The lower-body injury that has kept Sabres defenseman Robert Hagg out for nearly a month was one that had been lingering for most of the season, notes Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News. The 26-year-old still leads the team in blocks (56) and has the most hits among blueliners (49) despite missing nine games and playing through the injury for most of the year. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer so a return to health – he has been skating in recent days and should return soon – could certainly boost his stock both in terms of contract value and what Buffalo could get in a trade for him as a rental player.
Meanwhile, Lysowski adds that goalie Dustin Tokarski was a full participant in practice on Friday for the first time since getting hit with a particularly rough bout of COVID-19 back in late November. There remains no timetable for his return but they plan to gradually increase his workload in the coming days to assess his potential readiness to play.
More from the Atlantic Division:
- The Senators announced (Twitter link) that they’ve removed goaltender Anton Forsberg from COVID protocol, paving the way for him to rejoin the roster. With Ottawa now off until Monday, that will give him a chance to get a practice or two in and potentially be ready to return against Edmonton. The Sens now have three goalies on the active roster so Matt Murray could potentially return to AHL Belleville to get some more game action in since he hardly played in his first stint with the team.
- Red Wings winger Jakub Vrana has resumed skating as he works his way back from shoulder surgery that has caused him to miss the entire season so far, relays MLive’s Ansar Khan. At this point, the 25-year-old has been limited to light stickhandling work and head coach Jeff Blashill indicated the original recovery timeline – sometime in mid-to-late February – remains the likely target for his return. If Detroit can hang around the battle for the second Wild Card spot until then (they’re one point out heading into play today), he’d be a big addition for the stretch run.