Training Camp Buzz: Smith may not be ready for Devils season opener


Welcome to the 2021-22 NHL training camp buzz. With training camps open for all 32 teams, has you covered with all the latest news.


New Jersey Devils

Ty Smith may not play for the Devils in their season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks at home Oct. 15. 

“I think we’ll have to evaluate but that’s a possibility, yes,” coach Lindy Ruff said Monday.

The defenseman yet to play a preseason game because of an undisclosed injury.

“He’s going to be out for a little bit,” Ruff said. “I don’t have the exact amount of time, but I don’t anticipate him practicing for the next little while.”

Jack Hughes will not play in a preseason game against the Washington Capitals in Newark on Monday. The center was not on the ice for the morning skate and had some tests. Ruff said he hopes Hughes can practice Tuesday.

Hughes was injured in the second period of a 2-1 overtime win against the New York Islanders in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on Oct. 2 after he was cross-checked by New York forward Ross Johnston. He played one more shift before going to the locker room and not returning.

The Devils will also be without Damon Severson against the Capitals. The defenseman has a muscle strain sustained when he slipped on a puck and went into the boards during the morning skate. 

Jesper Bratt will make his preseason debut after the forward recovered from an illness unrelated to COVID-19.

“He’ll be excited to get in,” Ruff said. “He was going to play the other night but didn’t feel well, so we took him out. But his practices have been good, scrimmages.” — Mike G. Morreale


Montreal Canadiens

Cole Caufield returned to practice on a line with center Nick Suzuki and left wing Tyler Toffoli. The 20-year-old had been sidelined with an upper-body injury sustained during Red vs. White intrasquad game at Bell Centre in Montreal on Sept 26.

“I kind of caught an edge and just fell, it was more precautionary than anything,” Caufield said. “I feel back to normal now. It was good to get back out there with the guys. I feel like I’ve been good for a while, just got to make sure of that last week. So I’m 100 percent now.”

Carey Price did not skate because of an illness unrelated to COVID-19. The goalie is recovering from knee surgery and it’s questionable whether he will be ready for the season opener at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 13.

“If he misses the first game we don’t believe it will drag (on) too long,” Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said

Sam Montembeault, claimed off waivers from the Florida Panthers on Saturday, will start against Toronto on Tuesday. Jake Allen will face the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

Ducharme said Mike Hoffman (lower body) is likely to begin skating this week. The forward will be out for at least the first week of the season. — Sean Farrell


Florida Panthers

The Panthers expect forwards Joe Thornton, Carter Verhaeghe, Anton Lundell and Maxim Mamin, and defenseman Gustav Forsling, will play this week.

Each returned to practice Monday, with Thornton hopeful for Thursday at the Tampa Bay Lightning after he was off the ice the past two days because of undisclosed reasons. 

Coach Joel Quenneville said that Lundell should play Thursday coming off a minor injury.

“He didn’t skip a beat (at practice),” Quenneville told the Panthers website. “He looked like he’d been a part of this group for a while.”

Quenneville said Verhaeghe, Mamin and Forsling are possible for Saturday at Tampa Bay following undisclosed injuries. The Panthers begin the regular season at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 14.


Washington Capitals

Ilya Samsonov is day to day with a lower-body injury, Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said.

The goalie did not practice Sunday nor Monday. He was injured during a 3-1 preseason loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. 

“It’s day to day,” Laviolette said. “I don’t read much into it. Hopefully day to day.” 


Vancouver Canucks

Brock Boeser is out the rest of the preseason because of an undisclosed injury, general manager Jim Benning said Sunday.

The forward missed practice Thursday, but there was no update available at the time. Coach Travis Green announced Boeser would be out at least a week after a 4-1 preseason loss at the Calgary Flames on Friday.

The Canucks begin the regular season at the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 13.

“We’re hoping that he’s ready to start the year, but we’ll just have to see how the injury progresses,” Benning said.

Boeser led the Canucks in goals (23) and points (49) in 56 games last season,

Center Brandon Sutter won’t be available to start the regular season. He hasn’t skated after reporting to training camp with fatigue that remains undiagnosed. 

“He’s still undergoing some testing,” Benning said. “He won’t be available to start the season with us, and we’ll just continue to monitor him to see where he’s at and then once he starts feeling better, he’ll get out on the ice and then we’ll have a better timeline as to when he’ll be back.” — Kevin Woodley

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