With the NHL’s holiday roster freeze expiring tonight at midnight, there’s reason to wonder if Edmonton Oilers are on the verge of making a trade.
The Oilers have reportedly recalled goalie Eetu Laurikainen from HPK Hameenlinna in Finland. That gives them three minor-league goalies on their AHL Bakersfield squad: Laurikainen, Laurent Brossoit, and Ben Scrivens.
Hence, the speculation that Scrivens could be traded to Montreal for winger Zack Kassian.
Buried in the minors, Scrivens does not seem to have a future with the Oilers.
Ditto for Kassian with the Habs.
The Canadiens are 2-10-0 in December, with neither Mike Condon nor Dustin Tokarski providing reliable goaltending in the absence of injured Carey Price.
Related: Habs ask Kassian not to report to AHL affiliate
NEW YORK (AP) The New York Islanders have placed goalie Jaroslav Halak on injured reserve because of an upper-body injury.
The move, made Sunday, is retroactive to last Monday.
Halak is 10-6-3 with a 2.09 goals-against average and two shutouts in 20 games this season.
The 30-year-old was 38-17-4 with a 2.43 GAA and six shutouts last season in his first year with the Islanders. He missed most of the preseason and New York’s first four games this year with an undisclosed upper-body injury.
Thomas Greiss will start against Toronto on Sunday night in the Islanders’ first game in nearly a week because of the break for Christmas. Greiss is 9-4-3 with a 2.03 GAA.
New York recalled Christopher Gibson from Bridgeport of the AHL. Gibson was 11-5-3 with a 1.99 GAA for the Sound Tigers.
The Islanders also have Jean-Francois Berube on the roster.
The Los Angeles Kings are hopeful that center Jeff Carter will be able to rejoin his teammates sometime on their three-game road trip through Vancouver (Monday), Edmonton (Tuesday), and Calgary (Thursday).
GM Dean Lombardi tells Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider that Carter’s status is “day-to-day,” a reassuring update after the 30-year-old left last night’s game in Arizona with an upper-body injury.
Carter lasted just two shifts against the Coyotes. He returned to Los Angeles after the game and was not expected to travel to Vancouver for Monday’s contest.
Carter has 11 goals and 17 assists in 34 games. His 28 points lead the Kings.
In the two weeks since Jacob Markstrom made our list of five backup goalies that weren’t getting it done, the 25-year-old has started three games for the Vancouver Canucks, won twice and allowed just four goals total.
Markstrom’s save percentage in those three games? An impressive .956.
Which is to say, he’s been getting it done.
Last night against Edmonton, he stopped 32 of 33 shots to help a severely undermanned Vancouver side to a 2-1 overtime victory. If not for the bloody (literally) heroics of Jannik Hansen, Markstrom might have been the story of the game.
“That was a big win for us,” Markstrom told the Associated Press. “I got a lot of help tonight. The boys were great.”
Markstrom’s save percentage has climbed all the way to .924, which compares favorably to Ryan Miller‘s .909, albeit in considerably fewer games.
Miller hasn’t played since suffering an injury during the shootout last weekend in Florida. The Canucks originally said that the 35-year-old had cramped up, the insinuation being that it was nothing serious.
But Markstrom may be the starter for at least a couple of more games.
“Miller’s a little longer than we thought,” coach Willie Desjardins said yesterday. “I thought he’d be close to being ready to go. He’s maybe a week.”
The Canucks host Los Angeles tomorrow, then get three days off before Anaheim pays a visit Friday.
Marian Hossa will be back in the Blackhawks’ lineup tonight at home versus Carolina.
The 36-year-old winger missed Chicago’s last two games with an upper-body injury.
“Obviously we had the nice break, a couple extra days definitely helped settle down,” he told CSN Chicago this morning. “Now I just tested it on the ice, and it felt great.”
Hossa has just five goals and 11 assists in 31 games, as the Blackhawks have been carried offensively by the Patrick Kane line.
“I feel like I get so many chances,” Hossa told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Just the finishing is not what I expect, obviously. From that many chances, I expect myself to be more productive. It’s definitely frustrating. I’m just trying to stay positive [and] keep working hard. Overall, I feel good. Just the production’s not there.”
Despite the lack of offensive production, Hossa has remained excellent defensively.