Senators defenseman Artem Zub did not participate in the team’s optional practice on Wednesday morning, but he hasn’t been ruled out of Thursday’s contest against the Ducks, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun says. Zub, 28, missed Tuesday’s 6-3 win over the Blue Jackets with a lower-body injury.
As such, the Senators were forced to play a skater short due to salary cap restraints, as both Zub and Jake Sanderson were out of the lineup with short-term injuries. If Zub can’t return for tomorrow’s game, the Senators will be able to use a $0 emergency recall on a minor-league defenseman with a cap hit of less than $875K. The right-shot shutdown specialist is having the best season of his career, on pace to break his previous career-high of 22 points set in 2021-22 while posting a career-best +5.3 expected rating. He remains under contract at a $4.6MM cap hit through 2027.
Other updates from the Atlantic Division:
- Panthers winger William Lockwood remains out for tonight’s game against the Penguins as he’s yet to clear concussion protocol, per head coach Paul Maurice (via Jameson Olive of the Panthers’ official site). The 25-year-old Michigan native has not played in nearly a month, entering concussion protocol after a Jan. 19 collision with Wild goaltender Marc-André Fleury that also earned Lockwood a three-game suspension. He’s played a career-high 23 games during his first season in Florida, recording one assist and a +2 rating while averaging 8:22 per game.
- Maple Leafs goaltender Martin Jones is still listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury and will likely remain out tomorrow against the Flyers, head coach Sheldon Keefe said (via David Alter of The Hockey News). Jones did not dress as the backup for last night’s 4-1 win over the Blues, forcing Toronto to recall 22-year-old Dennis Hildeby to serve as the backup for starter Ilya Samsonov while Joseph Woll remains out with a high ankle sprain. Hildeby will likely back up Samsonov against the Flyers as well, his sixth time dressing for an NHL game this season.
- Sticking with Toronto, star winger William Nylander has caught the illness that kept captain John Tavares and Mitch Marner out of yesterday’s game and did not practice today, Keefe said (via Alter). His ability for tomorrow’s game is now doubtful, with suspended defenseman Morgan Rielly filling in for Nylander alongside Matthew Knies and Auston Matthews in line rushes today. Toronto will need to recall a forward from the AHL under emergency conditions if all three of Marner, Nylander, and Tavares remain out, which they have the cap space to execute after moving winger Calle Jarnkrök from IR to LTIR yesterday.