When the Calgary Flames recalled Rasmus Andersson yesterday, it was an indication that defenseman Travis Hamonic’s facial fracture, suffered in the team’s opener, was going to cause him to miss some time. However, the team has now officially announced that Hamonic has been placed on injured reserve. The team has labeled his status as week-to-week with no specific timeline for a return. Hamonic suffered the blow in a first period fight with the Vancouver Canucks’ Erik Gudbranson and was forced to leave the contest early. Hamonic has been sidelined frequently in his career, with his 74 games for Calgary last season actually setting a new career-high. Hamonic missed eight games for the Flames in his first season with the team, but spread throughout the season and not more than four at a time. The Flames would be fortunate if this injury only costs Hamonic four games. In the meantime, Andersson, fellow rookie Juuso Valimaki, and veteran depth defender Dalton Prout will be asked to pick up the slack in Hamonic’s absence.
- The rival Edmonton Oilers are getting one of their top defensemen back from injury, as the team announced that Kris Russell has been activated from the injured reserve. Russell’s injury was never disclosed by the team, nor was a timeline given, making his activation both a surprise and not a surprise at all. Russell traveled with the team to Europe and returns in time for the Oilers’ season opener against the New Jersey Devils in Sweden. Russell will skate with rookie and 2018 first-round pick Evan Bouchard, as he makes his NHL debut. In a corresponding move, Edmonton has returned young puck-moving blue liner Ethan Bear to the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors. Bear has been established as the next man up on defense, so if Bouchard’s early action does not impress and he is returned to junior, expect a prompt recall for Bear.
- The New York Islanders are keeping defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and forward Stephen Gionta with the team on extended PTO’s, notes Newsday’s Andrew Gross. Both veterans played for the Islanders last season and are familiar with the roster and seem willing to hang around in case an opportunity to officially return arises. Per Gross, head coach Barry Trotz called the pair “long-term insurance”. Seidenberg and Gionta will participate in practice and wait to see how the early season unfolds for the Isles, both in health and performance. Neither veteran has much of a ceiling at this point in their career, but are experienced, serviceable, hard-working pros who could step in if needed and provided some immediate support.