With the NHL set to wrap up the 2016-17 regular season this weekend, several clubs with postseason seeds locked in are taking the opportunity to rest key players. This gives several minor league players a chance to earn a late season call-up and to see some NHL action in the season’s closing days. We’ll recap the day’s minor transactions in this post.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins announced via Twitter that they have recalled forward Kevin Porter and netminder Tristan Jarry from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. Porter has spent the entire season so far with the baby Penguins but does bring plenty of NHL experience to the table with 247 regular season appearances over parts of seven seasons. For his career, the 5-foot-11, 191-pound winger has netted 29 goals and 58 points while averaging 12:39 of action per game. Porter was a key penalty killer last season in Pittsburgh and saw action in 41 game s before suffering a season-ending injury. He has 46 points in 67 AHL games this season, helping Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earn their 15th consecutive playoff berth. Jarry, who has yet to make his NHL debut, has been outstanding between the pipes for the baby Pens. He’s won 25 of 45 decisions and posted a GAA of 2.15 and a Save % of 0.925 in 45 contests. Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests the recalls mean the Penguins intend on resting “someone.” After wrapping up the second seed in the Metro Division and a first round playoff date set with Columbus, it wouldn’t be shocking if the team gave superstar center Sidney Crosby and #1 goalie Matt Murray the weekend off, though that is simply my own speculation. That scenario would give Jarry a solid shot at making his NHL debut.
- The Buffalo Sabres have inked center Sean Malone, their sixth-round draft choice in 2013, to a two-year, entry level deal, the club announced this morning. Malone, a native of West Seneca, New York, recently concluded his senior year at Harvard and finished the 2016-17 campaign with 18 goals and 42 points in 36 games. Malone and his Harvard teammates saw their season end in stunning fashion during their Frozen Four semifinal game when Minnesota-Duluth broke a 1 – 1 tie with 26.6 seconds remaining in regulation. Malone closes out his college career with 42 goals and 99 points in 115 NCAA games.
- Taylor Beck, who was recalled from Hartford yesterday, will make his New York Rangers debut tonight, the club announced via Twitter. The 25-year-old RW was acquired by the Rangers from Edmonton at the trade deadline in exchange for fellow forward Justin Fontaine. Beck has had a terrific AHL campaign, registering 63 points in 54 games split between Bakersfield and Hartford. In 9 career NHL contests, the 6-foot-2, 203-pound Beck has tallied 11 goals and 23 points. He failed to record a point in three earlier appearances with the Oilers this season. Beck will draw into the lineup for New York as the Rangers plan to rest forwards Derek Stepan, Jesper Fast, Mats Zuccarello and Rick Nash, the latter three for the second straight game.
- Montreal has recalled junior defenseman and 2016 first round pick Mikhail Sergachev from Windsor of the OHL. Normally, once a prospect has been returned to junior by his parent club, they cannot be recalled but the Canadiens took advantage of a little-used provision that allows them to do so in certain scenarios. Cap Friendly, via Twitter, provides the details of this provision in the CBA. In this case, since Windsor’s season is now over following their elimination from the OHL playoffs and with Montreal having already recalled a defender from the minor leagues on an emergency basis, the Habs were able to bring Sergachev up, also on an emergency basis. Sergachev appeared in three games earlier this season with Montreal before being returned to Windsor. The blue liner, still just 18, registered 43 points in 50 regular season games and another three in the playoffs for the Spitfires.
- Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced this morning that the club has recalled goaltender Anthony Stolarz from Lehigh Valley of the AHL. Stolarz has appeared in six games with the Flyers on the season, starting three times. He has posted a 0.932 Save % and a GAA of just 1.93 in his first taste of NHL action. Sam Carchidi, who covers the team for the Philadelphia Inquirer adds via Twitter that Stolarz will back up Steve Mason tonight with the Flyers on the road in Columbus and will likely get the starting assignment tomorrow as the team closes out its campaign at home against Carolina.