- Scott Perunovich will slot back into the Blues lineup after serving as a healthy scratch. He’s only played in two of the Blues’ 11 games this season, going without a point, penalty, or any change in his +/-. Perunovich has fought through a series of injuries over the last few seasons, only playing in 69 games since the end of the 2019-20 season. 28 of those games were in the NHL, where Perunovich has totaled 10 points between the regular season and playoffs.
Free agent forward Paul Stastny has confirmed his retirement from the NHL after a 17-season, 1,145-game career in an interview Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic published Tuesday.
The 37-year-old was a key two-way center for most of his career. Drafted in the second round by Colorado back in 2005, Stastny went on to play in eight seasons with the Avs where he made an immediate impact offensively, averaging nearly a point per game in his rookie season, finishing second in Calder Trophy voting. By the time his tenure with Colorado wrapped up, he was more of a defensive threat than an offensive one but that didn’t stop him from having a long career.
Stastny signed with St. Louis in time for the 2014-15 season where he spent parts of four seasons before being traded to Winnipeg as a rental at the trade deadline in 2018. After a two-year stop in Vegas in 2018-19 and 2019-20, he went back to Winnipeg for two more seasons before joining Carolina last season where he was down to 22 points in 73 games while playing exclusively in their bottom six.
Stastny acknowledged to LeBrun that there was some interest in him during the summer but he decided he wanted to wait it out for a bit to see how he felt. Then, as time progressed, he felt that retirement was the right choice for him. It wasn’t his intention to make his decision public, telling LeBrun that “I kind of came into the league quietly and I’m leaving the league quietly. That’s the way I like it.” He hasn’t ruled out returning to hockey in some sort of front office capacity down the road but that’s not on the immediate horizon.
Stastny hangs up his skates after 1,195 career NHL games where he had 293 goals and 529 assists. His 822 points put him in 20th place among U.S.-born players in league history.
Oct. 29: Dealing with lower-body issues during the preseason for the St. Louis Blues, Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic is reporting that Alexey Toropchenko will once again miss some time with a lower-body injury. Specifically, Rutherford notes that it is considered day-to-day, which should give him solid time to recover, given that the team doesn’t play again until this upcoming Wednesday.
Operating as a bottom-six forward for much of the season last year, Toropchenko became a decent depth scoring option for a middle-of-the-pack Blues offense. In 69 games played, Toropchenko scored 10 goals and nine assists, his best offensive production in a single year over the course of his short career.
In each passing game, Toropchenko appears more and more likely to become a relatively niche part of St. Louis’ offensive scheme. He does play extremely physically, which is a benefit for most teams, but with an unimpressive rating throughout his career, mixed with well below-average possession numbers, Toropchenko does not strike as a player headed for a huge breakout, although it could happen.
Like much of the Blues offense to start this season, Toropchenko has yet to score a goal in the team’s first seven games, averaging about a minute more ice time than he did last year. Being only one of two teams not to average two or more goals a game in the first two weeks of the season, St. Louis will need to make some sort of change to revigorate its offense before things deteriorate too quickly.
Veteran defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic is slated to be a healthy scratch for San Jose’s game against the Florida Panthers. It’s his first scratching since January 4, 2022 – when Vlasic was held out of a matchup against the Detroit Red Wings. He returned to the lineup in the team’s next game and appeared in 48 more games throughout the 2021-22 season.
San Jose dressed seven defenders in their most recent game and Vlasic proved the odd-man-out, receiving a team-low six minutes of ice time. The matchup was another trip in a tumbling year for the 36-year-old defenseman, who has lost games to injury and now a scratching this season. Vlasic is signed to an annual cap hit of $7MM through the 2025-26 season, with a modified-no trade clause in each of his final three seasons and a signing bonus in the final two. It’s a lofty contract for a player that will now find himself in a press box. Vlasic is a veteran of 1243 NHL games – all of which were spent with the Sharks franchise. He was a pivotal piece of the team’s hefty roster through the 2010s but may be looking back on his glory days at this point in his career. How the veteran responds to the healthy scratching will be worth following for Sharks fans hoping Vlasic can find ways to make an impact.
