Tom Wilson out with concussion from Reaves hit

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Ryan Reaves didn’t receive a suspension for his hit on Tom Wilson, but Wilson is sidelined with a concussion nonetheless.

However you feel about the Washington Capitals’ forward and his history of hits, it’s painful to watch the result of Reaves’ hard check. As you can see, Wilson’s helmet came off during the exchange, causing his head to hit the ice without that protection. It’s an unsettling sight, to say the least.

Some onlookers believed that Reaves had been “going after” Wilson for much of the game. It’s unclear if this had anything to do with Wilson’s controversial hit on Vegas Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault during Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final, but either way, Reaves didn’t seem apologetic after Vegas beat Washington 5-3 on Tuesday.

Via Sin Bin Vegas’ video of the scrum after the game, you can see that Reaves mentions that Game 1, and then comments on the hit as: “he was looking at his pass and ran into a lion in the jungle.”

It seems like that comment wasn’t a one-off after a game, either. Russian Machine Never Breaks’ Cara Bahniuk reports that Reaves was autographing photos of the aftermath (Reaves standing next to a fallen Wilson), complete with the “lion in the jungle” quip. The “Inscriptagraphs” page has been removed from the company’s website, but a Twitter user took a screenshot of the signed image.

Reaves was ejected from the game, and that was as far as the discipline went.

It’s currently unclear how much time Wilson will miss with this concussion. The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan reported that it was a concussion in the first place, noting that the Capitals are only deeming it an “upper-body injury” while labeling Wilson day-to-day. After seeing footage of Wilson’s head hitting the ice and needing help off the ice, it’s pretty tough to imagine that it would be anything less than a concussion.

He’s expected to miss Thursday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes, at minimum.

That Tuesday contest against Vegas broke a blistering eight-game point streak (seven goals, six assists for 13 points) for Wilson, who’s generated 14 points in his 11 games back from a 14-game suspension.

For more background on the Wilson – Reaves beef, check this Sportsnet video:

UPDATE: Reaves apologized for signing the photos, which the team says were destroyed. From the Review-Journal:

“The picture was probably in bad taste,” Reaves said. “I apologize that it even got started.”

“I’ve signed a lot worse, but in this age of social media and concussions, and the fact (Wilson) was hurt, you never want to see that,” Reaves said. “I called the guy (at Inscriptagraphs) right away, and we took care of it before it got out.”

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

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.

The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

“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.