Jim Benning discusses Canucks waiving Sven Baertschi and Nikolay Goldobin, Gaudette making team

Canucks GM Jim Benning met with the media this afternoon after the Canucks placed Sven Baertschi, Nikolay Goldobin and Alex Biega on waivers Monday morning.

Benning explained that the decisions have to do with the evolution of where the Canucks are at as a team. The team has better players now, and they’re going to have to make tough decisions as a result.

Sven Baertschi 

Benning says it was a tough conversation with Baertschi considering the Canucks traded for him and helped him develop. Benning pointed out that Baertschi only played 26 games last season and will get more ice time down in Utica. He also said Baertschi will be back up when the Canucks are hit with injuries.

Benning was asked if Baertschi being waived had to do there not being a fit.

“He wasn’t going to be on the top two power plays,” Benning said. “He doesn’t kill penalties for us. I think as we construct the roster and Travis thinks about the fit and who can kill penalties and play power plays, I think that was part of it.”

“Those other guys give us more flexibility to be we think third or fourth-line players and penalty killers,” Benning added. That’s kind of the conversation we had when discussing Sven vs. Loui or Tim Schaller.”

Benning says Josh Leivo and Brandon Sutter are capable of scoring on the third line with either Jake Virtanen and Loui Eriksson. He said Jake brings speed. He’s hoping for 15-20 goals out of Leivo this season.

Benning did say he talked with several teams over the last few weeks about a possible Baertschi trade, but he wasn’t able to find a fit.

Benning also said salary cap didn’t play a role in the Baertschi decision, stressing that the Canucks wanted to reward the players that deserved to be there.

“It’s about trying to figure out the best fit with the group and different types of players,” Benning said. “Sven is a skilled player and we just felt that the skill set on our team is addressed with some other players. Travis wants a different look .. maybe faster players, players that forecheck harder, penalty killers vs. keeping Sven on the roster.”

Benning said Baertschi looked good alongside Bo Horvat, but Tanner Pearson plays together well with Bo too. Benning further explained that Baertschi’s timing wasn’t 100 percent like it was in the past.

“He was a little bit [hesitant],” Benning said. We’re not expecting him to be a physical player, but as a skilled player, you gotta take hits to make plays and I think that kind of showed up in the preseason.”

Nikolay Goldobin and Alex Biega

Benning sayd Goldobin is a “great kid” and it was a tough conversation. Benning said Goldobin’s training camp was “just average” and gave praise to his offensive skill-set. He says Goldy can fill in for injuries in the top-six and will be a call-up option this season.

Benning didn’t know if Baertschi was going to be claimed off waivers, but he seemed to think there are teams interested in the veteran Biega. The 31-year-old is a serviceable defenseman who has logged over 500 games at the professional level. He could be of use to a team needing a blueliner such as Winnipeg.

Adam Gaudette 

Adam Gaudette appears to have made the team, but was skating as an extra forward at practice today.

“He deserves to be here to start the year,” Benning said. “We’ll see how much, we’ll monitor how much he’s gonna play. If it’s the best for him at some point to send him down. If he’s only playing eight or ten minutes a night and not getting in the lineup, we’re going to do what’s best for his development.”

“Even though he had a real good camp, he’s gonna be a good player for us going forward. An important player for us. We’re going to do what’s best for his development, but he’s going to start up here.”

The Nation Roundup

3 things that will help Oilers make playoffs, Tavares reportedly being named Captain of Leafs; the Canucks playoff chances; Treliving speaks in Calgary; Mark Letestu eats mustard on the bench, fantasy hockey and more in this week’s Nation Roundup brought to you by Sumo Jerky.

In the Roundup, we go around the Nation Network and give you some of the best articles of the last couple weeks. Every once in a while it’s good to know what other teams are doing, or maybe you find an interesting article you wouldn’t have found otherwise.

