The L.A. Kings have wrapped up their exhibition schedule, but now veteran forward Devin Setoguchi awaits word on whether his professional tryout will turn into a contract.
Setoguchi, who is trying to make a comeback to the NHL after playing a year in Switzerland and battles with alcoholism, played Saturday’s game on a line with Anze Kopitar.
His preseason finale drew mixed reviews, with coach Darryl Sutter calling it his “best game,” as per LA Kings Insider, while Kopitar said the pair struggled to play with the puck in the offensive zone and that building chemistry between the two takes time.
“Hey, we’ve got some injuries and suspension and it’s an issue,” said Sutter.
“Thankfully have guys like Kopi, Jeff, that really they’re easy guys to play with and you’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities so, you know, asking about Devin, I’m still in the mode of I think he … still has the ability to play in the NHL and just see what everybody else thinks.”
St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen left Saturday’s exhibition game against the Chicago Blackhawks, but there hasn’t been an official update on the extent of any possible injury he may have suffered.
Allen was hurt late in the first period after making a save. He eventually left the game, forcing Carter Hutton into action.
The Blues signed Hutton to a two-year, $2.25 million contract when free agency opened in July, on the same day they also extended Allen with a four-year deal.
“If Jake ever got hurt, there’s a lot of confidence here in Carter right now,” said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, as per NHL.com. “If Jake goes down, we’ve got no issue playing Carter at all.”
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.