Player Notes

  • Carey Price gets back on the ice Monday
    Carey Price was on the ice Monday with members of the Canadiens for the first time since the start of Phase 2 of the NHL Return to Play Plan.

    Advice: Montreal is getting ready for a Stanley Cup Qualifier matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins with training camps tentatively scheduled to begin on July 13. The Canadiens and Penguins will play in a best-of-five series that is slated to begin in August. The team's ability to advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs may hinge primarily on the play of Price, who was having a streaky 2019-20 season prior to the pause. Yesterday, 5:41 pm
  • Jonathan Toews joins teammates for skate Monday
    Jonathan Toews joined some teammates for a voluntary skate on Monday. 

    Advice: This marks Toews' first time on the ice with the Blackhawks since the NHL paused the 2019-20 season on March 11. Training camps are slated to start on July 13 and the beginning of the Stanley Cup Qualifier round is tentatively scheduled for August 1. Chicago is in line to face the Edmonton Oilers in a best-of-five series. Toews had 18 goals and 60 points in 70 games prior to the season being put on hold. Yesterday, 5:31 pm
  • Coach Q wants to see Bobrovsky prove himself
    Florida coach Joel Quenneville hopes to see Sergei Bobrovsky step up during the Stanley Cup Qualifier round. 

    Advice: "He's got a chance to win for us and to prove that he's a top goalie in the game," Quenneville told "The Joe Rose Show" on WQAM-AM last Wednesday. "But goaltending, especially right off the bat, it's going to be so important for teams. Everybody has to get a groove off the bat. I think [Bobrovsky] is doing everything he can to help himself. I think it's a great opportunity for him to put this season, where all of a sudden we're only going to remember how he finishes, and let's go from there. That could really add a lot of confidence to our team and [Bobrovsky] as well." Bobrovsky inked a seven-year contract with the Panthers last summer worth $70 million, but he failed to live up to expectations in 2019-20. He sat four games prior to the pause of the campaign because of a lower-body injury, but he's healthy now and he's expected to be highly motivated. Florida is set to play against the New York Islanders in the Stanly Cup Qualifier round. Yesterday, 5:18 pm
  • Rangers will wait to make No. 1 goalie decision
    Rangers coach David Quinn will wait until after practices and scrimmages during Phase 3 of the NHL Return to Play Plan to decide who will start in net during the Stanley Cup Qualifier round.

    Advice: The Rangers will face the Carolina Hurricanes when play resumes in a best-of-five series to compete for the right to compete for the Stanley Cup. Igor Shesterkin, Henrik Lundqvist and Alexandar Georgiev will be in the mix for playing time. "You can make a case for all three guys," Quinn said on July 1. "There's a lot of reasons to take 'Shesty,' there's a lot of reasons to start Hank (Lundqvist), and there's reasons to start 'Georgie.' This is such an uncertain time that that will play out over the course of the two and a half weeks that we're going to have before we drop the puck." Shesterkin had earned the No. 1 goalie job for New York prior to the pause of the 2019-20 season. Yesterday, 4:21 pm
  • Dubnyk hopes to reclaim No. 1 goalie role
    Devan Dubnyk sees the Stanley Cup Qualifier round as a chance for him to seize back his role as the No. 1 goaltender on the Minnesota Wild. 

    Advice: "[Alex Stalock] was playing great at the end of the year," Dubnyk said. "I'm never going to be in a position where I'm just completely good with sitting back and not playing. I always expect to play; I always expect to be the guy that they want in the net when the time comes and [I'm] certainly going to approach this the exact same way and just be prepared, be ready to play if I'm called upon to play. If it's [Stalock], then cheer him on and be ready to go. It's a short series, so you want to make sure you're prepared for anything." Kaapo Kahkonen could also be in the mix for the Wild following a superb AHL campaign as well as some strong performances with the big club prior to the pause of the 2019-20 season. Yesterday, 2:32 pm
  • Phil Kessel awaits chance to bounce back
    Phil Kessel will be looking to rebound from a tough 2019-20 season in Arizona's play-in series versus the Nashville Predators during the Stanley Cup Qualifier round. 

    Advice: "Obviously, I had a tough year," Kessel said last Tuesday. "I had, I think it's probably my most injuries I've had is this year, but that's no excuse. It's one of those years. Obviously, I'm going to look to never have that again. I've never had a year like that, so I'm looking to bounce back. This is a good time to get it started again."  He skated with teammates at Gila River Arena that day during Phase 2 of the NHL Return to Play Plan. Kessel produced 14 goals and 38 points in 70 games prior to the pause of the 2019-20 campaign due to coronavirus concerns. Kessel feels better than he felt all year right now and he's eager to get back to playing. Yesterday, 2:25 pm
  • Carson Soucy good to go for Stanley Cup Qualifier
    Carson Soucy has fully recovered from an upper-body injury and said he is ready to play for Minnesota in the team's play-in series versus Vancouver. 

