The Nashville Predators may or may not have Gabriel Bourque in their lineup if the season kicked off on Jan. 19.
Milwaukee Admirals* head coach Dean Evason told the Tennessean’s Josh Cooper on Tuesday that Bourque is nursing a lower-body injury that could keep him out for at least a couple weeks.
“He is having the same issues that he was out with originally,” Evason said. “It flared back up on him and he hasn’t played in a while. We don’t expect him for another couple of weeks.”
The 22-year-old winger has been out of action since Dec. 15, only playing 13 out of the Admirals’ 31 games so far.
In other young Predators-related news, Evason also expects important defenseman Ryan Ellis to be at full speed by the NHL’s possible opening night. He’s played in 17 AHL games since returning from an injury on Nov. 20, so that seems like a reasonable prediction.
* – They’re the Predators’ AHL affiliate.
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.
Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.