As reported by Bay Area News Group’s Curtis Pashelka, San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture is out with a lower-body injury. He’s been assigned a week-to-week status, although Couture elaborated that there’s “no timetable” for when he’ll be returning to the ice. Any extended Couture absence would be a major blow to the Sharks’ ability to compete in the wake of this offseason’s Erik Karlsson trade. Couture scored 67 points last season and operates in a crucial role centering one of the Sharks’ top two lines, the other driven by Tomáš Hertl.
Sharks head coach David Quinn told the media that he’s giving offseason trade acquisition Mikael Granlund a look down the middle in Couture’s absence. While Granlund is certainly a player with a lot of NHL experience and scored 64 points in 2021-22, his play more recently (specifically as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins) drew some harsh criticism. Although some focus will be on the young talent that may emerge in the preseason, Couture’s health status could end up being the number-one storyline to watch for Sharks fans in the lead-up to opening night.
- San Jose netminder Eetu Mäkiniemi had his 2022-23 season cut short in March, when he underwent hip surgery. Mäkiniemi said today that he’s still not quite at 100 percent, though he does feel on track to begin playing games by the start of the season. The 24-year-old Finnish international played in a total of 24 games last season and posted a .906 save percentage in the NHL and a .900 mark in the AHL.
- The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman shared two injury updates from Edmonton Oilers training camp. 23-year-old center Ryan McLeod had a “soft-tissue tweak and was kept off the ice for precautionary reasons,” while minor-league netminder Ryan Fanti is out with a “hip issue” on a month-to-month basis. McLeod is expected to be a major part of the Oilers’ bottom-six plans, so the hope is that he’ll quickly resume full participation in training camp. Fanti, who is also 23, played in 34 games in the ECHL last season and is likely to return there once he is fully recovered.