Sam Gagner

Report: Oilers’ Gagner (broken jaw) close to return

The Edmonton Oilers haven’t exactly had the greatest injury luck this season, but they might get a key contributor back soon. Sam Gagner’s getting “much closer” to a return from a broken jaw, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

It’s not clear what the 24-year-old’s precise target date for a comeback might be; McKenzie throws out possibilities ranging from Tuesday’s home game against the Toronto Maple Leafs to sometime later this week.

It’s a good time to ease Gagner back in the lineup. After tomorrow’s game, the Oilers don’t play again until they host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. It gets tougher the following week, as they face a four-game road trip through Nov. 10.

Beyond context, the Oilers are at the bottom of the West at 3-8-2 (eight points) so getting their second-line center back could be huge (even if they’d need to debate what to do with surprisingly productive Mark Arcobello).

Vancouver Canucks winger Zack Kassian received a five-game suspension (plus some preseason time) for high-sticking Gagner.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.