News and notes from around the NHL this evening:
- Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo will be out for at least four weeks after suffering a groin injury Tuesday, reports the Columbus Dispatch’s Tom Reed. Korpisalo was favored by many to backup Sergei Bobrovsky this season, but the preseason injury opens up that spot to Anton Forsberg or Curtis McElhinney. Korpisalo had a terrific debut last season, earning a 2.60GAA and .920Sv% in 31 games for the Blue Jackets. He’ll likely have the backup job when he returns.
- The Ottawa Senators are reportedly out of the Kris Russell sweepstakes. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reported that Sens GM Pierre Dorian is set with his eight defenseman and implied that they will not seek additional help via free agency. Russell still remains a free agent after failing to find a deal in the off-season. Time is ticking for the shot-blocking defenseman to find a home before the regular season begins. Russell is arguably the best UFA remaining, but with rosters all but finalized it will be hard for him to find a team willing to come close to his demands. Four teams are reportedly still in the mix, according to TheScore’s Cory Wilkins, but it is not known what offers are on the table.
- Steve Downie, another unsigned UFA, is mulling over an offer to play in the KHL, per his agent (via SportsNet). Downie last played with the Arizona Coyotes, scoring 3G and 3A in 26 games. He had some success two seasons ago with the Pittsburgh Penguins—scoring 14G and 14A in 72 games—but could never duplicate his 2009-10 season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. That year he scored 22G and 24P in 79 games while racking up over 200 penalty minutes. Discipline issues have dogged Downie his entire career, however, which may explain NHL GMs’ reluctance to sign him.