NHL Player News
Berglund (shoulder) continues to rehab his surgically repaired shoulder, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Berglund has now had surgery on both shoulders -- which should hopefully put this issue behind him when he is ready to suit up in December. The center -- who suffered the injury in a training accident -- figures to be a key contributor once he is given the all clear. Whether fantasy owners want to risk stashing him away for that long will likely be determined by the quality of the rest of their roster.
Blandisi is a candidate to step into a center role following news that veteran Travis Zajac (torn pectoral muscle) will miss 4-to-6 months of action, NJ.com reports.
While Blandisi could be called upon for an increased role, the 23-year-old said, "I don't think there's going to be any replacing Trav," adding that it'll take a team effort to replace a guy who "plays a lot of minutes in all parts of the game." Regarding Blandisi's limitations, the third-year skater is unfamiliar with the penalty kill, so that figures to be a major hurdle as he looks to at least partially offset the loss of Zajac. Of course, the Devils could turn to 19-year-old prospect Michael McLeod if necessary, making this a situation worth monitoring as training camp looms.
Gauthier (leg) participated in drills as part of an informal workout Monday, the Toronto Star reports.
Toronto's first-round (21st overall) selection from the 2013 draft is still recovering from a gruesome leg injury that he sustained with the AHL's Marlies during last season's Calder Cup playoffs. A massive defense-first pivot at 6-foot-5 and 238 pounds, Gauthier reportedly was held out of a 3-on-3 session following his performing drills, as this marks the first time he's even skated since the ailment originally surfaced.
Guentzel racked up 23 points to lead the Da Beauty League in scoring.
While some might chalk Guentzel's success up to simply being in a summer league, the caliber of competition -- Nick Bjugstad, Dustin Byfuglien and Drew Stafford, for example -- makes the youngster's success hard to ignore. A natural center, the 22-year-old could help fill the gap down the middle of the Pens' lineup, but it seems doubtful coach Mike Sullivan will want to break up his Stanley Cup winning "Sid and the Kids" line.
Dea agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with Pittsburgh on Monday.
Dea could be in line for larger role with the Pens this season as they haven't shored up the center position behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Carter Rowney appears to have the inside track for the third-line spot, but the fourth-line role likely won't be decided until closer to the end of training camp. The 23-year-old Dea would need to beat out Greg McKegg and Dominik Simon, but this is a positional battle worth monitoring heading into the 2017-18 campaign.
Lehtera, who was traded from the Blues to the Flyers on June 23, has been skating and working out at his former team's practice facility with eagerness for the upcoming season, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
The Finn spent his first three seasons in St. Louis, having surged out of the gate with a rookie year that included 14 goals, 30 assists and a plus-21 rating. However, his production slipped quite a bit in the two subsequent years -- all the way down to 22 points and a minus-6 rating over 64 contests in 2016-17. Perhaps a change of scenery will invigorate Lehtera, but don't be surprised if it takes him awhile to settle in. After all, he's projected to start out in a bottom-six role for a Flyers offense that was inferior to the Blues during his tenure with the Notes.
Couture said he's still feeling "pretty store" five months after taking a puck to the face in a game against the Predators, CSN Bay Area reports.
Recall that San Jose's top-line pivot was held out for the final seven games of 2016-17's regular season after he got in the way of a deflected shot from teammate Brent Burns. However, showing incredible resolve, Couture suited up for the conference quarterfinals and at least bordered on his typical productive self with two goals on 10 shots to complement a helper over six games. "There's good days and bad days," Couture said, adding that the injury fortunately "didn't affect my training, and hopefully won't affect me going forward."
Duchene is expected to be in training camp for Colorado amid ongoing rumors that he could be traded, The Denver Post reports.
The prolific scoring winger surprisingly made it through the expansion draft, regular entry draft, and a July 1 free-agency signing bonanza without moving on from the lowly Avalanche. While he still has two years and $12 million left on a five-year contract, many hockey pundits thought he'd be long gone by now. Regardless of his destination, Duchene's focus will be improving upon a lackluster 2016-17 campaign in which he posted 41 points -- his lowest since an abbreviated 2011-12 season -- and a career-worst minus-34 rating.
Girgensons agreed to terms on a two-year contract with Buffalo on Thursday worth $1.6 million of average annual value, Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News reports.
Girgensons' past two seasons have been disappointing -- a combined 34 points from 2015-17 -- after a solid sophomore campaign in 2014-15 (15 goals and 15 helpers). Despite the drop off in production, the 23-year-old was one of the Sabres' offseason priorities that they have now locked in for two more years. Considering he averaged a mere 13:10 of ice time last season, the center figures to offer mid-range fantasy value at best.
Zajac underwent surgery on a torn pectoral muscle and will miss the next 4-to-6 months.
Zajac played in 80 contests last season and was in line to challenge for a third straight 40-plus point campaign. Instead, the center will be out until mid-December at the earliest. With the 32-year-old sidelined, Pavel Zacha will likely slot in as the first-line center and rookie Nico Hischier could be forced into a top-six role right out of the gate.