NHL: John Tavares out 3 weeks, Sean Couturier gets good news, and more

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Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares will miss the start of the regular season with an oblique injury.

The veteran center will be at out at least three weeks, head coach Sheldon Keefe said Tuesday. The season opener is Oct. 12 at Montreal.

John Tavares out 3 weeks

“He has been dealing with something since the game the other night,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said Tuesday. “He thought it was pretty minor, but they had some further tests here later today after we started practice and it has come back with an oblique strain that is going to keep him out a minimum of three weeks.


Tavares, who turned 32 on Sept. 20, is entering his fifth season with Toronto and his 14th in the NHL.

He scored 76 points (27 goals, 49 assists) in 79 games last season and has 895 points (391 goals, 504 assists) in 949 career games with the New York Islanders (2019-18) and Maple Leafs.

The Islanders drafted Tavares with the No. 1 overall pick in 2009.

Report: Sean Couturier week-to-week

Sean Couturier
Nov 10, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (14) is checked by Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Justin Holl (3) at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier will not require back surgery and remains week-to-week, Sportsnet reported Wednesday.

The decision comes after seeking a second opinion.

Couturier, 29, reaggravated a back injury during strength and conditioning training last week. He reportedly suffered a herniated disc. Couturier previously had surgery on his back in February.

Couturier has spent his entire NHL career with the Flyers after they made him the eighth overall selection in the 2011 draft. He has tallied 460 points (180 goals, 280 assists) over 721 career games but has not played at least 80 games in a season since 2018-19.

Limited to 29 game last season, Couturier had six goals and 11 assists.

The Flyers signed Couturier to an eight-year contract extension in August 2021 that carried an average annual value of $7.75 million. That extension kicked in for 2022-23 and is slated to last till 2029-30.

Couturier won the Selke Trophy in 2020 for “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.” He has received Selke votes in nine of his 11 NHL seasons.

Blue Jackets sign Andrew Peeke

Defenseman Andrew Peeke signed a three-year, $8.25 million contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday.

The new deal will begin in 2023-24 for Peeke, who signed a two-year contract worth $1.575 million in August 2021.

Peeke, 24, totaled 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in 82 games last season with the Blue Jackets.

“Andrew is a smart, versatile defenseman who moves the puck well, added an element of physicality to his game last season and showed that he can play effectively in all situations,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a team news release. “He arguably was our most improved player a year ago and we are excited to see what the future holds for him as he continues to develop and progress as a player.”

Peeke has 21 points (three goals, 18 assists) and 68 penalty minutes in 115 career games since being selected by Columbus in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft.

NHL fines Jeff Petry

The NHL fined Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Jeff Petry $5,000 on Wednesday for roughing Detroit Red Wings forward Jonatan Berggren.

The amount is the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement.

The incident occurred at the 5:50 mark of the second period during Detroit’s 6-2 victory over Pittsburgh in Tuesday’s preseason game.

Petry, 34, was acquired in a July 16 trade with Montreal. He had 27 points (six goals, 21 assists) and 36 penalty minutes in 68 games with the Canadiens last season.

Berggren, 22, was a second-round pick by the Red Wings in 2018 and has not made his NHL debut.

–Field Level Media