The Senators will be without defenseman Nikita Zaitsev longer than expected as Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch relays (Twitter link) that the veteran hasn’t resumed skating and will likely be out through the end of the month. Originally, it was expected that he’d miss between three and five weeks due to his heel injury but that will now likely be pushed to six weeks or longer. The 30-year-old had gotten off to a quiet start to his season with just two points in 22 games while logging 18:32 per night, the lowest ATOI of his career.
More from the Eastern Conference:
- As a result of seven more players entering COVID protocols in recent days, the Canadiens announced that they are extending their pause for two more days through Saturday. Montreal recently had a game next week against New Jersey postponed and now have nine games that need to be rescheduled. They’re next scheduled to play on Wednesday against Boston.
- Still with Montreal, defensive prospect Arber Xhekaj was traded in the OHL as the Hamilton Bulldogs announced his acquisition in exchange for five draft picks along with winger Navrin Mutter. Xhekaj was undrafted in both the OHL and NHL but turned a rookie camp tryout into an entry-level contract with the Canadiens late in the preseason. Meanwhile, Mutter got into three games with Calgary’s farm team in Stockton last season but no team holds his NHL rights.
- Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin was a late scratch for their game against Vegas as the Rangers announced (Twitter link) that the netminder was placed into COVID protocol. Assuming it’s for a confirmed positive test, he’ll be out for at least the next five days. Keith Kinkaid was recalled from the taxi squad in a corresponding roster move.
- The Sabres got some good news on the COVID protocol front today as the team announced (Twitter link) prior to their game against San Jose that centers Dylan Cozens, Zemgus Girgensons, and Mark Jankowski were all cleared to return. The trio last played on December 17th and each missed three games.
- While the Florida Everblades of the ECHL raised some eyebrows today when they announced the signing of Penguins staffer Trevor Daley, Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes (Twitter link) that Daley will remain in his advisory role with Pittsburgh. With ECHL teams ravaged by COVID-19, injuries and recalls, it appears the Everblades are going to use Daley for a game or two until they get some of their players back. Daley last played back in the 2019-20 season with Detroit.