Although he returned to the lineup for the playoffs last season, St. Louis forward Jaden Schwartz was far from 100% healthy when he came back, he told Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. With a full offseason to heal up, Schwartz feels he has much more mobility in his previously injured ankle now:
“It was pretty locked up, so you’ve got to get a lot of soft-tissue work and get a little bit more movement and strength and there’s things that you do for that to try to get it back as close as you can to what it was before. It helps skating and all around it feels better.”
Schwartz played in just 33 regular season games last season, scoring eight goals and 14 assists. Despite playing at less than 100%, he fared a bit better in the playoffs, recording four goals and 10 helpers in 20 contests while logging nearly a minute per game more than his regular season average.
With the departure of David Backes and the continued uncertainty surrounding Vladimir Sobotka, head coach Ken Hitchcock noted that the Blues are likely to test out Schwartz at center (along with youngster Robby Fabbri) during the preseason.
Other news from around the hockey world:
- The Ottawa Senators will be moving their AHL affiliate to Belleville, Ontario for the 2017-18 season. At a press conference today, owner Eugene Melnyk confirmed that the Sens have purchased the ownership for their farm team in Binghamton, NY and have signed an eight year agreement. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun notes that the move still requires approval from the AHL’s Board of Governors but that there shouldn’t be any issues there. This will mark the second pending move by a Canadian team already for next season as the Montreal Canadiens announced earlier this summer that their farm team will move to Laval to begin play in 2017-18.
- While the San Jose Sharks and Brent Burns’ agent (Ron Salcer) are in discussions regarding a contract extension, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that talks are not close to being at an advanced stage at this time and that there is no indication that they are nearing a deal. Burns is currently pegged to be the top unrestricted free agent next offseason if the two sides can’t lock down an extension. Last week, we took a closer look at what it might cost to keep Burns in San Jose on a long-term deal.
- Rangers GM Jeff Gorton considered making significant changes to their roster this offseason, writes Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News. Instead, he opted to make only one notable trade involving the core, dealing away Derick Brassard to the Senators in exchange for Mika Zibanejad. Gorton noted that the team has had a fair amount of playoff success in recent years and believes that some in the organization have more faith with the current team than those outside the team do.