Dmitrij Jaskin, Justin Fontaine

Roundup: Blues demote Jaskin; Habs recall Beaulieu, Nattinen

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A couple of morning transactions to pass along…

— The St. Louis Blues have sent forward Dmitrij Jaskin back to AHL Chicago. Jaskin, 20, has played in six games this year for the Blues, including over 10 minutes in Thursday night’s loss to L.A., and has one goal and four penalty minutes.

His demotion could pave the way for injured forward Alex Steen to return to game action. Steen, St. Louis’ leading goalscorer this season, has been out of action since Dec. 21 with a concussion.

— Montreal has brought up defenseman Nathan Beaulieu and center Joonas Nattinen from AHL Hamilton, the club announced on Friday.

Beaulieu has been up and down a couple times this season and has appeared in five games for Montreal, recording an assist with a plus-2 rating. Nattinen, who could make his NHL debut with this recall, was the Habs’ third-round pick (65th overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

The moves come just hours after Montreal beat Ottawa 5-4 in a wild overtime game, one that saw the Sens outshoot the Habs 44-23.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.