The Jets will get a key player back in the lineup tonight as Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun relays that winger Blake Wheeler will return after missing the last three games due to an upper-body injury. The veteran has overcome a tough start and has averaged more than a point per game in 2022. Winnipeg still has an outside shot at a playoff spot and getting him back won’t hurt their chances.
However, the injury news isn’t all good as center Mark Scheifele did not accompany the Jets on their four-game Eastern road trip. He sits second in scoring with 70 points and logs over 21 minutes a night so his absence will continue to be felt. Meanwhile, rookie forward Cole Perfetti has resumed skating as he works his way back from an upper-body injury sustained back in February, one that saw him suffer a setback the last time he tried to come back.
Elsewhere in the Central:
- Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews hasn’t exactly hidden his disappointment with Chicago’s decision to embrace a rebuild. While he hasn’t requested a trade, Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times wonders if it would be best for both sides to find a change of scenery for the center for next season. Toews has one year left with a $10.5MM AAV and holds a no-move clause which will give him the chance to pick his next organization if they do decide to seek a trade. Toews recently indicated he’d like to speak with GM Kyle Davidson on a regular basis to “know exactly what’s going on in some detail” which suggests he’s looking for some more concrete information about their plans before deciding what’s next for him.
- The Stars have been without goaltender Braden Holtby for more than a month due to a lower-body injury and Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News relays that the veteran has yet to resume skating. Accordingly, head coach Rick Bowness acknowledged that Holtby may wind up being out for the season. Scott Wedgewood has done well in his first five appearances since coming over to Dallas near the trade deadline and it appears that the backup job will continue to be his for a little while yet.