When it comes to injuries, there could be more bad news for the Florida Panthers.
Jonathan Huberdeau left Saturday’s exhibition game against the New Jersey Devils with an apparent injury.
Replays showed the skate of Sergey Kalinin dropping down onto the back of Huberdeau’s leg as the two players were tangled up along the boards.
So far, there has been no official word on the extent of Huberdeau’s injury.
Huberdeau, 23, had 20 goals and 59 points in 76 games last season, as part of an up-and-coming Panthers team that has potential for even bigger things this season.
The Panthers signed Huberdeau to a six-year contract extension in September.
“Jonathan is a highly talented and dynamic player who is another important piece of our team’s young core,” said Panthers president of hockey operations Dale Tallon in a statement when the new deal was made official.
“In each of his last two seasons he has posted over 50 points and has developed into a key component of our team’s offense.”
The Panthers will enter this season with increased expectations, particularly after making the playoffs last season and making a number of big moves, including signing their young core players to contract extensions, this summer.
However, the injury bug has already hit.
Nick Bjugstad is also now out four weeks with a broken hand.
Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas is back in the news for another questionable hit — this time on Boston Bruins prospect forward Austin Czarnik during Saturday’s exhibition game.
The hit occurred early in the third period. Gudas was given a minor penalty for boarding on the play.
However, according to CSN New England, citing an anonymous source, the league is reviewing the hit.
“I just looked at [the hit]. There’s no update on [Czarnik]. We saw the shoulder to the head. Somehow he seems to have a knack of getting himself in trouble every game. I didn’t like the hit personally,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien, as per CSNNE.com.
“I thought it was a little bit late, and a shoulder to the head. It’s disappointing. Here’s a young player [in Czarnik] having a good camp and really playing well, and then he ends up with a hit like that in the last few minutes.”
Earlier this week, Gudas, who has a history with the league’s Department of Player Safety and suspensions, was ejected for boarding Jimmy Vesey, however in that case, he avoided supplemental discipline.
Related: Gudas says he gets it now — ‘I can’t be doing this on the ice’
The Calgary Flames begin the regular season on Wednesday against the rival Edmonton Oilers. It will be Connor McDavid‘s first regular season game as the Oilers captain.
Flames fans won’t be concerned with that. The biggest issue facing Calgary’s NHL team right now is whether or not their talented forward Johnny Gaudreau will be in the lineup.
After playing for Team North America at the World Cup, the 23-year-old Gaudreau still remains unsigned, a restricted free agent, coming off a 30-goal, 78-point season.
“We all know that Johnny is a tremendous player,” said Flames GM Brad Treliving, as per the Calgary Sun. “He’s a significant part of our team, a significant part of our community. We are moving Heaven and Earth to try and get him done. The business side of our sport is, sometimes, not the fun side and we’re going through that right now.
“I have every confidence that we are going to get a contract that works for Johnny, that works for us. Our hope, and what we’re striving for, is get that done so that not only Johnny will be back here with us, but with us on Wednesday.”
Gaudreau’s agent, Lewis Gross, has already said his client has no intentions to ask for a trade out of Calgary.
It was reported early in September, before the World Cup began, that Gaudreau’s camp was asking for something in the range of $8 million annually, and that the two sides were about $1.5 million apart.
The phrase “asset management” has become all too familiar in Vancouver. It’s usually used as criticism towards Canucks management, led by GM Jim Benning.
In his first draft as Canucks GM, Benning made a shrewd move by selecting Forsling, a young, skilled defenseman from Sweden, in the fifth round in 2014. Seven months later, Benning moved Forsling to the Chicago Blackhawks for right-shooting defenseman Adam Clendening.
Sixth months later, Clendening was moved to Pittsburgh as part of the deal to bring in Brandon Sutter to Vancouver.
So, for the Canucks, a team that needed depth on defense and young players to begin to compete for NHL jobs: No Clendening. No Forsling.
Vancouver’s loss is Chicago’s gain. By all accounts, the 20-year-old Forsling has been very impressive at Blackhawks training camp and continues to make a case to be on the roster.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
The problem is, there’s nowhere for him to play.
By signing Brian Campbell, Michal Kempny and Michal Rozsival to one-year contracts this summer, general manager Stan Bowman solidified his blue line, turning a weak spot into a strength. But with those three guys, plus veterans Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brent Seabrook and Trevor van Riemsdyk, the Hawks already have seven defensemen who aren’t going anywhere.
The Blackhawks wrap up their pre-season schedule Saturday against the St. Louis Blues.
Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill on Saturday provided an update on forward Ben Street, telling the Detroit Free Press that Street “is going to be just fine” after suffering a cut to his neck from a skate blade during Friday’s exhibition game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
From the Toronto Star:
Street was involved in a collision along the boards in the second period and the skate of Leaf Justin Holl made contact near his throat. He immediately grabbed his neck with his gloved hand and left the ice, under his own power, before being taken to a local hospital.
“Ben was cut in the neck,” Blashill told the Detroit Free Press. “They explored the wound. There was no major damages. He was taken to hospital last night to make sure. He was released from the hospital last night and he is on his way home.
“He had unreal composure. He had his hand on his neck. I looked up and saw the replay and that’s when I really got scared. I was hoping everything was OK. But we got word pretty quick that it looked like it was going to be just fine.”
The Red Wings signed Street, 29, to a one-year contract on July 1, as per NHL.com.
Street has played 29 NHL games in his career, spending time with the Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche organizations.