News: Coach Lindy Ruff acknowledged Sergei Gonchar (ankle) could be out for "a period of time," Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Though the Stars are still a full week away from their regular-season opener against the Blackhawks, Ruff's ominous words suggest Sergei Gonchar's status is in serious question for that contest, and possibly beyond. More information regarding his condition should be available in the coming days, but it might be prudent to move him down a few pegs on your draft board, in the event the injury proves to be more serious. Gonchar's fantasy appeal was already on the downturn before he suffered the ailment, as he tallied only two goals and 20 assists in his first season in Big D, with his 22 points representing his lowest output for a full campaign since 1997-98.
News: Jordie Benn (upper body) was back on the ice with the main group during Tuesday's practice, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: With the Stars' preseason schedule now finished and the team's regular season opener a full week, Jordie Benn looks like he'll be safe from missing any meaningful action. Benn will look to replicate or improve upon his successful full season in Dallas, during which he tallied three goals, 17 assists and a plus-16 rating while averaging 19:09 of ice time per night.
News: Kari Lehtonen (concussion) returned to the ice Thursday morning, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: This would seem to support coach Lindy Ruff's claim earlier in the week that his netminder was feeling fine after suffering a light concussion Monday. With Dallas' preseason schedule now concluded, expect Kari Lehtonen to be back in the net for the team's regular-season opener Oct. 9 against the Blackhawks.
News: Tomas Tatar did not skate Thursday after taking a knee to the head in Wednesday night's game, but doesn't expect to miss the season opener, the Detroit Free Press reports. Analysis: The Red Wings got a scare Wednesday, but it appears Tomas Tatar does not have a concussion and will be fine. They may hold him out of the exhibition games over the weekend but all signs point to him being in the lineup for the first game of the season.
News: Jordan Staal (broken leg) was placed on injured reserve Thursday, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Analysis: Jordan Staal is still expected to miss three to four months after fracturing his right fibula in a preseason game Sept. 23. An early return around late December would be the best-case scenario here, however a more realistic expectation would be sometime in mid- to late-January.
News: Jimmy Howard saved 31 shots but fell to the Penguins 2-0 in preseason action Wednesday. Analysis: The Red Wings will rise or fall on the shoulders of Jimmy Howard this season, as the pressure mounts to prove last season was an aberration. Howard let up a bad rebound on one of the goals but played well for the most part. He is the unequivocal starter to begin the year but it remains to be seen what kind of leash he will be on should he struggle out of the gates.
News: Brock McGinn was assigned to AHL Charlotte on Thursday, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Analysis: Brock McGinn was a longshot to crack the Canes' roster this season, having only played four games at the AHL level two seasons ago. If he can show the same kind of scoring touch with the Checkers that he had in junior (171 points in 227 games over four seasons with the Guelph Storm of the OHL), he should be one of the first guys the Canes call up if they run into injury trouble.
News: David Pastrnak (shoulder) is back to absorbing contact in practice, the Bruins' official site reports. Analysis: The report notes that David Pastrnak could see action in one or both of the Bruins' remaining two preseason games, Friday against the Islanders and/or Saturday against the Red Wings. The youngster thus remains in the mix to potentially claim one of the team's remaining open forward spots, along with the likes of Craig Cunningham, Jordan Caron, Bobby Robins, Matt Fraser and Simon Gagne.
News: Haydn Fleury was returned to his junior team Thursday, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Analysis: Haydn Fleury, 18, was the Canes' first-round draft pick this year and appeared in two preseason exhibition games for the Canes before his demotion. He had a solid camp and preseason, however the Canes have solid depth on the blue line coming into this season with eight defensemen who played 40 or more games at the NHL level last year. Fleury will get his shot someday, but may need to spend some time in the AHL before he lands in the NHL full time. For now, he will ply his trade for the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL.
News: Tyler Seguin has played in four of the Stars' preseason contests, accruing three goals and an assist. Analysis: All four of Tyler Seguin's points came in Monday's contest against the Panthers, with his hat trick keying the Stars' comeback victory. Seguin emerged as one of the NHL's premier scoring talents in his first season in Big D, and with Jamie Benn and talented youngster Valeri Nichushkin back beside him, it's possible he could make a run at his first Art Ross Trophy.