Other notes around the league:
- Rasmus Ristolainen has experienced a setback in his recovery from an undisclosed injury, pushing his return to action back. No updated timetable for a return has been provided. Ristolainen was hoped to be the fill-in for Marc Staal, who was designated to injured reserve with an upper-body injury. With those hopes now delayed, it looks like Philadelphia will need to rely on U23 defensemen Emil Andrae and Yegor Zamula. The duo have each played in three games this year, with Andrae currently without a point and Zamula tallying one goal and two assists.
- Pavel Buchnevich has been announced as a game-time decision for the St. Louis Blues. The winger sustained an upper-body injury on October 12th and has been sidelined ever since. The veteran was seen interchanging practice reps with Jake Neighbours, operating on a line with Brayden Schenn and Kasperi Kapanen. Brandon Saad has joined the line of Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou.
- St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich is missing his second straight game against the Penguins tonight with an upper-body injury sustained against the Kraken a week ago today. He did, however, rejoin the team at morning skate today, a week into his projected recovery timeframe. Head coach Craig Berube said Buchnevich is “making progress” but that he’ll want to log at least one practice taking full contact before returning to the lineup. He’s likely to travel with the team on their upcoming lengthy road swing. The 28-year-old is yet to record a point this season in two games.
Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun has reported that the Ottawa Senators are hopeful centerman Joshua Norris can make his season debut in their Wednesday night game. Norris has been absent for the entirety of the early season and much of training camp, continuing to nurse a shoulder injury that was initially suffered roughly one year ago.
The injury held Norris out of all but eight games in the 2022-23 season, cutting short what would have been his third NHL season. Norris played 66 games in the 2021-22 campaign, scoring a dazzling 35 goals and 55 points. His 35-goal mark was, at the time, the most scored by a Senator in a decade, although Brady Tkachuk tied it and Tim Stutzle topped it with 39 goals last year. Norris showed similar goal-scoring capabilities in his rookie season of 2020-21, netting 17 goals in 56 games, tied for third on the Ottawa roster.
Norris returned to practice centering the Senators’ third line, between Drake Batherson and Dominik Kubalik. Batherson has been one of Norris’ most common linemates throughout his first two NHL seasons, with the duo accounting for 75 goals for and 44 goals against through a combined 1042 minutes of ice time together.
More notes from around the league:
- The latest episode of the ’Big Show with Rusic and Rose’ shared that Calgary is reengaging in preliminary trade talks for goaltender Daniel Vladar. They also shared that Calgary shopped Vladar this summer, but the cost was too high for interested teams. It’s unsure whether the Flames have changed their asking price now that the season has begun. Vladar has an expensive $2.2MM cap hit but could be a hot commodity for teams looking to bolster their goaltending room.
- 2023 NHL Draft Top 10 pick Dalibor Dvorsky has mutually terminated his contract with IK Oskarshamn. Dvorsky was loaned to the Swedish club at the start of the year but has gone without a point through their first 10 games of the season. Dvorsky is expected to join the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL.
- Earlier today, we covered reports out of St. Louis stating that Blues star forward Pavel Buchnevich could be staring down an extended absence due to the injury he suffered last night. NHL.com’s Lou Korac relays word from Blues head coach Craig Berube who said Buchnevich is feeling better today. Korac added that the tone surrounding the injury “sounds more encouraging” than it did last night, adding that the Blues “may have dodged serious injury” to Buchnevich, which would be incredible news for St. Louis.
St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich left yesterday’s 2-1 win over the Seattle Kraken with an upper-body injury and did not return, and head coach Craig Berube did not rule out a longer-term absence last night. Speaking with The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford, Berube ruled out a concussion but said the injury was “unfortunate” and didn’t have any indication of a timeline for return. Buchnevich left the game early in the first period after taking a cross-check into the boards from Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak.
Buchnevich is without a point in two games so far this season but has been invaluable to the Blues since joining the team in the summer of 2021, logging over a point per game as a member of the team. Recording 67 points in 63 games last season, he was on pace to lead the team in scoring if not for injury and logged over 19 minutes per game. The Blues practice today, and the team could issue an update on his status later on.
