Today’s minor news and notes from around the league:
- The Florida Panthers have loaned forward Denis Malgin to the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds, per a team release. Malgin, 20, was not expected to play much of a role for the Panthers in 2016-17, but ended up skating in 47 games and recording 10 points. This year, however, Malgin has yet to play to suit up for any of Florida’s first three games. With 2017 first-round pick Owen Tippett in the same boat, the Panthers needed to free up some opportunity and sending Malgin back to Springfield is no surprise. The Swiss forward was nearly a point-per-game player in the minors last season and can continue honing his skills while waiting for another opportunity to arise in Florida.
- Luc Snuggerud remains sidelined after a preseason upper-body injury, but now he’ll be sitting on the sidelines in Rockford rather than Chicago. The Blackhawks announced today that the young, offensive defenseman has been reassigned to the AHL Ice Hogs. Snuggerud is no good to the ’Hawks injured, but even if he is ready to go by the end of his original three-week prognosis, Chicago has no space in the lineup for him to play next week or any time in the near future. The Nebraska-Omaha product is in his first full pro season, but if he can produce at a similar rate in the AHL as he did in the NCAA, then Chicago will have him back up sooner rather than later.
- After clearing waivers today, Calgary Flames beat reporter Wes Gilbertson says that Marek Hrivik is on his way to the AHL. The free agent addition will join the Stockton Heat, a squad already full of talented young forwards such as Hunter Shinkaruk, Mark Jankowksi, and Spencer Foo. Hrivek will not only have to find his place on the new club, but also show that he is more worthy of the next Calgary call-up than some of his younger, more exciting new teammates.
- With the Minnesota Wild facing some major injury questions up front. Marcus Foligno suffered a serious blow to the face in a fight with Chicago’s John Hayden last night, while Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund are day-to-day with lingering issues and the conditions of Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter are also drawing some interest. There’s no easy solution is all five of those forwards are beyond playing condition, but for now the team has announced the call-up of rookie Luke Kunin from the AHL. Defenseman Mike Reilly was demoted to AHL Iowa to make room. Kunin, Minnesota’s 2016 first-round pick, decided to leave the University of Wisconsin after just two years to pursue his pro career and will almost certainly be rewarded with his NHL debut tomorrow. An intelligent, well-rounded center, it should come as no surprise if Kunin impresses in his role as an injury replacement and manages to keep a spot on the team going forward.
- Another Central Division team has swapped a pair of players, as the St. Louis Blues announced that forward Tage Thompson has been reassigned to the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, with fellow forward Sammy Blais getting the call-up. The two players are about as different as can be. Thompson is a 6’5″ center from Phoenix, Arizona who was drafted by the Blues in the first round in 2016 and played the past two seasons at the University of Connecticut before jumping right into the NHL this year. Blais is a 5’10” winger from Quebec who was drafted in the sixth round in 2014 and put up outstanding numbers in the QMJHL before playing a full AHL season last year. Yet, it’s Blais getting the call after an impressive preseason and a largely invisible first four games for Thompson. As the season goes on, watch for these two to be switched in and out depending on the personnel and style needs of St. Louis.