Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sheet Player News (Jan. 22)

On Friday night, the Florida Panthers welcomed Scottie Upshall back into their line-up after missing a significant amount of time with an abdomen injury, one that required surgery. According to some of the reports, Upshall played for over 13 minutes on Friday, which was great news. On Saturday night in Winnipeg, the team wasn't going to risk further injury to their scoring winger, sitting him for the second half of a back-to-back situation.  The Box 24 forward has been restricted to 16 games this season, scoring 1 goal and 2 assists, but it may be worth subscribing to the notion that he will be the most rested player for the Panthers and could improve those numbers significantly.

Also coming back from injury for the Panthers this weekend, Box 23 forward Sean Bergenheim, but he played in both games and wasn't going to get much of a mention.  Bergenheim returned after missing 12 games with an upper-body injury.

It has been an awful season for Minnesota Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky, who has seen his stock within his own team drop significantly, thanks in large part to only having 11 assists in 34 games for the club this year. On Saturday night, Zidlicky became a healthy scratch for the team, as they took on the Dallas Stars. Zidlicky has been known as a good puck-moving defenseman and if he has really fallen out of favour, it wouldn't surprise me if the Wild tried to move him before the deadline, hoping there is some residual memory of what Zidlicky was once known for.

The Devils are getting a little healthier and they started making some moves for their roster, which has now forced out young forward Mattias Tedenby, who has struggled this year offensively. On Saturday, the Devils sent Tedenby down to the AHL, shortly after their afternoon tilt with the Flyers. In 43 games, the Box 22 foward only has 1 goal and 5 assists and had been relegated to some bottom six roles this year. With the acquisition of Alex Ponikarovsky, Tedenby was finally free to get some better ice-time in the AHL.

The Ottawa Senators had some injury question marks and a couple extra bodies up from the minors, but when the dust had settled down, Box 20 forward Bobby Butler was a healthy scratch for the Senators for their afternoon tilt against the Anaheim Ducks. Butler has been somewhat underwhelming for the Senators this season, only scoring 5 goals and 4 assists in 38 games for the club and a game in the press box might be what the doctor ordered to get his production back.  With the loss in Anaheim, I could definitely see Butler dressing for the team right away, when the team plays in Los Angeles on Monday.

It has been an ugly year for Lightning forward Ryan Malone, who suffered another injury on Saturday night, again to the upper-body region.  Malone has been in and out of the Lightning line-up a lot this season, mostly for short stretches, forcing him to miss six games this year.  In 41 games, Malone has 10 goals and 17 assists and is going to be a popular player when the second waiver draft hits in the draft pool, but with the number of times he has seen the blog site for minor knocks, it may not be worth your time.  If there is any more significant news on Malone's injury, it will be posted here, but we'll just consider him day-to-day if he starts missing games.

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Derek Meech had a rough start to his season, suffering a serious lower-body injury in the first couple of games of the season and now, after 45 games on the shelf, the Jets began the process for him to return by activating him off of the Injured Reserve and then assigning him down to the AHL for some ice with the St. John Ice Caps.  I don't think Meech was really going to be a real force in the selection sheet pool, but I suppose we'll never know for sure, thanks to the injury.  Meech had to clear waivers this weekend, so this won't be a conditioning assignment to the minors, which begs the question, "will we see Meech at all for the rest of the year?"

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