There’s some good news and bad news on the injury front for Ottawa. On the positive side, TSN’s Claire Hanna relays (Twitter link) that defenseman Artem Zub is expected to be ready to return after the All-Star break. It has been a tough year on the ice for the 27-year-old who has been limited to just 21 games this season while missing time with three separate injuries, the current one being an upper-body issue. It hasn’t been all bad, however, as he inked a four-year, $18.4MM extension with the Senators last month.
Meanwhile, Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch relays (Twitter link) that goaltender Cam Talbot might not be ready to return after the break. He suffered a lower-body injury last Wednesday and it’s the second time this season that injuries have held him out of the lineup. If the Senators are going to climb back into the playoff race, they’ll need him healthy while if they’re going to try to move him by the March 3rd trade deadline, he’ll need to get back and show potential suitors that he’s ready to go.
Elsewhere in the East:
- Speaking with reporters including Harman Dayal of The Athletic (Twitter link) following today’s trade, Islanders center Bo Horvat indicated that there weren’t any discussions regarding a possible extension before the move was made. The 27-year-old is set to earn a significant raise on his current $5.5MM AAV and is well on his way to a career year as he already has 31 goals and 23 assists so far this season. New York has a little over $67MM in commitments next season per CapFriendly and a new deal for Horvat would take up more than half of the space of what’s projected to be an $83.5MM cap for 2023-24.
- Nick Perbix’s time in the minors was short-lived as the Lightning recalled him today, per the AHL’s transactions log. The defenseman was sent down yesterday when Rudolfs Balcers came off LTIR following the conclusion of his conditioning stint; Perbix had to go down to keep them cap-compliant. Now that Balcers is off the roster (he was sent down after clearing waivers), the 24-year-old could be brought back. Tampa Bay could have kept him down through the All-Star break if they wanted but there wouldn’t have been a cap benefit to do so as they’re still in LTIR where cap room can’t be banked.
@bluejays4life—That’s what he’s been in Vancouver. If you looked at this year’s Hockey Reference page, the top “Roster” section has changed to either “F/D/G” for positions, but is clarified in the “Scoring Regular Season” section that follows. But, if you are questioning whether Lane Lambert will slot him in at center or wing, I guess that remains to be seen. The fact that he’s at 56% on the dots this year makes him nearly equal to J.G. Pageau, so it might be ill-advised to move him to the wing.
Suddenly the Isles have a talented but log jam at center, Not sure how that will shake out but Horvat may get the offense going which is exactly what the Isles need. I will say this though, Brock Nelson doesn’t get the respect he deserves on the Island.