The Philadelphia Flyers have announced that captain Claude Giroux will play his first game of the exhibition campaign tonight against New Jersey.
Giroux, 25, has been practicing with the Flyers for over a week, his first extended action since injuring finger tendons in a freak golf accident in late August.
The injury forced him to miss Team Canada’s Olympic orientation camp and Philly’s first four preseason games.
While original estimates suggested Giroux would be out for 5-6 weeks, his recovery has been ahead of schedule and he’s repeatedly made mention of his desire to get back into action.
He’s spent the last while working on the strength of his shot — believed to be one of the areas most affected by the tendon injury — and looks ready to jump right back in the Philly lineup without hesitation.
According to various reports, the Flyers will skate Giroux on the top line with Jakub Voracek and Scott Hartnell tonight against the Devils.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.