As this offseason was wrapping up with most team’s rosters relatively clear, the Arizona Coyotes and GM Bill Armstrong made it known that the team was still looking for goaltending with all options, internal and external, on the table. To that end, the team had signed journeyman Christopher Gibson to a PTO ahead of training camp, but released him a couple of days ago. A day later (yesterday), the team claimed another journeyman netminder in that of Jonas Johansson off waivers from the Colorado Avalanche. Should Johansson stick with the Coyotes, it would be his fourth team in three seasons.
Earlier today, Armstrong talked with PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan about Johansson and where the team’s goaltending situation stands. Armstrong said Johansson is expected to be on the ice at the team’s practice facility tomorrow and they will get as many looks as possible at the goaltender during their final three preseason games. The GM added that they will continue to monitor the goalie market and waiver wire going forward. Johansson could have a chance as the Coyotes’ primary backup to Karel Vejmelka, a role that seemed destined for either Ivan Prosvetov, who was assigned to the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners earlier this evening, or the recently-signed Jon Gillies.
- St. Louis Blues forward Anthony Angello left tonight’s game with an apparent injury and will not return to the game, the team announced. The injury is a tough break for Angello, 26, who is in camp with the Blues after signing a one-year, two-way deal with them earlier this summer. Angello spent his entire career to-date in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, spending time in both the NHL and AHL. It’s unclear how severe the injury is and no timetable has been announced yet, but any significant absence would be bad news for the former Cornell University standout who could have a chance to latch on with St. Louis as a quality depth option.
- Buffalo Sabres prospect Josh Bloom took another intriguing step in his development, having been named Captain of the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit, the team announced. While the honor doesn’t necessarily develop any on-ice skills for the 19-year-old, his ability to be a leader on his team does seem to bode well for his off-ice development and his future in the NHL. The winger had 30 goals and 31 assists in 67 games last year for Saginaw. Mitchell Smith and Dean Loukus will serve as full-time Alternate Captains for the Spirit, while a third alternate will be split between T-Bone Codd and Brayden Hislop.
- Earlier today when New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert met the media, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz asked the new bench boss about top prospect Aatu Raty, who has impressed so far in Islanders camp. Specifically, Kurz wondered if Raty, who is a natural center, could be a fit on the wing, to which Lambert replied that the 19-year-old is a center only. This would seem to indicate that despite his strong impression, Raty is unlikely to make the Islanders opening night roster, given the team’s strong depth down the middle with Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Casey Cizikas. Considering the prospect’s struggles in his first full season in the Finnish Liiga, which contributed to his draft stock slipping, it might make sense that Raty doesn’t spend his first full season in North America in the NHL. However, if he can produce similarly to how he did last season with Jukurit (40 points in 41 games), it is possible Raty could force his way into the NHL sooner rather than later.