The intrigue around Brandon Dubinsky and his apparent departure from the Columbus Blue Jackets continues. After Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reported earlier that it was for disciplinary reasons, his agent Kurt Overhardt reached out to the Steve Gorten at the Columbus Dispatch to insist that it is actually for medical reasons.
The agent claims that he just needed to get “residual issues” from his broken orbital bone as well as hand and wrist injuries checked out, and flatly denied any disciplinary action. We’ll have to wait and see what happens after the All-Star break, at which point Dubinsky should have been ready to return to the ice, likely wearing a full face shield.
- Brayden Point will be the replacement for Victor Hedman at the All-Star game in Tampa Bay, despite not playing the same position. Likely defensive replacements Morgan Rielly and Charlie McAvoy have both since suffered their own injuries, and perhaps the NHL wanted to maintain the same number of “hometown” players. The game is being held in Tampa Bay this weekend, where sophomore center Point will make his first appearance.
- Interestingly Brad Marchand, who has a disciplinary hearing with the league today after his elbow to the head of Marcus Johansson last night, will likely be part of the All-Star festivities regardless of a pending suspension. That’s according to several reporters including Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, who notes that the league does not have a firm policy for a case like this. If Marchand is removed from the All-Star game, you’d have to think his place would go to one of his linemates Patrice Bergeron or David Pastrnak, each of whom already have 20 goals on the season.