The Los Angeles Kings just can’t catch a break. As they continue to deal with the absence of Jonathan Quick, they now have another goaltender hitting the shelf with a long-term injury. Jack Campbell has suffered a torn meniscus that requires surgery and will be out four to six weeks. In his place, rookie netminder Cal Petersen has been recalled while Matt Luff has been sent back to the Ontario Reign.
Monday: Shaw has cleared waivers and joined the Winnipeg organization. The team has assigned him to the Manitoba Moose for the time being, but could potentially recall him to spend some time in the NHL this season.
Sunday: The Winnipeg Jets have decided to add more forward depth to their roster as they announced that they have signed Logan Shaw to a one-year, two-way contract worth $675K. Shaw, who has appeared in 180 NHL games over his career, has been playing on an AHL-contract with the San Diego Gulls. As part of the contract signing, Shaw has also been placed on waivers, according to Elliotte Friedman.
The 26-year-old Shaw appeared in 72 NHL games last season between the Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens, but struggled to produce points, combining for just four goals and 14 points. He received a PTO with the Calgary Flames for training camp this year, but FlamesNation’s Ryan Pike reported that Shaw was solid, but unspectacular there. After signing an AHL deal with San Diego, Shaw has fared well, putting up two goals and five points in seven games.
Even with the addition of Shaw, the Jets have only 41 players under contract, which is the lowest number in the NHL. The next lowest is both the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Los Angeles Kings with 44. So, system depth was critical for Winnipeg and Shaw, who should clear waivers, can be assigned to the Manitoba Moose in the AHL.
The NHL has just four games on the schedule for tonight, meaning teams will have plenty of opportunity to make changes to their rosters in preparation for the rest of the week. We’ll keep track of all those minor moves right here:
- Aaron Ness has been sent back to the Hershey Bears, meaning Jonas Siegenthaler looks to have secured a spot with the Washington Capitals for the time being. With Brooks Orpik on long-term injured reserve, Siegenthaler was given his first opportunity at the NHL level and played just over 12 minutes. Ness meanwhile will return to the minor leagues where he has spent the majority of his career, and continue his role as a veteran leader on the Bears’ blue line.
- The Calgary Flames have assigned Anthony Peluso to the Stockton Heat of the AHL, returning the 29-year old winger after just one game. Peluso has been up and down several times this year, and will likely continue to serve as an injury call-up for the rest of the season.
- Nick Paul is on his way back to the AHL after the Ottawa Senators reassigned him today. Paul has played six games at both the AHL and NHL level this season, and looks poised to split the year between the two leagues. The 23-year old hasn’t been able to establish himself with the Senators as a full-time option, but does brings some size and physicality when needed.
The St. Louis Blues hoped they had found a future NHL netminder when they selected Luke Opilka in the fifth round of the 2015 draft, but instead he won’t even enter their minor league system. Opilka has decided to retire from hockey after his second major hip surgery in the last two years. The 21-year old hasn’t played since the 2016-17 season when he was with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL.
The NHL has been involved in a long standing lawsuit with a group of nearly 150 former players over their treatment of concussions, and today has reached a tentative settlement to resolve the issue and avoid any further court proceedings. The NHL admits no liability in the settlement, which may approach a total of $19MM.
The New York Rangers are trying to use this season as a development year, giving young players lots of ice time to see what they can do. Unfortunately, one of those young players is going to lose a huge chunk of the season to injury, as the team announced Pavel Buchnevich will be out for four to six weeks after breaking his thumb this weekend.
Buchnevich, 23, is coming off an impressive season which showed he could be a key player for the Rangers going forward. With 14 goals and 43 points in 2017-18, he actually finished fourth on the team in scoring and set himself up for a pretty substantial raise at the end of his entry-level contract. That was dependent on him taking another step forward this season, but it looked like he had early on as Buchnevich already has nine points in 14 games. Unfortunately that 43 point total now seems in doubt given he’ll miss up to 18 games with this latest injury.
