While the Department of Player Safety has announced that Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian will receive a hearing on Monday for his retaliation against Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk, many point to two hits that Tkachuk doled out against Kassian before the incident. However, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reports that the Department of Player Safety has cleared Tkachuk of his role in the incident.
“Both hits delivered on Kassian were legal, full body checks delivered to a player carrying the puck,” stated the Department of Player Safety to ESPN.
- The Arizona Coyotes are expected to get a big boost to their defense as the team is expecting to get back defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, according The Athletic’s Craig Morgan. The veteran blueliner has missed 43 games after cracking his left fibula when he blocked a Erik Johnson slapshot back on Oct. 12. The 32-year-old has appeared in just four games, but when healthy should provide the team with another top-four option and an anchor on defense as the team has lost two straight and only has won five of their last 10 contests.
- Last night on Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the Anaheim Ducks could make an impact on the trade deadline movement as the team has made it known that they are willing to take on some salary in trade deadline deals, something that might prove to be quite valuable to teams that are tight against the cap. CapFriendly reports that Anaheim would have $10.1MM in deadline cap space as they are capable of putting Ryan Kesler and Patrick Eaves on long-term injured reserve, if needed. “The Ducks have let it be known that they’ve got cash and cap space,” Friedman explained. “They are willing to listen to you if you want to use them to help you clean up your cap problem, however, it’s going to cost you good, young assets.”
- The Dallas Stars got good news Saturday as defenseman Stephen Johns played in his first game in almost two years as the blueliner scored a goal and three assists in the Texas Stars victory over the Toronto Marlies in an AHL game, according to Sean Shapiro of The Athletic (subscription required). Johns has missed all that time with concussion issues, but seems ready to return to Dallas’ lineup soon. He’s expected to still play a few more games in the AHL before joining up with Dallas as a third-pairing option.