Henrik Tallinder is proving you can go home again.
The Buffalo Sabres acquired Tallinder in a straight swap with the New Jersey Devils in exchange for minor league forward Riley Boychuk.
Tallinder is often credited for helping Tyler Myers break out as a top-flight defenseman. Ever since he’s been out of Buffalo, however, things haven’t gone as smoothly for Myers.
Sabres GM Darcy Regier is happy to have him back in the fold.
“We are excited to have Henrik back in the mix on our blue line,” said Regier. “His experience will be invaluable not only in adding more stability to our back end, but also in the development of some of our younger defensemen.”
Tallinder joins a relatively crowded house on defense in Buffalo, albeit a mostly inexperienced one.
For the Devils, this deal works as a major salary dump as Tallinder is owed $3.5 million this season and comes with a cap hit of $3.375 million. New Jersey was already pushing the upper limit of the cap but now get a little breathing room.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.
Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.
“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”
Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.
The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.