All things considered the Golden Knights are rather healthy as they progress through training camp. Nonetheless, they aren’t without a few bumps and bruises, a few we were already aware of, and one new one that popped up yesterday. Here’s the quick run down of the injured Golden Knights.
The first Golden Knight now becomes the first to be injured while physically wearing a Vegas uniform. After participating in every session during rookie camp and playing both games in El Segundo against the Kings, Duke was held out from the first day full training camp with a injury sustained in the second rookie game.
Gerard Gallant confirmed the injury during his post practice press conference but would not disclose any details nor the severity. Duke was on the ice throughout the entire second game in El Segundo, finishing off his final shift with 1:30 left in the 3rd period. Before he exited that final shift, he was checked into the boards after dumping the puck into the Kings zone. The camera panned away so we were unable to see if Duke was injured on that play or earlier in the game.
He was seen hanging around the glass watching practice, but never dressed to play and was not in the locker room during media availability.
Neal broke his hand early in the Predators Western Conference Finals series with the Ducks. He continued to play with the injury all the way through Stanley Cup Finals and logged more than 21 minutes in the last game of the series.
Neal has been in Vegas since last week, but has yet to hit the ice either during informal practices or on the first day of training camp.
He may be a little bit behind everybody else. Two, three, four weeks. It’s hard to say at this point. The hand is taking some more time to recover than anticipated. -George McPhee
There’s a pretty sizable difference between two, three, and four weeks. Two weeks has him back on the ice prior to the final preseason game and could see him in uniform on October 6th in Dallas. Three weeks has him out through the first week of the regular season at the very least, and four weeks could cause him to miss a majority of the first home-stand if not the first month of the season.
I’m sure Neal would like to get back out there as soon as possible, but while he’s away, the door is open for guys like Alex Tuch, Brendan Leipsic, and William Carrier to make the roster out of camp. It could even open the door for the likes of Tomas Hyka, T.J. Tynan, Tomas Nosek, or even a guy with only an AHL contract with the Chicago Wolves, Tyler Wong.
A player the Golden Knights expected to be out for the entire season says he wants to play this season in Vegas. Grabovski suffered multiple concussions during the 2015-16 season and wound up sitting out the back end of that season. He then missed the entire 2016-17 season on long term injured reserve (LTIR). The Golden Knights acquired Grabovski, and his $5M contract, via trade during the Expansion Draft.
Mikhail Grabovski is in Vegas for his physical and wants to play. His agent, Gary Greenstin, says he’s “very positive.”
— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) September 14, 2017
George McPhee said the tests are not in on Grabovski and it’ll be up to the doctors if he’ll be cleared to play. McPhee added that he did not expect Grabovski to play this season when he made the trade.
If Grabovski is cleared to play, and he returns with the skill he showed before the concussions, he’ll likely be one of the top two or three centers on the Golden Knights. But, he still has many hurdles to climb, and odds are the plan will remain the same and he’ll wind up on LTIR to begin the season.