The Columbus Blue Jackets signed forward Michael Chaput to a one-year, two-way contract on Thursday.
While the team didn’t share the financial details, the Columbus Dispatch reports that it’s worth $650K at the NHL level.
Chaput, 23, played a career-high 33 games in the NHL in 2014-15, generating five points. The flood of Blue Jackets injuries allowed him to generate an unexpected amount of experience at the NHL level.
On paper, he’d have a tough road to travel to play a comparable amount of games in 2015-16. That said, it could happen if the Blue Jackets’ bad injury luck last season was actually the beginning of a pattern.
Chaput was the 89th pick of the 2010 NHL Draft. The Philadelphia Flyers selected him then, but eventually traded him to Columbus for Tom Sestito.
The old joke is to say that the most dangerous place in the world is between “(insert celebrity/politician) and a camera.” That statement might need to be revised to “in between the pipes for the Toronto Maple Leafs.”
Jonas Gustavsson continued the comedy of errors by getting injured during warm-ups, giving way for Jussi Rynnas. That latest shuffle prompted this interesting fact from The Score: the Maple Leafs have had 15 different starting goalies since the lockout ended.
Using Hockey Reference’s season stats, I decided to track down those 15 goalies, in no exact order:
Boy, that’s quite the motley mixture of not-ready, washed-up or just-plain-awful goalies, isn’t it?
There are any number of potential reasons that explain Toronto’s inept run since the work stoppage, but that list of netminders might be the simplest demonstration of why playoff bids have been nonexistent while misery, snark and frustrations can be found in a nearly endless supply.
“When it rains, it pours” is a rather tired cliche.
So thank goodness for the Montreal Canadiens, who have spiced up the old line:
“When it rains, it pours…then there’s Montreal, where the deluge takes out half the hockey team.”
The Canadiens will be without six regulars tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes. Andrei Markov, Chris Campoli and Ryan White are all on injured reserve. Scott Gomez got the green light to return to action, but he’ll be a scratch. Andrei Kostitsyn will miss his second straight game with a lower body injury and Mike Cammalleri will also be held out, also with a lower-body injury.
That leaves Montreal with forward lines looking something like this:
Max Pacioretty – Tomas Plekanec – Brian Gionta
Mathieu Darche – David Desharnais – Erik Cole
Travis Moen – Lars Eller – Aaron Palushaj
Michael Blunden – Petteri Nokelainen – Yannick Weber
Palushaj was called up from Hamilton of the AHL on Wednesday. Weber is a defensman lining up at forward. Blunden has only played in seven games this year. Yikes.
Meanwhile, the Coyotes have won three of their last four at home, are close to full health and have two of the league’s hottest players in Radim Vrbata (nine points in his last five games) and Mike Smith (6-2-2, 2.36 GAA, .926 save percentage.)
Did we mention Phoenix has also enjoyed a five-day break, having not played since beating Edmonton 4-2 last Saturday?
TSN is reporting that Montreal Canadiens winger Andrei Kostitsyn left practice for the second straight day and is unlikely to play this evening against Edmonton.
It’s a fairly big blow for a team already ravaged by injury. Scott Gomez, Andrei Markov, Ryan White and Chris Campoli are all on IR and with such a depleted lineup, head coach Jacques Martin is forced to go with defenseman Yannick Weber up front tonight. (Weber will reportedly play on the third line with Travis Moen and Lars Eller — you know you’re lacking forward depth when a defenseman becomes your third-line winger.)
Equally troubling for the Habs is that Kostitsyn was carrying the mail offensively as of late, registering six points in his last seven games (he also leads the team in game-winning goals.) Given the lacklustre production from the likes of Erik Cole and PK Subban, the Habs simply can’t afford to lose AK46’s offense.
Even before Sunday, the Montreal Canadiens were in a tough spot when it comes to injuries. Andrei Markov and Chris Campoli were just two examples of valuable players who were on the shelf before the Habs lost Michael Cammalleri and Jaroslav Spacek for what could be weeks.
The Habs dealt with a wide array of injuries to their blueline in 2010-11 (not to mention Cammalleri and Max Pacioretty on offense), but the team managed to make the playoffs anyway. Keith Jones says that it could take a “miracle” for the Canadiens to do it again, although Habs fans might just point to their dynamic duo of Carey Price and P.K. Subban.
This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!