LEAFS

Leafs reportedly naming Tavares Captain (Thomas Williams)

Should the Leafs burn a year of Sandin’s ELC? (Thomas Williams)

Sandin is exactly what the Leafs need (Ryan Fancey)

Auston Matthews is the best goal scorer in the NHL (Drag like Pull)

CANUCKS

4 things that can’t go wrong if Canucks want to make playoffs (Jackson McDonald)

Should the Canucks be interested in Drouin? (Cam Lewis)

Do the Canucks have a true rival? (Stephan Roget)

JETS

Must see: Letestu eats mustard on the bench (Art Middleton)

Laine signs 2 year deal (Art Middleton)

FLAMES

Takeaways from Brad Treliving’s press conference (Ryan Pike)

Breaking down the last few roster decisions (Ryan Pike)

Flames sign Reider to 1 year $700K deal (Ryan Pike)

OILERS

3 reasons the Oilers will be better (Tyler Yaremchuk)

The Oilers aren’t tanking but the may as well be (Christian Pagnani)

Drouin would be a nice buy low target for Oilers (Cam Lewis)

Hockeyfights.com – Scrap of the week

Fantasy Hockey Season is Here

For all your pre-draft info, line combinations and goalie starts head to Dailyfaceoff.com

2020 Fantasy Hockey Season Preview Washington Capitals

The 2018 NHL champions did their best to avoid a Stanley Cup hangover, far from an easy feat considering the three-month long bender that followed @Alex Ovechkin’s first Stanley Cup victory. The Washington Capitals finished the 2018-19 regular season with 104 points, earning them their fourth consecutive Metropolitan Division title. Matched up against the Carolina Hurricanes in round one, the Capitals quickly jumped out to a 2-0 series lead. Carolina would battle back to win the next two games and even up the series. The teams then traded victories, setting up a dramatic double-overtime victory for the Canes in game 7.

The Capitals followed a disappointing playoff performance with a relatively quiet off-season. With the core of their team in place, the front office elected to focus on adding and retaining quality depth pieces. @Carl Hagelin and @Jakub Vrana were signed to four and two-year extensions, respectively, while free agents @Richard Panik and @Garnet Hathaway were brought in on a pair of four-year deals. The Capitals also tweaked their blue-line, sending veteran defender @Matt Niskanen to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for penalty-kill extraordinaire, @Radko Gudas.


Forwards

The Capitals’ offense is highlighted by one of the deadliest top-sixes in the NHL. @Nicklas Backstrom and @Evgeny Kuznetsov should take turns centering @Alex Ovechkin and @Tom Wilson on the top line. Backstrom looks set to start the season there, with Kuznetsov playing the pivot for Vrana and @T.J. Oshie on line two after he serves his three-game suspension. Panik figures to take over for @Brett Connolly on line three, who left for the Panthers in unrestricted free agency. He fits in nicely alongside Hagelin and @Lars Eller, while Hathaway and @Nic Dowd should be the most consistent members of line four. Their bottom-six is still a little underwhelming, but the Capitals have as much high-end talent as any team in the league.

Alex Ovechkin (LW)

It goes without saying, but you won’t find a more reliable source of goals on draft day. Ovie has claimed the Rocket Richard Trophy eight times in his career, including a remarkable six in the last seven seasons. Over those last seven seasons, Ovechkin is averaging an absurd 49 goals per 82 games played. When you toss in the fact that Ovechkin is as durable as players come, you’re looking at perhaps the highest floor in all of fantasy hockey. He is worthy of a top-three pick in re-draft leagues and is even more valuable in leagues that reward shots on goal.

Evgeny Kuznetsov (C)

Kuznetsov won’t be available to play until October 8 after receiving a three-game suspension for “inappropriate conduct.” The delayed start to his season shouldn’t affect Kuznetsov’s draft stock. He’s still a safe bet to finish in the neighbourhood of 20 goals and 50 assists. He is a great source of power-play production, but his upside is ultimately limited by a lack of goal scoring and Backstrom’s intruding presence.

