Friday, February 26, 2016

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 26)

The early reports on an upper-body injury to Jack Johnson are not positive at all, as the Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman suffered the injury in the 2nd period of their game against the Devils.  There are no concrete details on the injury thus far, but there is some chatter out there that he could be out indefinitely, but there is no confirmation from the team yet.  We'll await further word on this one.

There is a little bit of concern up at the top of the standings with this injury, as Jeremy, who has been running a pretty healthy game all year long, suffers a potential long-term injury with only a 3-point lead after Thursday's action.  Johnson hasn't been a big piece of the puzzle thus far, but anything helps.

It's trade deadline season, which means assets need to be protected.  There is a full expectation that forward Teddy Purcell and defenseman Justin Schultz are going to be dealt before Monday and to ensure that the receiving team gets healthy bodies, both were held out as healthy scratches for the game against the Kings.  The Oilers have announced that they are going to be sellers and they've identified these two as key pieces to move, so the story writes itself.

For Mike and Stacey C., their players will likely have new homes when it is all said and done, but their improvement of standing won't help their pool teams enough to make a huge impact.  Their teams are 22nd and 20th, respectively, heading into Friday's action.

An upper-body injury was keeping Zach Parise out of Minnesota's game against the Flyers on Thursday night and it is expected that it will keep him out of Friday's game in Washington as well, but the team's management has suggested that the injury isn't major and he should be back before too long.  He's considered to be day-to-day with the upper-body injury, something he suffered on Tuesday night.  No other details are available, so we'll go with that.

Benson's team is working really hard to get to the bottom of the standings in these last few weeks, as his injury-ravaged team is looking for another Basement Dweller nod, as his and Wes' team are fighting hard for it.

St. Louis forward Jori Lehtera took a puck up in the face in the 1st period, forcing him from the game against the New York Rangers and he wasn't able to return.  There was no update on the injury after the game, nor has there been much this morning.  We're left to assume he's day-to-day for right now.

Dale C.'s St. Louis players are both hurt now, which isn't going to help his cause any and they were big portions of his scoring this season.  His team has been hovering around the halfway mark in the standings for the last month or so, but there are fears his team will drop below the halfway mark.

The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to offer Andrei Vasilevskiy some playing time down in the minors, making sure he is staying fresh for when they might need him in the schedule, as Ben Bishop continues to shoulder the load.  Vasilevskiy has been assigned back to the AHL again for the weekend, as the Syracuse Crunch have a beneficial schedule for Vasilevskiy.  His demotion should be short-term again.

This certainly doesn't mean missed starts for Mike, but the value in those starts have definitely diminished at the bottom of the standings.

Finally, the Vancouver Canucks have the option of possibly moving Radim Vrbata at the trade deadline, as the future UFA has some value on the market, but he may not have that value until his upper-body injury is sorted out.  Vrbata was hurt on the weekend and was not able to play on Thursday night against the Senators, but he is currently listed as out day-to-day at the moment.  No other word on his condition at the moment.

John P. could use a move for Vrbata, as his offense has been stagnant in Vancouver this season and his team could really use a boost, if he is to improve his standing from 3rd place to a better money place.  His team is 25 points out of 2nd and time is running out.

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