Defenseman Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion Tuesday night during a 6-2 win over the Czech Republic in a scrimmage.
Ekblad, the Florida Panthers’ first overall pick at June’s NHL draft, left in the third period after an open-ice collision with defenseman Lukas Klok.
The 18-year-old was not on the ice Wednesday morning and following practice Hockey Canada updated his status:
The good news is Florida fully expects Ekblad to be ready for its mini camp next month.
“As announced earlier today by Team Canada, D Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion during an exhibition game last night,” said Panthers general manager Dale Tallon in a statement. “We have been in communication with Team Canada and have mutually agreed to hold Aaron out for the remainder of the summer development camp, as a precautionary measure. We will closely monitor Aaron’s health for the remainder of the off-season and expect him to be ready for our rookie camp in mid-September.”
Given that Ekblad is likely to make the Panthers out of camp, it’s doubtful he’ll even be made available for Team Canada by Florida for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, which takes place in Montreal and Toronto.
Related: Get to know a draft pick – Aaron Ekblad
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Patrik Berglund’s Swedish eyes are smiling after scoring six goals in the past eight games, including two against Nashville on Saturday. (The Post-Dispatch)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,200 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s late NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $275. Starts Monday at 7:30pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
With all the injuries the Detroit Red Wings have, they need Jimmy Howard to be their savior. (Detroit Free Press)
That Nail Yakupov is such a bad teammate, you guys. He’s so bad that coach Dallas Eakins loved seeing him come to help out Matt Hendricks when dealing with some Hurricanes in a scuffle. This sarcasm doing anything for you? (Edmonton Journal)
The Tampa Bay Lightning will be erecting a statue for former captain Dave Andreychuk. Winning a Stanley Cup gets you some pretty great perks. (Tampa Tribune)
Give it up to Team Canada women’s team goalie Shannon Szabados who made her ECHL debut. Awesome stuff. (NHL.com)
Big time kudos to the United States Paralympic hockey team that took gold at the Paralympics in Sochi. (USA Hockey)
Finally, check out the video tribute the Buffalo Sabres played for Thomas Vanek who played in his first game in Buffalo since being traded back in late October. Vanek said after the game: “My previous experience when someone else came back, they didn’t do much so I didn’t know what to expect, but I thought it was very nice and very classy of them.” Take that, Darcy Regier.
Canada winning the gold medal for the second straight Olympics was a proud moment for all Canadians. For Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, it was a bittersweet sight.
Staal was a member of the 2010 team in Vancouver and missed the cut for the 2014 team. As he tells Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer, he’s bummed out he couldn’t be in Sochi to be part of the fun.
“I think any player in my position, there’s going to be disappointment you’re not part of that team,” Staal said. “But I think the way they played as a group, as a team, they made the right choices because they got the job done. For me, disappointing you’re not part of that group, but at the same time I know all those guys.”
Staal, 29, says if the pros head to Korea in 2018 he wants to be part of that team. After presumably just missing out this time around, he’ll stand a chance of getting back there then. At least he still has “Had great chemistry with Sidney Crosby in 2010” on his résumé.
Vancouver Canucks coach, and Boston native, John Tortorella could’ve had his loyalties split in Sunday’s gold medal game between Canada and Sweden because of the number of Canucks players on both teams.
Instead, Torts sounded off about not having a full boat of players at Canucks practice and very much prefers one team over the other as Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun shares.
“I hope Sweden wins because I don’t think Hammer [Dan Hamhuis] is going to play judging from what’s happened and I don’t think Louie [Roberto Luongo] is going to play,” said Tortorella. “So I don’t give a [bleep] right now because they’re not playing. I just want them back here. I hope Danny [Sedin] scores two goals and [Alex] Edler gets three assists and Sweden wins so they come back feeling good about themselves because it’s going to help us. That’s all I’m concerned about right now.”
Tell us how you really feel, coach.
Dan Hamhuis has been in Canada’s lineup but not playing many, if any, minutes in games as the seventh defenseman. Roberto Luongo has been backing up Carey Price through most of the Olympic tournament. Daniel Sedin and Alex Edler, meanwhile, have been getting steady play and minutes with Sweden.
Despite the harsh words, the takeaway from this is simple: If guys aren’t going to play, Tortorella would rather have them with him in Vancouver doing workouts and practicing with the team. He just has a very colorful way of saying that is all.
Being NHL teammates on opposing teams in the Olympics can make for awkward situations. Such is the case for Colorado Avalanche forwards Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog.
Those two will face each other on Sunday in the gold medal game between Canada and Sweden (7 a.m. ET on NBC). As Duchene tells Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post, they’re enemies until the game is over.
“We’ve talked a few times during the Olympics,” Duchene said. “I’ve seen him at the cafe. And we chatted. But I’m not talking to him now until after the gold medal game. He has rubbed the fact Sweden won the world championship last year in my face. And I’d like to give that back to him. Absolutely.”
Duchene hasn’t gotten quite as much ice time as Landeskog has for Sweden, but he was more of a factor against the United States winning faceoffs in Canada’s 1-0 victory in the semifinals.
You can imagine the chirping that will go on if Sweden comes away with the win, however. Holding gold at Worlds and gold at the Olympics over someone’s head (all in good fun) in the locker room is how prank wars begin.