Nicklas Backstrom (C)

Backstrom receives a sizable boost in value in leagues that reward power-play production. Partnering with Ovechkin has made for some productive seasons on the man advantage for Backstrom. He leads all NHL players in power-play points since the start of the 2013-14 season. Just like Kuznetsov, Backstrom’s upside is capped, but he does offer a very high floor for a No. 2 fantasy centreman.

T.J. Oshie (RW)

Oshie should continue to be a heavily featured part of the Capitals’ offense in 2019-20. He registered 54 points while playing just 69 games last year, but a 17.5 SH% suggests he was fortunate to score 25 times. It is worth noting though that Oshie has always been an above-average shooter with a 13.9 career SH%, and last year’s 10.8 on-ice SH% was well within reason. His spot on the Capitals’ deadly power-play gives Oshie a sturdy floor and potential 30-30 upside.

Jakub Vrana (LW)

Vrana enjoyed somewhat of a breakout season in 2018-19, recording 24 goals and 23 assists across a full 82 games. His ATOI sat at just 14:02, suggesting there could be more upside here if Vrana were ever to see an increase in role. The problem is, as a left winger, Vrana will always be rooted firmly behind Ovechkin on the depth chart, and there’s no room for him on the top power-play unit, either. There is some undeniable talent there, but his current role limits Vrana’s fantasy relevance to deep leagues.

Defensemen

Washington’s blue-line is chalk full of good skaters that excel at getting the puck to their world class teammates on offense. @Michal Kempny should continue to serve as @John Carlson’s partner on the top pair. Kempny and Carlson played over 880 minutes together at 5v5 last sason, registering a 52.18 CF%. After playing 73% of his 5v5 minutes with Niskanen last season, @Dmirti Orlov is in search of a new defensive partner, and Gudas looks to be the guy. As a right-handed, stay at home defenseman, Gudas is a natural fit to play alongside the left-handed, more offensively minded Orlov. Acquired last season at the trade deadline, @Nick Jensen should hold down the fort on the Capitals’ third pair, while @Jonas Siegenthaler projects to start the season as the team’s sixth defenseman.

John Carlson (D)

Similar to Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Backstrom and Oshie, Washington’s dynamic power-play gives Carlson an incredibly high floor. The 10-year-veteran has recorded 58 power-play assists over the last two seasons. He offers elite shot volume for a defenseman and is an above-average shooter from the back-end, marked by a career SH% of 5.8%. You can bet on getting double-digit goals out of Carlson, and his ideal usage makes him a lock for 60 points. There are only two or three defensemen that deserve to go ahead of Carlson on draft day.

Goalies

One of the more reliable goaltenders in the NHL over the last decade, @Braden Holtby is set to enjoy another productive season. He should see somewhere close to the 59 games he played last season, making him a safe bet for 30-35 wins. His SV% has tailed off in recent years, but he continues to post above-average splits and will receive plenty of goal support, making him one of the top five goalies to own in fantasy hockey heading into the 2019-20 season.

@Pheonix Copley is set to reassume his role as Holtby’s backup. The 27-year-old Alaska native made 27 appearances for Washington last season, posting a .905 SV% along with a 16-7-3 record. He doesn’t get enough starts to warrant a full-time roster spot in standard leagues, but he’s worth considering for a spot-start whenever he does get the call.

Projected Scoring Leaders

Goals Assists Points PPG PPP
A. Ovechkin (47) N. Backstrom (56) A. Ovechkin (86) A. Ovechkin (19) N. Backstrom (31)
T. Oshie (26) E. Kuznetsov (54) N. Backstrom (78) T. Oshie (8) A. Ovechkin (29)
E. Kuznetsov (23) J. Carlson (47) E. Kuznetsov (77) N. Backstrom (7) J. Carlson (26)

Capitals in the DFO Top 300

  • 4 — Alex Ovechkin (LW)
  • 33 — Braden Holtby (G)
  • 37 — John Carlson (D)
  • 54 — Evgeny Kuznetsov (C)
  • 60 — Nicklas Backstrom (C)
  • 142 — T.J. Oshie (RW)
  • 218 — Jakub Vrana (LW)

