Another busy week of NHL action and plenty of injuries and returns to report accordingly. While injuries are affecting practically every team in the NHL now, this update focuses on the Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Calgary Flames, along with a few other franchises.
On Tuesday, the Blue Jackets activated its newest acquisition – Patrik Laine – in time for his highly anticipated debut that evening. He’s already scored from his typical spot on the power play. Also on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Kings also welcomed back 27-year-old winger Martin Frk.
On Thursday, the Nashville Predators activated Calle Järnkrok from the injured reserve. That evening he scored a big goal during a wild comeback and eventual 6-5 shootout win for the Predators.
On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets each activated a 26-year-old back onto the roster. The Penguins welcomed defenseman Michael Matheson from the IR while the Jets activated Duluth native Dominic Toninato from the LTIR.
Sunday was a big day for the Philadelphia Flyers and Edmonton Oilers. Philadelphia activated Sean Couturier from the IR after he had been sidelined with fractured ribs. He jumped back in with ease, scoring a goal and adding two assists en route to a 7-4 win over the Washington Capitals Sunday morning.
The Oilers activated 38-year-old goaltender Mike Smith from the LTIR on Sunday. This is a welcome addition for Oiler fans after Saturday night’s 6-4 loss at the hand of the Calgary Flames. Unfortunately, the team is still without defenseman Ethan Bear, who is likely to miss all of Edmonton’s games this week.
Late Sunday evening, the St. Louis Blues swapped a player from the IR to the IR by activating Robert Bortuzzo and adding Robert Thomas. Thomas broke his thumb Saturday night and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks as a result.
Injured Reserve Additions
The Boston Bruins added forward Jake Debrusk to the IR on Monday. The 24-year-old has been dealing with a nagging lower body injury but is expected to return this Wednesday versus the New York Rangers.
Several high-quality defensemen were added to the IR this week. The Colorado Avalanche added Devon Toews (foot), while the Blue Jackets added Zach Werenski (lower body). Columbus also placed Elvis Merzlikins to the IR after he suffered an upper body injury at practice earlier in the week. The loss of both players takes a sizable bite out of the sturdy defensive core in Ohio.
Other IR additions: Matthew Roy – Los Angeles Kings, Tyler Bertuzzi – Detroit Red Wings, and Filip Chytil – New York Rangers.
Fortunatey, the LTIR list is not that lengthy this week. Last Monday, Pittsburgh placed defenseman Brian Doumilin on the long-term injury reserve with a lower body injury. That same day, the Colorado Avalanche added goaltender Pavel Francouz to the LTIR (from the regular IR) with a lower body injury. That is not good news for hockey fans in Denver.
The Calgary Flames placed forward Derek Ryan on the LTIR with a fractured finger that will have him out until at least mid-March.
Lastly, the Toronto Maple Leafs have seemingly lost a second veteran offseason addition, Wayne Simmonds. He remains on the active roster but is supposed to be out for approximately six weeks with a wrist injury.
The same goes for Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon who remains on the active roster but is battling a lower body injury. He is listed as week-to-week at this point. Watch for both players to be added to either injured list at some point this week.
Enjoy the upcoming week ahead!
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