Veteran defenseman Luca Sbisa will not be playing against his former team when the Golden Knights travel to Vancouver on Thursday.
Sbisa will also miss Tuesday night’s game in Edmonton.
The 27-year-old has a lower-body injury and is listed as day to day, though he will not travel with the team on the two-game road swing through western Canada.
Sbisa scored his first goal of the season in Friday night’s 5-2 win over Winnipeg. He added an assist, bringing his total to seven on the year.
“He was sore the other day,” coach Gerard Gallant said after Monday’s practice at City National Arena. “He won’t make the trip.”
Sbisa, who spent the last three seasons with the Canucks, stands at plus-3 with 23 hits and 30 blocked shots through 16 games.
His absence likely opens the door for Shea Theodore or Jon Merrill to play this week.
Subban back on road
Goaltender Malcolm Subban appears to be nearing a return, though Gallant wasn’t ready to give a timetable.
Subban skated during the team’s off day on Sunday and was stretching before Monday’s practice.
“He’s coming (on the trip),” Gallant said. “He hasn’t skated with the team yet, so he’s trying to get back into shape and ready to go when he’s healthy.”
Subban, 23, won the first two games he started for the Golden Knights, before leaving a matchup with the St. Louis Blues with a lower-body injury Oct. 15. He had stopped 37 of 38 shots in that game and has a 2.06 goals-against-average and .936 save percentage this season.
The original timetable on his injury was about four weeks.
“He’s still rehabbing so I don’t get involved,” Gallant said of when he expects Subban to be available. “I don’t like to talk to my players when they’re hurt because I don’t like to put any pressure on them. He’s working with the trainers and obviously he’s getting a lot closer because he’s on the ice.”
No special plans for McDavid
Gallant said the team hasn’t spent any extra time preparing to defend Oilers star Connor McDavid, one of the league’s top young talents.
“We know what he’s going to do,” Gallant said. “We know what he is. If I have to tell my players what Connor McDavid’s going to do and how he’s going to play, there’s something wrong.”
Gallant has seen McDavid’s talent up close. He spent about three weeks as part of the Team North America coaching staff at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, a team captained by McDavid.