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Phase 2 Buzz: Keith returns to work out with Blackhawks

Krebs added to Golden Knights roster; Stamkos to be limited for Lightning @NHLdotcom

Welcome to the Phase 2 Buzz. NHL teams began workouts on and off the ice at their facilities June 8 as part of Phase 2 of the Return to Play Plan. Phase 3 (training camp) is expected to start July 13.

Here's a look around the League at the latest from Phase 2:


Chicago Blackhawks

Duncan Keith returned to the Chicago Blackhawks for workouts at Fifth Third Arena.

The three-time Stanley Cup winner (2010, '13, '15) scored 27 points (three goals, 24 assists) and averaged 24:23 minutes of ice time in 61 games before the season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. He played 189 consecutive games until a groin injury sustained Nov. 29 sidelined him for the next nine.

Keith was the 12th and final Blackhawks defenseman to report for Phase 2. Brent Seabrook skated July 9 and could return when Chicago plays the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers after surgery on his right shoulder (Dec. 27), left hip (January) and right hip (Feb. 6). Game 1 is at Rogers Place on Aug. 1. Defenseman Calvin de Haan (shoulder surgery, December) may also be available.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's @dk_2_! 🪂

A post shared by Chicago Blackhawks (@nhlblackhawks) on


Minnesota Wild

Forward Luke Kunin has been medically cleared and will be a participant when the Minnesota Wild begin training camp on Monday.

Kunin has Type 1 diabetes and would be considered high risk for coronavirus. He scored 31 points (15 goals, 16 assists) in 63 games during the regular season.

"He's been in [optional skates] and he's healthy and doing great," Wild general manager Bill Guerin said. "We haven't been told anything by (Kunin) or anything, and he hasn't shown any concerns, so we're going forward."

The Wild (35-27-7, .558 points percentage) enter the Stanley Cup Qualifiers as the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference. They will play the No. 7 seed, the Vancouver Canucks (36-27-6; .565), in one of eight best-of-5 series, with the winner advancing to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the loser having a chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery.


Toronto Maple Leafs

Andreas Johnsson could play for the Toronto Maple Leafs if they reach the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, general manager Kyle Dubas said Sunday.

Johnsson, a forward, had knee surgery on Feb. 19. The recovery time was six months, which would be reached in mid-August. Johnsson scored 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 43 games during the regular season.

The Maple Leafs were 36-25-9 (.579 points percentage) in the regular season and will enter the Stanley Cup Qualifiers as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. They will play the No. 9 seed, the Columbus Blue Jackets (33-22-15, .579), in one of eight best-of-5 series, and the winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The series gets underway Sunday, Aug. 2 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

"He's done well with his rehab," Dubas said. "He's done it in Gothenberg (Sweden) and it's gone very well after starting it here and then going back home at the beginning of the pause. "We're excited to see where he'll be at here in the coming weeks."

Dubas also said forward prospect Nicholas Robertson will be given every opportunity to make the Maple Leafs roster when training camp begins Monday.

"He'll have the chance to make an impact," Dubas said of the 18-year-old. "It'll be up to him, but the way he works and the way that he's prepared I think he'll be ready to give his best shot starting [Monday]."

Robertson, selected by Toronto in the second round (No. 53) of the 2019 NHL Draft, was leading the Ontario Hockey League with 55 goals in 46 games for Peterborough when play was stopped March 18 because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus. He scored five points (two goals, three assists) for Canada when it won the IIHF World Junior Championship in January.

"He's been here through Phase 2 (of the NHL Return to Play Plan) for the whole thing," Dubas said, referring to voluntary workouts. "We're going to give him every shot like we are with all the others that ended the season not on our current roster, and we'll see where that's at. If he can force his way into the mix and onto the roster, that'd be great." -- Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

Vegas Golden Knights

Forward Peyton Krebs, chosen with the No. 17 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, was added to the Golden Knights training camp roster released July 11. He scored 60 points (12 goals, 48 assists) in 38 games for Kootenay of the Western Hockey League after missing camp last September because of a partially torn Achilles.

"He's an elite young player that, at worse, is going to get great experience," general manager Kelly McCrimmon said. "It's a chance for (coach) Pete DeBoer to see Peyton Krebs, who of course hasn't had the opportunity. The bottom line with the decisions that we've made in respect to camp are who can help us win a Stanley Cup game? We've brought the people to camp that we believe can help win us a Stanley Cup game. There are situations where you rely on your depth, and we want to see Peyton in this situation to evaluate him further."

The Golden Knights will participate in a round-robin to determine the top four seeds in the Western Conference for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their first game is against the Dallas Stars in Edmonton on Aug. 3.


Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Steven Stamkos sustained a lower-body injury during Phase 2 with the Lightning and will be limited to start training camp.

"He will be in camp. He's here. He's skating," Lightning general manager Julien BriesBois said Saturday. "He's been getting treatment. He's been coming to Amalie [Arena], doing his dry-land work. But he will not be a full participant on day one of training camp."

