Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2021-22 season, NHL.com will have you covered with the latest news.
Mike Hoffman will make his debut for the Canadiens against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; RDS, TSN2, NBCSCA, ESPN+, NHL LIVE), coach Dominique Ducharme said.
The forward, who signed a three-year contract, was injured during the offseason prior to arriving in Montreal and did not participate in training camp.
Hoffman skated on the third line with Adam Brooks and Brendan Gallagher.
“He’s a team guy and I think he proved it too,” Ducharme said Monday. “Like if you go back in Ottawa, they went to the conference final (2017) and he was playing with [Jean-Gabriel] Pageau and quite often against the best line on the other side. So he’s able to play. He’s a hockey player, he can play 5-on-5, and for sure he’s going to help us on the power play.”
Brock Boeser could make his season debut for the Canucks against the Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. ET; SN360, MSG-B, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).
The forward has not played this season because of an undisclosed injury. He led Vancouver in goals (23) and points (49) in 56 games last season.
“Not sure if he’s in,” coach Travis Green said after practice Tuesday. “We’ll talk to the trainers after he gets off the ice.”
Boeser, who said the injury was lingering during training camp, practiced on a line with Elias Pettersson and Alex Chiasson.
“Just taking everything a day at a time,” Boeser said Monday. “First step today was to get through practice and I felt like I had a pretty good practice today so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
Defenseman Travis Hamonic was placed on a temporary leave of absence on Monday because of a personal matter.
“We have to worry about the guys that are here and coach the guys that are here,” Green said. “But also there’s the human side of it, and we miss ‘Hammer,’ we want him to be back playing, but we also want to make sure he’s OK.” — Kevin Woodley
Evgeni Malkin skated for the first time this season Monday.
The center wore a tracksuit on the ice about an hour before the Penguins practiced. He is expected to be out at least two months of the season after having knee surgery June 4.
“Anytime a player goes back on the ice, I think it’s significant,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “Obviously, he was in a tracksuit earlier today. It was his first step. He’s been working extremely hard off the ice, going through the rehab process, but certainly, that’s a significant step for him.”
Pittsburgh will be without first-line center Sidney Crosby and right wing Bryan Rust against the Dallas Stars at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, BSSW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).
Crosby will miss his fourth straight game after having wrist surgery Sept. 8. He did not practice Monday.
Rust is week to week with a lower-body injury sustained in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday. He did not play in a 5-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
Jeff Carter is currently in Crosby’s spot on the first line with Danton Heinen replacing Rust at right wing. Jake Guentzel remains first-line left wing.
Defenseman Mike Matheson returned to practice Monday and could play Tuesday after missing the first three games with a lower-body injury. Defenseman Mark Friedman sustained a lower-body injury in practice that Sullivan said is not expected to be significant. — Wes Crosby