While this afternoon brought about its fair share of bad news, there are at least a couple pockets of sunshine.
Take, for instance, the fact that the Atlanta Thrashers activated Ondrej Pavelec from the injured reserve (and sent backup Peter Mannino to the minors) today. As you may remember, Pavelec suffered a concussion after a scary fainting incident during the team’s season opener against the Washington Capitals.
Last we heard, doctors were unable to target the exact reason he fainted, as they apparently didn’t detect any defects (such as the heart problems that ended former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer’s career) after extensive testing.
The Thrashers have big hopes for the 23-year-old Pavelec. He showed flashes of brilliance during the 2009-10 season, although his 42 game stats were pretty pedestrian: he posted a 14-18-7 record, 3.29 GAA and 90.6 save percentage.
Aside from one brief relief appearance after Chris Mason was shelled in an October 22 game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Mannino was more or less on the roster so the Thrashers could dress the minimum two goalies. He did stop 15 out of 16 shots in a little more than 38 minutes in net, though.
It’s unclear exactly when Pavelec will start again, but it might even happen this week.
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.