If there has been one roster trend in the NHL this season it is that teams can not have enough goalies on their roster and/or taxi squad. The Oilers decided to add to their goalie depth chart on Monday by claiming veteran Alex Stalock off waivers from the Wild.
Stalock was placed on waivers on Sunday. He will join the Oilers after he goes through a quarantine process as part of the NHL’s COVID protocols.
Panthers forward Brett Connolly was also waived on Sunday, but went unclaimed.
Stalock is signed through the end of the 2021-22 season at a salary cap hit of $725,000 per season, so it is a relatively low-risk move for the Oilers. Minnesota, meanwhile, gains nearly $500,000 in salary cap space this season by losing him.
Edmonton has been using a goalie duo of Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith so far this season with mixed results. Koskinen has struggled with a .901 save percentage in his 15 appearances, while the Oilers have a losing record with him in the lineup. Smith has been great since making his season debut, winning each of his first six starts with a .938 save percentage. But given his age and the level he has played at the past two seasons they should probably be expecting at least some kind of a regression in his production as he gets more playing time. He might end up having a bounce back season, but it is unlikely he is going to continue to be that good. So some added depth can not hurt.
Stalock has yet to play this season as he was recovering from an offseason upper-body injury. The Wild seem set with Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen on the roster, and Andrew Hammond on the taxi squad.
Stalock is coming off a very strong 2019-20 season that saw him get the bulk of the playing time in Minnesota, posting a .910 save percentage and a 20-11-4 record in 38 regular season appearances. He also started all four of the Wild’s postseason games in the bubble. If nothing else, he should provide some solid depth at a cheap price for the Oilers.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.
Mathew Barzal has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders on an eight-year extension, a move that keeps the franchise’s top forward under contract for the balance of his prime.
The deal is worth $73.2 million with an annual salary cap hit of $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.
Barzal has led the team in scoring, or been tied for the lead, every season since he became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18. He has 349 points in 411 regular-season and playoff games for the defensively stingy Islanders, who qualified for the postseason three consecutive times before an injury- and virus-altered last year.
“We feel recharged,” Barzal said recently. “We feel like everybody had good summers and worked hard, and we got that excitement back.”
Barzal, now 25, is coming off putting up 59 points in 75 games. The offensive star will now be asked to round out his game.
“I’m a fan because Mat has the ability to raise his game and to be a special player,” general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters at the team’s practice facility on Long Island. “And now, with this contract and our faith in him, (it) puts that responsibility on him. We’re trusting that. It’s up to him to respond to that.”
OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.
The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.
Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.
The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.
Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.