Seattle Kraken practice

Seattle Kraken Getting Healthy At Practice (with Dunn and Beniers video)

Seattle Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol was cautiously optimistic about the return of some of his players coming off injury and illness.

First and foremost, it appears top defenseman Vince Dunn is back and ready to go, having gone through the full practice on Tuesday and with the match-up against the Chicago Blackhawks still almost 30 hours away.

Vince Dunn (29) at practice on Tuesday.

“Not playing, it sucks, so I’m excited to get back with the group today and to get into it (a game) tomorrow,” Dunn said.

Veteran forwards Jordan Eberle and Jaden Schwartz appear to be good to continue going after a dicey couple of weeks.

Center Yanni Gourde also practiced. He’s healthy, but will miss his second of two games when he sits out for the Blackhawks match-up due to suspension.

Gourde picked up a five-minute major, a match penalty, and supplemental discipline from the NHL for his charging hit against Oilers defenseman Mattias Ekholm in Edmonton on Thursday night.

Winger Kailer Yamamoto was another full participant Tuesday after sitting out practice on Saturday and the game against the Maple Leafs on Sunday.

Second-year center Matty Beniers skated with the club while wearing a red, no-contact sweater. It would be hard to imagine him ready for Wednesday night, with Friday against the St. Louis Blues being a more realistic target. Another option would be when the Kraken host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.

Matty Beniers in red at practice on Tuesday.

Kraken leading scorer Oliver Bjorkstrand skipped practice for what Hakstol referred to as a personal day. There was no talk of the winger being under the weather.

Finally, goalie Philipp Grubauer returned to the active roster after missing 18 games due to a lower body injury.

“We wanted to give him the full day today, obviously (Chris) Driedger not on the ice, we gave “Groobs” the full net,” Hakstol said.

With Grubauer re-activated, Driedger, who was called up officially as an “emergency loan”, returns to the Coachella Valley Firebirds of the American Hockey League.

For the record, veteran center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare remains on injured reserve with a lower body injury and was nowhere to be seen.

The Kraken have four games, three at home, prior to the NHL All-Star break and sit four points out of a playoff spot.

Other Kraken:

— Kraken’s Devin Shore Trying To Make The Most Of It

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.
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