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.
BLACK AND BLUE BEHIND THE CREASE
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.
INJURY NOTES (full list) and QUICK HITS
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).