It’s Super Bowl Sunday and the eyes of the world’s sports fans will likely be fixated on just that one big event later on tonight. Yet, the NHL will continue with business as usual, albeit with a small three-game slate today. The Boston Bruins will face the Washington Capitals early this afternoon before rooting on their football counterparts, the New England Patriots, later on tonight. The Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens square off later this afternoon, as do head coach Bill Peters and the Calgary Flames in a homecoming against the Carolina Hurricanes. Other teams will be active as well, just in the front office, making minor changes to their rosters in anticipation of the coming week of games. Keep up with all the transactions here:
- One day after handing Michael McNiven his first NHL call-up to serve as the team’s backup, the Montreal Canadiens have sent the young goaltender back down, per the AHL. Curiously, the team has flipped yesterday’s transaction completely and have recalled buried defenseman Karl Alzner. Alzner has played in just one game with the Habs since November and has suited up for the AHL’s Laval Rocket for more games than he has with Montreal this season. Yet, the team seems open to giving him another chance to earn his keep in the second half. Alzner is signed for three more seasons at $4.625MM and the Canadiens would undoubtedly like to see his play improve to the point that he can win his job back.
- As hinted at yesterday, the Washington Capitals have now officially reassigned defenseman Christian Djoos to the AHL’s Hershey Bears on a conditioning assignment. Djoos has returned from a serious bout with compartment syndrome sooner than expected, but the Caps would rather he work out the kinks in his game and get back up to speed down in the minors. He’ll get the start for Hershey right away today. Djoos should be patrolling the D.C. blue line again soon enough, though.
- After clearing waivers today, the Buffalo Sabres will be sending forward Remi Elie to the Rochester Americans of the AHL, according to CapFriendly. Elie played just four regular season games in the AHL last season with the Texas Stars, but he did return and play for the veteran-laden team in the playoffs as they went all the way to the Calder Cup finals before losing to the Toronto Marlies, playing 19 games, scoring two goals and nine points.
- Already potentially clearing two roster spots, the Minnesota Wild announced they have placed Pontus Aberg on injured reserve after leaving Friday’s game against Dallas with a lower-body injury. Aberg has played five games so far for Minnesota since being acquired via trade from Anaheim. He has three assists so far.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs announced they have loaned defenseman Martin Marincin to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL after he cleared waivers earlier today. The 26-year-old Marincin is familiar with playing with the AHL squad as he played 52 regular season games with them last year as well as playing another 20 in the playoffs, helping the franchise win the Calder Cup. His NHL experience should only help the AHL squad, full of prospect defensemen.
Michael McNiven has been called up previously to back up Niemi when both Price and Lindgren were hurt. This was not his first call up.