Sabres GM Regier making trade calls; Ehrhoff to return tonight

13 Comments

It’s been busy in Buffalo lately on both the injury and speculation front.

To the latter — speculation! — Sabres GM Darcy Regier told ESPN.com he’s making calls around the league, looking to make a deal in the hope of snapping Buffalo out of its 3-6-1 start to the season.

More: Sabres GM Regier: “Lindy is the guy”

“”I’ve talked to some GMs the last few days,” Regier said. “It’s a pretty quiet market right now. A number of teams have very small things they want to do, quite honestly, with the hope that whether it’s with their players or our players, they’re going to get them on track because of their previous history of them being a lot better.”

It’s obvious Buffalo needs to improve its defensive play — they’re allowing nearly four goals per game — and that improvement could come from within as injured blueliners return to action.

It also might have to come from within.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports it “appears to be a soft trade market” at the moment, with defensemen at a premium.

Wade Redden found work quickly after being bought out by the Rangers, and Detroit signed 33-year-old Kent Huskins — unattached to start the year — after a rash of injuries depleted its defense.

Speaking of defensemen, Christian Ehrhoff returns from injury tonight to face the Habs after missing Tuesday’s game in Ottawa with a undisclosed muscle strain.

It’s unclear who he’ll play with on defense because, as alluded to earlier, Buffalo’s a mess injury-wise.

Andrej Sekera and Robyn Regehr are both out with ankle injuries (though head coach Lindy Ruff said both could return by the weekend), and the Buffalo News projects it’ll be Ehrhoff, Mike Weber, Jordan Leopold, Alex Sulzer, Adam Pardy and Tyler Myers on defense, with T.J. Brennan the odd man out.

Related

Lindy Ruff states the obvious: “We need to win games”

Predators tab Roman Josi as new captain, call him ‘our Roger Federer’

Getty
1 Comment

The Nashville Predators boasted some appealing options to take the torch from Mike Fisher as captain, but really there was only one obvious name: Roman Josi.

Josi officially became the team’s eighth captain on Tuesday. Ryan Ellis appears to be second-in-command as “associate” captain, while they seem interested in spreading the leadership wealth around otherwise:

As captain, Josi will see an increased role on the Predators leadership team, which will also see some new appointments. Defenseman Ryan Ellis has been named as the team’s associate captain, while Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm will all serve as alternate captains. In addition, Pekka Rinne, P.K. Subban and Nick Bonino have all taken positions within the leadership group.

If that’s not a sign that the team is taking this seriously – kind of amusingly so – consider that Ellis and Josi “interviewed” for the position and Peter Laviolette evoked military structures in discussing the decision, as sports teams love to do.

Josi seemed flattered when GM David Poile described him as “our Roger Federer,” a fellow Swiss sports star.

At face value, that’s great, especially since it breaks through the near-corporate-speak that saddles announcements like these.

That said, it’s funny to compare the leader in a team sport to a tennis player, among the most individualistic athletes in all of sport. There aren’t many moments of teamwork beyond doubles and rare events like the Davis Cup.

Overall, it’s another strong decision by the Predators. It’s merely fun to tease them a bit about the cornier aspects.

Awful injury news for Blues’ Bouwmeester, Sanford

Getty
2 Comments

Hockey’s training camps and exhibition games share a lot of similarities, big-picture wise, with other sports.

As much as they’re all about evaluating players trying to make rosters and rule tweaks heading into each season, the “winners” of a pre-season may just be the teams that make it out without any significant injuries. The St. Louis Blues aren’t one of those winners.

The team announced unsettling injury updates for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and forward Zach Sanford on Tuesday.

Sanford is expected to miss five-to-six months after undergoing shoulder surgery. That virtually wipes out an important season for a guy who was still trying to stake his claim to a full-time roster spot.

Bouwmeester’s situation is probably more troubling, potentially, as he’s already a key defenseman for the Blues (averaging more than 22 minutes last season, which was a slight decrease from recent work). The team announced that Bouwmeester suffered a fractured ankle and will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

As tormenting as day-to-day updates can be, “check back in three weeks” makes for even greater anxiety.

It does open up some opportunities for other players in the Blues organization, for whatever that’s worth.

This news comes shortly after the Ottawa Senators announced that Colin White will miss multiple weeks with a broken wrist.

You almost wonder if we’ll start to see fewer practice updates like these:

Senators’ prospect Colin White out 6-8 weeks with broken wrist

Getty
Leave a comment

Bad news for the Ottawa Senators today.

The club announced Tuesday that prospect center Colin White is out six to eight weeks with a broken left wrist.

The Senators selected White 21st overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. After two years at Boston College, he signed his entry-level deal in April and appeared in two regular season games for Ottawa. He also appeared in a Stanley Cup playoff game, though he only saw 2:39 of ice time.

That’s certainly disappointing for White, who could’ve had a shot to make the big club out of training camp. One of the question marks for Ottawa had been the status of fellow center Derick Brassard, who had offseason shoulder surgery with a recovery timeline of four to five months.

“I come here and worry about myself, do the right things on and off the ice, take care of my body. If I’m playing well and taking care of my game, I’ll fight for a spot,” White told the Ottawa Citizen prior to training camp.

It was a little on the foggy side for Canucks practice in Shanghai

1 Comment

The Vancouver Canucks dealt with some adverse conditions as they hit the ice at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai in preparation for this week’s 2017 NHL China Games exhibition series versus the L.A. Kings.

According to the pictures, it was a little on the foggy side for their practice.

Is that . . . Henrik Sedin in the distance?

The Canucks and Kings face off Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Arena, before traveling to Beijing for Saturday’s game at Wukesong Arena.

The good news? It appears the fog was lifted in time for the Kings’ practice.