    Advice: Soucy was slated to be sidelined for two-to-four weeks due to the ailment and he sat out nine games prior to the pause of the 2019-20 season. "It felt like a long time, especially when you're not really able to skate," Soucy said last Tuesday. "I was cleared to skate the day after we all got shut down, so I was just gearing up to get back on the ice, and then this whole thing happens and I'm not allowed to skate for another three months. I was disappointed to not be able to finish that game in front of some friends and family (near his hometown). ... Now it's fully healed, so it's good to go." He had seven goals and 14 points in 55 games prior to the shutdown. Yesterday, 11:13 am
    Injured Reserve
  • Calvin de Haan gets back on the ice
    Calvin de Haan (shoulder surgery) returned to the ice last Thursday for Phase 2 voluntary workouts.

    Advice: De Haan had shoulder surgery six months ago and he was projected to need four-to-five months to recover. Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said June 11 that he expected de Haan to be ready for training camp this month when Phase 3 of the NHL's Return to Play Plan gets into gear. De Haan was limited to just 29 appearances with Chicago in 2019-20 prior to the season being paused due to the coronavirus. Yesterday, 11:07 am
    Injured Reserve
  • Elias Pettersson feels he has more to give
    Elias Pettersson feels he hasn't reached his full potential yet. 

    Advice: Pettersson was well on his way to hitting new career-highs offensively in 2019-20 prior to the season being paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was second on the Canucks with 66 points (27 goals, 39 assists) in 68 games after he had 28 goals and 66 points over 71 matches during his rookie campaign in 2018-19. "My second season I am very happy with, but I still think, or I know, I can play better," Pettersson said last Thursday. "First season (2018-19) was very good. I think the end of the last 20-30 games my first season wasn't that good, but it was a good learning point for me." He was among the Vancouver players to resume skating last week. Pettersson doesn't think it will take very long for him to get his timing and conditioning in his legs back. He also revealed that he did not skate when he was in Sweden during the pause. Yesterday, 10:25 am
  • Nastasiuk inks AHL deal with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
    Zach Nastasiuk has agreed to a contract with the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the 2020-21 season.

    Advice: Nastasiuk accounted for four goals and 11 points in 53 contests with San Antonio Rampage of the AHL in 2019-20. The 25-year-old forward hasn't seen any NHL action yet in his career. He has generated 36 points in 160 AHL games. Yesterday, 9:08 am
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  • Nick Schilkey signs with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
    Nick Schilkey has signed an AHL contract with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the 2020-21 season.

    Advice: Schilkey recorded nine goals and 22 points in 49 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers during the 2019-20 campaign. He has played the last three seasons in the minor-league ranks and doesn't have any NHL experience yet. Yesterday, 9:01 am
    Not Active
  • Jake Guentzel close to returning to action
    Jake Guentzel (shoulder surgery) is close to returning to action.

    Advice: Guentzel underwent shoulder surgery on New Year's Eve and the prognosis at the time was four-six months for recovery. Well, last week was the end of the six months and Guentzel is closing in on getting the okay from doctors to return. “I’m committed to working hard and strengthening the shoulder as much as I can,” Guentzel said after skating with teammates in Phase 2 in early June. “I’m trying to get back to pre-injury [level] as much as I can. There’s always that doubt. You never know what’s going to happen with an injury, any sort of injury. I’m committed to putting myself in the best possible position that I can.” Guentzel was having a great season with 20 goals and 43 points in 39 games before the injury. He has great value in playoff pools, playing as a top-six forward with Pittsburgh. Yesterday, 7:19 am
    Injured Reserve
  • Mark Stone ready to return once playoffs start
    Mark Stone (LBI) is ready to return to action.

    Advice: Stone was injured on February 26 and it took him 10 weeks to finally recover from the injury. “You’re so excited to get a little bit of time off and after a month you just want to get back with your friends and play some hockey,” Stone said in early June. “It was just exciting to be back and share a couple laughs with the guys and get back skating.” Stone had 21 goals and 63 points in 65 games and should be a high choice in any playoff pool as the Golden Knights are one of the favorites to compete for the Stanley Cup. Yesterday, 6:55 am
  • Dmitry Zavgorodniy a promising Flames prospect
    Dmitry Zavgorodniy has turned himself into a promising prospect for the Calgary Flames.

