With everyone but St. Louis in action tonight before the day off tomorrow, it could be a busy day for promotions and demotions across the NHL. Keep up with all the action right here:
- The Montreal Canadiens have recalled blue liner Jakub Jerabek from the AHL, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie. Jerabek is in his first season in North America after signing with the Habs this summer. However, the Czech native has yet to make his NHL debut, as Montreal has plenty of veteran albeit under-performing defensive depth. However, with the Laval Rocket, Jerabek has 11 points in 17 games and is a +10; impressive totals worthy of a recall. Jerabek also had the option of returning to Europe if he had not been recalled by mid-December, so there is strategy to the Canadiens’ move as well.
- Another young import, Finnish forward Henrik Haapala, could also make his NHL debut tonight. Per NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti, the Florida Panthers have called up the small scoring winger. Haapala is in his first season in North America after scoring 60 points in 51 games in the Finnish Liiga last year. Thus far in 2017-18, Haapala has seven points in 11 games for the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds. The Panthers have been liberal with number of call-ups and variety of players called up so far this season, as Haapala is just the latest to join the list.
- Philadelphia is bringing in reinforcements. The team announced the return of young defenseman Samuel Morin and the first recall for forward Danick Martel. Morin is a name most fans recognize as a former first-round pick of the Flyers, however it is Martel who may be more intriguing. In his fourth pro season, Martel has exploded this year, leading the AHL with 14 goals. Martel scored just 20 goals last season and already has half as many points in 17 games as he did all of last year in 68 games. The Flyers surely hope that his hot hand continues at the next level.
- In a corresponding move, Philly also sent defenseman Mark Alt and veteran forward Matt Read to the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms. It was only a matter of time (and health) before Morin replaced Alt on the NHL roster, but the demotion of Read is certainly a big deal. The long-time Flyer cleared waivers last week and will now head to the minors, his 400+ games of NHL experience not enough to keep him around.
- Colorado has recalled goalie Andrew Hammond and the former Senators keeper could make his Avalanche debut sooner than expected. Hammond was acquired as more or less a salary dump by Ottawa in the recent Matt Duchene–Kyle Turris blockbuster. With Semyon Varlamov and Jonathan Bernier in the net, no one thought Hammond would be anything more than a depth asset for the Avs. However, with Varlamov too sick to even suit up, “The Hamburglar” will get his chance. After a remarkable run for the Sens in 2015-16, Hammond struggled greatly in both the NHL and AHL last season and could use a fresh start.
- The Edmonton Oilers have made a flurry of moves already today, first terminating the contract of Ziyat Paigin, who predictably cleared unconditional waivers yesterday. Paigin came over from the KHL last season, but it was never a good fit between the two sides. Paigin failed to record a point in the only 12 AHL games he played. With no chance of a bump up to the NHL, Paigin wished to return to Russia and the Oilers were more than willing to oblige him. Edmonton then recalled defenseman Ryan Stanton from the Bakersfield Condors. A free agent acquisition this off-season, the journeyman rearguard could help out the struggling Oilers with his sound defensive game. In a corresponding move, veteran forward Brad Malone was reassigned to the AHL.
- Julius Honka is headed back to the minors, as the talented, young blue liner was demoted by the Dallas Stars today in exchange for forward Curtis McKenzie, per a team announcement. The Stars have been underwhelming in 2017-18, but their biggest issues continues to be goal prevention. As promising an offensive defenseman as Honka may be, he’s not what Dallas needs right now. Perhaps two-way forward McKenzie, who is also scoring at a point-per-game pace in the AHL, can help the cause.