Canucks’ Gaunce to have shoulder surgery, reported timeline could be 4-6 months

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After missing the final month of the regular season with a shoulder injury, Canucks forward Brendan Gaunce will undergo surgery Thursday, the club announced.

“Brendan sustained a shoulder injury in March and has been working closely with our medical team,” said GM Jim Benning in a statement.

“After a period of rehabilitation and observation, Brendan and our medical team have deemed, that based on his response to treatment, the best course of action is to undergo surgery for injury management and preparation for next season.”

Gaunce, 23, last played on March 9. In 57 games, he recorded five assists, going the entire season without scoring a goal. To his credit, he did have the highest Corsi For rating (51.3 per cent) among Canucks players with 400 minutes or more at five-on-five.

The Canucks didn’t announce a timeline for recovery, but it appears to be lengthy, according to Ben Kuzma of The Province newspaper.

From The Province:

That procedure will be performed Thursday in Vancouver and depending on severity of the tear, the 23-year-old centre-turned-winger could be sidelined from four to six months. Professional athletes recover quicker and the best prognosis for Gaunce would be a four-month recovery window and then ramping up his training and skating a month before main camp in Vancouver.

Gaunce is a pending restricted free agent, at the end of his entry-level contract that has an annual cap hit of just over $863,000.

It’s been widely reported in Vancouver that Gaunce could be a potential target for the Vegas Golden Knights in June’s expansion draft, although this development — and the reported timeline — could make him a less desirable option.

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    Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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    Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

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    CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

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    Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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    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.

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    Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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    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.

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