The St. Louis Blues have sent Jordan Schmaltz back to the AHL to join the Chicago Wolves for their playoff run. With Robert Bortuzzo firmly in the lineup, there was no room for Schmaltz as the Blues continue their series against the Minnesota Wild. Instead, he’ll return to the AHL where he has dominated this season, scoring 25 points in 42 games.
Drafted in the first round in 2012, Schmaltz played exceptionally well at the University of North Dakota before making an impact as an AHL rookie last year. With another solid season and his NHL debut under his belt, he’ll be a leading candidate for a full-time job with the Blues next season. He’ll be entering the final year of his entry-level deal, and could sign an extension as soon as July 1st.
- The Vancouver Canucks’ Brendan Gaunce will have surgery to repair his shoulder and begin rehab to try and be ready for next season. Apparently he and the medical staff had been trying to avoid surgery, but have no other choice after his “response to treatment.” Gaunce played 57 games for the Canucks this season, recording just five points. He still hasn’t shown that high-end potential that was so apparent in junior, but is still just 23 years old and can still improve his game.
- The Montreal Canadiens are expected to insert Alexei Emelin into their lineup for Game 5 against the New York Rangers, though he is technically a game-time decision. The injured defenseman has yet to play in the series, but will add another element of toughness to a group that has been pushed around physically by the normally smaller Rangers team. With 203 hits in the series, New York easily paces the entire NHL playoffs. Emelin, as Canadiens head coach Claude Julien told TSN’s John Lu, will make you keep your head up when he’s on the ice.