The process of becoming a regular NHLer can be an up-and-down experience for many young players. Calgary’s Sven Baertschi is a good example of that.
You may recall in September when Baertschi was called out by the Flames’ head of hockey operations, Brian Burke, for being too focused on offense and not dedicated enough to other areas of the ice.
“There’s three zones on the ice, Burke said, “and I don’t see that he’s learned to play and compete in two of them.”
To the 21-year-old’s credit, he responded nicely to Burke’s criticisms, his play early this season drawing praise from head coach Bob Hartley.
Unfortunately, Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Coyotes marked another down point for the Swiss winger, and as a result he’ll be a healthy scratch tonight in Dallas.
Baertschi (1G, 3A) wasn’t surprised when he learned he’d be watching from the press box against the Stars. After all, he barely saw the ice in the third period of the Phoenix game. “Kind of saw it coming,” he said, per Sportsnet’s Roger Millions.
Tim Jackman will replace Baertschi, per the Calgary Herald.
The Flames have dropped three of four since their surprising 3-0-2 start. Tonight’s contest is the last of their five-game road trip. They host Washington Saturday.
In other team news, center Roman Horak has been assigned to AHL Abbotsford and center Matt Stajan (leg) has been activated from Injured Reserve.
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
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.