The New York Islanders have lost some depth as forward Tanner Fritz is expected to miss six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a blood clot in his hand, according to NHL.com’s Cory Wright.
He had a little bit of a blood clot between two fingers, so they had to do some surgery and he’ll be out six to eight weeks. The operation was 100% successful. It’s just the nature of the type of procedure that was done, that it’ll take that bit of time. He’s fine. It’s unfortunate for Tanner, who came in and did so well, but as I said, he’ll be fully recovered.”
While the 27-year-old Fritz has only appeared in eight games for the Islanders this season, he was recalled on March 21st after veteran Valtteri Filppula was injured, giving Fritz the opportunity to play in the team’s last three games. Fritz was averaging only 10:49 of ice time with the Isles, but has been solid with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL where he has 12 goals and 37 points in 57 games. As for Filppula, head coach Barry Trotz said that he has been skating, but there is still no timetable for his return.
- Expect Ottawa Senators interim coach Marc Crawford to be a serious candidate for the team’s head coaching position, according to Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch. While general manager Pierre Dorion has a list of many candidates, the team won’t allow their search for a president of hockey operations to interfere with their hunt for a head coach. Crawford deserves consideration for that position as he has made a difference on the Senators’ young squad. Belleville head coach Troy Mann is another serious candidate for the Senators’ coaching vacancy.
- Garrioch reports that Dorion and goaltending coach Pierre Groulx watched Arizona State goaltender Joey Daccord Saturday and are expected to try to sign the collegiate goaltender. Daccord had a breakout year with Arizona State as the junior put up 21 wins, a 2.36 GAA and a .926 save percentage. He was the team’s seventh-round pick in the 2015 draft.
- TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports that Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron, who has missed two games with an upper-body injury, was back on the ice Sunday, but still needs to pass some tests before he is cleared to play. The 29-year-old Byron has 15 goals and 30 points in 54 games and could be available to play for Montreal on Tuesday if all goes well.
- The Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, announced that prospect Matthew Strome has been reassigned from his OHL team, whose season recently ended. Strome, the team’s fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft, just wrapped up his fourth year with the Hamilton Bulldogs, posting 28 goals and 79 points. He signed his entry-level contract in March of 2018 and will finish out the season with the Phantoms.