NHL training camp news: Hamilton wants to stay with Hurricanes; Chara skates with Capitals

NHL Training Camp News

Checking in on what is happening in the NHL as training camps continue around the league.

Dougie Hamilton wants to stay with Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes have a lot of contracts to deal with after this season, and defenseman Dougie Hamilton will be one of the biggest.

Hamilton is entering the final year of his contract with the team and will be eligible for unrestricted free agency after this season. If he hits the open market he will be one of the top players available. It sounds like there is a mutual interest in making sure it never gets to that point.

The veteran defenseman said on Tuesday that is hopeful to re-sign with the team, via NHL.com.

General manager Don Waddell previously said he would like to get something done before the season. “That one, you would have doubts if you play out the season, so it makes sense to try to get something done before the start of the season.”

Hamilton was magnificent during the 2019-20 season and was putting together a Norris Trophy caliber season before an injury sidelined him for the second half of the regular season. He still finished seventh in the voting. The 27-year-old has spent two years with the Hurricanes, tallying 32 goals and 79 total points in his 129 games with the team. That goal total is tops among all defensemen in the league during that stretch even though he missed 25 games. He has scored at least 10 goals in each of his past six seasons, while also posting elite possession numbers.

His current contract is a team friendly deal against the salary cap at $5.75 million per season. His next contract may not be.

Zdeno Chara takes the ice with Capitals

New defenseman Zdeno Chara was on the ice for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, skating with the team’s second practice group. He was not with the team on Monday while quarantining and going through all of the league’s COVID-19 protocols. Chara will join the Capitals’ main practice group on Wednesday.

This is strange to see. Not only because it is Zdeno Chara in Capitals gear, but also that music!

More news and notes from around the NHL

David Perron was on the St. Louis Blues top line on Tuesday — alongside Ryan O'Reilly and Brayden Schenn — after undergoing hernia surgery during the offseason.

Meanwhile, veteran forward Mike Hoffman was skating on the team’s second line with Robert Thomas and Jaden Schwartz. That is a heck of a top-six for the Blues, and that is without the services of Vladimir Tarasenko who will open the regular season on LTIR.

Defenseman Torey Krug, the other big offseason addition in St. Louis, was skating on the top-pairing alongside veteran Colton Parayko.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has heard the trade rumors and only wants to focus on getting back to being the player that he was. He was limited to just 42 games a year ago and posted by far the worst numbers of his NHL career. Will a fresh start and better health this season get him back on track?

Joe Pavelski was back on the ice for the Dallas Stars today after missing practice on Monday.

The intriguing thing here is Hintz and Gurianov on the top line. Both players were outstanding for the Stars a year ago and have absolutely earned a larger role. Gurianov was not only the Stars’ leading goal scoring in the regular season and playoffs, he was one of the most efficient goal scorers in the entire NHL when you factor in his ice time and usage.

Using those two players more this season could be a big factor in the Stars improving their offense, and making up for the early absence of Tyler Seguin.

The Edmonton Oilers opened training camp this week with Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins playing on Connor McDavid‘s wings. This is not the first time they have used Kassian in that spot, with mixed results in the past. It certainly boosts Kassian’s production to skate in that spot. Sportsnet has more on that.

Free agent acquisition Kyle Turris was centering the third line between Josh Archibald and 2017 No. 4 overall pick Jesse Puljujarvi. Depending on how Turris and Puljujarvi play this season that third line has some intriguing potential.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Scroll Down For:

    Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

    Ilya Mikheyev
    Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

    Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

    Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

    Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

    Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

    Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports

    Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

    The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

    Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

    After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

    Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

    Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

    caufield surgery
    David Kirouac/USA TODAY Sports

    MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

    But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

    “I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

    Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

    “I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

    Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

    Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

    Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

    All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

    matty beniers
    Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

    SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

    Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

    The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

    Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

    Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.