There was concern earlier today out of Colorado Avalanche camp, as forward Nazem Kadri was notably missing from practice with an undisclosed illness. Those concerns were calmed a bit with the confirmation that the illness was not in fact COVID-19, says Peter Baugh of The Athletic (link). According to Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post, who spoke to Avalanche Head Coach Jared Bednar, Kadri is still expected to be ready for Game 1 on Tuesday night (link).
Keeping Kadri in the lineup is key for the Avalanche as they head into the playoffs with eyes set on the Stanley Cup. As strong as their lineup is, Kadri plays a pivotal role as their second-line center, playing a 200-foot game and contributing plenty offensively. The forward just finished his best season to date, in which he compiled 28 goals and 59 assists in 71 games. Colorado is set to take on the Nashville Predators at home Tuesday night in Game 1 of the first round.
- Staying out west, the Arizona Coyotes announced that they have mutually parted ways with Assistant Coach Phil Housley (link). Housley just finished the third year of a three-year contract he signed with Arizona in June of 2019. It’s unclear what the next step is for the Hall of Fame defenseman, who previously spent two seasons as the Head Coach of the Buffalo Sabres, but the 58-year-old should be able to find opportunities if he wants them, considering his lengthy resume on and off the ice. As for Arizona, it does not appear that any additional changes are coming to the coaching staff, outside of possibly replacing Housley, but first-year Head Coach Andre Tourigny has drawn very favorable reviews despite Arizona’s struggles.
- The Buffalo Sabres announced that they have reassigned forward Peyton Krebs and defenseman Mattias Samuelsson to the Rochester Americans of the AHL ahead of Rochester’s playoff series against the Belleville Senators. Both players, who were sent to Rochester on paper on March 21st, are eligible to compete for the team in the Calder Cup playoffs. The two have each spent time in Rochester and Buffalo this season and are viewed as key pieces of Buffalo’s future. For now, they will get valuable experience competing in professional playoff games.