Columbus received some good news on the Ryan Murray front this week.
In speaking with the team website, President John Davidson said Murray — who the Jackets selected No. 2 overall at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft — is “back to 100 percent” after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in January.
“He’s doing very well,” Davidson said. “By the time September comes around, he’s going to be a well-conditioned young man.”
Murray is participating fully in offseason workouts and projects to be ready to go when Columbus opens training camp this fall.
While Murray’s expected to crack the Blue Jackets roster next season — at 18 years old, he played with NHLers on Team Canada at the 2012 Worlds — Davidson was quick to point out that his prized defenseman won’t turn 20 until September and has zero professional experience.
“It’s a tough position, a very tough position and things aren’t easy in this league,” Davidson explained. “This league gets better every year. It’s better than it was two years ago, three years ago, five years ago — and that’s because of the players.
“For a young defenseman to come in, we expect good things, we want good things. But it’s never easy.”
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.