After a busy Saturday that saw Nicolas Deslauriers traded to the Minnesota Wild, Hampus Lindholm traded to the Boston Bruins, and Claude Giroux traded to the Florida Panthers, as well as several exciting games, the NHL is back in action today. The New York Islanders will visit the Philadelphia Flyers this afternoon in the Flyers’ first game since the Claude Giroux trade. The Dallas Stars head to Washington, D.C. to take on the Washington Capitals and try to break out of their recent slide. Perhaps most intriguing, the New York Rangers visit the Carolina Hurricanes in a matchup of two Metropolitan Division heavyweights, and a potential playoff series in the making. Even with all the game action and the potential trade deadline action, there are still plenty of small transactions happening, and we will keep track of them here.
- After recalling him yesterday, the Ottawa Senators have sent defenseman Dillon Heatherington back to the Belleville Senators of the AHL. Heatherington did not get a chance to suit up for Ottawa in their loss last night to Montreal before being sent down, and has not played an NHL game since December 18th. The 26-year-old has had a productive return to North America this season, putting up 11 points in 27 AHL games this season on the blue line after returning from a season in the KHL.
- The Ontario Reign announced they have acquired defenseman Thomas Hickey on loan from the New York Islanders. Hickey, who was playing for the Bridgeport Islanders in the AHL, will head to the Reign of the AHL, the Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliate. It’s an interesting move to see, as Hickey is an NHL caliber defenseman who has been playing in the minors for the Islanders for much of the past three seasons in the AHL, now moved in the AHL. Although Hickey does have to move from the east coast to the west, Bridgeport is currently out of the playoff race in the AHL, sitting in seventh place in the Atlantic Division, while Ontario is in second place in the Pacific Division, so an opportunity to help out in meaningful games may be appealing to Hickey.
- The Washington Capitals have recalled forward Brett Leason from the Hershey Bears and re-assigned forward Mike Vecchione to Hershey. A second-round pick by Washington in 2019, Leason has split time between Hershey and Washington this year, tallying four points in 15 games for Hershey and six points in 35 games for the Capitals this season. Vecchione, on the other hand, has produced well for Hershey this year with 12 goals and 24 assists in 43 games, but has seen just one NHL game this year, playing Friday night against Carolina, his first NHL game since he played his only other two for the Philadelphia Flyers back in 2017.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets have recalled goaltender Jean-Francois Berube on an emergency recall basis. Berube, 30, has performed admirably so far this season, with a .924 save percentage in his four games played. As regular starter Elvis Merzlikins battles with injuries and Joonas Korpisalo is potentially getting traded before the deadline, Berube’s stay in Columbus could end up being more permanent than his emergency designation would lead one to believe.
- The Winnipeg Jets announced that they have recalled forward Jeff Malott from the Manitoba Moose of the AHL. If he plays, the 25-year-old Mallot would be making his NHL debut after spending the last two seasons with Manitoba. Previously, Mallot spent four years at Cornell University before turning professional for the 2020-21 season. With the addition to their roster, the Jets would now be able sit one of either Paul Stastny or Andrew Copp ahead of tomorrow’s trade deadline (or both if they are willing to play 11 forwards and 7 defensemen).
- The Vegas Golden Knights assigned forward Jake Leschyshyn and defenseman Daniil Miromanov to the Henderson Silver Knights of the AHL. Leschyshyn has performed nicely this year in the face of adversity, being routinely shuffled between the NHL and AHL. (In fact, the shuffling continued today. Leschyshyn is already back in Vegas.) Though he has just five points through 27 NHL games this season, he has been a force for Henderson this year, posting 26 points in 32 games. It’s been almost the exact same story for Miromanov this season, shuffling between the NHL and AHL. Miromanov has just one point in nine NHL games this season as a defenseman, but has impressed with 30 points in 42 AHL games. The Golden Knights also called up defenseman Brayden Pachal. Pachal, 22, is an undrafted blueliner who has gotten into one game for the Golden Knights this year. He had seven points in 24 games for the Silver Knights last season.
- The Seattle Kraken returned forward Kole Lind to the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL from loan. Lind played just three games for Seattle on this assignment, and has only played seven this entire season, recording two assists. The forward has performed nicely in Charlotte this year, producing 17 goals and 18 assists in 46 games for the Checkers. The Checkers are the AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers, however because Seattle’s AHL affiliate will not start until the 2022-23 season, the two teams have agreed to split their use of the Charlotte team for this season.