The Carolina Hurricanes – and maybe Team Canada’s decision makers – held their breath on Saturday, as Eric Staal left an eventual win against the New York Islanders with a lower-body injury. They can exhale on Sunday, as head coach Kirk Muller said that Staal will only be out five-to-six days, the Raleigh News & Observer’s Chip Alexander reports.
One would assume that Muller gave that estimate regarding the team’s 29-year-old captain because the Hurricanes have games on Thursday (Jan. 9) and Friday (Jan. 10).
Again, it might not be the Hurricanes alone who are interested in this update. If Staal is on the bubble for Team Canada, a more significant issue could conceivably push him out of the picture. Instead, it sounds like it will come down to whether or not GM Steve Yzerman & Co. believe that he should make the cut.
Staal’s Hurricanes are facing the Nashville Predators on Sunday.
Update: Carolina seemingly dodged a bullet in that Predators game, as Jeff Skinner returned to action despite taking a puck to the face.
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.