Teams around the NHL are beginning their mandated bye weeks, marking an unofficial midpoint of the season. With that, there is only a single game on tap for tonight, between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets. That won’t stop clubs from making minor moves to improve, and we’ll have all the recalls and reassignments right here.
- The Buffalo Sabres have recalled young defenseman Brendan Guhle and goaltender Linus Ullmark, an interesting move to say the least. The team was already at 23 players on the roster, meaning a corresponding move—be it injured reserve, waivers or loans—will be sure to follow shortly. Victor Antipin and Robin Lehner were both absent from practice due to minor ailments, and it’s not clear if they’ll miss any game action.
- The Chicago Blackhawks are giving Tomas Jurco another shot, recalling the forward while sending John Hayden back to the minor leagues. Jurco has played all season for the Rockford IceHogs, scoring 25 points in 36 games. The 25-year old was acquired from the Detroit Red Wings last season but recorded just one point in his 13 games with the Blackhawks.
- Vinni Lettieri is on his way back to the minor leagues, reassigned by the New York Rangers. Lettieri scored two points in three games, but with the Rangers on their bye week will continue to see game action back with the Hartford Wolf Pack. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him back up before Saturday’s game against the Islanders.
- The St. Louis Blues have activated Vince Dunn from injured reserve, sending Jake Walman back to the AHL. Dunn was only out with the flu, and had his IR stint backdated to allow him to return so quickly. Walman, who still didn’t get into his first NHL game, will have to wait for another opportunity.
- Lee Stempniak has been activated off injured reserve for the Carolina Hurricanes, meaning Lucas Wallmark is heading back to the AHL. Wallmark scored his first NHL goal on December 30th, but will now return to the Charlotte Checkers where he 23 points in 20 games this season.
- Brendan Lemieux is back up with the Winnipeg Jets as Adam Lowry deals with an upper-body injury, meaning Tucker Poolman is headed back to the AHL. Poolman has looked sharp in limited minutes for the Jets, but with Dustin Byfuglien healthy and back in the lineup the team has their six defensemen pretty much set in stone. Lemieux on the other hand will try to force his way into the lineup after 24 points in 24 games for the Manitoba Moose this year.