BOSTON — With just two weeks to go before the exhibition season officially kicks off, a trio of Hockey East teams are entering the year with question marks thanks to some injuries to top players.
On Monday at the league’s media day, held at TD Garden, Boston College head coach Jerry York confirmed to WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin that goaltender Thatcher Demko could miss the start of the upcoming season. That’s certainly not what the favorited Eagles need heading into the season, though BC doesn’t play a league game until Nov. 3 when it hosts a UMass team that was picked to finish last in Hockey East.
Demko had surgery on his hips in the offseason. It’s the type of surgery that’s becoming more common for players at that position.
Down the road, Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk is also unlikely to be ready for the start of the season after undergoing knee surgery over the summer. The BU captain is a key piece for the Terriers this season, who last Jack Eichel, Evan Rodrigues, Matt O’Connor and others off a team that won the Hockey East Championship last March.
Grzelcyk has been skating, but BU head coach David Quinn said on Monday that the Terriers will likely err on the side of caution and not rush him back into action.
UConn goaltender Rob Nichols had similar surgery to Demko, and according to a report in last week’s Hartford Courant, he might also not be ready for the start of the season. Nichols reportedly just got back on the ice last week and still hasn’t skated in back-to-back days, nor has he been cleared for game action.