Stamkos had 66 points (29 goals, 37 assists) in 57 games this season. He missed the final seven games before the season was paused on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus with a core muscle injury but BriesBois said this injury was unrelated.

Under the NHL Return to Play Plan, the Lightning will be one of 24 teams competing for the Stanley Cup. They will play the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals in the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers to determine seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

Provided health and safety conditions allow, the opening of training camps in the teams' local markets, which is the start of Phase 3, is scheduled for July 13. Teams will then travel July 26 to one of two hub cities, where they will begin Phase 4, the resumption of play, with the qualifiers starting Aug. 1. The 12 Eastern Conference teams will be based in Toronto, the 12 Western Conference teams will be based in Edmonton.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Zach Trotman is not expected to play for the Penguins in Phase 4 of the NHL Return to Play Plan. 

The defenseman, who did not have a point in eight games this season, will be held out of the 24-team tournament for an undisclosed reason.

"We don't get into injuries, but it's something that he's trying to work through that could flare up when we get into the (hub city) bubble," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said Saturday. "We didn't want to take that chance." 

Forwards Nick Bjugstad (spinal surgery) and Dominik Simon (shoulder surgery) also won't be available. Rutherford said, to his knowledge, the rest of the Penguins have been cleared to participate in training camp, as part of Phase 3, starting Monday. 

The Penguins will play the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, which begin Aug. 1. -- Wes Crosby, independent correspondent 

Vancouver Canucks

Sven Baertschi has chosen to opt out of the NHL Return to Play Plan.

Baertschi had two assists in six games with the Canucks this season having last played in the NHL on Nov. 19. The forward had 46 points (13 goals, 33 assists) in 43 games with Utica of the American Hockey League.

"It was a difficult decision but ultimately one we respect and understand," Canucks general manager Jim Benning said Saturday. "We have added Kole Lind to our Return to Play roster and will continue to focus on preparation for camp."

Any player may choose not to participate in Phases 3 and 4 without discipline or penalty.

The Canucks announced their training camp roster, which includes 18 forwards, 12 defensemen and four goalies. Camp is scheduled to open Monday.

Tweet from @SvenBaertschi: Due to concerns and risks of Covid-19 to my family, I made the difficult decision to opt out of the 2020 playoffs. I wish all of my teammates success.

Minnesota Wild

Defenseman Greg Pateryn will be out indefinitely for the Wild with an upper-body injury.

Pateryn was listed as injured on the Wild's training camp roster, which was released Saturday. He played March 10, their last game before the season was paused two days later due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

Pateryn has three assists in 20 games this season


Columbus Blue Jackets

Liam Foudy will attend training camp with the Blue Jackets.

The 20-year-old center, who was on the team's roster which was announced Saturday, had one assist in two games with the Blue Jackets this season.

The No. 18 pick by Columbus in the 2018 NHL Draft, Foudy had 68 points (28 goals, 40 assists) in 45 games with London of the Ontario Hockey League this season and will try to earn a spot on the Blue Jackets' roster for the Stanley Cup Qualifiers against the Minnesota Wild.

Winnipeg Jets

Forwards Kyle Connor, Cody Eakin, Nikolaj Ehlers, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, and goalie Connor Hellebuyck were among the Jets players to take part in Phase 2 on Friday.

The Jets opened their facilities Thursday but players skated for the first time Friday.

Tweet from @NHLJets: You 𝙇𝙊𝙑𝙀 to see it! 🤩FULL GALLERY ���

Colorado Avalanche

Defenseman Bowen Byram skated with the Avalanche in Phase 2 on Friday.

Byram, the No. 4 pick by Colorado in the 2019 NHL Draft, has not played in the NHL this season.

The 19-year-old had 52 points (14 goals, 38 assists) in 50 games with Vancouver of the Western Hockey League this season.

Tweet from @Avalanche: Group three is on the ice and LOOK WHO IS HERE!!!#GoAvsGo

Chicago Blackhawks

Brent Seabrook skated with his Blackhawks teammates Thursday and could return for the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.

The defenseman had surgery on his right shoulder (Dec. 27), left hip (January) and right hip (Feb. 6) and was expected to miss the remainder of the season with a recovery time of 5-6 months. With the NHL season having been paused on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, Seabrook has had time to recover.

"I'm feeling great. I'm feeling really good," Seabrook told NBC Sports Chicago in late April. "Things are moving in a good direction. ... I think I've been progressing pretty good and I'm just looking forward to getting back with the team and being able to skate as I'm sure everybody is," Seabrook said.

Seabrook, who wore a non-contact jersey in practice, will take part in training camp, which begins Monday. Defenseman Calvin de Haan, who had shoulder surgery in December and skated last week, also couldbe available when the Blackhawks play the Edmonton Oilers in one of eight best-of-5 Qualifier series.

"With this opportunity to get playing again and have those guys back in the mix is just so fun and I'm sure they're really excited and we're excited for them," defenseman Connor Murphy said in June.

Tweet from @NHLBlackhawks: Nice to Seabs ya back on the ice Brent 👀@FifthThird | #Blackhawks

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