Canes Eric Staal, Cam Ward make progress with knee injuries

The Carolina Hurricanes have added some nice support in players like Alexander Semin and Jordan Staal, but the franchise still depends heavily on Eric Staal and Cam Ward.

During this summer, the foundation seemed a little shaky thanks to their two knee injuries.

Luckily, the latest update brings good news. While there isn’t a specific window of recovery for either highly paid player, the Raleigh News & Observer’s Chip Alexander reports that both believe they are “ahead of schedule.”

Ward, 29, hurt his knee during the 2013 season, as the Canes never seemed to have much luck in net last season. The Hurricanes made an interesting move by adding former Boston Bruins backup Anton Khudobin as insurance (or at least a stronger No. 2).

Staal, 28, suffered his injury thanks to a questionable Alex Edler hit during the World Championships.

Knee injuries can be tricky, but perhaps both key cogs might be ready for training camp or at least the start of the season. If nothing else, things look positive so far.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.