Checking in on some NHL injury news around the league as teams continue to play through training camp and the preseason.
Tough injury for Quinton Byfield
The Los Angeles Kings have quite a few reasons for optimism this season thanks to some big offseason additions and a top farm system led by top prospect Quinton Byfield. Byfield has impressed so far this preseason and figured to play a big role this season behind Anze Kopitar and Philip Danault in the Kings’ lineup. But he suffered a lower-body injury on Tuesday night that is going to sideline him on a week-to-week basis.
Byfield figures to be one of the top Calder Trophy contenders in the league this season and should be a key long-term building block for an improving Kings team.
UPDATE: The Kings announced Wednesday that Byfield fractured his ankle and is out indefinitely. He will be re-evaluated in a few weeks.
Hughes could return on Thursday
The New Jersey Devils got a little bit of a scare when Jack Hughes had to leave a recent preseason game early. Given his importance to their roster and the likelihood of a breakout season he is one player the Devils can not afford to lose for any length of time this season. So any injury is a concern. The good news, though, is that he seems to be progressing and according to coach Lindy Ruff could potentially play in Thursday’s preseason game. Ruff would not commit to him playing and said they have to see how Hughe feels, but the fact it is even a consideration for a preseason game bodes well for his availability for the regular season opener next week.
Samsonov seems to be okay
Washington Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov suffered a lower-body injury on Saturday night, causing some concern in the team’s goal crease. But he was already back at practice on Wednesday and said that he was experiencing no pain. The Capitals expect him to be ready for the start of the 2021-22 regular season. Samsonov is trying to rebound from what turned out to be a lost 2020-21 season that did not go as he or the team planned. He is still the most talented goalie on the roster and a potential long-term solution in net, but they really need him to grab the position this season and run with it. It might be too soon to call it a make-or-break year for him in Washington, but he does need to take a step forward.
Panthers lose Acciari
The battle of Florida does not take a break in the preseason. Tuesday’s Florida-Tampa Bay game was far more intense than your run-of-the-mill preseason game, and it resulted in Panthers forward Noel Acciari injuring himself during a scrum when he dove into the pile to support a teammate. The Panthers are still waiting for official word on Acciari’s status, but coach Joel Quenneville admitted after the game it did not look good. His availability for the start of the regular season seems to be in doubt.
Linesman injured in pregame collision
Scary scene in Los Angeles where linesman Ryan Gibbons had to be stretchered off the ice before Tuesday’s Coyotes-Kings game following a pre-game collision. You can see the incident in the video below. He was transported to a local hospital and was conscious.