Byron Froese, William Nylander, Brendan Leipsic, Kasperi Kapanen, Zach Hyman, Viktor Loov, Garret Sparks, Rinat Valiev, Nikita Soshnikov and now, Connor Brown — those are the 10 Toronto Maple Leafs that’ve made their NHL debuts this season.
Brown, lucky No. 10, has yet to technically make his — but it will happen tonight, as the Leafs take on Florida at the ACC. The 22-year-old’s debut is well deserved, as Brown, a sixth-round pick in 2012, made the AHL All-Star Game last season (his first year of professional hockey) and came back from a broken ankle this year to rack up 24 points in 28 games for the Marlies.
“He was our best kid in training camp for sure, could’ve made our team,” Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said, per the Globe and Mail. “He’s going to be a good NHL player for a long period of time.”
Brown’s debut comes at the expense of Leo Komarov, who’s banged up and will sit tonight. Brown is expected to skate on a line with Milan Michalek and Ben Smith.
Related: Leafs recall another — this time, defenseman Valiev
Flyers forward Chris VandeVelde will face a disciplinary hearing for his high hit on Chicago captain Jonathan Toews from Wednesday night, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety has announced.
VandeVelde was given a two-minute elbowing minor for the above infraction, which occurred late in the first period.
Toews briefly left the bench but returned to finish the contest, with just over 19 minutes of ice time.
VandeVelde, 29, has no history of disciplinary issues with the league.
Emotional week for Pittsburgh freshman Scott Wilson.
Wilson, who earlier this week scored a two-year, $1.25M extension for his good showing this season, will be out of the Penguins lineup as he needs surgery on an undisclosed injury, head coach Mike Sullivan announced on Thursday.
Wilson, 23, had five goals and six points in 24 games prior to getting hurt, averaging just over 10 minutes per night. He, along with fellow recent signees Bryan Rust and Tom Kuhnhackl, had done a nice job providing energy and a shot in the arm to Pittsburgh’s forward group — part of the reason all three were rewarded with contract extensions at the same time.
With Wilson out, it’s expected that Dominik Simon will get a more regular lineup spot. Simon, a fifth-round pick in 2015, has played in each of Pittsburgh’s last two games — both wins — and registered his first NHL point, an assist, in Sunday’s win over the Rangers.
Well, this isn’t what Detroit needed while fighting for its playoff life — Petr Mrazek has fallen ill, meaning the club’s been forced to recall goalie Jared Coreau from AHL Grand Rapids ahead of tonight’s game in Columbus.
Coreau, 24, is enjoying a terrific year with the Griffins, posting 29-10-2 record with a 2.15 GAA and .931 save percentage. An undrafted free agent out of Northern Michigan, the 6-foot-6 Coreau has worked his way up from the ECHL to become one of the better netminders — statistically speaking, anyway — in the American League.
And while that’s all well and good, it’s still not a great development for the Red Wings.
Detroit heads into tonight’s action on the outside of the playoff picture, sitting one point back of red-hot Philly for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. If Mrazek can’t go tonight against the Blue Jackets, the task of securing two very valuable points will fall to Jimmy Howard, who has just one win in his last 14 appearances.
Canada’s entry at the 2016 World Hockey Championships will be led by a management group with major NHL experience.
Calgary GM Brad Treliving and former Caps GM George McPhee will serve as co-general managers for the tournament, Hockey Canada announced on Wednesday.
McPhee was named special advisor to the general manager of the New York Islanders in September 2015. Prior to that, McPhee spent 17 seasons as general manager of the Washington Capitals, leading the team to the Presidents’ Trophy during the 2009-10 season, seven division championships, and the team’s first berth in the Stanley Cup Final in 1998.
Treliving makes his return to the Team Canada men’s worlds management group after serving as assistant general manager for the 2013-14 squad, and on the 2013 Spengler Cup management group.
Treliving will likely have his fair share of Flames to choose from, as the team is all but eliminated from playoff contention. The likes of Mark Giordano, Sean Monahan, Dougie Hamilton, T.J. Brodie and Sam Bennett could all be in the mix.
As for other Team Canada staff positions, Blues GM Doug Armstrong — who’s also the GM for Canada’s entry into the 2016 World Cup of Hockey — will serve as a senior advisor.
Longtime Hockey Canada staffer Scott Salmond will serve as VP of hockey ops.