Heim, 25, was on assignment to the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds after the Blues cut him from their training camp roster on September 29. The Blues signed Heim to a one-year, entry-level contract worth $950K in May after the 6-foot-2 center notched 12 goals, 19 assists and 31 points in 42 games for Ambrì-Piotta in the Swiss National League.
The Blues were facing a bit of a roster crunch in Springfield after their affiliate accepted two players on loan from the Carolina Hurricanes, who are without an AHL affiliate in 2023-24. Alongside bringing in defenseman Dylan Coghlan, the Thunderbirds also received 22-year-old center prospect Jamieson Rees. Rees notched 14 goals and 42 points in 65 contests for the Chicago Wolves last season and creates competition in the Springfield top-nine, leading to less opportunity for the older Heim.
After failing to crack the NHL roster, it’s fair to assume Heim, who’s played in his native Switzerland for his entire hockey career, would prefer to return home rather than fight for ice time in the minors. He could very well return to Ambrì-Piotta, where he served as a member of their leadership team last season. If not there, another team in the NL is likely.
Oct. 9: Four players on this list were claimed today: A.J. Greer (Calgary), John Ludvig (Pittsburgh), Ivan Prosvetov (Colorado), and Lassi Thomson (Ottawa). All others have cleared and are expected to be assigned to their team’s respective AHL affiliates, aside from Boyd, who PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan reports remains on the Coyotes’ active roster for now.
Oct. 8: It’s expected to be a busy day on the waiver wire, as NHL teams are making their final adjustments to the roster they’ll bring into the start of the 2023-24 season. There have already been numerous notable names exposed to the waiver wire thus far this preseason, and that list could only expand today. All players from yesterday’s waiver wire have cleared.
Detroit Red Wings
Los Angeles Kings
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs
Vegas Golden Knights
The big surprise here out of Arizona regards Boyd. The versatile 30-year-old veteran doesn’t have an exorbitant contract (just $1.75MM through the end of the season) and has scored 69 points across the last two seasons.
He’s been something of a breakout player for the Coyotes as his 17-goal, 35-point 2022-23 was far and away his best season in his career, so it’s definitely a surprise to see him exposed on waivers.
For Anaheim, the move to waive Stalock likely means that Lukáš Dostál has won the Ducks’ backup goalie job behind John Gibson, as should Stalock clear the Ducks will have the option to send him down to the AHL’s San Diego Gulls.
In Edmonton, it comes as a little bit of a surprise to see Lavioe waived. The 23-year-old power forward was drafted just outside of the 2019 first round, and took a real step forward in his development last season. He became a genuinely impactful AHLer, scoring 25 goals and 45 points. He’s a name to watch in terms of players with the potential to be claimed out of this group.
Anderson-Dolan finally made the NHL on an extended basis last season, and scored 12 points in 46 games. He even got some playoff action under his belt, but seeing as he was a near-point-per-game scorer in his last season in the AHL, it seems the Kings could prefer to have him start the season with the AHL’s Ontario Reign.
Rosen appears the likeliest candidate from the Blues’ group of waived players to be of interest to other teams, as he’s owed just a $762.5k cap hit this season and impressed in 49 games of NHL action last season. He scored 18 points in that span and could interest teams in need of some additional defensive help.
Out of Tampa is Bogosian, and it’s reported that the Lightning are hoping to put the veteran blueliner in a position to land on another team where he can play a bigger role than he’d be offered in Tampa. The 33-year-old won a Stanley Cup for the Lightning and it seems that the organization is looking to do right by the player while also turning to other options to staff their defense.
One of the biggest names on waivers comes out of Toronto, as Jones played in 48 games last season but now finds himself exposed to 31 other clubs. With an $875k cap hit, the veteran netminder could end up claimed by teams in need of instant goaltending support, such as the Lightning who don’t have much depth after the injury to superstar Andrei Vasilevskiy.
This page will be updated throughout the day.