NHL Training Camp Buzz: Suzuki out two weeks for Canadiens

Welcome to the 2022-23 NHL training camp buzz. Training camp is underway for all 32 teams and NHL.com has you covered with all the latest news.

Montreal Canadiens

Nick Suzuki will be out two weeks with a lower-body injury, the Canadiens said Thursday.

The forward, who was named captain Sept. 12, had NHL career highs in games (82), goals (21), assists (40) and points (61) last season.

Defenseman Joel Edmundson is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury, and forwards Josh Anderson (upper body) and Jake Evans (upper body) are each day to day. Forward Paul Byron is recovering from a hip injury.

Evans skated Thursday with forward Sean Monahan, who is recovering from hip surgery. The Canadiens are without goalie Carey Price (knee), who is not expected to play this season and is on a long-term injured reserve.

“It’s tough but it’s kind of a nice lesson for us to learn early on, guys are going to go down,” forward Brendan Gallagher said. “You know it’s a long season, it’s a grind, you’re not going to have it going all year. So it’s good for other people to step up, and obviously right now through camp here trying to work on things, chemistry and build on the systems that we kind of implemented last year. So it’s an opportunity for guys to kind of take charge.”

The Canadiens begin the regular season against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 12. — Sean Farrell

Toronto Maple Leafs

Jake Muzzin will be unavailable for the start of training camp because of back discomfort.

The defenseman is expected to return to early next week.

Muzzin was limited to 47 regular-season games (three goals, 11 assists), missing time with two separate concussions and an undisclosed injury last season.

“A few injuries but we looked after those during the season and during the offseason, just kind of did my similar stuff where we got the body ready to go for another season,” Muzzin said Wednesday. “I’m feeling good, I haven’t thought anything about the concussions. I’ve had in the past and I’m feeling good and ready to go for this year.” — Dave McCarthy

New Jersey Devils

Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood and defenseman Dougie Hamilton are healthy after each missed significant time due to injury last season.

Blackwood was limited to 25 games (24 starts) last season because of COVID-19 and a recurring left heel injury.

“The summer was good for me, good for my ankle … I have no pain anymore,” Blackwood said. “I’m feeling good so I’m able to do everything on the ice that I need to do. I’m feeling refreshed, excited, and ready to put the work in and try and have a great year.”

Hamilton missed 17 games after he sustained a broken jaw.

“I’m obviously excited to get out there today and start working with the new coaches and some new players and I think it was a good first day,” Hamilton said. “I think it’s going to take some time for … I might never ever be normal but there’s still some nerve damage. I think when I returned to the lineup last season, it wasn’t about the pain necessarily, but just the mask I had to wear.”

Hamilton practiced without a mask Thursday and said he doesn’t intend to wear one during the preseason games or the regular season.

“I definitely didn’t feel the same as I felt at the start of the last year after the injury, so for me, it was just trying to work as hard as I could this summer to feel better and get healthier and play like I did at the start of the season,” Hamilton said. “I think I can do that.” — Mike G. Morreale

Colorado Avalanche

Valeri Nichushkin will miss the start of training camp with a foot injury but could return when the regular season starts Oct. 12, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said.

“He is [one of the guys who isn’t ready to start camp]. He’s back skating and close,” Bednar said Thursday of the forward, who signed an eight-year contract with Colorado on July 11. “Hopefully we have him for the start of the regular season, but he won’t be in full participation come tomorrow morning.”

Nichushkin sustained the injury during the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning but did not miss a game. — Ryan Boulding

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