Update (9/30/17 10:56 AM):
James Neal has come out on the ice NOT wearing red. He's not playing tomorrow, but that's a great sign for 10/6 and 10/7.
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) September 30, 2017
Well I mean of course it’s important and I’d love to be a part of it, but I’ve got make sure I’m ready to go. Injuries are never fun, but I’m doing everything I can here to be ready to go. -James Neal
He’s not going to play tonight, and there’s no chance he’s going to play the next game. We’ve got four or five practice days before the opener. He’s getting better every day, he feels a lot better. I’m not going to say he’ll be ready for the opener. We’re hoping, but we don’t know. -Gerard Gallant
Neal broke his hand in the first game of the Western Conference Finals. He had offseason surgery following the Stanley Cup Finals. The first day he hit the ice at City National Arena was September 21st. Every practice he’s participated in since he’s worn red “no contact” gear.
I love your plan of using the IR as a tool to hold Neal out for the first couple games and send someone through waivers before the home opener. If a team has an NHL roster spot open for someone they’ll probably claim on the 3rd. WWLLD?