Season Outlook

Metropolitan Division
1 WASHINGTON CAPITALS 45-30-7 97 PTS
2 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 42-30-10 94 PTS
3 CAROLINA HURRICANES 41-30-11 93 PTS
4 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 43-33-6 92 PTS
5 NEW YORK RANGERS 40-32-10 90 PTS
6 NEW JERSEY DEVILS 40-34-8 88 PTS
7 NEW YORK ISLANDERS 39-33-10 88 PTS
8 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 37-35-10 84 PTS

The Capitals have a proven formula for regular season success, and you can expect more of the same from them in 2019-20. While their numbers at 5v5 leave a lot to be desired, elite goaltending and special teams should continue to afford them a lot of wins in the upcoming season. We have the Capitals projected to narrowly edge out the Penguins and Hurricanes for their fifth-straight Metropolitan Division title. Ovechkin and company should be in contention to win another Stanley Cup come April.

The post 2020 Fantasy Hockey Season Preview: Washington Capitals appeared first on Daily Faceoff.

Leafs finalize roster, waive Petan and Agostino

Just 48 hours away from the first day of the regular season, the Toronto Maple Leafs have cemented their roster to begin the season.

In this final move, four players have been placed on waivers for assignment to the AHL. Nic Petan, Kevin Gravel, Kenny Agostino, and Garrett Wilson are the four skaters that will have an opportunity to be claimed by another team.

If they go unclaimed, then they will head to the Marlies to start their 2019-20 regular season there.

Other roster-forming moves before the puck drops against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 2 is forward Egor Korshkov being assigned to the Marlies, not having to go through waivers. Interesting to note that Matt Read has also signed a one-year AHL contract with the Marlies after impressing on his PTO — stacking the forward depth on the 2018 Calder Cup champions even more.

It wouldn’t be surprising if a team takes a flyer on a forward like Agostino and Petan, after they performed well and produced some beneficial underlying metrics in their short NHL stints in previous seasons.

While Gravel and Wilson weren’t destined to make this roster from the beginning, but signed as free agents in the summer as just pure depth and back-up options for key positions for the Leafs this upcoming season.

With these moves, it means that Dymtro Timashov and Nick Shore take up the last two forward spots, while Timothy Liljegren and Justin Holl are the extra defenceman. Considering Liljegren did not need to go through waivers to be assigned to the Marlies, it might mean that another move is shortly coming — or not.

JN GameDay Jets To Get Preseason Wild One Last Time 1pm CST, TSN3, TSN1290

We’re finally at the end of preseason hockey and even with a less than ideal record of 2-3-1 (remember kids, records in preseason don’t actually mean that much) Jets fans are feeling pretty good about things having seen the team sign both Patrik Laine to a bridge deal and Kyle Connor to a long term contract over the last 48 hours.

That’s kind of distracted us all from the sub-par preseason results that have included two games where a lead was carried into the third period, only to see it disappear and end up in a loss. Again, yes it’s only preseason hockey and the full roster isn’t set, but given the issues the Jets had with that last season, it’s not exactly encouraging.

Speaking of full roster, the Jets go to Minny today not quite having the full roster thanks to 29 and 81 needing to get back to Winnipeg and such, but it’s pretty darn close as Paul Maurice said it would be a few days ago.

Here is your Jets lineup for today:

Josh Morrissey is back in the lineup after that third period injury scare against Calgary on Tuesday night. For better or worse, that’s likely your opening night defense for the Jets. Ville Heinola of course has been the talk of camp and this sure feels like prep work for New York than it does one final game before a trip to the AHL or Europe. Tucker Poolman as mentioned in the takeaways from Thursday’s game has also likely earned his way into the lineup.

Can you imagine this defense with Dustin Byfuglien in it over Anthony Bitetto? We’d be on to something then…

At forward, Joona Luoto and David Gustafsson will get another game in, but it sure feels like Paul Maurice has his mind set on keeping Gabriel Bourque and Mark Letestu in the lineup over them which is a bit of a shame as neither Luoto or Gustafsson have done anything to play themselves out of a roster spot outside of not be veteran-y enough like BORK and Mustard are.

