GLENDALE – The Coyotes are hoping to have injured centers Martin Hanzal and Antoine Vermette back in the lineup on Friday night when they host the Vancouver Canucks in the first game of a three-game homestand.
Hanzal, who was co-leading the NHL with 10 assists heading into Thursday night’s games, skated on his own at Gila River Arena on Thursday morning. He missed Tuesday’s game at Boston because of a lower-body injury.
Vermette has missed the past three games because of a lower-body injury. He skated with teammates on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Head Coach Dave Tippett said defenseman Connor Murphy, who also missed Tuesday’s game because of a lower-body injury, was OK.
“Murphy will play for sure tomorrow,” Tippett said after Thursday’s practice. “Vermette and Hanzal we’ll re-evaluate in the morning. It would be ideal to get them both back, but we’ll see. We’ve got five more days after this (game on Friday) off, so we’ll play that by ear. Neither one we’re going to put into trouble if we think there’s a possibility of injuring things further, but if they can play they’ll play and that would certainly help.”
• Vermette’s consecutive games played streak ended at 482 last week.
It was a tough pill to swallow.
“It’s hard not to participate, streak or not,” Vermette said. “I was fortunate to get a good stretch there… In the back of my mind I know it (the streak) is there, but that being said you want to be smart about things and respect your body and the position you can put your teammates in as well. I take a lot of pride in being in the lineup throughout my career but you want to be smart as well.”
Vermette said being sidelined for the first time since 2008-09 was a strange experience.
“I didn’t know what to do,” Vermette said. “I was lost. It’s certainly not a comfortable position to be in. You want to be with the guys and part of meetings and have your routine going on.”
• Forward Tyler Gaudet joined the team for the final two games of the most recent road trip. He now has four games on his NHL resume after playing two for the Coyotes last season.
Gaudet suffered an upper-body injury during a training camp scrimmage and was assigned to the American Hockey League to start the season.
“I had a setback with my injury in training camp … but I just kept at it and worked hard to get back into shape and be ready,” Gaudet said. “It’s exciting to get called up and be here again and try to prove myself and get a roster spot.”
Gaudet averaged 9:35 of ice time in two games last season but is averaging 14:16 in his two games this season.
• Rookie Max Domi will be a guest speaker at the American Diabetes Association’s School Walk for Diabetes kick-off event at Western Sky Middle School in Goodyear on Nov. 2.
Domi was diagnosed as a Type-1 diabetic seven years ago.