Yesterday, struggling New York Islanders RW Kyle Okposo was named PHT’s 1st Dud of the Week (along with No Goals Club members Blake Wheeler and Radek Dvorak).
Today, the struggle continued as Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork.com reports Okposo will sit out tonight’s game against the Rangers. Isles head coach Jack Capuano said it would be a game-time decision, but it’s widely believed that Okposo will be held out of the lineup (and pregame warmups.)
While the move is a condemnation of Okposo’s recent play (no goals through 14 games), it has dual purpose. Scratching Okposo gives 19-year-old Nino Niederreiter an opportunity to make his season debut, potentially on New York’s top line with Matt Moulson and John Tavares.
(Should also be noted this is a straight positional swap, as both Okposo and Niederreiter play right wing.)
“I’m super excited,” Niederreiter told ESPNNewYork.com when reached by telephone Monday. “I couldn’t be happier than I am right now. I’m just going to try to take it one day at a time and do what I can to help the team.”
While Niederreiter’s happy, Okposo isn’t all that pleased…
Montreal Canadiens winger Zack Kassian was involved in a car accident early Sunday morning.
According to the Montreal Gazette, Kassian was a passenger in the vehicle that crashed into a tree.
The SUV was being driven by a 20-year-old female at the time of the accident.
Montreal police confirmed that speed didn’t play a factor in the collision, but alcohol may have.
The Canadiens have since confirmed the incident took place and have also mentioned that Kassian was taken to hospital.
A club official described his injuries as being “minor”.
“(Kassian) was all bloodied up and stuff. He was in a daze,” said Steve Petrenko, a resident of the street on which the accident took place. “He had a hard time walking, and he almost took a fall.”
This story will be updated when more information is made available.
The Montreal Canadiens announced that they have signed Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract.
According to TVA Sports, the deal is worth $750,000.
The 31-year-old was invited to camp on a professional tryout, but his preseason performance showed that he could still contribute at the NHL level.
Fleischmann found instant chemistry with new linemates David Desharnais and Dale Weise, and it looks like the trio will open the regular season as Montreal’s third line.
The veteran winger started last season with Florida, but was traded to Anaheim on Feb. 28. He had a hard time cracking the Duck’s lineup and was a healthy scratch in most of their playoff games last spring.
Fleischmann scored eight goals and 27 points in 66 games last season.