The New Jersey Devils caught some people off guard yesterday when they decided to reassign rookie defenseman Eric Gelinas to the minors. He has excelled offensively with six goals and 22 points in 44 contests, but Devils coach Pete DeBoer felt he wasn’t playing a well-rounded game.
“You can’t just be a big shot,” DeBoer told the Star-Ledger. “One, I think he’s capable of being much more than that. And two, if you’re going to have a long career you have to be multi-dimensional and I think the other dimensions of his game are the areas he needs to work at.”
It’s not like the Devils have many offensive threats to begin with, but DeBoer felt Gelinas’ defensive struggles negated any potential gains Gelinas was providing. The 22-year-old blueliner had a minus-five rating.
Gelinas is highly regarded and helped the Devils shake off their rough 1-5-3 start. However, his playing time plummeted in January, to the point where he was only logging 13:44 minutes per contest.
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.