Not that the Chicago Blackhawks are hurting for forwards right now, but they might get one back soon anyways.
Bryan Bickell skated on Friday for the first time since suffering what’s believed to be a knee injury.
“I feel great,” Bickell told the Chicago Tribune.
The 27-year-old forward doesn’t have a timetable for his return, but Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville suggested that Bickell might be available following Chicago’s upcoming stretch of three games in four nights. Their first contest after that will be on Dec. 20 against the Vancouver Canucks.
Chicago has scored at least six goals in each of their last three games and leads the league with an average of 3.68 goals per game. Bickell has played a relatively small part in his team’s offensive production with five goals and six points in 22 games.
Expectations were high for him after he broke out during the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs with 17 points in 23 contests. However, he was averaging 15:22 minutes per contest in the postseason compared to 12:54 in 2013-14.
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.
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.