A pair of veteran NHLers were placed on waivers Monday.
The Edmonton Oilers, needing to clear room for Ilya Bryzgalov, waived 33-year-old goalie Jason LaBarbera while Vancouver put 25-year-old forward/defenseman Yannick Weber on the wire.
Edmonton signed LaBarbera in July to a one-year, $1 million deal in the hopes of providing stable backup play to Devan Dubnyk. That’s failed to happen, though — away from the friendly confines of the Phoenix Coyotes’ defensive system, LaBarbera struggled mightily in Edmonton and hits the waiver wire boasting an ugly 1-3-0 record with a 3.69 GAA and .858 save percentage.
Weber, who signed with Vancouver in the summer after five seasons with Montreal, had fallen out of favor after appearing in 10 games to start the season. The versatile Swiss skater played both defense and forward for Vancouver this season but couldn’t get a game lately, sitting in the press box for the last six contests.
It’ll be interesting to see if either guy lands with a new club. With the number of goalies lost to injury (Evgeni Nabokov, Pekka Rinne, Nikolai Khabublin) it’s feasible that LaBarbera could get a short-term look somewhere, while Weber might be worth a look given he’s cheap ($650,000 capt hit) and can play on the blueline and up front.
The Buffalo Sabres have recalled forward Justin Bailey from AHL Rochester.
It’s the first time Bailey, a second-round pick in 2013, has ever been called up to the NHL. The 20-year-old joins the big club after piling up 11 points (5G, 6A) in his last eight games for the Americans.
Most Sabres fans will know that Bailey is from Buffalo (technically, Williamsville), the son of former Bills linebacker Carlton Bailey. (To learn more, click on this Buffalo News story from July.)
The Sabres play Thursday in Philadelphia, before hosting Montreal on Friday. Coach Dan Bylsma has not confirmed whether Bailey will make his NHL debut during this call-up.
To make room for Bailey on Buffalo’s roster, Zemgus Girgensons (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.
Thing have gone from bad to weird in Minnesota, where embattled Wild coach Mike Yeo was “disappointed” to see Zenon Konopka’s rabbit holding a sign that read, “YEO MUST GO.”
Hey, we told you things had gotten weird.
Konopka, a former Wild player, took to Twitter last night after Minnesota’s latest loss.
Here’s what Konopka tweeted:
And what did Yeo think about that?
“I really don’t care what he says,” he told the Star Tribune, apparently adding with a laugh, “I will say I was very disappointed to see Hoppy holding that sign.”
Now, according to the newspaper’s Michael Russo, “Konopka and Yeo had a lot of issues behind the scenes and that’s why [Konopka] ended up on waivers two Januarys ago.”
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of Wild fans agree with Hoppy, er, Konopka, and it doesn’t change the fact that the Wild could really, really use a win tomorrow at home to Washington.
Nice work from Artem Anisimov and Matt Niskanen this week, but Connor McDavid‘s tally is on a different level.
You can pretty much bank on McDavid being in Goals of the Year, too. Just saying.
Laurent Brossoit is getting another crack at the NHL.
On Wednesday, the Oilers announced they demoted Anders Nilsson — who, earlier this year, was carrying the starting gig in Edmonton — and recalled Brossoit from AHL Bakersfield.
Brossoit, 22, is an interesting story. Taken in the sixth round of the 2011 draft (164th overall), he’s really made strides over the last year. He made his big-league debut at the end of last season and performed extremely well, making 49 saves on 51 shots in a loss to San Jose.
This year, Brossoit was named an AHL All-Star. He’s posted a 14-8-3 record for the Condors thus far, with a 2.70 GAA and .921 save percentage.
As for Nilsson, his demotion comes after losing the starting gig to Cam Talbot. Nilsson has also struggled to find the good form shown in November, when he made 10 starts and posted a .915 save percentage.
In his last outing, the lanky Swede allowed three goals on 10 shots in an embarrassing 8-1 loss to the Isles.