The Rangers are off to a better start than many expected, as their 8-7-2 record has them tied for third in the Metropolitan Division. That’s in part thanks to Buchnevich’s strong play to start the year, something they’ll have to find a replacement for now that he’s sidelined. An increased opportunity may present itself for some of the Rangers other prized young players like Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil, something they’ll have to take advantage of quickly if the team has any hope of competing for the playoffs this year.
There were a couple of surprises around the league over the past seven days which are headlined in our top stories of the week.
Sprong Available: Penguins winger Daniel Sprong has shown flashes of his offensive upside in recent years but he hasn’t been able to lock down a full-time role in Pittsburgh’s top nine. It appears that the team is at least willing to entertain the idea of moving him as his name has come up in trade talks recently. Sprong has four assists in a dozen games so far this season despite spending the majority of his time on the fourth line. GM Jim Rutherford hasn’t hidden his frustration over Pittsburgh’s start to the season so it will be interesting to see if something involving Sprong is all they’re looking to do or if there could be other moves on the horizon.
Duchene, Senators In Contract Talks: There has been an expectation that the Senators would likely have to move center Matt Duchene between now and the trade deadline but that may not be the case. A report has come out that the two sides are in ‘substantive’ contract discussions and that there is mutual interest in getting a long-term extension done. Duchene is certainly bolstering his value on the ice as he is over the point per game mark so far this season which should help him improve upon his current $6MM AAV on this next deal.
Coaching Change In Chicago: The Blackhawks decided to part ways with long-time bench boss Joel Quenneville, replacing him with Jeremy Colliton, the head coach of their AHL affiliate. Quenneville had been with the team since taking over early in the 2008-09 season and won three Stanley Cups with the team. However, after missing the playoffs last season and getting off to a slow start this year, GM Stan Bowman decided to make the coaching change. The 60-year-old has indicated that he’d like to return behind the bench but to do so, an arrangement would have to be worked out with regards to his salary as Chicago owes him $6MM per year through 2019-20; presumably, any new team would have to take on the majority of that amount.
Canadiens Release Plekanec: In a move that was out of the blue, the Canadiens announced that they had reached an agreement to terminate the remainder of center Tomas Plekanec’s contract, making him an unrestricted free agent. The 36-year-old returned to Montreal this summer as a free agent, inking a one-year deal with a $2.25MM guarantee plus another $1.25MM in bonuses but will now look to place elsewhere. He indicated that he would like to retire from the NHL as a member of the Canadiens which suggests he will likely be looking for a deal to play overseas in the days to come. Plekanec wraps up his NHL career with 1,001 regular season games played (all but 17 of which came with Montreal) and ranks seventh in franchise history in games played and 13th in points with 606.
Toronto Asking For Nylander Offers: As the William Nylander saga drags on, the Maple Leafs have asked teams to provide a list of players they’d be willing to move for the unsigned winger as well as what the framework of an offer would look like. Toronto’s preferred option would still be to re-sign him but with the deadline to get something done now less than a month away, GM Kyle Dubas appears to be looking to see what his options around the league may be if they have to change gears and pursue a trade.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Pittsburgh’s start to the season hasn’t gone as well as they’ve hoped but there have been some positives along the way. One of those is goaltender Casey DeSmith who not only won the backup job in training camp but has started to take starts away from Matt Murray. Accordingly, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests that it’s time to change the question when it comes to the netminder from whether he’s good enough to hold down an NHL spot to whether or not the Penguins can afford to keep him as an unrestricted free agent next summer.
The answer to that question may ultimately determine what they decide to do with youngster Tristan Jarry who has shown some signs of upside over his first four professional seasons. If the Penguins believe they can re-sign DeSmith, then it frees them up to move Jarry if they can get someone that can help their roster now. If not, they may be wise to hold off on moving him as they don’t have another goalie prospect that’s close to NHL ready at this time.
Elsewhere in the East:
- Senators defenseman Chris Wideman is dealing with a lower-body injury, the team announced on Twitter. While his offensive numbers have dipped a bit this season – he still has five points in 17 games – his playing time has gone up by nearly two minutes a night to 13:22. There’s no word on how long he’ll be out but with Ottawa only carrying six other blueliners on their roster, they will likely look to bring someone up from AHL Belleville if Wideman is expected to miss more than a couple of days.
