Lucic on Gronkowski ankle sprain: “He’s going to have a tough summer recovering from that thing”


One of the big stories from Super Bowl week has been the status of New England TE Rob Gronkowski’s injured ankle. Gronk, who set a single-season TD record for tight ends this year, suffered a high-ankle sprain in the AFC Championship against Baltimore and has been on the limp ever since.

So who better to provide insight than a fellow New England sports icon that’s suffered the same injury — Boston Bruins winger Milan Lucic!

“I really do feel for him,” said Lucic, who dealt with a high ankle sprain for much of 2009-10. “You can tell he’s one of the toughest guys around to be able to walk around with no boot already.

“He’s going to have a tough summer recovering from that thing, but it’s good he only has to deal with it for one game, even though it is such a big game.”

Lucic seemed confident that Gronkowski would be able to play through the pain.

“I think he’ll definitely contribute even with that [injury],” Lucic said. “He’ll do whatever he can to make sure he can contribute. I’m sure he’ll come up big when they need him to.”

Lucic rolled his ankle in Nov. 2009 after getting tangled with Minnesota’s Marek Zidlicky and ended up missing 32 games, posting career lows in assists, plus-minus and power-play goals. It took him an entire offseason to get back to full strength, though Lucic notes high-ankle sprains affect football and hockey players quite differently.

“It’s a lot different, running vs. skating,” Lucic said. “It’s the worst possible leg injury, other than obviously like a torn ACL, that you can have for skating.

“All I remember was that it was such a nagging injury and that it almost made you feel feeble down there.”

/giggles uncontrollably

‘Yotes return Dylan Strome to OHL

Dylan Strome, Nikita Nikitin
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The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.

Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.

Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.

The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.

Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.


Detroit places Datsyuk and three others on I.R.

Pavel Datsyuk,
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The Red Wings have placed Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko on injured reserve.

Placing these players on I.R. opens up four more roster spots for Detroit.

The Red Wings have suffered an incredibe amount of injuries heading into the season.

Datsyuk (ankle) is expected to be out until November.

DeKeyser (foot) is going to miss three-to-four weeks, while Helm (concussion) and Marchenko (lower-body) are considered day-to-day.

The team also announced that they have reduced their training camp roster to 27 players on Sunday.

Top prospect Dylan Larkin remains in camp for now.

Coach Jeff Blashill told reporters that the 19-year-old has looked good, but a final decision hasn’t been made on where he will play this year.

As for Larkin, he’s just fed up of living in a hotel.

“There’s been so much speculation and so many questions, and no one really knows,” said Larkin. “Maybe the coaches know, but just to find out where I’ll be living or what’s happening — I’m kind of sick of the hotel. It would be nice to know what’s going on.”