While the Lightning, Islanders, and Capitals pulled off convincing wins last night, perhaps more impressive were the upsets by the Avalanche and Panthers over the top teams in the Western Conference. It will be a quieter night across the NHL this evening, with only four games on the docket, but not without it’s fair share of drama as the Sabres, Oilers, Hurricanes, and Wild all seek much-needed wins to stay afloat in their respective playoff races. Early indications are it could be a busy day for transactions, though. Keep track of all the activity here:
- Not only did the Detroit Red Wings bench young defenseman Dennis Cholowski on his own bobble-head night, but then they sent him down to the AHL right after the game. The team announced that both Cholowski and waived forward Martin Frk have been reassigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins. This is the first demotion for both players this season, as the pair are desperately in need of ice time after frequently watching from the press box of late. Still, the Red Wings’ timing could have been better.
- The Anaheim Ducks have added some firepower up front. The Ducks announced that top prospect forward Troy Terry has been recalled from the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. Terry, in his first pro season, has been a point-per-game player for the Gulls, but has just two points in ten games with the Ducks. However, a player who starred at the collegiate, world junior, and Olympic levels before turning pro is bound to find his offense in the NHL eventually. In a corresponding move, Anaheim reassigned veteran checking forward Adam Cracknell in a swap of two drastically different players.
- Lee Stempniak has taken another step toward perhaps the most predictable free agent signing in NHL history. The veteran forward, who has been working out and practicing with the Boston Bruins since joining the team on a tryout basis in training camp, has been added to the roster of the AHL’s Providence Bruins on a PTO, reports The Providence Journal’s Mark Divver. Stempniak has been expected to sign with the Bruins for the stretch run since it was first noted back in October that he would continue practicing with the team rather than seek employment in the minors or overseas. The fact that he is now getting into actual game action means that signing is on the horizon.
- With Michael Bunting placed on waivers yesterday with a designation for the minors, the Arizona Coyotes were able to activate long-time forward Brad Richardson from the injured reserve. Richardson was a game-time decision last night, but ended up making his return to the lineup. The veteran had missed the past 13 games with an upper-body injury.
- The Dallas Stars have announced that forward Denis Gurianov has been reassigned to AHL Texas. The streaky winger has shown some promise in the NHL this season, but has little to show for it with four points in 19 games. Dallas continues to battle with what to do with Gurianov, the No. 12 pick in 2015. He has been better than a point-per-game this season in the minors, but at the same time the Stars didn’t feel he was worth a call-up once last season and he hasn’t done much with his opportunity this year. The scoring forward has been an enigma for the team and with this latest demotion the saga continues.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets have called up homegrown forward Kole Sherwood on an emergency basis to fill the roster spot of Brandon Dubinksy, who they have moved to the injured reserve. Dubinsky has missed the past five games with a hip injury and it was only a matter of time before he landed on IR. Sherwood, who has been on fire in the AHL of late, is in his first pro season after being signed as an undrafted free agent while in juniors. An Ohio native, Sherwood hopes to make his NHL debut with his hometown team on this recall.