One of the key pieces Buffalo acquired in the Ryan Miller-Steve Ott trade is doubtful to play again this season.
Chris Stewart, who suffered an ankle injury last week against Tampa Bay, will likely miss the remainder of the year with the ailment, according to Sabres head coach Ted Nolan.
“Stewart doesn’t look good right now,” Nolan said, per the Buffalo News. “There are only five weeks left in the year and his injury is four-to-five weeks.”
Stewart, 26, appeared in just two games for the Sabres after coming over from St. Louis in a pre-deadline blockbuster. While the other key acquisition in the deal, Jaroslav Halak, has since been flipped to Washington, the Sabres held onto Stewart, who has one year remaining on his deal (with a $4.15 million cap hit) and could be a good fit for the club moving forward.
The book on Stewart is a familiar one. He’s a big-bodied power forward (6-foot-2, 231 pounds) that’s displayed a nose for goal in the past, but has seen his effort and consistency called into question on numerous occasions. It’s the same knock many physical forwards get — think Dustin Penner, Bryan Bickell, Todd Beruzzi — though with Stewart, the fact he’s only 26 is key.
Nolan has shown an ability to motivate players in the past, and could light a fire under Stewart — remember, this is a guy that scored 56 goals between 2009-11, so the talent is definitely there.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.