The Red Wings picked up their 12th win of the season on Friday night (albeit against the Senators), while the injury-riddled Penguins won their 13th game since the beginning of December alone and miraculously have the most points in the league since Sidney Crosby went down with an injury. Two of just six teams in action last night, both Detroit and Pittsburgh will take a seat tonight while 22 other teams hit the ice. They return to action on Sunday as two of just twelve teams, as the NHL has just 20 games scheduled from Friday night through Sunday in a relatively quiet weekend. With substantial off-time for many teams, look for the focus to instead be on roster transactions as teams prepare for the coming week. Keep up with all of the action right here:
- Late last night (or this morning on the east coast), the Vegas Golden Knights made a swap up front. The team announced that Nicolas Roy had been reassigned to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, with Keegan Kolesar promoted to replace him. Roy has been a competent part-time player for the Knights this season, recording five points in eleven games, but Vegas is clearly looking for a different type of presence in bringing up Kolesar. The hard-hitting winger has just ten points on the season in the minors but brings a valuable physical element. However, Vegas timed the recall well if they’re hoping to see a little offense, as Kolesar scored his first two goals of the season with the Wolves just last night. This would be Kolesar’s NHL debut if he does draw into the lineup on this recall.
- CapFriendly reports that the San Jose Sharks also made a move late last night, sending rookie forward Joachim Blichfeld back to the AHL. Blichfeld had only been recalled the day before, but fortunately it is a short walk from the Sharks’ locker room to the Barracuda’s. The Danish winger has been a point-per-game player in the AHL this year, but has been held off the score sheet in two NHL games.
- Yet another Pacific Division team has made a move, though this one occurring this morning, as the Vancouver Canucks have announced the demotion of forward Zack MacEwen. The big, 23-year-old winger has the size and ability to be a difference-maker and has proved as much in the AHL over the last few years, but since the beginning of last season, he has been held to just one goal and three points in a dozen games with the Canucks. He will continue to be a top depth option from the Utica Comets, but will have a hard time finding a full-time role in Vancouver without more consistent production.
- The Washington Capitals have reassigned a healthy Christian Djoos to the AHL’s Hershey Bears. Djoos, who received a $1.25MM salary in arbitration this summer, has nevertheless been relegated to the minors for much of the year, mostly as a cap-saving measure. Djoos has played in just two games with the Capitals this year after skating in more than 100 since the start of the 2017-18 season. The move leaves Washington with just six defensemen on the roster for the time being, further proving that Djoos’ experience and AHL production this season will not be enough to keep on the league-leaders’ roster this year.
- The Laval Rocket, farm team to the Montreal Canadiens, have come to terms on a contract with defenseman Evan McEneny for the remainder of the year. McEneny played ten games on a PTO with Laval prior to his status with the team becoming official. The former Vancouver Canucks prospect was a productive AHL defenseman with the Utica Comets over the past three seasons and is deserving of a pro contract.
- With MacKenzie Blackwood out with an upper-body injury, the Devils have recalled goaltender Evan Cormier from Binghamton of the AHL. Cormier has split the season between the AHL and ECHL and will likely only serve as the backup to Louis Domingue until Blackwood returns. To make room on the roster, Ben Street was transferred to IR.
- The San Jose Sharks have recalled forward Lukas Radil from the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL, according to CapFriendly. The 29-year-old has a goal and five points in eight games with the Barracuda after failing to register a point in 14 contests with the Sharks.
- The New York Islanders announced they have recalled defenseman Sebastian Aho from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. Aho was initally recalled when defenseman Adam Pelech went down with an injury and then sent down on Thursday as the team wasn’t playing again until Saturday. Now he’s back and he’ll serve as an extra defenseman. Just an hour later, Aho was assigned back to Bridgeport. Go figure.
- The Arizona Coyotes announced that they have recalled goaltender Ivan Prosvetov from the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL, while assigning defenseman Kyle Capobianco to Tucson. Prosvetov’s recall suggests that Arizona still needs a backup to Adin Hill, while the team hopes one of their starting netminders will get healthy. Obviously, they are not ready yet. The 20-year-old has fared quite well in his first pro season as he has a 2.38 GAA and a .931 save percentage in 15 appearances. Capobianco has one goal in seven games for the Coyotes.