Big Step Towards Return For Senators' Thomas Chabot

Since fracturing his hand just seven games into the season, top Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot has pretty much conducted his on-ice rehab and conditioning separate and apart from his teammates. So it was a huge step to see him on the ice near the end of practice Monday morning in Sweden. 

Sure, he was wearing the non-contact yellow jersey, but this is nevertheless a very positive sign for the Senators, who are getting ever-closer to having their top-pairing defenseman back. He looked good, both handling the puck and shooting.

Chabot, in his 8th season in Ottawa, blocked a shot with his hand back in late October, leaving him with a fracture, and joining an avalanche of injuries to the team's defense corps. Artem Zub has since returned from an upper-body injury, along with Erik Brannstrom, who is also back, from a concussion. Chabot was said to have a 4-to-6-week return timeline, and we're approaching the four-week mark. 

Chabot, 26, posted 11 goals and 30 assists for 41 points, logging his normally-heavy 25 minutes of ice time per night in 68 games last season. He had three assists in seven games before his hand injury this year, playing 24 minutes per contest. 

Photo: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports