With five goals in his first 10 games, it looked St. Louis Blues forward David Perron was primed to jump a level or two during the 2010-11 season. That early upward trend was interrupted harshly when San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton caught him with a hit that earned Thornton a two-game suspension.
At the time, it almost seemed like an overreaction, at least considering the fact that it appeared largely accidental. Yet to the surprise of just about everyone, Perron never played another game during the 2010-11 season after that hit in November 2010. Since then, the Blues and Perron have been playing a post-concussion syndrome waiting game, with very few concrete details coming to the surface.
Now the question remains: will he even be back by training camp in September or at least the beginning of the 2011-12 season in October? It’s unclear at this point if that will be the case, but Perron said he would do almost anything to make that happen when he discussed his troublesome recovery process with Blues writer Lou Korac.
Are you still searching for ways that can help speed up the recovery process?
There’s not much I didn’t try to do to get better and we’re still looking obviously to find if there’s stuff out there that can help or not. It’s frustrating when you watch the games and we don’t play as well as we know we can, and you want to be out there and maybe create a spark and help the team. But there’s also times when we play really well and it’s fun to watch.
Do you feel you will you be ready to play hockey in September?
I swear, I don’t care if I’m still not feeling better in September, I’ll still say the same: When I was younger, I had my back against the wall to make it to the NHL and I found a way. So I know I’ll find a way, and I don’t care what way it is … I’ll take it.
So the frustration continues for Perron and the Blues. We’ll let you know as word surfaces about his progress, although it might take some time for the puzzlement and confusion to subside.
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.
“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”
Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.
TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.
The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.
“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”
The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.
Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.