New York Rangers team president John Davidson emphasized to reporters Friday that the team has not begun divorce proceedings with prospect Lias Andersson, who has been suspended after requesting a trade on Dec. 21 and leaving the team, and now is sitting in Sweden. In fact Davidson said he wants to speak to him one-on-one to see what the real issue is that he opted to leave the team, according to Newsday’s Denis Gorman.
“It’s a really hard one to figure out until you really end up talking to Lias,” Davidson said before practice at the MSG Training Facility on Friday. “I’ve gone and done a lot of research. I can’t figure out exactly what the issue is other than disappointment.”
Davidson said he has already tried to reach out to Andersson personally, but the prospect has chosen to allow his agents to handle things and he has failed to speak to him up until now. He hopes to get an opportunity to talk to him soon, but also noted that a trip to Sweden won’t be happening any time soon.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins may be playing well, but the team might be getting a big boost as star Sidney Crosby could be ready to go on Sunday against Arizona, although it still remains up in the air, according to TribLive’s Seth Rorabaugh. Crosby practiced Saturday without limitations and participated in line rushes alongside right wing Patric Hornqvist and both Jared McCann and Dominik Simon on the left wing. He also practiced on the top power play unit. Crosby, however, was noncommittal about returning on Sunday. “I haven’t ruled out anything,” Crosby said. “But I haven’t really discussed it that much. I just got off the ice here.” Crosby has been out since Nov. 9 after having core muscle surgery.
- NJ.com’s Chris Ryan reports that goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood, who isn’t starting Saturday due to an upper-body injury, shouldn’t be out long-term, according to head coach Alain Nasreddine. “We don’t have a concern that it will be long term,” Nasreddine said. “So it’s just precautionary and is getting evaluated.” The team also hopes that rookie Jack Hughes is skating again, but isn’t just ready to return, meaning he will miss his fifth-straight game Saturday with an upper-body injury. However, Ryan adds that forward Jesper Bratt, who has missed three games after blocking a shot with his foot, is ready to return Saturday.
- Sam Carchidi of Philly.com writes that Philadelphia Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said that while rookie forward Joel Farabee has struggled for a while now, it doesn’t look like the team intends to return the 19-year-old to the AHL any time soon. Farabee, who has tallied just one goal in his last 27 games and has been demoted to the fourth line, will likely stay due to his penalty killing abilities. “I’d like him to score [more] and get a little more confidence, but he’s got a lot of attributes,” Vigneault said. “There are a lot of things he does with the puck and without the puck that we like, so we’re going to stick with him.”