Zach Parise

Wednesday shaping up to be Zach Parise day in New Jersey

While the Devils continue to fight on and hope that they don’t run out of time or wins in their hunt for the playoffs (they’re 10 points behind Buffalo) the time for Zach Parise to rejoin the lineup is approaching sooner than thought.

The Devils young star winger again practiced with the team today and while the Devils have a game tonight against Buffalo and are off until Wednesday. That Wednesday game is shaping up to be the one that sees Parise rejoin the team in game action.

Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice says that Parise was considering playing tonight, but wanted to play it safe.

“It’s still being smart,” he said. “It might sound like, ‘What’s the difference between today or Wednesday?’ There’s a big difference. Those two practices will be big and a little rest (will help) because we’ve been going pretty hard lately on the conditioning stuff, so I think a little rest will help. Of course, after watching last night, we needed that extra point. Of course, you want to play, but you have to be smart still.”

The downside for Parise and the Devils is that by Wednesday, the possibility of making the playoffs may just be completely impossible. A Devils loss to Buffalo tonight would put them 12 points back of the eighth spot with just seven games left. They wouldn’t be mathematically out, but they’d be virtually toast as they won’t have any room for error the rest of the way.

Parise getting back into game action gives Devils fans a glimpse at what could’ve been had he not suffered a torn meniscus, but it also gives him the chance to show what he can do before becoming a restricted free agent in the offseason. He’ll want to show the Devils he’s worth giving a big contract to no matter what.

Blues put Berglund on LTIR, use savings to sign Gomez

Scotte Gomez
AP Photo
Leave a comment

As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.

The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.

In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.

Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.

He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.

NHL key dates for the 2015-16 season

Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares
Leave a comment

Nov. 10 —  NHL General Managers Meeting (Toronto)

At last year’s November meetings, the GMs decided to kill the dry scrape. But these meetings usually serve as a table-setter for the rest of the season. It’s the more in-depth meetings in March where the majority of things get decided.

Nov. 27 — NHL Thanksgiving Showdown: Rangers at Bruins

The first of 12 “NHL on NBC” games in 2015-16. Click here for the full list, including the games on NBCSN.

Dec. 7-8 — NHL Board of Governors Meeting (Pebble Beach)

This is where we could find out about expansion. Will both Las Vegas and Quebec City get the nod? Only one of them? Neither of them?

Jan. 1 — Winter Classic: Canadiens at Bruins

From Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Please don’t make any “deflated pucks” jokes. You’re better than that.

Jan. 28-Feb. 1 — All-Star Break

This year’s festivities are being held in Nashville, which is a pretty fun town we hear. Skills competition on Saturday the 30th, game on Sunday the 31st. Over/under has been set at 25 goals and 60 percent effort.

Feb. 29 — NHL trade deadline

Leap day! Click here for a list of pending unrestricted free agents, a.k.a. potential rentals.

Mar. 14-16 — NHL General Managers Meeting (Boca Raton)

As mentioned, these are the more in-depth meetings where any recommendations are typically made. Last season, the GMs recommended 3-on-3 overtime and a coach’s challenge.

Apr. 9 — Last day of the regular season

All 30 teams in action on this Saturday. Playoffs begin four days later on Wednesday. Also, the draft lottery’s date is still to be determined, but should be held sometime around here.

June 18 — Last possible day for the Stanley Cup Final

Click here for PHT’s Cup picks.

June 24-25 — NHL draft

In Buffalo this year. Click here for Central Scouting’s “players to watch” list, led by Auston Matthews.

July 1 — Free agency begins

And then it’s summer.