Get ready for a full day of hockey. Monday’s lineup features four games being held at 1:00pm home team local time, as well as 3:00pm, 5:00pm, and 7:30pm. Among the story lines to watch are the Wild, Devils, and Blackhawks seeking their first wins of the season, the Avalanche and Oilers looking to stay perfect, and a collision of the league’s two stingiest teams, the Ducks and Bruins. Also to watch for are the roster moves made to open up the third week of the season. Keep up with all of the action here:
- The Ottawa Senators continue to routinely shuffle their forward group around early this season. After giving youngsters like Drake Batherson, Filip Chlapik, and Vitaly Abramov a chance already, the team has recalled a pair of veterans from AHL Belleville. The team announced that Nick Paul and Jordan Szwarz have been promoted to Ottawa. While Paul is a familiar name to Sens fans, Szwarz is a new free agent addition. The long-time AHL veteran and former Providence Bruins captain has played in 47 NHL games in his career, split between Arizona and Boston. His reliable two-way energy game could be more of the boost that the coaching staff feels they need right now rather than the offensive focus of the team’s top young prospects. This recall would also seem to indicate that there is a chance that Mikkel Boedker and Artem Anisimov are not ready to return to the lineup today as expected.
- After flipping Kyle Capobianco to the AHL for Ilya Lyubushkin on Saturday, the Coyotes are now flopping. CapFriendly reports that Capobianco has been called back up from the AHL’s Tuscon Roadrunners. The move comes on the heels of an injury to Niklas Hjalmarsson on Saturday that will likely push either Capobianco or Lyubushkin into a starting role for the time being.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs have made a somewhat surprising switch. The team announced that 19-year-old rookie defenseman Rasmus Sandin has been sent down to the AHL’s Marlies, while free agent addition and veteran blue liner Kevin Gravel has been recalled in his place. Sandin, considered by many to be Toronto’s top D prospect, had skated in all six games for the team thus far and recorded a pair of assists, strong possession numbers, and an even plus/minus rating. Although, Sandin’s ice time has been limited and his special teams role has been non-existent, so this could be about putting him in a better position to develop in the AHL. However, this may be more about adding Gravel than subtracting Sandin. The Leafs have surrendered at least three goals in four of their six games so far, including a 7-3 drubbing by the Tampa Bay Lightning. They may simply be looking to tighten things up on the back end and stay-at-home specialist Gravel can help. Gravel has recorded 137 blocked shots and 124 hits in 106 NHL games with the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers.
- Steven Oleksy worked his way up from the ECHL ranks early in his career and has been on an NHL contract every year since 2012. However, that streak was snapped this summer when the 33-year-old seemingly could not attract another two-way deal. His bad luck now continues, as the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced that they have released Oleksy from his tryout agreement. The veteran of 73 NHL games and more than 400 AHL games saw his production fall off somewhat last year in a season split between the San Diego Gulls and Toronto Marlies, but is simply looking for the opportunity to show he can still contribute. In all likelihood, Oleksy will land on his feet elsewhere in pro hockey sooner rather than later.
- The Vancouver Canucks have granted starter Jacob Markstrom a leave of absence to attend to a family matter. He is expected to re-join the team later this week. In the meantime, Vancouver announced that Zane McIntyre has been recalled to serve as the backup to Thatcher Demko. McIntyre, a free agent addition, has made eight NHL appearances in his career with the Boston Bruins, all back in 2016-17. Ironically, his lone call-up last season was to serve as backup to Jaroslav Halak while Tuukka Rask took a leave of absence himself. McIntyre was a star at the college level and has strong AHL numbers, but at 27 years old he no longer a prospect that the Canucks would be trying to force into play time. Expect them to lean on Demko until Markstrom returns.