Report: Tanguay could return for Avs on Friday

Around Christmas, Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy was merely optimistic that Alex Tanguay might play again this season. Now he thinks the veteran winger could return from hip and knee issues during Friday’s game against the Florida Panthers, according to the Denver Post.

Tanguay, 34, hasn’t played since Nov. 2, as these issues sidelined him for 36 games.

His return to Colorado was quietly effective before these injuries cropped up, though, as he generated a solid nine points in 13 games.

The Avalanche have played well lately, with Nathan MacKinnon taking on a larger role as Colorado won four in a row before Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to Toronto.

It will be interesting to see how Roy decides to use Tanguay in the lineup, assuming he indeed returns; sending Brad Malone to the AHL implies as much.

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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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.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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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.”