The Columbus Blue Jackets have given their roster a shake up, starting with the activation of Alexandre Texier from injured reserve. The young forward has been out since October 26th. Beyond that, the team has also sent down Elvis Merzlikins and Markus Hannikainen, while recalling Adam Clendening and Matiss Kivlenieks from the AHL.
The surprising name among the bunch is Merzlikins, who has served as the Blue Jackets’ backup goaltender this season. He has just four appearances so far however, and given the team doesn’t have a back-to-back situation until the end of the month, may not be getting much more action in the NHL anytime soon. In order to keep him fresh, the team likely wants him to get some minutes in the AHL with the Cleveland Monsters before coming back up.
Clendening too is an interesting recall, if only because it is for the first time this season. The 27-year old defenseman actually ended up playing in seven playoff games for the Blue Jackets last season, but was waived and sent to the minors again at the end of training camp this year. An AHL star, Clendening is off to another great start with six points in his first ten games for the Monsters.
Texier, 20, is a big part of the future for Columbus, who expect him to be a two-way force in their lineup for a long time. The young forward has three points in his first 11 games with the team but has missed the last four contests after suffering a knee injury against the Philadelphia Flyers. In that time, the Blue Jackets have gone 0-3-1 and dropped far behind in the playoff race in the Metropolitan Division.