After a flurry of activity yesterday with half of the NHL’s teams entering their bye weeks, things should slow down today with those teams now officially on bye. In fact, there are only two games on the docket tonight and eight games total scheduled this week before the All-Star break begins on Thursday. Yet, those teams remaining in action may still be active with roster tweaks over the coming days. Keep up with all of those moves here:
- The Chicago Blackhawks witnessed Patrick Kane’s 1000th NHL point last night, and Dennis Gilbert and Brandon Hagel got as good a view as anyone, watching from the press box. The two have now been returned to the AHL’s Rockford Ice Hogs, the Blackhawks announced. Gilbert has been a frequent call-up of the ‘Hawks this season, skating in 20 games with Chicago versus just 11 with Rockford. Hagel has been in the opposite position, spending his time almost exclusively with the Ice Hogs, where he leads the team in goals, except for a few games spent watching – but not playing with – the Blackhawks. However, that could change for the first-year pro if he continues to produce in the minors. (UPDATE: Both players have been recalled again, meaning it was just a paper transaction)
- German Rubtsov is on his way to Philadelphia, the Flyers announced this morning. The 2016 first-round pick made his NHL debut earlier this season, skating in three games with the Flyers. However, he has was held scoreless. Rubtsov has just 12 points in 28 games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms as well, so Philly could be looking for the young forward to re-discover his scoring tough with a call-up to the big leagues.
- The Vancouver Canucks have reassigned Zack MacEwen to the AHL’s Utica Comets, but that might mean very little. MacEwen has been back-and-forth between the two clubs all season, including several paper transactions, so expect the forward to be back in Vancouver before too long.
- Joseph Blandisi has been recalled once again by the Pittsburgh Penguins, a normal occurrence for the minor league forward this season. This will be the seventh time he has been recalled, and he has actually played more games in the NHL than the AHL.