Canes forward Nathan Gerbe missed a second day of practice Tuesday at Raleigh Center Ice but should return Wednesday, Canes coach Kirk Muller said.
Muller said Gerbe had a lower-body injury and was given a second day to recover. Gerbe took a hit in the head Saturday by the New York Islanders’ Michael Grabner, who was given a two-game suspension Monday for the hit.
Forward Patrick Dwyer also sat out practice Tuesday. Muller said Dwyer was a “little dinged up” Monday in practice and has an upper-body injury.
“We’ll see tomorrow if he can go on the trip with us or not,” Muller said of the road games Thursday against Minnesota and Friday against Colorado. “I guess you pay the price with the high-tempo practice.”
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Drayson Bowman again filled in for Gerbe and Radek Dvorak for Dwyer on Jordan Staal’s line Tuesday. If Dwyer is not able to play this week, Muller said Dvorak likely would stay on the Staal line.
It appears defenseman Tim Gleason will play his first game of the season Thursday against the Wild. Gleason was paired Tuesday with Ron Hainsey as Mike Komisarek worked much of the practice with Brett Bellemore.
Once Gleason comes off injured reserve the Canes will have eight defensemen and 24 healthy players, meaning someone will have to be sent to the Charlotte Checkers (AHL) to reduce the roster. It also could require placing someone on waivers.
“It will make it tough on us,” Muller said. “There are some decisions to be made.”
The Canes again went through a fairly long practice Tuesday at RCI.
“We had some things we wanted to work on and the guys were great,” Muller said. “The leaders, we talked to them and we said we want to get it where we practice (with) good habits, at a good tempo. The guys have pretty committed the past few days.”
Asked about the Grabner suspension, Muller said he did not believe Grabner deliberately targeted Gerbe’s head and said he was pleased with the two-game suspension.