In a little over a week, live hockey will return. The NHL’s qualifying round played in Toronto and Edmonton will begin on August 1, as 24 teams will hope to come out of the long break and win the Stanley Cup.
In the meantime, there are still plenty of headlines out there in the NHL. Here are some of the latest news and notes.
Crosby Skating Again
Penguins C Sidney Crosby made some fans worry after leaving this weekend’s scrimmage for undisclosed reasons. But the captain returned to the ice on Wednesday, albeit individually.
After leaving the scrimmage on Saturday, Crosby missed practice on Sunday and another scrimmage on Monday. Following a scheduled off-day on Tuesday, Crosby took the ice about 30 minutes before Pittsburgh’s practice began. However, he did not take part in the team workout.
As part of the NHL “Return to Play” plan, the Penguins cannot disclose any player injury or illness information. While Crosby has been out, Evan Rodrigues has taken his spot as the first-line center for three consecutive sessions.
Are the Bruins Shorthanded?
The Bruins ended the shortened season with 100 points and the league’s top record. But there is some concern that they won’t have their full arsenal ready when they resume play.
Both F David Pastrnak and F Ondrej Kase are unlikely to be with the team until they head to Toronto to be in the bubble. Pastrnak, who led the league with 48 goals, has practiced just once with the Bruins after spending nearly all of the time off in his native country of the Czech Republic. As for Kase, he has yet to practice with the whole group after his short six-game run with Boston was halted.
One other injury note for the Bruins involves their goaltender Tuukka Rask. The veteran revealed that he sustained a fractured finger while working out in the last few weeks. However, Rask said that it’s nothing major and that he should be ready when the Bruins begin play. Boston will play three round-robin games to determine seeding before their playoff round begins.
Lindblom Could Return for the Flyers
Oskar Lindblom has already battled a won a fight against cancer this year. But now the Flyers forward may have a chance to join his teammates on the ice for the playoffs.
GM Chuck Fletcher expressed hope that Lindblom would be one of the players headed to the bubble for Philadelphia. The 23-year old just signed a deal on Wednesday for three years and $9 million. He has been out since December with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
The Flyers, with Lindblom or not, will begin play in the round-robin portion of the league’s return to action. Their first game will be August 2 against the Bruins.