Predators prospect Eeli Tolvanen’s European Assignment Clause allows him to decide to leave AHL Milwaukee after ten games with the team, reports Paul Skrbina of The Tennessean. The scribe adds that if the winger opted to go back to the KHL (it’s not an automatically-triggered clause), he could not return for the rest of the season. Given that Tolvanen was projecting to be a depth player as their roster currently stands, they opted to send him down to maximize his playing time but if he wants to force their hand, Nashville will have a decision to make about his playing future within the next few weeks.
Elsewhere in the Central:
- Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson has still not been cleared for contact as he continues his recovery from offseason hip and knee surgery, notes Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Accordingly, it’s highly unlikely that the veteran will be available to start the season. Between this and the suspension to Robert Bortuzzo yesterday, St. Louis will be down a couple of regular defenders when their season gets underway on Thursday.
- Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville told reporters, including Jimmy Greenfield of the Chicago Tribune, that goaltender Corey Crawford is on track to practice with the team next week. While that doesn’t bode well for his odds of being available to start the season, he shouldn’t miss too much time past the opener. In the meantime, that will allow the team to keep Anton Forsberg up to start the season instead of running him through waivers over the next couple of days.
- Wild winger Luke Kunin will be evaluated on Tuesday to assess his recovery from offseason ACL surgery, reports Sarah McLellan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The initial timeline for him to be ready was seven months and that mark will be reached next week. However, even if he gets the green light to resume full practice work, he still won’t be ready for the season opener. Meanwhile, blueliner Gustav Olofsson has resumed skating on his own as he works his way back from a shoulder injury but there remains no timetable for his return to the lineup.