We’ll likely get one more run of Nik Ehlers with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler. After all, there is no way we’ll have gone through all this BS with Laine only to see him back on a line with Bryan Little and Mason Appleton, right?

Right?

On the Minnesota Wild end of things, we have this…

As always, follow us on Twitter and once lines are formed and tweeted out, we’ll pass those along.

As far as three things we all should be looking for today?

1 – Get a lead, hold on to it

As we’ve well established, preseason records don’t really amount to anything, but closing out a win would sure be nice. Even nicer still would be to see this near complete NHL club get a lead after 40 minutes of play and then hold onto it through the final 20 if for no other reason that to just establish that as a habit as opposed to the other thing they’ve been doing with the whole giving up goals and losing leads bit.

2 – Goalie grind

Looks like we’ll get a couple of periods of Connor Hellebuyck starting and then maybe a period of Laurent Brossoit in relief. Chances are Hellebuyck plays in New York on opening night with Brossoit in Jersey the following night, so it’ll be good to get both some action.

For Brossoit, he’s had a strong preseason compared to Hellebuyck who has let in a total of nine goals in both games he’s played. Again, we hope for a slightly better Hellebuyck sighting.

3 – Stay healthy

We’ve seen Mathieu Perreault dinged up, Nikolaj Ehlers has taken a few bumps already, Morrissey missed the third on Thursday. The first two things I just covered are important, but none more so than staying healthy and if that means going through the motions, letting a check go by or giving up on a play in the corners to stay on the safe side of things, I think we’d all rather see that than see a player miss regular season time with an injury suffered in the preseason.

Notes and quotes from Saturdays win over Edmonton

The last meaningless hockey game of 2019 has been played. The Calgary Flames triumphed over the Edmonton Oilers by a 3-2 score on Saturday evening in their final pre-season contest.

Here’s what was seen and heard at the ‘Dome following that gripping 60 minutes of ice hockey.

The ex-Oilers all score (except Cam Talbot)

It was a night to remember for the former Oilers on the Flames roster. Tobias Rieder scored twice. Milan Lucic scored once. Cam Talbot didn’t get into the game, but he likely provided the group with moral support.

Asked if Talbot had lobbied to get into the game after 40 minutes, Lucic chuckled.

“It would’ve been great to see if Tabs could’ve gotten in there, but it was just one of those things that it happened tonight,” said Lucic of the theme of the evening. “I think mainly for both of us, it was a good feeling to get the back of the net, to get that feeling before the regular season starts here. Got to do what we can to carry it over and build off that feeling.”

First Rieder goal in 366 days

According to NHL.com, the last time that Rieder scored a goal was in last year’s pre-season – Sept. 27, 2018. After 366 days without lighting the lamp against an NHL opponent, Rieder did it twice.

After the game, head coach Bill Peters praised the work from Rieder (and Lucic) in the game.

“With Toby, obviously the quality of the chances that he’s been generating here throughout the preseason have been high,” said Peters. “And again tonight it was a real good decision to shoot the puck, and then he’s going to the net. That’s kind of how he plays, so it was good to see. And then Looch is net front on the power play, so real good execution there. Real good faceoff win, and then Brodes does a good job putting in the wheelhouse for Andy, and Looch is where he needs to be. So, yeah, some good signs.”

Big Save Dave doing Big Save Dave things

We hope you’re sitting down while you’re reading this, but Flames top netminder David Rittich was pretty solid in net for yet another outing. He was the busiest he’s been in a pre-season game, facing 28 shots – many of them strong scoring chances.

Rittich was given the full 60 minutes in his final tune-up game, making 26 saves in the victory. The two goals he gave up were both in-close redirections, so it’s not like he was leaky.

Center depth

With Derek Ryan out with an illness and Mikael Backlund absent in the back half of the game for precautionary reasons, the Flames relied upon Sam Bennett and Elias Lindholm up the middle. Post-game, Peters praised their play and noted that between the four regular pivots and Bennett and Lindholm, the Flames have six players they feel comfortable with playing up the middle.

