It was a busy news day in the Eastern Conference. It was highlighted by the New York Islanders signing Zdeno Chara and the Ottawa Senators signing Logan Brown, both to one-year deals. But those weren’t the only items of note from around the East today as things begin to heat up prior to training camps. The Associated Press’s John Wawrow reports that Jack Eichel will indeed report to the Buffalo Sabres for his physical next week. Considering the importance that Eichel’s health status plays in any potential trade from Buffalo, the results of this appointment will likely be of especially high interest to Buffalo and teams interested in acquiring the star center. It could provide some additional clarity about paths forward for Eichel, as well as a potential return date from his neck injury.
Elsewhere from around the East:
- Assuming Chara actually suits up for game action with the Islanders this year, he’ll be setting an NHL record in the process. According to Sportradar, Chara will have gone the longest amount of time between games with a singular franchise of anyone in the league. His last game with the Islanders was in April of 2001, making it roughly 20 years and six months since he last suited up for the Isles. It smashes the previous record held by Brendan Shanahan, who went 17 years and nine months between games with the New Jersey Devils.
- After being dealt from and back to the Pittsburgh Penguins organization via trades with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Filip Hallander remains committed to making an NHL career for himself with the team. Participating in this year’s development camp with the team, he notes to Penguins writer James Leo that he’s “here to take a spot.” It’s not something that’s entirely out of the realm of possibility. Neither Sidney Crosby nor Evgeni Malkin will be ready for the start of the season, stretching the team’s center depth extremely thin. The 21-year-old had 24 points in 51 games last year with Luleå in the Swedish Hockey League, and could at least earn a few games out of camp in a bottom-six role while the team heals up.