The Bruins are close to making a decision regarding the future of center Jan Kovar, reports Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports Boston. The 28-year-old is currently on a minor league deal with the team but he has skated with Boston for the last couple of days. Kovar initially signed with the Islanders last summer but after failing to crack their lineup, his contract was mutually terminated and he caught on with AHL Providence shortly after that. Head coach Bruce Cassidy commented on the situation:
“There are clearly skills. He’s proven that in Providence, he’s put up numbers in the past. It’s just is he going make us a better team or do we like what we have, and want to work with what we have? That’s the ultimate question.”
Kovar has indeed been productive in the minors, collecting four goals and six assists in a dozen games at that level. If the Bruins decide not to tender him an NHL offer, it’s likely that he will look to return to the KHL where he has spent the past five seasons.
Elsewhere around the league:
- Prior to Philadelphia relieving Ron Hextall of his duties as GM, the Flyers were in discussions regarding a contract extension for winger Wayne Simmonds, notes Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News (Twitter link). However, Hextall indicated that the two sides were not close. Simmonds is a pending unrestricted free agent but given his style of play and tendency to play through injuries, locking the 30-year-old up long-term will carry some risk.
- Rangers defenseman Adam McQuaid is getting closer to returning from his lower-body injury. Head coach David Quinn told Larry Brooks of the New York Post that the 32-year-old is likely a couple of weeks away from getting back into the lineup. McQuaid has missed 16 straight games with the injury and has played just eight times so far this season.
- Stars coach Jim Montgomery provided an update on some of their injured defensemen to Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Connor Carrick (lower body) and John Klingberg (hand) are expected to miss about three more weeks each while Marc Methot (lower body) is more uncertain. He’s slated to undergo more testing that will hopefully determine how much longer he’ll miss.