Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin spoke with the media today following the passing of the trade deadline and did not parse words when asked about injured star Brendan Gallagher. Bergevin does not believe that Gallagher has a chance to play prior to the conclusion of the regular season, he openly admitted. This would align with the six-week timeframe that Gallagher received after fracturing his thumb this past week. There was some optimism that Gallagher could return before the Canadiens’ season is currently scheduled to end on May 11, but Bergevin either does not see this as realistic or simply will not rush Gallagher back to play regular season games. With the North Division playoff teams all but set, Montreal faces little risk of missing the postseason so the priority with Gallagher is only to get him as healthy as possible for the playoffs.
- Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall had similar things to say about one of his own players today. Hextall told the media that the move to acquire Jeff Carter was at least partially influenced by the belief that Brandon Tanev will not play again in the regular season. He stated that Tanev’s upper-body injury, which landed him on Long-Term Injured Reserve, is a “tough injury to judge” but that he does not believe the rugged forward can return before the playoffs. Tanev has been a scoring presence and a physical presence for the Penguins this year and the team will have to replace his output in a number of areas. Fortunately, Hextall at least noted that Kasperi Kapanen is expected back in 10-14 days and Evgeni Malkin is likely to play again before the end of the regular season.
- The Buffalo Sabres’ season is obviously lost and the team will not rush injured superstar Jack Eichel back into action to play meaningless games. GM Kevyn Adams spoke to the media today and stated that Eichel has not officially been shut down for the year, but he is at least out for a while longer. The superb center has missed 18 games since suffering a neck injury in early March and has only made “slight improvement” in that time per Adams. He did not rule out Eichel playing in some of the Sabres’ final games, but by that point it seems even more unlikely that the team will see any value in putting him back in the lineup.
- One GM did share some optimism with the media today regarding a key injury. Toronto’s Kyle Dubas made it clear that he does not consider starting goaltender Frederik Andersen to be done for the season. Andersen’s has been struggling with a nagging injury and to this point there has been no timetable for his return. As a result, Dubas made a major addition in net by trading for David Rittich to pair with the red-hot Jack Campbell, but he did not rule out Andersen taking his job back at some point. Dubas did not try to guess as to whether Andersen would be able to return before the end of the regular season or if he would instead be active for the playoffs, but he simply believes that Andersen will play for the Maple Leafs again this year. For the impending free agent, pushing through the pain to get back on the ice may be Andersen’s last chance of suiting up for Toronto again.