Jonathan Drouin, Steve Yzerman

Canada expects Bolts’ Drouin (concussion) to be ready for World Juniors

The concussion suffered by Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin isn’t expected to keep him out of the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships, according to a Team Canada official.

“I expect that Jonathan at some point, whether that’s in Toronto or Europe, will play,” senior director of hockey operations Scott Salmond said, as per Metro News. “I expect that he’ll be prepared and ready to go by the tournament, for sure.

“But that’s a pretty broad statement without having him evaluated.”

Drouin, the third overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, was hurt while playing for QMJHL Halifax last Friday on a hit from Quebec’s Adam Erne — an awkward scenario, given Erne is also a Lightning prospect, taken in the same draft as Drouin (33rd overall).

Erne, who earned a reputation in the preseason by getting suspended three games for a headshot on St. Louis’ Vladimir Sobotka, came under heavy fire for his hit on Drouin:

Erne later said he thought “it was a dive,” and wasn’t suspended, which infuriated Halifax GM Cam Russell.

“Yeah, I am angry,” Russell told Yahoo. “I feel that when I was a kid I was brought up by my parents to be held accountable for my actions. If I broke the rules I was punished and I don’t feel that this punishment was enough.”

Drouin is expected to miss at least a week of QMJHL action while recovering from what the club is calling a “mild” concussion.

Already without Eberle, the Oilers could also be missing Hall tonight

Taylor Hall
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Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.

Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.

The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.

Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

HKN Sabres Senators
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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.