Despite many eyes across North America focused on the NFL Wild Card playoffs, the NHL has a busy Sunday scheduled this weekend. Seven games are on tap today, with the Carolina Hurricanes and Ottawa Senators—two teams that are in the rumor mill—kicking things off this afternoon. As always, we’ll keep track of all the minor moves around the league today.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs have sent goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo back to the minor leagues once again, and could have him dressed for the Toronto Marlies game this afternoon. Kaskisuo has been serving as the backup for Michael Hutchinson while the team deals with injury, but still hasn’t gotten into an NHL game. With Frederik Andersen expected to return soon, he may have to wait for another opportunity.
- Though the terminology varies on the ECHL and AHL websites, minor league defenseman Nolan De Jong will be playing for the San Jose Barracuda for the time being. With Jacob Middleton recalled by the Sharks, the Barracuda have acquired De Jong to give them some more depth on the back end. The former University of Michigan captain has nine points in 22 games with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL this season.
- The New Jersey Devils announced they have recalled goaltender Cam Johnson from the Binghamton Devils of the AHL. He was recalled with the recent injury to MacKenzie Blackwood, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Johnson will serve as the backup today against Vegas. The former University of North Dakota standout has had an up and down season between the ECHL and Binghamton. While he has had quite a bit of success with the Adirondack Thunder, he hasn’t been as successful in 14 AHL games. Johnson has a 3.91 GAA and a .866 save percentage. To make room for Johnson, the team assigned defenseman defenseman Egor Yakovlev to the AHL.
- The Calgary Flames announced they have assigned forward Dillon Dube and goaltender Jon Gillies to the Stockton Heat of the AHL. Dube has appeared in 23 games with Flames, but if the team is sending him down, it’s likley that forward Andrew Mangiapane is ready to return from injured reserve. And with David Rittich healthy and ready to go, the team didn’t need Gillies, who was serving as an emergency backup. He has yet to make an appearance for Calgary.
- The Anaheim Ducks have assigned both forward Ben Street and defenseman Jake Dotchin to the San Diego Gulls of the AHL, according to Eric Stephens of The Athletic. Both players had cleared waivers recently. The team also sent defenseman Korbinian Holzer to San Diego. The moves are expected to open up roster spots for the return of center Rickard Rakell and Cam Fowler, who have been on injured reserve. Rackell has been out since Dec. 5 with a ankle injury, while Fowler has been out since Nov. 12 with a facial fracture. UPDATE: Stephens adds that Fowler has officially been activated off of injured reserve.
- The Edmonton Oilers will get back a key defenseman as they announced they have activated Kris Russell, while placing forward Kailer Yamamoto on injured reserve. Russell has been out since Dec. 11 with a groin injury and has been badly missed in Edmonton, who have since acquired multiple defenseman to add depth to their team. Russell has eight points and a plus-four rating for the Oilers. Yamamoto, the team’s first-round pick in 2017, is still trying to gain a full-time position with the team, but has just a goal and two points in 13 appearances, while having eight points in 11 games in the AHL.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins announced they have recalled Chad Ruhwedel from his conditioning stint with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The 28-year-old defenseman has played the role of the team’s seventh defenseman for several years now, but found himself in the press box for a long stretch of time, since Nov. 19, and the team opted to send him to the AHL to get him back into game shape. Ruhwedel played five games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, posting one goal, five points and a plus-eight.