With just four games on the docket for tonight in the NHL, many teams are taking a long look at their rosters as they head into the Christmas break. We’ll keep you up to date on all the minor moves around the league today:
- The Tampa Bay Lightning have brought Cory Conacher back to the NHL. The veteran forward has played just one game for the NHL club this season after signing with them this summer. In 2015-16, Conacher took his game to Switzerland where he scored 52 points in 48 games, but decided to return to the North American game to play for his old club. In 18 games at the AHL level, Conacher has proven he’s still a deadly offensive force at the lower level, putting up 15 points. As Erik Erlendsson of Lightning Insider points out, Conacher is likely up as insurance after Nikita Kucherov left practice yesterday with an undisclosed injury.
- To make room, the team has sent Luke Witkowski back to Syracuse. The bruising defender has gotten into eight games with the NHL team this season, recording just one assist.
- The New Jersey Devils have recalled forward Luke Gazdic, while sending Yohann Auvitu back to Albany of the AHL. Gazdic will join the team for practice today, but it’s unclear why the Devils need another forward. While Auvitu had been healthy scratched of late, the team is now carrying only six defensemen but several extra forwards. Perhaps there is an injury that has gone unreported or the team simply wants a shakeup after losing three straight (and being outscored 14-3 in those games).
- In Nashville, they’ve flip-flopped their backup goaltender again, as Juuse Saros has replaced Marek Mazanec on the Predators roster. Both have played a handful of games for the club this season, with Saros having much (and we mean much) more success. Mazanec will head to Milwaukee for the interim.
- With the New York Rangers welcoming Rick Nash and Matt Puempel back to practice today, they have assigned Nicklas Jensen back to the Hartford Wolfpack of the AHL. Jensen got into four games with the team but was held pointless. The former first-round pick will look to continue his strong start at the lower level; he currently has 15 points in 21 games with Hartford this season.
- After giving up three goals on sixteen shots in relief of Cam Ward last night, Michael Leighton has been sent down to the Charlotte Checkers to play in tonight’s matchup with the Manitoba Moose. Leighton, a veteran of 110 NHL contests has split his time between the two levels this season.