Not long after the Calgary Flames shut down center Sean Monahan for the season, the Flames lost another player for the remainder of the season in winger Kris Versteeg, according to Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson.
Versteeg had been out with a hip injury for a large chunk of the season this year. He has been out since Nov. 24, but came back last week for two games. Yet two scratches in a row in the team’s two most recent games suggests he wasn’t at full strength. With the Flames quickly bottoming out in the final stretch of games, it probably makes sense for the team to allow Versteeg to sit and heal for next season, allowing them to look at some younger options.
While Versteeg’s loss isn’t as devastating a loss as Monahan, Versteeg was considered a key to the team’s back-six. He has averaged close to 15 goals per season over the previous three years, but only managed to appear in 24 games this season, posting just three goals and five assists.
- In other injury news in Calgary, the Calgary Sun’s Kristen Anderson writes that defenseman T. J. Brodie and winger Matthew Tkachuk are both still considered day-to-day and will not travel with the team to San Jose or Los Angeles for their upcoming road trip. Brodie has missed two games after taking a hit from Vegas Golden Knights enforcer Ryan Reaves on Mar. 18, while Tkachuk has missed five games after taking a hit from the New York Islanders’ Mathew Barzal on Mar. 11.
- The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan tweets that center Evgeny Kuznetsov will return to the Capitals’ lineup today after missing three games with an upper-body injury. The 25-year-old center has never missed a game with an injury and as the Capitals fight for a better seeding in the playoffs, the team will be happy to get him back. Kuznetsov is heading for a career year as he already has a career-high 21 goals and his 71 points is six short of his career high.
- Khurshudyan also notes that Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz will continue to hold goaltender Braden Holtby out of games as he doesn’t want to risk further injury. The veteran goaltender remains day-to-day with a lower body injury.
- Adrian Dater of BSN Denver tweets that Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jonathan Bernier is out again, this time with an upper-body injury. He came in to replace Semyon Varlamov Thursday in their 7-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, and allowed two goals.