Nicklas Backstrom eying season opener return after hip surgery

Jared Clinton
Nicklas Backstrom. (Photo by Patrick Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

There was some uncertainty surrounding the health of Nicklas Backstrom, but the Capitals center is hopeful he’ll be back on the ice when Washington opens its season on Oct. 10.

In an interview with Sverigesradio, a Swedish radio station, Backstrom said that he’s not certain quite yet that his injury will have him ready to go, but that he was staying positive about his chances of being in the lineup when the 2015-16 season kicks off.

“We will just have to wait and see how things go exactly,” Backstrom told Sverigesradio. “But of course I’m hoping that I will be ready for the start of the season.” Read more

Amanda Kessel’s final NCAA season claimed by concussion

Jared Clinton
Amanda Kessel (Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Amanda Kessel has the potential to be one of the greatest women’s players in the world, but concussion issues that will force her to miss a second straight season and end her NCAA career.

According to the Grand Forks Herald, Kessel, 23, will skip her senior season with the NCAA’s University of Minnesota Gophers. Gophers coach Brad Frost confirmed that Kessel will skip the season to the Herald, saying, “It’s just not worth it for her and her health.”

Kessel has not suited up since playing for Team USA at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but she hasn’t participated in any of the national team’s events since sustaining the injury. The concussion occurred before the Olympics began, but was cleared to play and posted three goals and six points in five games to finish in a tie for third in tournament scoring. Read more

No surgery for Max Pacioretty, should be ready for Habs opener

Ken Campbell
Max Pacioretty Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Even though Max Pacioretty will be out of action for 12 weeks with a knee injury, it will not require surgery. So that means if he heals precisely according to plan, Pacioretty will be ready to go five days before the Canadiens open their season against the Toronto Maple Leafs. If he’s a quick healer, he might be ready even sooner.

So it’s probably best to save your summer angst for something else. The Canadiens announced their top scorer injured his knee – they didn’t say which one – during an off-ice workout in Florida Thursday and is expected to be out 12 weeks. That would take him to Oct. 2 and the Canadiens don’t open their season until Oct. 7. But the best news is that the injury does not require him to go under the knife.

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Johnny Oduya played through elbow tear following Game 3 injury

Jared Clinton
Johnny Oduya winces as several members of the Lightning look on (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images Sport)

In Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final, Chicago defenseman Johnny Oduya, already logging big minutes as one of the Blackhawks’ top-four blueliners, was tripped up by Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov and fell awkwardly to the ice. Soon thereafter, he left to the dressing room and barely played the rest of the evening.

When he did get into the game, it looked as though he was using only one arm, poking at the puck instead of being able to play it effectively. Come Game 4, however, Oduya was back in the lineup and playing one of the biggest minute regulation games of his post-season, skating nearly 26 minutes in a 2-1 Chicago victory.

He continued with the big minutes in Games 5 and 6, logging close to 50 minutes over the final two games of the series as the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. As such, it comes as somewhat of a surprise to learn that Oduya, following the knock from Kucherov, was playing through a tear in his elbow that he said left his arm feeling as if it had no power. Read more

Lightning’s Bishop tore groin in Stanley Cup final, Johnson played with broken wrist

Jared Clinton
Ben Bishop (Bill Smith/Getty Images)

With the Stanley Cup final over and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated, there was no point in goaltender Ben Bishop continuing to keep whatever injury was ailing him shrouded in secret. Following Game 6 of the final, Bishop told media that he suffered a torn groin in Game 2, an injury that forced him to miss the final moments of that game and miss Game 4 altogether.

Throughout the series, the running storyline had been surrounding Bishop’s injury and the questions regarding whether he would or would not be starting come game time. In Game 3, he was questionable, but got the nod from coach Jon Cooper. And though he didn’t start Game 4, he was back between the pipes for crucial Games 5 and 6.

“I couldn’t move,” Bishop told the Tampa Bay Tribune following Game 6. “It was one of those things where if I went out there, I could have torn it completely and I would have been done for the series.” Read more

Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom could miss five months following hip surgery

Jared Clinton
Nicklas Backstrom. (Photo by Patrick Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

Nicklas Backstrom had an incredible season for the Washington Capitals, but the star pivot says he had been playing on a bad hip since early in the 2014-15 season. Following surgery to repair the ailment, there could be a long road of rehab ahead for the one-time 100-point scorer.

In an interview with Swedish news outlet Gefle Dagblad, Backstrom said the type of hip injury he suffered and the subsequent surgery has no definite timetable for full recovery, but he has heard that he could be sidelined for up to five months. Right now, Backstrom told the Gefle Dagblad, he’s simply trying to get back to normal. Read more

Surgery reveals Ducks’ Thompson played with two labral tears in shoulder, out 5-6 months

Jared Clinton
Nate Thompson drives around Johnny Oduya. (Debora Robinson/Getty Images)

After missing the Ducks’ first-round series against the Winnipeg Jets, Nate Thompson suited up for each of Anaheim’s next 12 games, including seven in the third round against the Chicago Blackhawks. While it was known that he was playing hurt, the extent of his injury wasn’t known until he surgery was performed on his shoulder.

Thompson’s surgery, which he underwent Thursday, revealed he had two torn labrums in his left shoulder. The injury is to such an extent that come the beginning of next season, Thompson will likely miss at least the first month of the upcoming 2015-16 campaign.

Something to keep in mind when trying to grasp how Thompson could have possibly played through what was surely almost insurmountable pain is that he suffered the injury before the post-season, so it wasn’t as if he had time to heal before going into the playoffs. He dealt with the full brunt of the pain from an injury the Orange County Register’s Eric Stephens reported Thompson suffered in an April 11 game against the Arizona Coyotes. Read more

Lightning bends over backward to keep Bishop’s status a mystery

Ben Bishop  (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

TAMPA – At this point in the Stanley Cup final, it appears the prospect of world peace hinges on the Tampa Bay Lightning keeping a complete secret Ben Bishop’s status for Game 5.

This much we know. Bishop took part in the morning skate, which means he might be playing. Had he not skated, he wouldn’t have been playing. We also know that progress is being made in the mysterious injury. Bishop made that clear during his availability after the skate. And lastly, we also know that for some reason, the Lightning thinks it can gain a competitive advantage by keeping everyone guessing about its goaltender’s status for tonight.

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