Ken Holland has a lot of work cut out for him this summer, even if he did get a vote of confidence from the Red Wings owner today. With a team struggling to get anything going during the season, he broke some more bad news today at their final presser of the year. According to Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News, Holland said that Tomas Tatar will be out 4-6 months following shoulder surgery, putting training camp and the start of the season in jeopardy.
Tatar had 46 points this season and his third straight twenty-goal campaign, but couldn’t help the Red Wings continue their playoff streak. The 26-year old is one of the more interesting names to follow in the summer, as he is a restricted free agent and may be one of the best chips the Red Wings have in a potential rebuild. His injury doesn’t help that, as teams will be wary of acquiring a player who needs that much rehab. He made just $2.75MM this season, but will command a heft raise after three straight 45+ point seasons.
- The Washington Capitals have sent Chandler Stephenson down to the Hershey Bears, as they finalize their roster before the first round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stephenson suited up for just four games this season, and has yet to find a way to crack into the Capitals lineup on a full-time basis. The 22-year old center has 38 points in 71 games this season in the AHL, but is still waiting for his first NHL point.
- The Maple Leafs sent Garret Sparks back to the minors as Frederik Andersen returned to practice and is expected to play game 1 on Thursday. Sparks never did get a chance to start a game for the Maple Leafs this season, despite an excellent season in the AHL. His .926 save percentage was among the minor league leaders, and bodes well for his chances at a backup position this summer. Curtis McElhinney, the Maple Leafs current backup, is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
- The Leafs also dipped into their unsigned prospect pool, signing Jesper Lindgren to an amateur tryout after his season ended with MODO of the Swedish junior league. Lindgren is another small defender who has offensive upside, as he showed with 24 points in 50 games this season.