The Devils look as though they’ll have a welcome face in the lineup tonight after activating Patrick Elias from injured reserve.
“[My back] still bothers me, but not to the point where I’ll sit out,” Elias said following Friday’s morning skate, as per NHL.com.
The 37-year-old has been in discomfort for a while, which began following a pregame nap prior to a 4-3 win over Boston on Oct. 26. Elias awoke with back spasms, but gutted through to face the Bruins and, three nights later, a 2-1 win over Tampa Bay
Following the Lightning game, Elias was placed on IR (retroactively) and has since missed New Jersey’s last six games.
Overall, this has been a tough season for Elias’ health. He missed time earlier this season to a rough bout of food poisoning and, on the year, has only appeared in 10 of New Jersey’s 18 games.
That said, he has been a solid contributor when healthy. Despite the missed time, Elias still sits tied for third in team scoring, with seven points, and was averaging close to 19 minutes per game prior to the back spasms.
Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.
On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.
But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.
The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.
Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.
Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.
Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”