Jeff Carter can finally take at least a brief rest from responding to trade rumors by actually playing hockey again. The Columbus Blue Jackets activated him from the injured reserve while placing defenseman Nikita Nikitin on the IR.
Carter missed the last 10 games with a shoulder injury and also sat out 10 other ones earlier this season with a broken foot. In the 30 contests he actually played, Carter scored 10 goals and 17 points. Those figures are disappointing, although his 10 goals place him second on the Blue Jackets behind leader Rick Nash (who has 17).
The oft-critiqued sniper will get a chance to get things back on track/bolster his trade value (depending on how you look at it) starting Friday against the Anaheim Ducks.
Officially speaking, Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow is on the injured reserve because of an upper-body injury. As Mark Stepneski and many others have pointed out, he’s dealing with a litany of ailments, though: a cranky knee (the same one he surgically repaired), an infected elbow and what might be an issue with his back.
That’s the downside to Morrow’s physical style of play, though. The 32-year-old forward isn’t shy about going to the dirty areas of the ice and that takes its toll. After scoring a career-high 33 goals in 2010-11, he only has three tallies in 20 games so far. The Stars likely hope that sitting out at least four games (Morrow missed two already) could help him return to his borderline All-Star form.
The word is that he could be back on Thursday against the Ottawa Senators.
Although the owners who actually churn out the checks will disagree, for the most part, the NHL’s worst contracts are all about term. It’s bad enough – but borderline inevitable – to pay a hockey player too much money. Things get a lot worse when that poor rate will renew itself for multiple seasons as that same player’s skills likely decline.
The Tampa Bay Lightning probably aren’t ecstatic about paying 35-year-old defenseman Mattias Ohlund a whopping $5.5 million in salary in 2011-12, but the long-term salary cap hit of approximately $3.61 million might be even scarier. It takes him through the 2015-16 season, making it one of those “What were they thinking?” contracts. Ohlund’s deal ties him with Steven Stamkos for the second longest running contract in Tampa Bay, behind Vincent Lecavalier’s troubling deal.
Ohlund’s foot speed keeps diminishing to a worrisome point, but now he has bigger concerns. The Lightning placed the Swedish blueliner on the injured reserve Monday because of a knee injury. He underwent an MRI yesterday, but the results haven’t been revealed just yet. During his first two seasons with Tampa Bay, Ohlund played 67 games in 2009-10 and 72 in 10-11. We’ll see how many he can be a part of in 11-12, as this certainly isn’t a promising start.
(H/T to Rotoworld.)