As the first full week in November begins, teams are evaluating their first month’s performance and making tweaks to the roster to address both short-term needs and more long-term issues. Here are today’s minor moves:
- The Vancouver Canucks announced (via twitter) that they have assigned Jayson Megna to the Utica Comets of the AHL today. Megna has been with the team since he was recalled on Oct. 29. The 27-year-old center, who was called up for depth purposes, played in just one game and didn’t score any points. He filled in last week after Brock Boeser missed a game due to injury.
- The Minnesota Wild announced they have sent forward Landon Ferraro to the Iowa Wild of the AHL. He had been recalled back on Oct. 18 and recorded a goal in two games with the Wild, but the 26-year-old suffered a hip flexor injury in his second game on Oct. 20 and has been out for the last seven games. As reports have surfaced that he’s close to returning to the ice, a little time in Iowa might be just what he needs to get back into game shape. He has two assists in three games for Iowa this year.
- With veteran defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson out for a few days with an upper body injury, the Arizona Coyotes announced they have recalled defenseman Joel Hanley from the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL to fill in for at least the first of the team’s three-game road trip. The 26-year-old has had four assists in nine games with Tucson. Signed away from the Montreal Canadiens this summer, Hanley has played in 17 NHL games for Montreal and has tallied six assists.
- The injury-plagued blue line of the Philadelphia Flyers is hopefully on its way back to full strength, so – for the time being – Will O’Neill has been returned to their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, per a team release. The long-time AHL veteran, who turns 30 in April, made his NHL debut Thursday in a limited bottom pair role for Philly. However, it was a symbol of hard work paid off more than anything for the Boston native, a 2006 seventh-round pick and former UMaine star who has had to work his way through the minors for the better part of this decade. With nearly 200 points in close to 350 AHL games, on top of an impressive NCAA resume, an NHL experience was the last thing left on O’Neill’s checklist. Now he just needs to stay motivated and earn a second call-up for the Flyers.
- The AHL’s Toronto Marlies have signed former New York Rangers goaltender Mackenzie Skapski to a one-year AHL contract, however he’ll likely be spending much of his time on the other side of North America from Toronto. Skapski has already been assigned to the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears, the Leafs’ and Marlies’ “AA” affiliate. Orlando recently lost veteran keeper Matt Hackett, who left the team to pursue other opportunities, and were hurting for depth in net. While the Marlies have arguably the best goalie group in the AHL – Garret Sparks, Calvin Pickard, and Kasimir Kaskisuo (currently on loan) – the team took it as an opportunity to add another goalie they were comfortable with to the mix. Skapski had been in camp with the Marlies for an extended period this fall, but left without a contract. Having seen him in action, the Marlies clearly felt they could add a reliable fall back to their impressive depth and help out their affiliate in one fell swoop. Skapski started two games for the Rangers back in 2014-15 at just 20 years old and performed admirably, but overall he has struggled in the pros and has settled into an ECHL role. Nevertheless, he presents a solid, experienced option for Orlando in 2017-18.
- The Boston Bruins have returned Zane McIntyre to the minor leagues, following the team’s loss against the Washington Capitals last night. McIntyre’s return likely means Anton Khudobin will be ready to dress in tomorrow’s matchup. McIntyre has been up several times this season, filling in for both Tuukka Rask and Khudobin as they nursed injuries, but hasn’t actually played a game. The sixth-round pick will have to wait for his next opportunity.
- The Calgary Flames will be without Travis Hamonic after the defenseman was injured in practice yesterday. Rasmus Andersson has been recalled as an insurance policy, but according to Roger Millions of Sportsnet Matt Bartkowski will be the replacement for Hamonic in the lineup. The Flames take on the New Jersey Devils tonight.
More to come throughout the day…