There was some surprise when it was announced that Blue Jackets winger Alexandre Texier would play this season in Switzerland instead of Columbus at his request to play closer to his family. GM Jarmo Kekalainen told Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch that he’s hopeful that the 23-year-old will be able to return next season. Texier has six goals and 14 assists with SC Bern of the NLA this season, good for seventh on the team in scoring with five of the six ahead of him also having NHL experience. He has been a bit more productive in Champions League action, notching two goals and five assists in six games so far. Texier is in the second and final year of his bridge deal with Columbus but is not counting against their salary cap during his absence.
More from the Metropolitan:
- The Hurricanes won’t have Max Pacioretty in the lineup tonight while he is listed as doubtful tomorrow due to a lower-body injury per team reporter Walt Ruff (Twitter link). However, head coach Rod Brind’Amour indicated that he believes the winger’s injury isn’t believed to be too serious which suggests that Pacioretty shouldn’t be out much longer. He just returned from a torn Achilles earlier this month and was off to a good start with his new team with three goals in four games.
- Rangers winger Chris Kreider skated on his own today but is listed as doubtful for their upcoming games on Sunday and Monday, relays Arthur Staple of The Athletic (Twitter link). He suffered an upper-body injury earlier this week and missed Thursday’s game against Dallas. While he’s not scoring at the rate he was last season when he had 52 goals, Kreider has still been productive with 19 goals and 11 assists through 42 games. Meanwhile, Staple adds that winger Julien Gauthier, who was injured in a collision with teammate Sammy Blais on Thursday, has yet to skate and is out for Sunday’s game and likely Monday’s as well. He has a career-high six goals in 32 games this season.