- The Maple Leafs are likely to bring a forward up from the AHL’s Marlies, notes Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun. Toronto is currently carrying the minimum 12 forwards and are set to embark on a three-game Western road trip that kicks off on Tuesday. Winger Trevor Moore was up with the team briefly earlier this month and could very well be the one who gets the nod here.
- From that same column, Koshan reports that center prospect Adam Brooks is dealing with some issues with his heart rate and will be held out of the lineup for a while. The Maple Leafs selected him in the fourth round back in 2016 and he has two points in as many games so far in his sophomore professional campaign.
Here’s a rundown of the original content here at PHR over the last seven days.
It has now been a full year since the Senators surprisingly acquired center Matt Duchene in a three-way swap that has worked out well for the other two teams involved (Colorado and Nashville) but not Ottawa. Zach examined what needs to happen for the Sens to get the best they can out of this trade and why a decision on whichever route they choose to go happens as soon as possible.
Gavin held his weekly Thursday live chat. Topics discussed included Evgeni Malkin’s hit on T.J. Oshie (that did not draw supplemental discipline), Randy Carlyle’s future in Anaheim, Max Domi’s surprising start in Montreal, Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen, Arizona’s start to the season, and more.
We’re getting closer to the conclusion of our 2006 redraft series. The Stars are up with the 27th selection and will undoubtedly wind up with a more productive player than their original selection who played just a handful of games. Who should they take? Cast your vote here.
I took questions about Joel Quenneville’s future, potential trade targets for the Bruins, the ongoing William Nylander contract squabble, plus whether Vancouver’s strong start is a sign of things to come in our latest mailbag.
It’s Hall of Fame weekend and with that in mind, Zach took a look at center Eric Staal’s case. The veteran tallied his 400th career goal recently and will probably reach the 1,000 point mark sometime next season. Those numbers would put him ahead of quite a few notable players that have already been enshrined and he is young enough that he’ll add to them in the years to come. Is that enough to make him worthy of the honor? Weigh in with your opinion here.
While many teams are curious to see if their team might capture the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft headed by Jack Hughes, who is currently playing for the U.S. Development team in the USHL, others are preparing for the 2020 draft and TSN’s Craig Button released his top 20 for ’20 list, placing Rimouski Oceanic winger Alexis Lafreniere of the QMJHL way ahead of the pack.
Lafreniere tallied 42 goals last year in his rookie campaign in the QMJHL as a 16-year-old and already has posted 12 goals and 36 points in 21 games this year. Button adds that his impressive performances in the IIHF U18 World Championships and the Hlinka Gretzky Cup make him a solid selection as the top-rated player in the draft, followed by Sudbury Wolves center Quinton Byfield and Swedish winger Lucas Raymond.
- Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston writes that Nick Kypreos reports that former Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville would like to return to work immediately, but is not willing to take on a large rebuilding process like the one that Mike Babcock undertook when he took over the Toronto Maple Leafs. On top of that, any team that wants to hire Quenneville between now and the end of next season would have to assume a considerable portion of the $6MM per season salary that the Chicago Blackhawks still owe him, making it a small group of teams that would likely be interested in his services. Johnston, however, wonders if Quenneville might be willing to change his mind about coaching the Detroit Red Wings if an opening comes about since he’s a native of Windsor, Ont.
- With the recent loss of Dallas Stars’ top defenseman John Klingberg for four weeks, the team has placed their defensive hopes on rookie blueliner Miro Heiskanen, who suddenly is thrust into the role as the team’s No. 1 defenseman. That has been evident, which included a game-high 29:26 Saturday against the Nashville Predators. The Athletic’s Sean Shairo (subscription required) breaks down the film of the play of Heiskanen. Shapiro suggests that Heiskanen’s innate knack of stick angles and positioning is just one skill that few rookies have a keen grasp on as well as his ability to use his body well without being physical. That should bode well for a team that already has a high-quality No. 1 in Klingberg.