Training Camp Buzz: Drouin to play first game since leave last season

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

 

Montreal Canadiens

Jonathan Drouin will play for the first time since taking a leave of absence April 28 last season.

“I’ve had anxiety problems for many years, insomnia problems that relate to my anxiety,” Drouin told RDS on Sept. 20. “… Obviously, playoffs were coming around, so it wasn’t an easy thing to do. I’m proud of what I’ve done and I’m happy I did it. I’m 26 years old, so I wanted to do it at that point in my career and feel good for the next years.”

The forward will be on a line with Christian Dvorak and Josh Anderson when the Canadiens host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

Forward Cole Caufield will be out for a week with an upper-body injury.

He was pulled from Montreal’s Red vs. White intrasquad game Sunday after warmups for precautionary reasons.

Caufield had two shots on goal in 17:23 of ice time during a 4-1 loss to the Maple Leafs in the preseason opener at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Saturday.

Forward Mike Hoffman (lower body) will be out for at least the first week of the regular season. The injury occurred before Hoffman got to Montreal and he’s expected to be sidelined up to four weeks. Montreal opens the season at Toronto on Oct. 13.

 

Boston Bruins

The Bruins don’t plan to have a No. 1 goalie entering the season.

Unlike in previous seasons, when Tuukka Rask would get the bulk of the starts, rookie Jeremy Swayman and free agent signee Linus Ullmark will split time.

“There was a defined No. 1, Tuukka,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “So we would schedule his 50 to 54-ish (starts) the last couple years, go through the whole calendar. I’m not sure we’ll do that this year in terms of the same way. I think it’ll be more month to month, performance driven.”

Cassidy did indicate that the Bruins will give some credence to Ullmark’s standing as a veteran. Swayman made his NHL debut April 6 and has played 10 regular-season games; Ullmark has played 117 games in six NHL seasons.

“We have to make sure we’re true to giving [Ullmark] time to get his game where it needs to be,” Cassidy said. “So [goaltending coach Bob Essensa] will deal with that on a regular basis. Swayman, we know what he can do on a small sample size and certainly will get the net and continue to get it if he earns it.

“It’s not determined one will be definitely the No. 1 or not, so I think there’s more competition than there ever has been. But like I said, Ullmark is a veteran of this league and we’ve got to be mindful of this and make sure he gets the necessary reps.” — Amalie Benjamin

 

Washington Capitals

Center Lars Eller left during the second half of practice Monday for precautionary reasons because of a lower-body injury.

The Capitals said they will see how Eller feels in the morning to determine if he practices Tuesday.

“I don’t think it’s anything, but I haven’t checked in and talked to [the trainer] yet,” coach Peter Laviolette said.

Eller played in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday and said he was healthy at the start of training camp after missing time last season with injuries to his shoulder and groin.

Washington is without center Nicklas Backstrom, who is week to week with a hip injury, meaning Eller is likely to move up from the third line to the second line if Backstrom isn’t ready for the regular-season opener against the New York Rangers on Oct. 13.

Laviolette said Backstrom’s status for start of the season has yet to be determined.

“You hear week to week, that could be at least two weeks and Game 1 is right at the end of that,” Laviolette said. “So we’re already in that process where we’re talking about the players and who can fill that role.” — Tom Gulitti

 
Vancouver Canucks

Brady Keeper is out indefinitely for the Canucks after the defenseman had surgery to repair a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg.

Keeper was injured during training camp Sunday when he appeared to catch his skate in a rut during practice. His leg was immobilized in a splint and he was taken off the ice on a stretcher.

“He had a tough injury and he’ll be out for a while,” coach Travis Green said.

Keeper, who signed a two-year contract July 28, does not have a point in two NHL games. — Kevin Woodley

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