News and notes from around the NHL this evening:
- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced today that the NHL expects to hold three outdoor games next season, reports ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. The NHL is already exploring Ottawa as one potential site given the city hosted the first ever NHL hockey game—something the NHL wants to commemorate in its 100th anniversary. Montreal and Columbus also deserve serious consideration as they remain the most prominent and climate-ready locales yet to host an outdoor game. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights may garner some consideration if the NHL wants to give the franchise some supplemental exposure.
- The New Jersey Devils are without both Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson tonight against the Boston Bruins. Both forwards are out with undisclosed illnesses. Zajac leads the Devils in scoring with 8G and 16A in 37 games. Josefson, however, only has 2A in 16 games. Finally, defense prospect Steve Santini makes his NHL debut tonight. Santini is scoreless in 15 games for the Albany Devils so far this season.
- Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Pierre-Luc Dubois was demoted off of Canada’s top line at the World Junior Hockey Championships prior to tonight’s Quarter-Final game against the Czech Republic, reports Scott Wheeler. The 3rd overall pick in 2016 has 0G and 4A in the tournament so far, but has not impressed the Hockey Canada coaching staff. Dubois is having an excellent year in the QMJHL, scoring 6G and 12A in 20 games so far this season. The top line now consists of Colorado Avalanche prospect Tyson Jost, New Jersey Devils prospect Blake Speers, and Arizona Coyotes prospect Dylan Strome.