The Ducks will have their starting goaltender back between the pipes tonight as head coach Dallas Eakins relayed to reporters including Bally Sports West’s Aly Lozoff (Twitter link) that John Gibson has been cleared to return from his lower-body injury and will start against Vegas. It has been a tough year for the veteran as his GAA has jumped to 3.99 while his save percentage is down to just .896, numbers that are the worst of his career by a considerable margin. In a corresponding roster move, the team officially returned goalie Olle Eriksson Ek to AHL San Diego.
Meanwhile, backup goaltender Anthony Stolarz has started skating on his own and could join the team for practice soon, relays Lisa Dillman of The Orange County Register. The veteran suffered a lower-body injury back on December 12th and hasn’t played since. He, too, is having a tough year with a 4.02 GAA and a save percentage of just .886, hardly the performance he or the Ducks were hoping for as he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
Elsewhere around the NHL:
- The NHL has levied a pair of fines on the Maple Leafs. First, the team was fined $100K for a CBA travel violation as they traveled to St. Louis late on December 26th. While it was a late-night flight, the rule states that teams cannot travel or have any activities until the 27th. The second fine was issued to head coach Sheldon Keefe for demeaning conduct directed at the officials during last night’s game against St. Louis. He’ll be $25K lighter in the wallet as a result.
- Still with the Maple Leafs, they are expected to have their top blueliner back in the lineup tomorrow as Keefe told reporters including Sports Illustrated’s David Alter that Morgan Rielly should suit up Thursday against Arizona. The 28-year-old suffered a knee injury a little over a month ago and was placed on LTIR. Toronto will need to get cap-compliant in order to activate him but a pair of LTIR placements yesterday and an eventual return of Mac Hollowell to the minors will be enough to allow them to activate Rielly.