The Carolina Hurricanes decided to take the risk at the trade deadline of acquiring an injured rental defenseman, and it may be about to bite them. Sara Civian of The Athletic reports that Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour does not expect Vatanen back any time soon after suffering a setback today.
Vatanen hasn’t played since February 1st with the New Jersey Devils, but the Hurricanes still gave up Janne Kuokkanen and a conditional draft pick to acquire his services down the stretch. How many actual games that may consist of isn’t clear at this point, especially given the fact that the Hurricanes are currently outside the playoff picture. Carolina still has 18 games remaining.
- Should the Chicago Blackhawks need an extra goaltender down the stretch, it won’t be Kevin Lankinen. The 24-year old is out for the next four to five months after shoulder surgery, ending his season with the Rockford IceHogs. Lankinen, an undrafted free agent signing out of Finland, had posted a .909 save percentage through 21 AHL games this season.
- Tomas Tatar won’t be with the Montreal Canadiens for a while, as he instead will fly back to Montreal for further evaluation. Tatar suffered an upper-body injury earlier this week and hasn’t improved yet. The skilled forward is the team’s leading scorer, and with just 14 games any absence will only be amplified.
- Though not an injury, Eric Staal will also not be with his team while they go on the road. The Minnesota Wild center has left the team for the time being after a death in his family. The Wild begin a three-game west coast road trip tonight.