Less than 72 hours after going under the knife, Ryan Callahan is back on the ice.
The Tampa Bay winger — who missed Tuesday’s series-clinching Game 6 win over Montreal due to emergency appendectomy surgery — returned to practice on Thursday, presumably with an eye to draw back into the lineup for the Eastern Conference Final against the Rangers, which begins on Saturday.
Callahan, 30, had three assists through 12 playoff games prior to the procedure, leading the Bolts with a plus-7 rating while sitting second on the team in hits, with 42. Those numbers came on the heels of a regular season in which he tied a career-high in points, with 54, while averaging 17:44 TOI per night.
So needless to say, he’s a pretty key contributor for the Lightning.
It’ll be interesting to see how Callahan does in his first practice back, and how Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper addresses the situation. Jonathan Marchessault replaced Callahan in the lineup against Montreal on Tuesday, but it’s likely that Callahan will do everything in his power to be ready for Saturday, as the former Rangers captain spent the first seven years of his career with the Blueshirts.
Dream start for the Swiss in today’s World Hockey Championship quarterfinal — not so much for Team USA.
Nashville defenseman Roman Josi opened the scoring 13 minutes into the first period on Thursday, firing home this unassisted marker after dancing through the U.S. defense:
Despite that start, the Americans battled back midway through the second period with two goals in less than a minute — from Ben Smith and Charlie Coyle — to take a 2-1 lead.
Some optimism today regarding the health of Dallas forward Rich Peverley — per TSN, Peverley could contemplate a possible comeback after missing all of last season due to a cardiac issue.
From Bob McKenzie:
The 32-year-old hasn’t played in 14 months after collapsing at the bench in a game against Columbus in March of 2014. Shortly after the incident, Peverley underwent a corrective procedure for an irregular heartbeat but was ruled out indefinitely and didn’t play at all in 2014-15, instead helping coach Dallas’ AHL affiliate while contemplating a move into management.
After catching on with Los Angeles in November of last season and scoring nine points in 26 games, veteran d-man Jamie McBain says he’d like to stick with the Kings — but knows the club’s financial situation might keep it from happening.
“[No contract talks], nothing yet,” McBain said of his current status with the club, per Mayor’s Manor. “From the exit meetings – and I’ve already known this, anybody who looks at the paper knows – they have pieces that they have to get in place first. With the salary cap the way it is – even last year, me getting called up, it needed to be for the least amount of money possible – they had to find some money within the salary cap.
“I know they have some pieces they have to figure out first and they have to figure out the salary cap issue.”
The Kings were pressed up against the ceiling for most of last season — a big reason why McBain was brought in (at $550,000) following Slava Voynov’s arrest for domestic assault. The former Sabre and Hurricane performed reasonably well, considering he went the first four weeks of the campaign without a deal, but was a non-factor down the stretch and didn’t play over the final month-and-a-half of the regular season.
One of the guys that supplanted McBain in the lineup last year, trade deadline acquisition Andrej Sekera, is in line for an extension this summer (the two sides have already started preliminary talks), and that’s one of the cap issues McBain alluded to. The Kings also need to hammer out new deals for RFA forward Tyler Toffoli and d-man Brayden McNabb, which might not leave much room for McBain to re-sign.
It’s something the 27-year-old understands.
“It’s one of those things where it all depends on other organizations and the Kings, as far as what teams offer me,” he explained. “It’s tough to say exactly what the future is going to hold.”
Troy Stecher, the North Dakota sophomore defenseman that’s generated interest around the NHL, has opted not to sign an entry-level deal and will instead return to school this fall.
The news, first reported by the Grand Forks Herald, comes just over a month after Stecher helped UND advance to the Frozen Four, losing in the semifinal to the Jack Eichel-led Boston University Terriers. Stecher scored an unassisted shorthanded goal in the loss.
Stecher, who went undrafted largely because of his diminutive (5-foot-10, 190-pound) frame, was listed as one of USA Today’s NCAA’s top potential free agents in March; all the others listed — Evan Rodriques (Buffalo), Matt O’Connor (Ottawa), Kenney Morrison (Calgary), Casey Bailey (Toronto) and Kyle Baun (Chicago) went on to sign pro deals.
“He’s a real strong player with the puck,” TSN analyst Craig Button said of Stecher. “He can make plays and run a power play. He has a poise on the blue line.”