James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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A brand new coat

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


The latest rumor is that the Colorado Avalanche are fed up with contract negotiations regarding Ryan O’Reilly and are exploring possible trades. The word is that the team wants a top prospect and roster player for the two-way forward.

He’s a solid-to-strong player in reality, but considering the possibility that he might have overachieved a bit points-wise last season, I wouldn’t mess with my roster too much to make room for a guy whose return date is murky.


Before we jump into the generalized injury/quick hits section, a few bumps and bruises in net are noteworthy enough to warrant an earlier mention.

First things first, it sounds like James Reimer’s MCL sprain will at least be a short-term concern. He’s out a week-plus … In tougher big-picture news, Josh Harding had to back out of a start on Tuesday because of issues related to MS. Hopefully he’s healthy big-picture wise, even if there might be athletic challenges … Speaking of goalies out about a week, it sounds like Jaroslav Halak is in that boat again … Another knee injury: Miikka Kiprusoff’s own sprain could sideline him for two weeks and maybe even more.


Dustin Byfuglien finally made his return from a lower-body injury on Tuesday, allowing owners of the category-stuffing defenseman to utter a sigh of relief. The burly blueliner failed to score a point, only had one SOG and didn't even get any PIMs. Still, he logged 24:24 of ice time against the Philadelphia Flyers. That's a pretty good sign, overall.


Look, I’m still a little reluctant to invest too heavily in Jiri Tlusty. Don’t drop a guy you really like. But if you’re the rotating, using your weekly add/drops with aplomb type, why not take advantage of his plumb gig? … Tough news for the Tampa Bay Lightning: Ryan Malone’s lower-body issue could sideline him for three to four weeks. I like his PIM/lower-level power forward potential, but I think he’s too marginal to soak up your IR spot … I didn’t include him in the earlier goalie section, because c’mon, but Al Montoya is day-to-day with the usual mystery ailment … While other goalies are dropping like flies, Craig Anderson put up a 42-save shutout. Impressive. Pekka Rinne was also impressive, shutting down the scuttling San Jose Sharks … I’ve been waiting for a Victor Hedman breakthrough for some time. Maybe this year could be it? … It sounds like Kris Letang is progressing nicely, though not necessarily ready to return just yet … Matt Carkner is on the IR, so go elsewhere for your PIM needs for the time being … Jared Spurgeon is day-to-day with a foot injury of some kind. Pierre-Marc Bouchard was in street clothes because he’s been terrible, not injured, for once though … Alex Ovechkin actually kinda played like Ovechkin last night … Erik Johnson is day-to-day with an upper-body injury … Jakub Voracek (“baby Jagr”) apparently had a great night on Tuesday. But big Jagr? Jaromir Jagr hit goal No. 669, putting him alone at No. 10 all-time. Teemu Selanne was halted at 667, good for 12 right now … You know who never gets his due? Andrew Ladd. He’s a nice, rugged forward who scored 28 and 29 goals the last two seasons and is respectable in the peripheral areas, too … Rick Nash collected one of the best assists you’ll ever see last night. He’s gonna be OK … Kari Lehtonen might be the sneakiest elite goalie in the NHL (unless you’re already prepared to name Anderson as an elite).

James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.
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