Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski is expected to return from his concussion on Tuesday, according to Columbus Dispatch writer Shawn Mitchell. That’s one of the few bright spots in what has been an otherwise disappointing season for Wisniewski.
After inking a five-year/$33 million with Columbus over the summer, Wisniewski was suspended for eight regular season games after he hit Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck in the head during a preseason contest. By the time he returned, the Blue Jackets were already 0-7-1. He also ended up missing time because of a broken left ankle, groin problems, and roughly two weeks because of the concussion. At this point, he’s only played in 45 of Columbus’ 79 contests this season.
That’s to say nothing of the fact that when he signed with the Blue Jackets, they were selling themselves as a franchise on the cusp of making the playoffs. Although they missed the postseason by 16 points in 2010-11, they thought that by adding Wisniewski, Vaclav Prospal, Jeff Carter, they could reverse their fortunes. Instead they did even worse in 2011-12. The face of their franchise and biggest star Rick Nash is interested in being traded and now it looks like Wisniewski will be part of a lengthy rebuilding effort.
Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.
Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.
Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.
Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)
While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)
Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)
With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)
The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (NHL.com)