Early last season, it looked as if Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester was playing his final year in St. Louis. He was coming back from hip surgery and there were some early struggles. However, he picked up his play and eventually signed the one-year, $3.25MM deal (which carries an extra $250K in bonuses) that he’s playing on this season. While he’s now 36, the veteran indicated to Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he’s open to returning for what would be his 18th NHL season. However, given their salary cap situation for next season (already nearly $74MM in commitments and Alex Pietrangelo still unsigned), Bouwmeester may have to take a more bonus-laden deal in order to stick around; he’s eligible to sign one of those as long as it’s a one-year pact. He’ll be eligible to put pen to paper on an extension starting in January.
Elsewhere in the Central:
- The Stars are hoping to have a pair of key players back this weekend. Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News notes that defenseman John Klingberg and winger Roope Hintz are nearing returns from their respective lower-body injuries. Dallas won’t have to make any roster moves to accommodate their returns as they’re carrying two players under the maximum 23 at the moment.
- Avalanche winger Matt Calvert took to the ice on Friday before practice for the first time since being hit with a shot to the side of the head last Saturday, reports Ben Frederickson of the Denver Post. While there’s no timetable for his return, that’s certainly a positive sign. Meanwhile, he adds that winger Tyson Jost (upper body) is doubtful to play tonight against Toronto. He has missed the past three games due to the injury. They sent Jayson Megna down yesterday which hinted that Jost may be ready but Colorado still has 12 healthy forwards on their roster so they won’t need to call him back up.
- The Blackhawks announced (Twitter link) that they have placed center Drake Caggiula on injured reserve. He has been out for two weeks already and the placement is retroactive to November 10th so he can be activated at any time. However, the move allows them to bring someone up to take his place on the roster.