The San Jose Sharks have won six of their last seven games and should only get stronger on Saturday as the team expects star defenseman Erik Karlsson to return to their lineup from a lower-body injury after missing the past nine games, according to NBC Sports’ Adam Gretz.
Karlsson, who is still among the top 10 defensemen in scoring this season despite missing those nine games, has three goals and 43 points in 47 games and had been red-hot before getting injured. The team has gone 6-3 without Karlsson in that span, but the team has played its best hockey of the season recently, not including a tough loss to Washington on Thursday, in which it had won six straight games and taken over first place in the Pacific Division.
The blueliner should only add to the team’s offense with his return. He is expected to reunite with Marc-Edouard Vlasic to form one of the NHL’s top defensive lines.
- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports that while it’s not a surprise that the Winnipeg Jets are the most aggressive suitors for Mark Stone, there is another team that has shown a significant amount of interest as the Vegas Golden Knights are interested in adding Stone to their core of talent, although the Golden Knights are only interested if they can work out an extension with the 26-year-old winger. Stone already has tied his career-high in goals this season with 26 and looks to be having a breakout year. However, considering the Golden Knights have stated in the past that they don’t want to move any more draft picks or top prospects, there are serious questions as to what they would be willing to give up to get Stone.
- The Edmonton Oilers announced they have placed defenseman Matt Benning on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury, which will open up a roster spot for recently acquired forward Sam Gagner. The 24-year-old Benning has struggled this year with just two goals and 10 points, but has also seen his playing time dwindle as he is averaging just 14:46 of ATOI this year, well below his career average of 16:25.
- Sticking with the Oilers, Sportsnet’s Mark Spector reports that Edmonton is likely going to return the struggling Jesse Puljujarvi to the AHL soon. With Puljujarvi struggling again under head coach Ken Hitchcock, the team wants to send him down, possibly for the rest of the season, and let him regain his confidence which was their plan when they sent him down earlier this season. However, Hitchcock immediately recalled him after spending just a few days there, when he took over as head coach for Todd McLellan.