The run of defenseman signings continued in Detroit on Monday, as the Red Wings gave Brian Lashoff a three-year contract extension.
Lashoff, 22, went undrafted out of the Ontario Hockey League but signed an entry-level free agent deal with the Wings in 2008, eventually becoming a fixture with AHL Grand Rapids.
He made his NHL debut with Detroit in January and has gone on to be a pleasant surprise, notching 1G-2A-3PTS in 15 games while playing close to 19 minutes a night.
“He’s been huge for us,” Lashoff’s defensive partner, Niklas Kronwall, told MLive.com. “He’s playing a lot of minutes, killing a lot of penalties.
“He’s not maybe a flashy guy but he’s getting the job done every night, making the right decision all the time.”
As mentioned earlier, Lashoff’s deal is just the latest in a string of blueline signings.
Earlier today, the Washington Capitals re-upped with John Erskine, Pittsburgh agreed to a one-year deal with veteran defenseman Mark Eaton and the Phoenix Coyotes inked an extension with impending RFA defenseman David Schlemko.
Update: Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports the deal is for $2.715 million (average annual cap hit of $725k) and is a one-way deal for all three years.
Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.
The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.
So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.
You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.
Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.
Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.
The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.
This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.
From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as NHL.com notes.
“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”
Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.
At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.
Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?
We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.
Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.
Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks
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Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks
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Message sent or not via healthy scratches or not, Dave Bolland returns to the Florida Panthers mix on Tuesday.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, it’s maybe not under the most ideal circumstances, as part of the explanation for his return is Nick Bjugstad‘s absence.
The Miami Herald’s George Richards reports that Bjugstad is out tonight against the St. Louis Blues with an upper-body injury that he suffered during a Monday practice.
In fact, as you can see in the tweet above, the young forward was sent home because of the injury.
This forces some shuffling, with Vincent Trocheck moving up to the second line while Bolland centers the third combo as usual.
The Panthers are currently on a two-game winning streak and visit St. Louis as the second date in a five-game road trip.
This is also the early part of a span in which they play nine of 10 games on the road (counting Sunday’s away win), so a prolonged absence from Bjugstad could sting that much more.