The red-hot Winnipeg Jets suffered a big blow on Tuesday, as head coach Paul Maurice announced Evander Kane would be held out until after the Olympic break with a hand infection.
Kane, who recently returned from a four-game absence after slicing his hand while fighting Tampa’s Eric Brewer, has played well of late. He notched 1G-1A in his first game back — a 3-2 win over the Ducks, handing Anaheim its first regulation loss at home this season — then proceeded to register assists in a 5-4 OT win over Toronto and a 3-1 win over Chicago.
According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Kane’s hand “ballooned up” on Monday night and was being treated today.
The Jets, winners in six of their last seven, have six more contests remaining until the Olympic break — a pair of home dates against Nashville and Vancouver, followed by a four-game road swing through Montreal, Carolina, Washington and St. Louis.
As such, losing Kane for such a significant amount of time is huge. Winnipeg has turned its season around under Maurice and is making a playoff push, currently sitting just seven points behind Minnesota for the eighth and final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Kane sits third on the Jets in goals, with 15, and is the only forward on the club averaging more than 20 minutes per night.
Related: Hand injury won’t keep Jets’ Kane from fighting: ‘It’s a good part of the game’
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.
The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.
Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.
Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.
The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.
Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.