The Vancouver Canucks will get some much-needed defensive reinforcements tonight against Anaheim, as Chris Tanev will play for the first time since suffering a concussion on Feb. 14.
“It will be fun to get back out there,” Tanev said, per News 1130. “I am just going to go out there, work hard and trying and keep things simple. They are a good team over there so it will be a tough game to jump right back in to.”
Tanev, a pending RFA, was averaging nearly 22 minutes a night for Vancouver prior to getting hurt and is arguably the club’s top defensive defenseman. He leads the team and sits 16th in the NHL in blocked shots, with 131.
Tanev will be paired with Alex Edler and join Dan Hamhuis, Luca Sbisa, Ryan Stanton and Frank Corrado on the Vancouver defense tonight. Corrado is in for Adam Clendening, who’ll sit; fellow defenseman Kevin Bieksa remains sidelined following hand surgery.
Another health setback for ‘Canes defenseman Jack Hillen.
Hillen, acquired from Washington just prior to the trade deadline, has been sidelined by a concussion and will undergo testing/protocol, the club announced on Monday.
Hillen, 29, appeared in three games for the ‘Canes prior to getting hurt, sitting out yesterday’s wild 7-4 comeback win against the Oilers.
As mentioned above, it’s the latest in a series of tough injury breaks.
Hillen missed significant time during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign with a shoulder injury, suffered on a big hit from then-Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier. Hillen then missed almost all of last season following a major leg fracture — 60 games all told — and, upon returning to the lineup, suffered a concussion after colliding with Alex Ovechkin.
During the offseason, Hillen complained of lingering knee pain that carried over from the end of the regular season — which turned out to be a staph infection, stemming from a plate screwed into his knee.
So yeah, rough times.
It stands to reason that Carolina might shut down Hillen for the remainder of this season, given his previous health concerns and concussion history. The ‘Canes have just 18 games left on the slate and are playing out the string.
Columbus forward Matt Calvert has suffered a concussion and will be sidelined indefinitely, head coach Todd Richards said on Friday.
Calvert, 25, has appeared in 49 games for the Blue Jackets this season, scoring a career-high 10 goals. That mark came on the heels of a solid 2013-14 campaign, during which Calvert posted another career-high — in points, with 24 — despite only appearing in 56 games.
Calvert was also one of Columbus’ top producers during last year’s opening-round playoff loss to Pittsburgh, scoring two goals and four points in six games.
A speedy winger with some skill, Calvert isn’t a household name but could be a pretty useful pickup — assuming teams are willing to take the risk of a player dealing with a concussion. A pending RFA, Calvert is making $987,500 this year, which is a pretty nice cap hit for clubs that are pressed up against the ceiling.
As for potential suitors, Winnipeg was rumored to be interested prior to acquiring Jiri Tlusty; reports also suggested Tampa Bay was looking into Calvert as well.