All signs were pointing to the likelihood that the Vancouver Canucks were going to get back forward Micheal Ferland soon. The forward has been out since Dec. 10 with what the team described as an upper-body injury, but has practiced with the team and was assigned to the Utica Comets of the AHL for a conditioning game Friday. However, Ferland’s stint didn’t last long as the Canucks announced he was removed from the game as a precaution after indicating that he was suffering from concussion-like symptoms.
TSN’s Rick Dhaliwal reports that Ferland is still in Utica and is being monitored by staff. It’s a disappointment as the team was hoping Ferland might be ready to return next week to the Canucks’ lineup. Ferland was signed to a four-year, $14MM contract last summer to provide both offense and a physical presence to the team’s middle six, but so far has just one goal in 14 games.
“If fans think its frustrating, how do you think Micheal Ferland feels,” said Ferland’s agent, Jason Davidson. “He wants to play. It was Micheal ’s decision to go to Utica.“
- NBC Sports’ Brian Witt wonders whether the San Jose Sharks should look at more drastic measures to rebuild the franchise. With the demand for defensemen increasing due to injuries, the team could create a quicker rebuild if they attempt to move one of their veterans, either Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Brent Burns. Vlasic has a full no-movement clause in his contract for the next three years, but would he be willing to return to his hometown of Montreal, now that the Canadiens just lost Shea Weber? Burns has a modified trade clause, but he has just a three-team trade list, severely limiting where the team could trade him. However, if the Sharks could find a way to get a big return for either defenseman, it could hasten their rebuild.
- The Athletic’s Jesse Granger reports that the Vegas Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch will be out week to week with a lower-body injury. The forward went down Thursday night after crashing feet first into the boards against the St. Louis Blues. It hasn’t been a great season for Tuch, who has struggled this year after a 20-goal season in 2018-19. This season, the 23-year-old has just eight goals in 42 games as a member of the third line in Vegas as he has seen his ice time drop by nearly two minutes from last year.
- The Calgary Flames will be without center Derek Ryan Saturday as the third-liner did not skate with the team this morning due to illness, according to NHL.com’s Torrie Peterson. The 33-year-old has 10 goals and 28 points so far this season, but will likely be replaced at center by Sam Bennett, who will move over from the wing.