Just a handful of games remain in the 2018-19 NHL regular season, and eight of them will be played tonight. All the focus is on Columbus as the Blue Jackets will host their playoff competition in the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens sit two points ahead of the Blue Jackets for the final wild card spot but have played one extra game and do not hold the tiebreaker, meaning tonight is an absolute must-win for the team. Columbus meanwhile can’t fall any further behind after spending so many assets to put themselves in a position of contention this season. As they and the rest of the league prepare for tonight’s action, we’ll keep track of all the minor moves.
- After recalling Victor Olofsson from the AHL yesterday, the Buffalo Sabres have sent Tage Thompson down in his place. Thompson hasn’t had the kind of impact the Sabres hoped for this season, recording just 12 points in 65 games after being acquired as part of the Ryan O’Reilly deal. The 21-year old still has quite a bit of potential, but will have to really take a step forward next year to be considered a core piece.
- Before their game against the New York Rangers last night, the Boston Bruins returned Karson Kuhlman to the minor leagues. Kuhlman has played seven games for the Bruins this season, recording two goals and three points in his first year of professional hockey. Signed out of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, the 23-year old has 30 points in 58 games at the minor league level.
- The Dallas Stars have recalled Landon Bow after Ben Bishop suffered another minor injury, but the veteran goaltender is expected to stay with the team on their current road trip. That means Bow will likely not see any action, though he is expected to back up Anton Khudobin tonight.
- The Buffalo Sabres have recalled Matt Tennyson, despite having ten defensemen on the roster already. Jake McCabe was back at practice today, though both Zach Bogosian and Rasmus Ristolainen remained out. Tennyson has played four games for the Sabres this season, spending most of the time in the AHL instead.
- Jake Dotchin is back up with the Anaheim Ducks, possibly through the end of what has been a difficult season for the big defenseman. Dotchin had his contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning terminated in training camp due to his physical fitness levels, but was able to find a new home with Anaheim. Yet, he has so far suited up in just 20 games for the Ducks, recording one lone point, after he played in more than half of Tampa’s games last season and registered double-digit point. Dotchin will be a restricted free agent this off-season and it will be interesting to see if the Ducks opt to qualify him or not.
- The San Jose Sharks have called Nick DeSimone over from the AHL locker room. The team continues to shuffle through Barracuda defenders and DeSimone is the next in line. The 24-year-old is tied for second in scoring for AHL San Jose and has certainly earned his NHL debut at this point.
- Martin Frk has been reassigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, their parent club, the Detroit Red Wings, announced. Frk has been disappointingly unproductive in the NHL this season, recording five points in 25 games. He’s done much better in the AHL, with 13 points in just ten games, but Detroit was hoping for that contribution to be at the top level. Frk is an RFA this off-season and the Red Wings will have to decide whether or not to bring him back.