Is Nikita Tryamkin Coming Back And If So, When

GM Jim Benning used the 2019 offseason to give the blueline of the Vancouver Canucks a makeover, with the addition of Tyler Myers, Jordie Benn, and Oscar Fantenberg and the addition by subtraction of Derrick Pouliot—to say nothing of the prospect of a full season from Quinn Hughes.

Despite the renovation, some fans are still waiting with bated breath for the arrival—or, more accurately, the return—of one more defenseman. We’re talking, of course, about Nikita Tryamkin.

The hulking blueliner’s contract with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg expires at the conclusion of this KHL campaign, meaning that Tryamkin could return to the Canucks—who retain his RFA rights—for the 2020/21 season. He could—in theory—even return much earlier than that.

But in order to answer the quandary posed by the headline, we’ll have to wait on some answers to a handful of other vital questions.

 

Does Nikita Tryamkin Want To Come Back?

Nikita Tryamkin’s exact reasons for leaving the Vancouver Canucks in the first place will likely never be known—he’s mainly cited dissatisfaction with coach Willie Desjardins’ deployment, but Desjardins had already been fired by the time Tryamkin returned to the KHL.

Beyond that, there was the whole “dope city” thing.

Following his departure, Tryamkin has been cagey about his 2020 intentions—as this author detailed in an article last year.

In the time since, Tryamkin’s agent has made it as clear as possible that his client is leaning toward rejoining the Canucks organization—consistently dropping hints to the Vancouver media in a somewhat transparent attempt to keep the fanbase’s interest in Tryamkin alive.

Tryamkin has been his trademark silent self on the subject of late—but his presence on social media speaks loudly. He uses his Instagram account to interact with the official Canucks account on a regular basis—often logging on to watch livestreams of practices and other events. He’s been known to react favourably to fans’ questions about a Vancouver comeback—though almost exclusively in emoji.

His Instagram profile picture now features him in a Canucks’ jersey.

There seems to be every indication that Tryamkin himself wants to return to Vancouver following the expiry of his deal with Avtomobilist—but is the feeling mutual?

Do The Canucks Want Nikita Tryamkin To Come Back?

As we’ve covered on CanucksArmy before, Nikita Tryamkin’s KHL homecoming hasn’t been everything he hoped it would.

His initial season back with Yekaterinburg was fine enough—25 points in 51 games while serving as an alternate captain—but Tryamkin failed to receive much consideration for the Russian Olympic entry and went pointless in six playoff games as Avtomobilist flamed out early.

Things would only go downhill from there. Tryamkin struggled throughout the 2018/19 season—suffering a handful of healthy scratches and being stripped of his captaincy at one point. Scouting reports on his play did improve as the season wore on, and Avtomobilist lasted a little longer in the playoffs this time around—with Tryamkin himself putting up two assists in nine games.

Now, in 2019/20, the situation looks like it’s at its statistical worst—but looks can be deceiving. Tryamkin has just two assists and six penalty minutes in 12 games—though his ice-time has rebounded from the previous year and his former level of defensive responsibility seems to be returning.

Moreover, Tryamkin has played an important role on a team that has a record of 8-4-1 and are on pace to outdo their 2018/19 performance—though half of their wins have come in overtime.

In summarizing his KHL exodus, it’s safe to say that the now 25-year-old Tryamkin didn’t enjoy the career-redefining renaissance of a Mark Giordano—but he does represent a slightly more polished version of the defenseman who left Vancouver in 2017, and that still represents significant value for the Canucks organization.

When Jim Benning last spoke on the subject this summer, it sure sounded like the interest was mutual.

As it stands now, the Canucks don’t have much room for Tryamkin on the right side of their depth chart, where Tryamkin typically plays, with Troy Stecher, Tyler Myers, and Chris Tanev—but that could change soon.

