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Eastern Conference

Senators’ Erik Karlsson Sets Sights On Season Debut Tonight

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The Ottawa Senators have plenty to be excited about with the debut of Erik Karlsson set for tonight.

Karlsson who will make his debut against the Vancouver Canucks at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday, is focused on hitting the ice.

“It’s going to be good” Karlsson said Monday. “I had the appropriate amount of time to get ready to play again. It’s exciting. I’m going to be a little bit rusty probably, but it’s better to get back into things as early as possible. Hopefully we’ll get better as we move on.”

Karlsson, 27, missed the first five games of the season while recovering from surgery to repair torn tendons in his left foot back in June.

“I think he’s the best player in the world, so it basically has an impact on everything,” Boucher said.

“Your breakouts, your transition, your [offensive] zone, your power play, your defensive play. I mean, it’s your leader” Senators coach Guy Boucher said about Karlsson’s impact.

“He is who he is. He’s such a presence. It’s not just a hockey player, it’s everything around it too. And it’s time.”

“It’s been easier for me to watch and be able to take my time and not get too antsy,” Karlsson said. “They’ve done a great job. I’m not coming in to do anything different. We’re going to keep doing the same things.”

“Nothing is easy, but I think he comes back in a state of mind where he doesn’t have to come in and be the hero,” Boucher said. “I think it’s good for Erik to know that, so he doesn’t have all that pressure. Imagine if we had lost every game and he’d be coming in right now? I’m not sure that would be a good situation either.”

Boucher said Karlsson could skate with different partners and no target has been set for how much he will play.

“We’re going to try to be smart here,” Boucher said. “We don’t need him to play 35 minutes. It’s going to be more about him, what he can take.”

Karlsson also shared his thoughts on if he thinks his foot would be 100%.

“No, I don’t think it will be. But again, I don’t think I’ve been 100 percent since I entered this league. I don’t think anyone is. It’s something you’re going to have to get used to if you’re a pro athlete no matter what sport you play. As you get older, you’re never going to feel as good as you did when you were a kid.

“It feels different and it’s going to feel different for a long time probably. It’s something I’m going to have to get used to. Again, I think playing is the best way to adapt to that and getting back to a new normal.”

Boston Bruins

Bruins Place Jesse Gabrielle On Unconditional Waivers

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The Boston Bruins have placed forward Jesse Gabrielle on unconditional waivers in another step towards contract termination, according to CapFriendly.

Gabrielle, 21, played his entire season in the ECHL, but his season was cut short after suffering another concussion back in March, his third head injury since training camp.

Gabrielle will now become an unrestricted free agent.

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Carolina Hurricanes

Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov In Concussion Protocol

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The Carolina Hurricanes may be without one of their top young stars for the next game or so in their series against the Washington Capitals.

Andrei Svenchnikov is currently in the concussion protocol following his fight with Capitals’ star Alex Ovechkin during last night’s game, which saw Svenchnikov knocked out during the fight.

Hurricanes’ head coach Rod Brind’Amour doesn’t expect Svechnikov to play in game four on Thursday night, according to the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan.

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Eastern Conference

Rangers Agree to Terms With Vitali Kravtsov, Igor Shestyorkin

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The New York Rangers have come to an agreement on entry-level contracts with top prospects Vitali Kravtsov and Igor Shestyorkin, according to The Athletic’s Rick Carpinello.

The prospects’ deals won’t be officially registered until their current KHL contracts officially expire at the end of the month.

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