season.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland confirmed to Khan that the team plans to carry only seven defensemen to start the season so right now it appears that the 24-year-old is on the outside looking in at a roster spot despite playing in 27 games with Detroit in 2016-17. Sproul will require waivers in order to be assigned to AHL Grand Rapids.
Other notes from around the hockey world:
- The Flyers will experiment with placing long-time center Claude Giroux on the left wing on Monday night, notes CSN Philly’s Jordan Hall. Giroux has spent time at that position earlier in his career but not very often lately. The idea of switching positions might allow Giroux a bit less wear and tear on his body but would also allow someone like Sean Couturier – who has been more of a shutdown player so far in his career – to take on more of an offensive-oriented role.
- Defenseman Nikita Tryamkin’s decision to leave the Canucks to go back to the KHL caught some by surprise. The blueliner told Sport-Express’ Igor Eronko (Twitter links) that a lack of playing time was a big factor in his decision to leave. Tryamkin averaged 16:44 per night last season, the lowest of any regular blueliner in Vancouver. He added that he could see himself back with the team but he won’t discuss that possibility while still under contract to Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg; he’s signed there through the 2019-20 season.
- Oilers prospect Tyler Benson will likely start the season on injured reserve but is expected to join his junior team (the WHL’s Vancouver Giants) on October 13th, notes Postmedia’s Jim Matheson. Benson, Edmonton’s second-round pick (32nd overall) in 2016, has yet to skate with the team in training camp and has not been cleared for any contact drills after undergoing double sports hernia surgery over the summer.