If the Canucks find themselves on the outside of the playoffs looking in, they will likely deal Chris Tanev at the Trade Deadline—opening up a spot for Tryamkin. If they’re in the hunt for the playoffs come February 2020, Tanev probably stays—but it’s hard to imagine him being offered a contract of any significant length thereafter.

The chances of Tryamkin unseating someone on his natural left side is significantly more remote, with Alex Edler, Jordie Benn, and Quinn Hughes are signed for the next two years at least and Olli Juolevi on the way.

Tryamkin makes for a logical successor to the spot that Tanev will eventually vacate—or, at the very least, a more-than-adequate stopgap between Tanev and Jett Woo.

It’s thus safe to say that Nikita Tryamkin wants to return to the Vancouver Canucks and that the Canucks want him back—so how soon can they make that happen?

How Soon Can He Return?

Technically speaking, Nikita Tryamkin’s KHL contract expires on April 30, 2020.

In reality, however, he can sign with the Vancouver Canucks as soon as Yekaterinburg Avtomobilist is eliminated from the KHL playoffs—and that could happen while the Canucks still have regular season games on their schedule.

Avtomobilist plays their final regular season game on February 27 against Ak Bars Kazan, and if they don’t make the playoffs at all Tryamkin would be eligible to return then—but Avtomobilist will almost certainly make it to at least the first round.

Beyond that, it’s a guessing game as to when Tryamkin’s KHL season will end. The first round typically ends in early March, the second round by March 22, and the third by early April—the same time the NHL regular season ends.

If Tryamkin’s team makes it all the way to the Gargarin Cup Finals, his contract won’t expire until well into the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs—too late to make a late-season comeback.

What all that means is that Tryamkin could return as early as the final month of the Canucks’ regular season—but that will require Yekaterinburg to once again lose in one of the first two rounds of the KHL playoffs. If not, he won’t be able to return until the beginning of the 2020/21 season.

Does He Have To Pass Through Waivers?

The Vancouver Canucks retain Nikita Tryamkin’s RFA rights and have him on their Reserve List—which means that they can sign him and add him to their roster at any point, regardless of the deadlines that govern other signings from European leagues. He would not have to pass through waivers and could theoretically start suiting up for the Canucks immediately after signing his new contract—following a lengthy flight across several time zones, of course.

It’s still a waiting game for fans eager to see Tryamkin in Canuck colours once again—but at least the game finally has an endpoint in sight.

Rasmussen, Seider assigned to Grand Rapids as Red Wings inch closer to final roster

After a 5-0 blowout loss in the final preseason game of 2019, it was time for the Red Wings brass to make some final decisions on the final roster.

Yesterday, several players were placed on the waivers, including Joe Hicketts and Calvin Pickard. They all cleared and have been assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Today, the Red Wings announced what looks like one of their final preseason decisions before their season opener next Saturday, sending Moritz Seider and Michael Rasmussen to the AHL to debut their season with the Griffins.

Seider and Rasmussen will join Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno on a Grand Rapids team that is stacked with talent. Seider was always a long shot to make the Red Wings roster, but the fact that he’ll be playing in the AHL instead of the German league is a testament to how much closer he is to the NHL than we all originally thought.

As for Rasmussen, he really wasn’t ready for the NHL last year, but because of the silly CHL transfer rule, the Wings didn’t have much of a choice. He’s a big body, standing 6’6″ tall, and a natural center, but he often looked lost during NHL game play. Starting in the AHL will allow him to play his natural position, build some confidence, and grow into his big frame. I actually really like this decision.

With all this dust settling, Dennis Cholowski is left standing once again on the opening night roster. Cholowski had a very strong preseason, cementing himself on the middle pair and earning a spot on the power play.

Having Cholowski on the ice feeding pucks to Anthony Mantha with the man advantage will be huge for the Red Wings. He’ll likely quarterback the second power play unit while Filip Hronek anchors down the first.

Other players who have not yet been sent down are Jacob De La Rose, Adam Erne, Taro Hirose, and Christoffer Ehn.

The Red Wings start their season on Saturday, October 5th against the Nashville Predators.


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