Training Camp Buzz: Zohorna could replace injured Malkin for Penguins

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

 

Pittsburgh Penguins

Radim Zohorna was used in center Evgeni Malkin‘s usual position at Penguins training camp on Friday. 

The forward skated with left wing Jason Zucker and right wing Kasperi Kapanen, Malkin’s linemates from late last season. That center spot became open after general manager Ron Hextall said Thursday that Malkin would be out for the first two months of the regular season after having knee surgery June 4.  

“I don’t know if he’s played center before, but he’s doing a good job out there,” Kapanen said of Zohorna. “He can move. He’s a big guy (6-foot-6, 220 pounds), but he also loves passing the puck. He makes great plays.” 

First-line center Sidney Crosby is expected to miss at least the first week of the season after having wrist surgery Sept. 8. Crosby has skated on his own before each of the first two days of training camp. 

Jeff Carter would likely take Crosby’s place on the first line, possibly with Jake Guentzel at left wing and Bryan Rust to the right. Teddy Blueger, normally on the fourth line, is an option for the second line. — Wes Crosby

 

Dallas Stars

Ben Bishop will participate in training camp but the goalie is not cleared to play games, general manager Jim Nill said Thursday.

“He’s just going to continue to go through the process to see where he is,” Nill said. “He’s been skating all summer and now we’re going to ramp up the workload and see where he’s at.”

Bishop did not play last season after having surgery Oct. 21 to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. He was expected to need at least five months to recover. The Stars play their first preseason game at the St. Louis Blues on Sept. 27.

“It’s a good first day,” Bishop said. “It feels unbelievable to be back practicing with the guys. I think that was my first full practice … since pre-COVID, so it’s been a long time coming. It’s nice to be out there and it’s still a building process. We’re still trying to get better every day as far as myself and the knee, so just kind of take it day-by-day and see how it goes.”

The Stars signed goalie Braden Holtby to a one-year contract July 28. They also have goalies Anton Khudobin and Jake Oettinger.

Forward Roope Hintz, who had surgery May 19 to repair an adductor muscle, is participating in camp and is expected to be ready for the regular-season opener at the New York Rangers on Oct. 14, Nill said. — Taylor Baird

 

Seattle Kraken

Yanni Gourde skated in a red non-contact jersey when the Kraken held their first practice of training camp as the center continues to recover from shoulder surgery in July.

“I would say he’s definitely ahead of schedule,” general manager Ron Francis said. “As we’re finding out, he’s a guy that’s tough to hold back. But he’s really worked hard and rehabbed hard, so it’s exciting to see him on the ice Day One of camp.”

The Kraken selected Gourde from the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft on July 21.

“I think in the summertime I was thinking probably early December (for his return), so I’m expecting him earlier than that,” Francis said. — Nicholas J. Cotsonika

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