Dorion: Senators still hoping for October return for Karlsson

The Ottawa Senators are dealing with plenty of injury questions as they look ahead to the 2017-18 season, especially when it comes to some of their biggest names.

Top of mind is captain Erik Karlsson, who participated in the Senators’ morning skate on Saturday, hitting the ice for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair tendons in his left foot back in June.

“Obviously he’s taken a few big steps here as far as being on the ice, skating with his teammates,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said during an appearance on Tim & Sid on Tuesday. “We’ll see how the next few weeks go along and we know he’ll be back before Christmas, and we hope it’s in October.”

Karlsson himself was a guest on the show earlier this month, when he indicated that he was aiming for an October return.

“I think I’ll be back in October sometime,” Karlsson told Tim & Sid at the time. “Whether it’s October 4 or if it’s October 24, I’m not sure. We’re not sure.”

During Tuesday’s interview, Dorion also gave updates on a few other injured players, plus a scouting report on two of the club’s most coveted prospects. Here are a few excerpts:

On whether he’s spoken with Clarke MacArthur since the forward failed his training camp medical test:
“No, I have not heard from Clarke MacArthur since he failed his medical. We want to give him as much time as possible to think what the next steps will be and then we’ll try to find a solution for everyone.”

On the status of Derick Brassard’s recovery from shoulder surgery:
“We hope that he’ll be ready for the season opener. If not, we know it will go into the second week of the season. He will travel with us on our Western trip.”

On the ongoing development of forward prospect Logan Brown, who was selected 11th overall in 2016:
“Right now he’s definitely challenging a lot of other players on this roster to be part of our opening roster. Logan has really showed us through camp that he’s very close to the NHL, I think these next few games will determine whether he starts with us on opening night.”

On defenceman Thomas Chabot’s promising future:
“I think Thomas Chabot’s ceiling is very high. I don’t know if he’ll be as good as Erik Karlsson—we have a pretty dynamic, special player in Erik and I think he’s one of the best defencemen if not the best defenceman in the league. But I think with Thomas, actually playing with Dion Phaneuf through camp, they showed us that they’re a very good pair and I think we’re going to see special things from Thomas in the very near future.”