With the offense running on high already this season and possibly even looking more dangerous than it was last season, the team does have some problems ahead. What is the team going to do when Zach Hyman returns to the lineup? It’s a good problem to have, but with the lines already clicking, it could spell bad news for winger Kasperi Kapanen.
James Mirtle of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that Hyman is very likely to move back to the John Tavares line when he returns from injured reserve, as Kapanen hasn’t been a good fit there. However, while it would then just make sense to move Kapanen back to the third line, that may not happen after an impressive start by Ilya Mikheyev–Alexander Kerfoot–Trevor Moore line, which seems to be improving their chemistry and has proven to be a hard-working line.
The scribe writes that could mean that Kapanen could find himself on the fourth line soon.
- The Athletic’s George Richards (subscription required) writes that the Florida Panthers will likely have to choose between two of their own during the offseason when forwards Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman both become unrestricted free agents. So far, Hoffman may be earning himself an even bigger paycheck next season, as his hat trick on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning now give him four goals on the season. Dadanov has no points in two games. The 29-year-old Hoffman wouldn’t mind staying with the Panthers next season. “It has been great ever since I got here. I have loved every second of it,” Hoffman said Saturday. “The guys here are great, ownership is great. It is definitely a fun place to play and we were able to pick up some key acquisitions over the summer. That’s a positive thing and I’m looking forward to the future. I am going to do the best I can for this hockey club this year and I will let everything else kind of sort itself out.”
- The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa (subscription required) writes that forward Joakim Nordstrom is expected to play sometime before their road trip ends. The team still has two games on their road trip, including games Tuesday at Vegas and Thursday at Colorado. Nordstrom, out with an undisclosed injury, is traveling with the team, but head coach Bruce Cassidy feels that the 27-year-old is close to returning to the lineup.