    Advice: Zavgorodniy was selected in the seventh round, 198th overall, in 2018 but had a breakout campaign in 2019-20 playing alongside presumptive first overall pick Alexis Lafreniere. The Russian winger had 29 goals and 67 points in 40 games before suffering a broken collarbone. “I think I took a good step this season,” Zavgorodniy said from Russia where he returned following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Of course, I have to give some credit to my partners — Lafreniere and (Cedric) Pare. We had some chemistry together, and we had a lot of fun. And I think my summer preparation gave me more confidence on the ice. I felt better, was playing better. And every time I had the chance, I was trying to get better mentally, outside of my strength and conditioning system. I was trying to get better everywhere and I think it’s paid off a little. I’m just going to keep working. It’s showing I’m on the right way right now.” He is worth keeping an eye on but won't play in the NHL for at least a couple of seasons at best. Yesterday, 6:46 am
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  • Oskar Lindblom rings the bell
    Oskar Lindblom rang the bell Thursday after completing his radiation treatments for a rare form of bone cancer.

    Advice: Lindblom has Ewing's sarcoma, a cancer of the bone. “I can’t even explain how I feel,” Lindblom said. “It feels like having my birthday, Christmas and all those holidays at the same time. It feels awesome to be done. I can’t wait to get back to normal life again and feel like I’m living. From family to friends to fans, I can’t explain how much that meant to me, especially at the start. It was a rough time and I got all those kind words. It just made me feel so much better and calm and (it was) a real help.” No word when Lindblom will return to the ice but it is unlikely he will be ready to return this season. Yesterday, 4:44 am
    Injured Reserve
  • All Rangers from Europe back in NYC
    The New York Rangers have had all their European players return to North America.

    Advice: There were plenty of Rangers who went back home when the NHL season was paused on March 12, including Mika Zibanejad, Henrik Lundqvist, Jesper Fast, Kaapo Kakko, Alexandar Georgiev and Filip Chytil. They are all back and skating while awaiting the start of training camp, which is expected to start on July 13. After that, the team could be heading to Toronto for Phase 4 on July 26, assuming there are no setbacks, to get ready for their play-in games against the Carolina Hurricanes in a best-of-five series. Yesterday, 4:31 am
  • Max Domi may not be eligible to play in playoffs
    Max Domi may not be allowed to play in the playoffs due to his diabetes.

    Advice: Domi would be at high risk because he has juvenile diabetes and should he become infected with the coronavirus, he could get seriously ill. That would be enough for doctors to consider him unfit to play as per the guidelines agreed upon for the return to play by the NHL and NHLPA. Should doctors deem him unfit, Domi and/or the Canadiens could get a second opinion. Domi is one of the Habs' top players and his absence from the lineup would be a huge loss. Domi had 17 goals and 44 points in 71 games after a 28 goal, 72-point performance in 2018-19. Yesterday, 3:29 am
  • Corey Schueneman signs AHL deal with Habs
    Corey Schueneman has signed a contract with Laval of the AHL.

    Advice: The defenseman played a couple of seasons in the Calgary farm system after signing as a free agent out of Western Michigan University. Schueneman had three goals and 21 points in 44 games with Stockton of the AHL and added a pair of goals and an assist in four ECHL games last season. Yesterday, 3:23 am
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  • Sam Vigneault signs AHL deal with Laval
    Sam Vigneault has inked a minor league deal with the Laval Rocket.

    Advice: Vigneault played last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets farm team in Cleveland scoring 11 times and adding five assists in 57 games. The six-foot, six-inch center has yet to play in the NHL but the Quebec native is returning to his roots as Columbus did not qualify him. The 24-year-old is unlikely to play in the NHL next season and if he does, he will be a bottom-two center at best. Yesterday, 3:16 am
    Not Active
  • Linus Ullmark thanks Sabres' fans
    Linus Ullmark thanked the fans of the Buffalo Sabres for their well wishes during his injury.

    Advice: Ullmark was out with a lower-body injury from January 28 until his return on March 9, just three days before the NHL paused its season due to the coronavirus. While he was out, he received a lot of love from Sabre fans, wishing him well for a quick recovery. "The interactions I had with fans during that time made a world of difference to me, Ullmark said. "It happened everywhere. I could be at the grocery store and people would come up to me, wishing me good luck with my rehab. If felt great to receive that sort of kindness during a stressful time. It goes to show how people go above and beyond to show they care in this town. That mentality has stuck out to me and my family ever since we came to Buffalo. I have never had a negative interaction with a fan. It could be out in public or after practice, I'm always struck by how genuine people are about the Sabres. They are 100-percent bought in." Ullmark was 17-14-3 with a 2.69 GAA and a.925 save percentage and heads into next season as the Sabres number one netminder. Yesterday, 2:46 am
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