News and notes from around the NHL this evening:
- The Phoenix Coyotes have assigned center Christian Dvorak to the team’s AHL affiliate Tuscon Roadrunners. Dvorak has zero goals and three assists in seven games for the Coyotes. The Coyotes did not immediately recall another player, which means young prospect Dylan Strome looks to have an extended playing opportunity tonight. Strome—Arizona’s 3rd overall draft pick last year—has only played three games this season. AZ Sports writer Craig Morgan says not to expect Dvorak to be in Tucson for long because Arizona will be shuttling AHL-eligible players back and forth to both save cap space and provide additional playing time.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled defenseman Slater Koekkoek and reassigned Matt Taormina. The move comes ahead of the Lightning’s Tuesday night game against the New York Islanders. Koekkoek was originally drafted 10th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, but has not yet lived up to expectations. He made the Lightning out of camp this season, but was a healthy scratch for the team’s first three games. Tampa Bay then sent Koekkoek down to the Syracuse Crunch (AHL) to get more playing time. Taomina has been a career AHLer, and was called up for one game before being sent back down.
- Boston Bruins forward David Backes is expected to miss the next two games, according to head coach Claude Julien. Backes underwent surgery last week to remedy his olecranon bursitis (elbow inflammation) and has been out since October 25th. The Bruins are holding Backes out now to prevent infection and to ensure that he heals properly. Backes has been productive since signing with the Bruins in the offseason, scoring 2G and 2A in 5 games.