Nikita Nikitin

Associated Press

Blue Jackets’ Saad won’t play vs. Flyers after suffering upper-body injury on Friday


The Columbus Blue Jackets will be without one of their top forwards on Saturday, as Brandon Saad will miss the game against the Flyers because of an upper-body injury.

Saad appeared to be hurt after taking an open ice hit from Oilers defenseman Nikita Nikitin on Friday. The 23-year-old stayed in the game initially, but he eventually went into the locker room and didn’t return.

To see how Saad was injured, click here.

All we really know at this point is that Saad didn’t make the trip to Philadelphia. His status is unknown.

The 23-year-old has scored a team-leading 23 goals in 2015-16.

Oilers place Scrivens on waivers


The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.

Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.

It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.

Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.

He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.

Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.

If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.

The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.

The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.

Edmonton places Nikita Nikitin on waivers


The Edmonton Oilers have placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers for the purpose of assignment.

According to the Edmonton Journal, Nikitin looked good early in camp but once the competition got stiffer, his play dropped off.

The 29-year-old is in the final year of his contract.

He is owed $4.5 million in 2015-16, and should the Oilers bury him in the minors, they will only save $950,000 on the salary cap with the rest ($3.55 million) counting as dead money.

The odds of another team taking a gamble on him are slim.

Nikitin had just four goals and 10 points in 42 games last season.

He missed a significant amount of time with back and shoulder injuries last year.

Oilers split camp: Reinhart in NHL group, Nurse in AHL


Some interesting developments in Edmonton on Tuesday.

Like he did during his time in San Jose, head coach Todd McLellan created a clear divide in training camp by comprising one group mostly of NHLers, and the other of players destined for the American League.

The divide has already created a buzz on the Oilers’ blueline.

Griffin Reinhart, the former No. 4 overall pick acquired from the Isles at the draft, was in the NHL group while Darnell Nurse, the seventh pick in ’13 and considered the club’s top d-man prospect, was in the AHL group.

Not that Nurse was bothered by it.

“There’s a lot of guys in that first group who have played in the NHL or played pro hockey for a while,”  he said, per the Edmonton Journal. “I have some things to prove but it doesn’t matter what group you’re in, you’re in training camp and you are battling no matter what.”

The eight d-men in the NHL group were Reinhart, Andrej Sekera, Mark Fayne, Oscar Klefbom, Justin Schultz, Andrew Ference, Eric Gryba and Nikita Nikitin. All of them have extensive pro experience save Reinhart, who appeared in just eight games for the Isles last year (though he did play 59 games for AHL Bridgeport.)

The group doesn’t appear to be that tough to crack.

Despite skating with the AHLers, Nurse should be able to challenge for promotion to the NHLers — if anything, this is probably a motivational tactic, or something to remind the 20-year-old that everything is earned/nothing is given.

McLellan has already said as much. During his opening meeting with players, he explained that this is how camp would go, adding that it “creates a little bit of a competitive environment.”