Although he has been listed as day-to-day for the better part of three weeks now, Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto is finally close to returning to the lineup from his ankle injury and is targeting Wednesday against the Flames as a return date, reports Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post. He had started skating a couple of weeks ago but had to stop after suffering a setback.
Del Zotto’s season has largely been one setback after another due to injuries and struggles that have seen him spend time as a healthy scratch as well, hardly an ideal spot for a pending unrestricted free agent. In 30 games, he has four goals and six assists but a poor -10 rating while seeing his average ice time drop by nearly four minutes per night. Accordingly, there’s a chance that the Flyers could look to move him by the deadline despite still being in the playoff picture.
[Related: Del Zotto’s Trade Candidate Profile]
Elsewhere around the league:
- While Calgary GM Brad Treliving remains without a contract beyond this season, Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun doesn’t anticipate that ownership will be looking to make a change. The scribe takes a closer look at his moves since joining the team a little under three years ago and notes that there are considerably more successful ones than mistakes. Francis notes that the team is comfortable with having their off-ice personnel operating in the final year of their deals, a departure from most teams across the NHL who don’t typically prefer to have their general managers in their ‘lame duck years’.
- The Red Wings announced that they have recalled goaltender Jimmy Howard from his conditioning assignment in Grand Rapids. He has been out of Detroit’s lineup since sustaining a sprained MCL back in December. To make room for him on the roster, the team placed defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (who was ruled out for the season earlier today) on long-term injury reserve. MLive’s Brendan Savage adds (Twitter link) that Howard will not skate with the team until Monday meaning the current tandem of Petr Mrazek and Jared Coreau will remain in place for their two games over the weekend. Prior to the injury, Howard had been off to a strong start to the season with a 1.96 GAA and a .934 SV% in 17 games.
- Tampa Bay center Tyler Johnson is likely to miss the Lightning’s next two games as a result of an undisclosed injury he suffered on Tuesday night, notes Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. On the flip side, they are getting some good news on the injury front as well as wingers Alex Killorn and Ondrej Palat are both expected to be in the lineup tonight against the Wild.