The Coyotes are set to get their top defenseman back in the lineup as Jakob Chychrun has cleared COVID protocol, relays Jose M. Romero of the Arizona Republic. Chychrun had been out with an upper-body injury sustained back in December and was close to returning before testing positive. Head coach Andre Tourigny, defensemen Anton Stralman and Kyle Capobianco, and goalie Scott Wedgewood all also cleared protocols and are with Arizona on their road trip. However, they will be without winger Antoine Roussel who entered COVID protocol today and will miss at least the next five days.
Elsewhere around the hockey world:
- While the attendance restrictions in Vancouver have been extended through the middle of February, the Canucks will not be having any games on their upcoming three-game homestand rescheduled, mentions Postmedia’s Ben Kuzma (Twitter link). Vancouver already has seven games that need to be rescheduled with at least some of those changes expected to be announced very soon.
- Free agent winger Andrei Kuzmenko won’t be deciding on which NHL team he’ll sign with anytime soon. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports in the latest Insider Trading segment that the 25-year-old will wait until the end of his season in Russia before choosing where to sign with. Kuzmenko is on Russia’s training camp list for the upcoming Olympics and as the second-leading scorer in the KHL, it’s quite likely that he’ll make it. Ottawa is among the teams known to be interested although Dreger relays that almost every team has at least reached out to his agent (Gold Star’s Dan Milstein) to inquire about Kuzmenko.
- Wild prospect Josh Pillar was traded from Kamloops to Saskatoon at the WHL trade deadline on Monday. The 2021 fourth-round pick has averaged just over a point per game for the second straight season with 11 goals and 20 assists in 29 games. However, the two picks the Blazers are receiving are conditional as the winger is currently dealing with a private medical situation and the move was made to allow Pillar to recover closer to home.