The New Jersey Devils brought a familiar face back into the fold on Tuesday, claiming defenseman Alex Urbom off waivers from Washington.
Urbom, 23, was originally a third round pick of the Devils (73rd overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and debuted for New Jersey during the 2010-11 season.
The Caps acquired Urbom in early October after New Jersey placed him on waivers — with great unease, per GM Lou Lamoriello — and the Swedish rearguard went on to appear in 20 games for Washington, scoring one goal and two points. But with John Erskine returning to full health and Dmitry Orlov playing his way into the defensive rotation, Urbom became the odd man out.
“That’s the nature of the game and it’s very difficult,” head coach Adam Oates told the Washington Post. “It creates difficult decisions and [Urbom] was the odd man out all of a sudden and we had to make decisions accordingly.”
While New Jersey is pleased to get Urbom back, it won’t be utilizing him right away. Because the Devils were the only team to put a claim for Urbom, they are allowed to send him directly to AHL Albany — which they will, according to Lamoriello.
The Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs dipped into their AHL affiliates on Thursday.
Washington recalled defenseman Patrick Wey from Hershey, the club announced. Wey, 22, will replace Tyson Strachan on the active roster, as the 29-year-old veteran is on his way back to the Bears.
Toronto, meanwhile, called up Jerry D’Amigo from the Marlies. D’Amigo, also 22, is set to replace checking center Jerred Smithson on the active roster, as Smithson was placed on waivers yesterday.
Reports suggest that D’Amigo will draw into the lineup tonight when the Leafs host Dallas at the ACC. A two-time medalist with Team USA at the World Juniors — including the gold medal-winning team in 2010 — D’Amigo has eight points in 19 games for the Marlies this year and will likely see time on the penalty kill.
It’s unclear if Wey will play for Washington. The guy he’s replacing, Strachan, did play last game — a 4-1 loss to Carolina — but the Caps have defensemen Alex Urbom and Steve Oleksy available for selection.
Washington will be without its leading d-man scorer tonight against Pittsburgh.
Mike Green, who has missed the last two contests with a lower-body ailment, will be held out of his third straight game on Tuesday when the Caps host the Penguins at Verizon.
“Not ready. Not 100 percent ready,” head coach Adam Oates told the Washington Post. “He could go. [Pittsburgh is] really good team and don’t want to put him in a position where he’s behind the 8-ball a little bit.”
Green, who sits first among Caps defensemen with 11 points and third on the team in assists, has been logging a heavy workload this season. He’s averaging over 24 minutes per game and sits third among all blueliners in blocked shots, with 32.
“Mentally I’m in a good place, when you’re getting better and you can actually get back on the ice and work on your strength,” Green said. “This is my second real day where I’ve actually skated. Yesterday was a good one. Today was even better.
“I don’t think one practice would have been enough. It’s important I strengthen the leg and also my endurance so I’m ready to go.”
With Green out, the Caps will go with the same defensive group that suited up in Sunday’s 4-1 win over St. Louis: Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Tyston Strachan, Nate Schmidt, Alex Urbom and Steve Oleksy.
Related: NHL on NBCSN: Capitals and Penguins rekindle an old divisional battle
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
New Jersey coach Pete DeBoer was very pleased with what he saw from Jaromir Jagr in his Devils debut. (The Star-Ledger)
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was on hand for the Phoenix Coyotes first game under their new ownership group. (NHL.com)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $2,500 Fantasy Hockey league tonight (Friday). It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $500. Starts at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the link.
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk is trying to move past his disappointing season opener. (Edmonton Journal)
Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller wants to have regular meetings with core members of his team. (News & Observer)
The New York Islanders have scored just one goal or have been shutout in seven of their last 11 games against the Devils. The two squads will meet on Friday. (New York Newsday)
Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates isn’t sure what role recently claimed defenseman Alex Urbom will have yet. The 22-year-old will participate in his first practice with the team today. (CSN Washington)
Highlights from Los Angeles’ 3-2 victory over Minnesota:
A pair of veteran presences hit the waiver wire this afternoon.
In Edmonton, the Oilers put tough guy Ben Eager on waivers after he didn’t dress for the club’s season-opening 5-4 loss to Winnipeg on Tuesday night.
While the move is somewhat surprising — he signed a three-year, $3.3 million deal with the Oilers in 2011 — the move is a byproduct of Edmonton suddenly having too much toughness in the lineup with Mike Brown, Steve MacIntyre and Luke Gazdic.
In Florida, the Panthers put veteran netminder Scott Clemmensen on waivers as well.
Clemmensen, 36, suffered a knee injury at the start of training camp and has been shelved since undergoing a procedure to fix the issue. That opened the door for Florida to sign Tim Thomas — he’s subsequently moved into the No. 1 gig — leaving Jacob Markstrom as the backup and Clemmensen looking for work.
In other waiver news, the Devils put 22-year-old defenseman Alex Urbom on the wire. Urbom has 14 games of NHL experience.