In today’s edition of their 32 Thoughts Podcast, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek name New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff as being one of the early names on the hot seat to start the year. The Devils have dropped both their opening games to the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings.
Although they’ve played well overall in both outings, they’ve gotten just a .804 save percentage from Vitek Vanecek and Mackenzie Blackwood, goaltending that doesn’t exactly permit you to win many games. Firing Ruff may not fix that, but some of his usage decisions have admittedly been puzzling as well. Forward Jesper Bratt, who has three points in those two games and has been extremely strong analytically to start the year, ranks sixth among Devils forwards in average ice time to start the year, behind players like Ondrej Palat, who has a -5 rating and is pointless through two games.
- PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan notes that Arizona Coyotes defenseman Juuso Valimaki will make his team debut tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs after being claimed off waivers last week from the Calgary Flames. Valimaki has been unable to play with the team due to work visa issues in the US, which still aren’t resolved, but he can play in Canada on the team’s three-game road trip through the eastern part of the country. He’s looking to secure a full-time NHL role again after playing just nine games for the Flames last year.
- The WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders today released forward Alessandro Segafredo, who will be returning home to Europe. The Italian-born forward was technically eligible for last year’s draft but was born on the cutoff date of September 15, so he’s hardly an overage prospect. He raised some eyebrows in his first North American appearance, registering 10 points in 19 games last year for the Seattle Thunderbirds, but has scored just five points in 25 games split between the Raiders and Winnipeg Ice since. Segafredo has a Swiss player license and will likely return there to continue his junior career.