SEATTLE– Jared McCann skated with the Seattle Kraken on Saturday for the first time since suffering an undisclosed injury on April 24, wearing a noncontact jersey during an optional practice.
The forward likely won’t play the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round at Climate Pledge Arena on Sunday (9:30 p.m. ET; TBS, SN, TVAS) with the best streak of 7 to equality.
“I don’t believe tomorrow night is a possibility,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “We’re going to take it one step at a time. He’s going to come back to a very high level, so first of all. We have to make sure his health is where it needs to be, and then he has to be ready to line you up, and it’s a step-by-step process.”
McCann was injured on a hit by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar in game 4 of the first round. Makar received a minor interference penalty and a one-game suspension. The Kraken won the best-of-7 series in seven games.
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Hakstol declined to identify the injury. He said McCann followed “injury protocol” and skated alone a few times before rejoining his teammates.
“I don’t really have any updates other than the fact that he’s on the ice and he can be out there with the optional skate today which is a really good step for him,” Hakstol said. “We’re just going to keep making progress. Nothing imminent in terms of a comeback.”
The Kraken had 15 Stanley Cup Playoff scorers without a goal from McCann, who led them in goals (40) and points (70) in the regular season. He collected an assist against the Avalanche before his injury.
“Obviously he plays an important role in this attack with the number of goals he has scored,” the Kraken striker said. Jordan Eberle said. “We rely on our depth, and I think that’s kind of what carried us with his absence. But just getting him back and adding to what we’re doing is a big chunk. J hope we get it back soon.”
Tye Kartye has two goals in five games in place of McCann on the left wing with Eberle and center Matty Beniers.
The forward, who turned 22 on Sunday, led American Hockey League rookies in the regular season with 57 points (28 goals, 29 assists) in 72 games with Coachella Valley.
He scored in his NHL debut, a 3-2 win over the Avalanche in Game 5 of the first round. He also scored in a 4-2 loss to the Stars in Game 2 of this series.
“Now he has to keep raising that level,” Hakstol said. “The stakes keep going up. But he’s done really well, off the ice, on the ice. Even though he’s a young guy, he’s proven to be a good pro and he can play with the This is a real important area, especially at this time of year.