When Pavel Datsyuk underwent ankle surgery in June, there was hope he’d be ready to start the regular season.
That hope appears to have faded.
Via MLive and Puck Daddy, the 37-year-old told SVT.se that the rehabilitation time has proven to be considerably longer than first thought. As a result, he may be out of action four or five months, which could push the start of his season into November.
Datsyuk only has two years left on his contract. While he still has the ability to dazzle, his injury log is only growing longer as his time in the NHL winds down. He hasn’t played more than 70 games since 2009-10.
That Henrik Zetterberg, the Wings’ other great center, and Niklas Kronwall, still their best defenseman, are each 34 years old only adds to the urgency to make a run at the Stanley Cup, before the reins are officially handed to the next generation.
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With three years left on their contracts, and with a management group that wants its prospects to develop in a “winning environment” surrounded by good veteran role models, the Sedin twins are in no imminent danger of being traded by the Vancouver Canucks.
But that didn’t stop Swedish newspaper Expressen from asking the 34-year-old brothers about the possibility.
Predictably, the twins said they had no intention of finishing their careers with any other team. Even if it meant a better chance at winning a Stanley Cup.
At the same time, they didn’t outright say they wouldn’t waive their no-movement clauses should the Canucks ever ask them to. Like, say, in the final year of their deals (2017-18).
For now, the fact the twins were even asked about such a scenario may be the main takeaway here. If the Canucks miss the playoffs next season, or if they make them and lose again in the first round, expect the calls for a more drastic rebuild to grow even louder in Vancouver.
Daniel Sedin had 76 points last season. His brother, Henrik, had 73. They each have a $7 million cap hit.
The Edmonton Oilers will not be going to arbitration with defenseman Justin Schultz. The two sides have settled on a one-year deal worth $3.9 million, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Schultz, like many of his teammates, had his struggles last season. Though the 25-year-old had six goals and 25 assists in 81 games (his 31 points led all Edmonton d-men), defensively he remained a work in progress.
Case in point, Schultz was a healthy scratch for a game in November after making what former coach Dallas Eakins called a “mind-numbing” change that led to a goal against.
It’s hoped that a new coach in Todd McLellan, plus the addition of veteran defender Andrej Sekera, can help Schultz.
Only last summer, former GM Craig MacTavish opined that Schultz had “Norris Trophy potential.”
The San Jose Sharks are facing a long road to get back to the playoffs.
Hockey blog On The Forecheck has done the calculations, and the Sharks will travel the most miles — just over 50,000 — in the NHL next season.
In stark contrast, the Detroit Red Wings will travel the fewest miles, just 33,487.
Looking at the Sharks’ schedule, they have a handful of pesky two-game trips, plus one-game treks to places like Glendale (around 600 miles away) and Vancouver (around 800 miles away).
The Western Conference team that will travel the fewest miles is Nashville (36,971), while the Eastern Conference team that will travel the most is Florida (41,891).
On The Forecheck also added up all the back-to-back games. The Blue Jackets will play the most (18), while the Edmonton Oilers will have just nine. The Oilers, however, will travel the second-most miles in the NHL.
With little to no chance of his participation in the 2016 World Juniors, Jack Eichel will not attend the United States national junior evaluation camp in August.
“I think in the end we’re looking at the best interest of the player and I’m sure Jack has a lot going on with Buffalo in terms of development camp and preparing for the NHL season,” U.S. national junior team GM Jim Johannson told NHL.com. “We’re also realistically looking ahead, for our team. The odds are we probably wouldn’t have him even if he were invited. I think it just makes a lot of sense for all of us for him not to be in Lake Placid this summer.”
Click here for the evaluation camp roster, highlighted by Noah Hanifin, Zach Werenski, Dylan Larkin, Kyle Connor, Brock Boeser, and Auston Matthews.
Eichel had a disappointing 2015 World Juniors tournament, scoring just one goal in five games as the Americans failed to get past the quarterfinals.
The 18-year-old recently signed his entry-level contract with the Buffalo Sabres, who selected him second overall in the 2015 draft.
Related: Sabres cash in their suffering, take Eichel second overall