Despite being a 2014 Olympian, Finnish defenseman Sami Vatanen was sent down to the AHL by his NHL club, the Anaheim Ducks, on Tuesday, just before they kicked off their post-Olympic campaign. Vatanen drew the short stick among all the healthy defensemen in Anaheim, thanks in large part from not having to clear waivers to head down.
Vatanen has been good for the Ducks this year, picking up 14 points in 41 games, 3rd among Anaheim blueliners, but that still wasn't enough to send a player like Ben Lovejoy down instead. I would expect to see Vatanen before too long, but he'll have to wait for an injury or something along those lines to happen first.
This makes two defensemen down for Derek Wilton, who goes into the home stretch in 6th place, only 5 points out of 1st. Wilton now shares the projected games basement, with Doug, going into tonight's action with only 28 games expected to be played. Wilton's defense has been average this year, accumulating 90 points through 19 weeks.
The target date for Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos was pushed back to March 6th after his last X-rays didn't give enough reason for team doctors to give him the green light to play this week. This would still put Stamkos in to some amazing recovery times for his broken leg, but the Lightning have to be cautious with their best player.
Stamkos was picked up by Ryan V. in the second Waiver Draft and he currently sits in 22nd place. The pick-up was more cosmetic than competitive, but it would definitely keep him out of the basement, if Stamkos was to return at his regular scoring pace.