Brooks Laich is expected to add on-ice workouts to his off-season training program for the first time Monday.
According to Dan Rosen at NHL.com, the Capitals forward, who had surgery in mid-March to release a tight adductor muscle, is now completely healthy following two seasons hampered by groin injuries.
Laich has played in just 60 regular season games over the past two years, scoring nine goals while adding 10 assists to go along with a minus-5 rating. That led to rumors of him being a potential buyout candidate, whispers that were silenced when new Caps GM Brian MacLellan said “we need Brooks Laich,” back in May.
The 31-year-old told Rosen that prior to his latest surgery, every part of his game was affected by the injury.
“You’re just fearful of any sort of acceleration, fearful of any turn, fearful of engaging in any contact because you know there’s an extreme amount of pain coming your way if you do that,” Laich said. “It’s a very difficult way to live. It’s a very difficult way to participate, let alone try to excel at the sport. What I feel is the last two years have been trying to survive that day in order to be on the ice the next day as well. That’s not productive.”
Arguably the team’s most versatile forward, Laich fully expects to be 100 per cent healthy and ready to play once the season begins.
Barry Trotz and the Capitals are hoping Laich can return to the form which forced him to miss just four games between 2007-12.
Related: Agent: Laich is ‘glue of’ Capitals, won’t be bought out
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.
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.