Sunday, December 02, 2018

Morning Player Notes (Dec 2)

A couple of healthy scratches to note from last night, the first coming in Vancouver, where the Dallas Stars were taking on the Canucks and they had opted to sit Valeri Nichushkin for the afternoon game, likely because of his lack of offensive output.  In 21 games played this season, the Russian only has 4 assists.  Certainly, the expectations for Nichushkin were higher after pulling him out of the KHL and handing him a new contract to do so.  It hasn't been a great restart to his NHL career, especially at just under $3 million per season.

And for all of these reasons, Brian has set to part ways with the 23-year old winger, dropping him in the Waiver Draft, but he just couldn't squeeze any last points out of him, if he was up in the press box.  A number of teams did get some parting gift points from their drops already this week, but Nichushkin goes out with a whimper.

The New Jersey Devils hosted the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night and before the game, they made defenseman Will Butcher into one of their healthy scratches.  In the last five games, the 23-year old defender has only 1 assist and in total, he has 1 goal and 8 points in 24 games.  In his rookie season, he was just over half a point-per-game in his scoring rate, but has yet to find that rate this season and the Devils are now sitting in last place in the Eastern Conference.  I don't think anyone is blaming that all on the kid, but his lack of production has hurt their offense.

Benson'st team has stayed afloat this week with 17 points, staying well clear of the basement, but still losing ground with the teams up top.  There was no change on Butcher, so he'll be sticking around into next week, but Benson is hoping that he can find his production from last season soon.

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