Minnesota might be getting its big trade deadline acquisition back in time for the playoffs.
Jason Pominville returned to Wild practice on Monday, his first time back since suffering a head injury on a Dustin Brown elbow last Tuesday.
The former Buffalo captain — traded to Minny on Apr. 3 — missed the final two games of the regular season with what appeared to be a head injury, though the Wild wouldn’t classify the ailment as a concussion.
Pominville was skating with his usual linemates, Kyle Brodziak and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, at Monday’s practice. Prior to getting hurt, the 30-year-old had 4G-5A-9PTS in 10 games with Minnesota, averaging 17:31 TOI per game.
The Wild open their playoff campaign against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Blackhawks in Chicago on Tuesday (8p.m. ET, NBCSN).
Sounds like Pominville’s likely to play in Game 1, according to head coach Mike Yeo.
“[Pominville] looked good in practice today,” Yeo told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “He’s a big part of our team in a lot of areas.
“The offensive threat that he is, smart player, plays in all situations for us, and as much as anything else, the experience that he has in the playoffs and his leadership, obviously he’s a big part of our team.”
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)
It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.
Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.
Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.
The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.