You know it’s been a slow day across the NHL when it’s late at night before multiple minor transactions have occurred. Apart from the historic Auston Matthews extension, it seems as if most front offices have taken the day off today. Nevertheless, there have been a couple notable moves, including a flurry of activity out of Arizona and an injury placement in Colorado:
- The Arizona Coyotes have shuffled their roster slightly, sending one player down and calling up two. The team announced that goaltender Adin Hill and defenseman Dakota Mermis are on their way up to the ’Yotes, while forward Michael Bunting has been reassigned to the AHL’s Tuscon Roadrunners. All three have suited up for Arizona this season, but it is Hill who has had the greatest impact and thus unsurprising that he is on his way back up. Hill’s 13 games played is second among the five keepers to appear for the Coyotes this season. However, veteran backup Calvin Pickard played well in his one showing with Arizona thus far and it is curious that the team has refrained from giving him more opportunity behind Darcy Kuemper. Mermis has only skated in one game for the ’Yotes this year, but could see a start on this recall for a blue line that is without Jakob Chychrun. On the flip side, Bunting scored in his NHL debut earlier this season, but was scoreless in the following three games and has not seen the ice in Arizona since.
- Defenseman Mark Barberio is headed to the injured reserve. CapFriendly reported tonight that the Colorado Avalanche have placed Barberio on the IR after he missed the team’s last game with a head injury. Barberio, in the first of a two-year, $2.9MM contract, has only played in twelve games this season but his -6 rating is the worst among all Avs defenders. The team has not yet made a corresponding move, but are expected to do so. Barberio’s loss on its own is not problematic for Colorado, but their defensive depth is a concern and extended absence for Barberio will add even more pressure for GM Joe Sakic to add another blue liner before the NHL Trade Deadline.