Kris Letang

Pens’ Letang (lower body) to miss first two games of season


The Penguins have confirmed Kris Letang — currently sidelined with a lower-body injury — was not put on injured reserve retroactively, meaning he’ll be out at least and week and miss Pittsburgh’s first two games of the season against New Jersey and Buffalo.

Letang, 26, suffered the injury during practice last Friday and hasn’t been on the ice since. Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma said he doesn’t think the ailment will keep Letang out long-term, and noted the defenseman could be activated from IR as early as Oct. 8.

With the Letang move, Pittsburgh now opens the season with a blueline comprised of Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin, Rob Scuderi, Matt Niskanen, Deryk Engelland, Robert Bortuzzo, Olli Maatta and (temporarily) Harrison Ruopp, who is believed to be back on his way down to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton so Beau Bennett can rejoin the team.

Another Sabre hurt: Gionta (lower body) day-to-day

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On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.

Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.

The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.

There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.

Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.

Blues put Berglund on LTIR, use savings to sign Gomez

Scotte Gomez
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As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.

The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.

In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.

Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.

He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.