The Anaheim Ducks have announced that defenseman John Klingberg is out with a lower-body injury. There was no word on whether his status was considered day-to-day or something longer, though the team noted that Nathan Beaulieu would be drawing into the lineup in Klingberg’s place. While this development won’t have any impact on the Ducks’ long-gone playoff hopes, it could have an impact on the trade deadline. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes that this is not an instance of a team holding a player out of the lineup for trade-related reasons, as we have seen teams do with other blueliners such as Jakob Chychrun and Vladislav Gavrikov.
While Klingberg, 30, has had a nightmarish season in Anaheim (22 points in 48 games, down in scoring pace from 47 in 74 last season) he’s still a well-regarded offensive defenseman. Just last summer he earned a $7MM one-year deal, and it’s likely that there would be teams interested in acquiring him at the deadline. The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta links Klingberg with the Edmonton Oilers’ search for defensive help at the deadline, and it’s likely that there would be more than just Edmonton looking to add him to their team. Assuming that’s the case, interested teams will likely want to monitor his health status closely due to this news. In addition to Klingberg, the Ducks also announced that Adam Henrique would be leaving the game with an injury, which could be another injury development with trade deadline implications.
- New Jersey Devils netminder Mackenzie Blackwood is out day-to-day with a lower-body injury, reports NHL.com’s Mike Morreale. Starter Vitek Vanecek will retain the lion’s share of Devils starts in Blackwood’s absence. Blackwood will be eligible for restricted free agency in the summer and will hope to get this injury behind him and improve on his current .900 save percentage in order to put himself in the best position possible for summer contract negotiations.
- The Vancouver Canucks have announced that defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been placed on injured reserve. It was previously reported that Ekman-Larsson would miss several weeks with an ankle injury, and now the Canucks have made that reality official on their roster, as they’ve placed Ekman-Larsson on the injured list. With him out, the Canucks are turning to Riley Stillman and Christian Wolanin on the left side of their defense, and will now have an extra spot on the 23-man roster to work with.
- The Montreal Canadiens have announced that forward Joel Armia has left tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils. He left the bench relatively early in the first period, and at the moment it’s unclear the exact nature of what knocked him out of the game. Armia has had a difficult season, with just eleven points in 31 games. He’s had games where he’s looked quite good, but those games have been met with far longer stretches where he’s faded into the background of games. With the Canadiens already ravaged by injuries, they’ll have to hope that this new injury is a relatively minor one.
- The Washington Capitals have announced that forward Anthony Mantha has an upper-body injury, and will not return to tonight’s game. It’s been a rough season for Mantha and a difficult adjustment in Washington overall. Mantha has scored nine goals and 24 points in 53 games this season and is being outscored by two of the team’s bargain-bin veteran signings, Erik Gustafsson and Marcus Johansson. Hopefully, this injury proves to be just a minor setback so Matha can quickly return to the ice and work towards ending his season on the right foot.