The Buffalo News’ John Vogl spent some time with Sabres head coach Phil Housley and reports how Housley believes the Winter Classic is a great way for Buffalo to enjoy an event during what has been a frustrating season. The Sabres’ current stretch sees them going 4-3-4, a positive in what has been a downtrodden season. Housley said that the players “have been doing the right things” even though the results haven’t always been there. Vogl adds that Housley believes that when his team plays their style of play, they have been effective. Since they’re 10-20-8, getting almost half of those wins in their last 11 games is encouraging. The 2018 Winter Classic gives the Sabres a spotlight chance in the midst of a dismal season, and possibly something to build on as the season wears on.
- The Detroit Red Wings opted to have their latest first round draft pick, Michael Rasmussen, to have his wrist operated on according to The Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James. The surgery will keep Rasmussen out of the lineup for 4-8 weeks, with general manager Ken Holland stating that the 2017 ninth overall pick had been playing in pain for quite some time. Instead of playing through pain, the Red Wings advised Rasmussen to take care of the issue now, and then return for a playoff run and training in the summer. Rasmussen suffered a broken wrist last season prior to the draft, giving the Red Wings some pause as to whether this will be a reoccurring problem. It certainly isn’t good news for a team trying to build through the draft. Rasmussen has played well for the WHL’s Tri-City Americans, potting 16 goals and 31 points in 22 games.
- The Courier-Post’s David Issac writes that Flyers prospect Samuel Morin has been brought along with patience by Philadelphia and still may be further away than most hope when it comes to patrolling the blue line with the big club. Morin has spent season with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley and has been hurt through most of it, suiting up just 12 times this season. General manager Ron Hextall admits that the 22-year-old has been fighting through an injury this season. Issac indicates that the hope was for Morin to emulate former Flyers d-man Chris Pronger, who was also known for his intimidating stature and physical presence. Though appeared for the Flyers this season in two games, it appears that recovering from an injury will keep Morin out of Philadelphia for a little bit longer.