Prior to their game tonight against Florida, the Jets announced (Twitter link) quite a few roster moves. Defensemen Dylan DeMelo and Logan Stanley were both placed on injured reserve while fellow blueliner Josh Morrissey entered COVID protocol. That resulted in the recalls of rearguards Ville Heinola and Johnny Kovacevic from the taxi squad as well as forward Kristian Reichel. In order to get cap-compliant to make those moves, goaltender Mikhail Berdin was sent back to the taxi squad while center David Gustafsson was transferred to LTIR.
DeMelo suffered an upper-body injury back on Saturday against Boston and has been listed as day-to-day since then; if the IR placement was backdated, he will be eligible to return as soon as this weekend. As for Stanley, he was injured back on Thursday with interim head coach Dave Lowry telling reporters, including Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe (Twitter link) that Stanley’s designation is longer than day-to-day. At this point, the fact that they didn’t see fit to place him on LTIR should at least be considered as some cause for optimism as that would have forced him to miss 10 games and 24 days. That’s what will happen for Gustafsson although he last played nearly three weeks ago and assuming his placement was backdated, he could be back as soon as next week.
The loss of Morrissey will certainly be a big loss for the Jets in the short term as he logs just shy of 23 minutes a game on the back end, the most of anyone on the team. He’ll be out for at least five days as a result of this placement as long as it’s for a confirmed positive test.
As for the recalls, Heinola is the most experienced with 13 career games under his belt although none of them have come this season as Winnipeg has opted to have the 2019 first-rounder develop with a consistent role in the AHL where he has chipped in with 16 points in 24 games. Reichel made his NHL debut last month and has played in five games overall this season, picking up his first career NHL goal in the process. Meanwhile, Kovacevic is in his fourth season in Winnipeg’s system and this is his first career recall to the big club. He has 14 points in 32 games with AHL Manitoba so far in 2021-22.