NHL: Brock Boeser out 3-4 weeks, Kirill Kaprizov hit by puck, and more news

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Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser is out 3-to-4 weeks after successful hand surgery.

The team said Boeser suffered the injury at practice on Saturday, the third day of training camp. He will miss the start of the regular season, which begins on Oct. 12 at Edmonton.

Boeser, 25, signed a three-year, $19.95 million contract with the Canucks in July.

Boeser registered 46 points (23 goals, 23 assists) in 71 games in his sixth season with the Canucks in 2021-22.

It was his fourth 20-goal campaign in the past five seasons and boosted his career total to 256 points (121 goals, 135 assists) in 324 games.

A first-round pick (23rd overall) by Vancouver in 2015, Boeser tied for the team lead last season with six game-winning goals and ranked second on the Canucks with 11 power-play goals. Both numbers were career highs for the Minnesota native.

Kirill Kaprizov misses practice

kirill kaprizov
Sep 25, 2022; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) controls the puck during the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Wild star Kirill Kaprizov did not practice Monday after being struck in the ankle with a puck.

The incident occurred in the third period of Sunday’s 3-2 preseason overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche.

“No issues,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “He’s not going to skate today. He doesn’t need to skate today. But he’s fine. It’s just simply he got a shot there in the foot. Why put his boot in it today. Let’s let it calm right down and get better.”

Evason said Kaprizov, 25, will be evaluated daily before he’s cleared to return.

“We’ll make sure we’re doing the right things,” Evason said. “In all honesty, I don’t think he’s scheduled to play again until the next home game.”

The next preseason home game is Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks. The regular season opener is on Oct. 13 against the visiting New York Rangers.

Kaprizov finished fifth in the NHL with 108 points (47 goals, 61 assists) in 81 games during his second NHL season in 2021-22.

He won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie in 2020-21 and has 159 points (74 goals, 85 assists) in 136 games.

Canada to drop vaccine mandate

The Canadian government made it official Monday: No more COVID-19 vaccine mandate for international visitors — including athletes — beginning Oct. 1.

Just in time for the beginning of the NHL and NBA seasons, and the Major League Baseball playoffs, should the Toronto Blue Jays qualify.

The requirement prevented unvaccinated players in the major North American sports leagues from competing in games at Toronto and other Canadian cities.

When the Raptors played host to the 76ers in the playoffs in April, Philadelphia guard Matisse Thybulle had to skip the trips to Toronto.

Few NHL players missed games in Canada as almost all of the league’s players were vaccinated last year.

In Major League Baseball, however, ahead of almost every Toronto Blue Jays home series, the visiting team released a list of players it was placing on the restricted list as they would be unable to travel north of the border. The issue peaked when the Kansas City Royals were without 10 players for a mid-July series.

The Blue Jays currently hold the No. 1 wild-card spot in the American League. The Jays host the Boston Red Sox on Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

–Field Level Media