The Pittsburgh Penguins received a double-shot of sad news this morning, with their past, present and future taking a bit of a blow.
Most importantly, comes the present and future: the team already announced that defensive center Jordan Staal would miss all of training camp, but now the Penguins are saying that he will not be available for the beginning of the regular season either.
Penguins center Jordan Staal is expected to miss the start of the regular season following a procedure this week to cure an infection in his foot, the team announced today.
Staal’s recovery period is expected to be 5-6 weeks. The Penguins open the regular season Oct. 7 against Philadelphia.
In other words, Jordan Staal could be out until Halloween. Sounds like a pretty scary situation for the Penguins, but the team is spinning the situation as an opportunity for its younger players to earn more time on the ice before the lanky pivot returns from injury. They’re even reaching into the bag of Chinese proverbs to find some sunshine in a cloudy scenario.
If that news wasn’t enough to ruin the coffee breaks of many Penguins fans, news out of Pittsburgh is that a board voted unanimously to demolish the Civic Arena (aka The Igloo). Of course, the decision is being made to allow “Penguins-led redevelopments” but for nostalgic Penguins fans, this has to be a bit of a blow. Read more about it from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.
As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.
The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.
In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.
Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.
He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.