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Giroux appears ready to rejoin Flyers lineup tonight


Big news out of Dallas from’s Frank Seravalli, who reports Flyers leading scorer Claude Giroux should be back in the lineup tonight against the Stars.

While great news for Flyers fans, the news has to be something of a surprise — Giroux suffered the second concussion of his career just 11 days ago and has only missed four games dealing with post-concussion symptoms. That said, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren did say his star player was cleared for full-contact activities on Saturday (probably explaining why Giroux was pushing and shoving at practice on Sunday, even while wearing a non-contact jersey.) That’s alleviated some concerns that he was being rushed back into action.

Yesterday Giroux was a full participant in practice, skating on a line with Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr. It was his third-straight day of full practice and the first time he took a big hit — courtesy Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn.

“I felt good,” said Giroux. “It’s pretty much the same [as before]. I went in the corners with Coby and told him to hit me a little bit. And that felt pretty good, too.”

Further evidence that Giroux will be playing tonight? The Flyers snuck in a player transaction in just prior to Monday’s midnight league-wide roster freeze, sending defenseman Kevin Marshall back to Adirondack of the AHL.

Too bad for HBO 24/7, as Marshall seemed to thoroughly enjoy singing and dancing to  “Knock Knock”:

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
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Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.

Canucks say Markstrom (hamstring) out another week — could it be longer?

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Bit of uncertainty out of Vancouver regarding the health of backup goalie Jacob Markstrom.

Markstrom, a late drop from the Canucks’ 5-1 opening-night win over Calgary, has suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined for another week, the club announced on Thursday.

With Markstrom out, backup duties will stay with AHL call-up Richard Bachman, who served as Ryan Miller‘s No. 2 on Wednesday.

Now, the focus turns to how long Bachman keeps those duties.

Per a Sportsnet report, Markstrom could miss up to three weeks of action with his injury. If that’s the case, Bachman will almost certainly be called into action; the Canucks will play eight games in 17 nights starting with Saturday’s home-opener against the Flames, which includes back-to-backs in Los Angeles and Anaheim on Oct. 12 and 13.

It would be asking a lot of the No. 1, 35-year-old Ryan Miller, to shoulder that entire load.

Bachman does have some NHL experience, with nearly 50 games to his credit. That includes a 3-2-0 record with the Oilers last year, in which he posted a 2.84 GAA and .911 save percentage.