The Montreal Canadiens will get two major pieces back this week in the form of Daniel Briere and Alexei Emelin.
Briere, 36, will return to the lineup on Tuesday to take on the Lightning after missing the last 10 games with a concussion while Emelin, the team’s leading hitter from a year ago, will make his season debut this weekend after missing the entire campaign recovering from offseason knee surgery.
“Over the past five days, I’ve been pushing harder and harder each day,” Briere told the team website. “I feel ready to come back, though I’ll still have to meet with the doctors, the team’s medical staff and the coaches.
“There’s no doubt I’m feeling better and ready to play.”
Briere will add some offensive punch to the Habs lineup and will play on a line with red-hot rookie Michael Bournival and veteran winger Rene Bourque.
As for Emelin, his return will finally give Montreal its projected top-six defense. The Russian rearguard, who recently signed a four-year, $16.4 million extension with the club, has developed a reputation as a hard-hitting guy that can log big minutes and take on the opposition’s top forwards.
Montreal plays twice this weekend — Friday in Columbus, Saturday at home against the Rangers — and it’s unclear at the moment which game Emelin will dress for (if not both.)
The Toronto Maple Leafs trimmed their training camp roster by 16 players on Sunday.
Two of the Leafs’ top prospects, William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen, are heading to the the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.
For the full list of cuts, click here.
Nylander was Toronto’s first round pick, eighth overall, in 2014.
The 19-year-old scored an impressive 14 goals and 32 points in 37 games with the Marlies in 2014-15.
Kapenen, 19, was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Phil Kessel trade.
He had one goal and one assist in a brief four game stint with Pittsburgh’s farm team last season.
The rebuilding Maple Leafs have no issue being patient with their top young prospects. Both players could make their NHL debut at some point this season, but they may have to wait a little while longer before they become regulars at the next level.
The Leafs now have 24 players on their training camp roster. They have until Tuesday to put the finishing touches on their lineup. Toronto needs to cut at least one more player.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.
Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.
“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”