Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen gave an update on injured forward Nathan Horton on Thursday, saying the prized free agent signing had shown good signs with his shoulder surgery rehab.
That said, Kekalainen wasn’t prepared to say if an earlier return — Horton is supposed to be out until December at the earliest — was in the cards.
“He’s doing very well, recovering, doing his rehab,” Kekalainen told the Columbus Dispatch. “His arm’s not in a sling anymore. He was at a golf tournament (not playing) yesterday, and in good spirits. So that’s a good sign.
“We’re going to be very patient and follow instructions given by the doctors. But nothing’s changed in terms of the timeline.”
Horton, 28, signed a monster seven-year, $35.1 million deal with the Jackets on July 5, arguably the club’s biggest-ever score in free agency. The excitement around the deal was muted somewhat, though, when it was learned he had to undergo a corrective procedure to fix a shoulder issue that flared up during the Stanley Cup Final (it should be noted that Columubus and Kekalainen knew of the issue upon signing Horton.)
The Jackets had issues scoring last year — they finished 25th in the NHL in goals per game (2.40) — and are keen to get Horton, a six-time 20-goal scorer, into the lineup.
They just aren’t expecting that to happen any time soon.
If it heals 100 percent before we expect it, that would be a bonus and it would be nice,” Kekalainen said. “But we’re not going to expect that.”
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.
Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.
“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”
The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.
Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.
It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.
Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.
He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.
Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.
If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.
The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.
The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.