The Nashville Predators have added some experience on the blueline, inking former Sens and Devils rearguard Anton Volchenkov to a one-year, $1 million deal.
“Anton provides a strong veteran presence that will complement our young, talented defensive corps nicely,” Preds GM Poile said in a statement. “He is a physical, left-handed shooting defenseman who can match up with top-line forwards and effectively kill penalties.”
Volchenkov, 32, hit free agency on June 30 when the Devils elected to use a compliance buyout on the final two years of his six-year, $25.5 million deal. The move freed New Jersey from his $4.25 million cap hit, but Volchenkov will still get $1.4 million per year in salary until 2018 — possibly why he signed in Nashville for such a (reasonably) low rate.
While the Russian rearguard does boast a wealth of experience, he saw his ice time plummet last season (he averaged the lowest TOI of any Devils defenseman) and has missed extensive time over the last two years with a myriad of injuries. He actually hasn’t averaged more than 20 minutes a night since his last year in Ottawa (2009-10), whne he finished 18th in Norris voting.
With Nashville, Volchenkov instantly becomes the oldest defenseman on the roster and could provide tutelage for the likes of Seth Jones (19 years old) and Ryan Ellis (23).
Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.
The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.
So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.
You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.
Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.
Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.
The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.
This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.
From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as NHL.com notes.
“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”
Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.
At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.
Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?
We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.
Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.
Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Message sent or not via healthy scratches or not, Dave Bolland returns to the Florida Panthers mix on Tuesday.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, it’s maybe not under the most ideal circumstances, as part of the explanation for his return is Nick Bjugstad‘s absence.
The Miami Herald’s George Richards reports that Bjugstad is out tonight against the St. Louis Blues with an upper-body injury that he suffered during a Monday practice.
In fact, as you can see in the tweet above, the young forward was sent home because of the injury.
This forces some shuffling, with Vincent Trocheck moving up to the second line while Bolland centers the third combo as usual.
The Panthers are currently on a two-game winning streak and visit St. Louis as the second date in a five-game road trip.
This is also the early part of a span in which they play nine of 10 games on the road (counting Sunday’s away win), so a prolonged absence from Bjugstad could sting that much more.