While many teams will be getting players back for when the play-in round gets underway, the Blackhawks may still be down a few players for their series against Edmonton. Speaking with reporters yesterday, including Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago, GM Stan Bowman indicated that blueliners Calvin de Haan and Adam Boqvist plus winger Drake Caggiula will all be ready to play. However, winger Andrew Shaw (concussion), center Zack Smith (back), and defenseman Brent Seabrook (shoulder, hips) may not be ready. Smith and Seabrook are recovering from their respective surgeries but are likely to be out for a while yet. As for Shaw, he last played in late November and Bowman didn’t have an update on his status.
Elsewhere around the NHL:
- Penguins goaltending prospect Emil Larmi has been recalled to join the team in Pittsburgh as they continue preparations for their play-in series against Montreal, reports Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The rookie posted identical 3.55 GAA’s with AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (nine games) and ECHL Wheeling (11 games) this season. While it’s expected that there will be a cap on the number of skaters that teams can carry when play resumes, there may not be one for goaltenders. With that in mind, it appears that Pittsburgh will carry at least four as Casey DeSmith is a safe bet to be brought up as well.
- Still with Pittsburgh, Louis Jean of TVA Sports reports (Twitter link) that prospect Samuel Poulin will be among their recalls as well. The Penguins took the 19-year-old 21st overall last June and he is coming off of a dominant season in the QMJHL. After picking up 76 points in 67 games last season, he had 77 points in just 46 contests this year with Sherbrooke. Poulin has already signed his entry-level deal.
- Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk told Newsday’s Andrew Gross that his eye is close to being fully recovered. Boychuk was cut by the skate blade of Montreal winger Artturi Lehkonen in early March which required 90 stitches and plastic surgery to repair. While Boychuk’s ice time decreased again this season for the fifth straight year, he was still a regular fixture on their third pairing and should play a similar role for them in their play-in series against Florida. Although the Islanders have opened up their practice facility, Boychuk will remain in his native Edmonton and skate there for the time being.