Prospect Ramblings: Injuries, hotshots news at training camps (Sept. 24)

Mark Allan

2016-09-24

After suffering a broken hand during the World Cup, Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray is missing three to six weeks of hockey action.

 

Some players don’t wait for the NHL season to begin before being hurt, which creates opportunities for others.

Injuries:

  • Pittsburgh’s outstanding young netminder Matt Murray won’t need surgery, but will be out three to six weeks recovering from a broken hand he suffered while playing for the North American young guns at the World Cup. That temporarily suspends the soap opera involving Murray and No. 1 incumbent Marc-Andre Fleury. The cap-crunched Penguins can’t just go out and acquire a veteran backup, so Tristan Jarry will likely back up Fleury until his young challenger returns to action.
  • Colorado’s superstar-in-waiting Mikko Rantanen could miss all of the Avalanche’s training camp after spraining an ankle Sept. 17 in a rookie tournament game against the Sharks. The RW is expected to be out of action for two to four weeks, and he will likely need some more AHL time to tune up for what promises to be his first substantial NHL campaign. After totaling 60 points in 52 AHL games last season as an 18-year-old against men, the strapping Finn has nothing left to prove on the farm. He is the clear successor to 39-year-old Jarome Iginla.
  • Boston prospect winger Frank Vatrano is expected to miss three months due to torn ligaments in his left foot, which he injured while training for what he hoped was a top-six role with the Bruins. The 22-year-old had eight goals and 11 points in 39 games with Boston last season. He got that opportunity by potting an AHL-best 36 goals in as many games.
  • Tomas Jurco, who hoped to make Detroit’s opening-day roster, isn't expected to be available to play until November. He had back surgery in August after hurting himself while working out. The Slovakian winger had four goals and six points in 44 NHL games last season, although five goals and nine points in nine AHL games were encouraging.
  • Young forward Oscar Lindberg, who quietly helped the Rangers with 28 points in 68 NHL games, is recovering from hip surgery and isn’t due to return to action until early November.
  •  Veteran winger Joffrey Lupul, still recovering from sports hernia surgery in February, began Toronto’s training camp on IR. The timetable for his return is unclear. Assuming William Nylander was already a strong bet to make the opening-day roster at RW, Lupul’s injury could help Nikita Soshnikov or Zach Hyman start the season in the NHL.
  • To nobody’s surprise, Islanders’ forward Mikhail Grabovski failed his training-camp physical due to concussion symptoms that have lingered since February. Still not cleared to even skate, there’s no guarantee he’ll play this season. Not that Grabovski figured to play a prominent role anyway, but his absence gives young phenom center Matt Barzal a better chance of catching on even in a lesser slot than his eventual top-si