The Nashville Predators summoned Marek Mazanec in early November to compete with Carter Hutton for the starting job while Pekka Rinne focused on recovering from his hip injury.
Although Mazanec got off to a hot start, both netminders have been inconsistent and with Rinne still out indefinitely, the Predators decided to acquire Devan Dubnyk from Edmonton on Wednesday. The Predators didn’t immediately decide which goalie should be demoted as a result, but they eventually settled on sending Mazanec to AHL Milwaukee.
It looks like age was a determining factor as Mazanec is 22 while Hutton is 28.
“Maz is probably a little bit larger and more athletic, but he is the least experienced,” Predators coach Barry Trotz told the Tennessean. “I think the decision is to get him in the right seat in our organization so that he can become the player that he can become.”
Trotz was referring to professional hockey experience in general, given that Mazanec actually has played in a few more NHL games than Hutton.
Meanwhile, Dubnyk is waiting to make his Nashville debut. That might happen today, but Trotz cautioned that they want to “slowly get him acclimatized to the way we play.”
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)
The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.
The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.
Fifteen games into his tenure, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.
“A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”
The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.
The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.
Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.
The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.
According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.
“He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”
In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.