The Capitals will be without defenseman John Carlson for an extended period of time as Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic reports (subscription link) that his recovery timeline is a matter of months, not weeks. He took a slap shot to the side of the head just before the holiday break and was subsequently moved to injured reserve. Notably, the extended absence will allow them to place Carlson on LTIR which will make it considerably easier to activate Nicklas Backstrom when the veteran center is ready to return. However, Carlson is expected to return this season which means that Washington won’t be able to spend any of his cap hit on external replacements as they’ll need to get back into cap compliance when he’s cleared to return. His loss will be a big one for the Caps as Carlson has 21 points in 30 games this season while logging more than 23 minutes a night, a role that’s difficult to fill internally.
More from the Metropolitan:
- It took a PTO for Jimmy Vesey to eventually land a contract with the Rangers but now that he’s eligible to sign an extension, Larry Brooks of the New York Post suggests that they’d be wise to try to sign the winger to a new deal now. The 29-year-old has six goals and six assists in 37 games this season and has largely played on the top three lines for the bulk of the year. Knowing that Vesey has gone through the PTO route for two straight years, it’s possible that he’d be amenable to an early extension, one that would give him a bit of stability at a price tag that likely wouldn’t be much higher than the league minimum.
- The Islanders are hopeful that winger Cal Clutterbuck will be able to return to the lineup tomorrow against Vancouver, relays Newsday’s Andrew Gross (Twitter link). The 35-year-old returned from an upper-body injury last month only to sustain another upper-body issue soon after as he landed on injured reserve once again a week later. Clutterbuck has five points and 98 hits in 26 games so far this season.