Edmonton Oilers v Phoenix Coyotes

Whitney, Kovalev healthy scratches again

Two veteran NHLers that have already spent time in the press box will be back there again on Thursday.

In Edmonton, defenseman Ryan Whitney will be a healthy scratch when the Oilers take on the Minnesota Wild. Theo Peckham will replace Whitney in the lineup and make his season debut.

Whitney has been held out of three games this year by head coach Ralph Krueger,

In Florida, forward Alexei Kovalev will be a healthy scratch when the Panthers take on the Flyers in Philadelphia.

Kovalev, who turns 40 on Sunday, has missed just two games this season and has put up decent numbers following a one-year hiatus from the NHL, recording 2G-3A-5PTS while averaging over 16 minutes per game.

It sounds as though winger Mike Santorelli will draw into the Florida lineup to replace Kovalev.

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”