Reports from Monday morning/afternoon are saying that the Los Angeles Kings have placed forward Mike Richards on waivers, hoping to find a suitor that would take him off their hands for nothing. Richards, who has 5 goals and 15 points in 47 games for the Kings, ranking 312th overall in pool scoring, has been demoted within the lineup a few times this year and now the Kings are trying to off-load his salary cap hit, which is $5.75 million for five more years after this.
If Richards goes unclaimed, he can be sent down to the AHL, but with the new rules in place with the CBA, the Kings will not save much cap space, only $975,000.
At worst, Troy will only have this week and next to worry about Richards on his pool team, as the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft goes next week and I have projected a parting of ways between player and pool team in the opening round. Troy sits in 8th, 21 points out of the money and could use a big boost from a Waiver Draft pick-up for the final nine weeks of the season.
The Red Wings made it back to practice on Monday, but there was no sign of either goalie Jimmy Howard, defenseman Jakub Kindl or forward Johan Franzen, suggesting that they won't be ready to go this week, as they open up the unofficial second half against the Panthers on Tuesday night. Howard is out with a groin injury, Kindl is out with an elbow injury, while Franzen is out with an upper-body injury. On the plus side, goalie Jonas Gustavsson was on the ice, as he rehabs from a shoulder injury, but there was no word on whether or not he'll be ready to go any time soon.
All four are on the IR, as we speak, taking games away from Dale B., Dale C., Grant S. and Tony, respectively.
Doesn't sound like PA Parenteau is anywhere near ready to return from his concussion, as his eligibility started today from the Injured Reserve, but he wasn't on the ice for practice, confirming the earlier suggestions.
Allan may not get off to a screaming fast start after the break, with a couple of players on the IR to start and it is somewhat unclear about when they'll be ready to go. Both players may get some real consideration for next week's Waiver Draft.
The Buffalo Sabres called up goalie Matt Hackett on Monday, to take the place of Michal Neuvirth, who is expected to miss some time with a lower-body injury, which he suffered over the break in workouts. Neuvirth has been getting some time in the Sabres crease, but by no means number one minutes, but he has only picked up 3 wins this season, which is a severe disappointment. Neuvirth is on the shelf on a day-to-day basis for the time being, no update has come down yet for a timetable.
More bad luck for Wyllie, who wasn't really getting any point production from Neuvirth this year anyways, but he'll start the week in 21st place, only 1 point up on 23rd place, mired in that basement race for the Olli bobblehead.
With three goalies in tow, the Minnesota Wild have opted to send Darcy Kuemper down to Iowa of the AHL for a conditioning stint, even though he did get to see some game action before the All-Star break. Kuemper had returned from injury and made it into the lineup on Tuesday last week against the Red Wings, came on in relief of Devan Dubnyk in a loss, but he was still eligible for the conditioning stint. He'll have a couple of weeks to work on getting healthy again and then the Wild will have some decisions to make.
This does take away Kuemper's projected games from Stacey M.'s totals this week and possibly next week as well. Stacey will start the week in 9th place, with 39 projected games to be played. It isn't the biggest total in the pool, but it should still remain reasonable.
Everything looks to be clear for Mikael Granlund to make his return to the Minnesota Wild lineup on Tuesday night, away to Edmonton, as he was taking part in a full practice on Monday and the word was released that he would be good to go. Granlund has been out since the end of December with an upper-body injury, missing out on about four weeks of action.
Good news for Stuart, as Granlund's projected games will return to his totals and now the Finn can work his way back into being a good pool player and not a Waiver Draft drop candidate next week.
The word is good for Toronto forward Leo Komarov, who is now expected to play on Wednesday in New Jersey, coming off of another few days on the shelf with a shoulder injury. Komarov has been spending a lot of time on the shelf in this second segment, missing time to a concussion earlier and now this shoulder problem. All indications are that he is going to get the green light to go Wednesday, calling him probable.
Grant K. has not seen much of Komarov since picking him in Week Nine, collecting only six games, a goal and an assist in that time. If the Leafs are going to make a push, they'll need his help.
More good news for the Leafs on Monday, as Joffrey Lupul has seen his status upgraded to day-to-day, dealing with his lower-body injury. Of course, he won't be activated from the IR until he is cleared to go, but it does sound like that could be later on this week, if there are no setbacks to be had.
Brenda & Seward have had one of the hottest teams in the pool in the second segment and they haven't even had Lupul for the last four weeks, so his return could mean some big things for the third segment, which starts in a couple weeks time.
An updated list of injuries can be found here.