On the second to last night of the NHL preseason, we saw a few key returns to some NHL line-ups, just before the regular season starts and hockey pool teams really begin to get anxious.
In Carolina, the Alex Semin watch has ended, as he was able to play against the Sabres on Friday night and it didn't take long for him to get on the board, with an assist in the 1st period. Dale B. can now breathe a sigh of relief.
For the New York Rangers, defenseman Dan Girardi got some preseason action in against the Chicago Blackhawks. Girardi is one of the key cogs to the machine in the Big Apple and the Rangers will need him healthy, as will Ryan in the pool.
Finally, the Toronto Maple Leafs got their first look at defenseman Stephane Robidas, who was finally able to make his preseason debut against the Red Wings, coming back from a broken leg that he suffered late last season. Grant K. had faith that he would be ready and his faith has been rewarded.
The reports of a Sam Bennett injury last weekend for the Calgary Flames were pushed to the side, when Bennett dressed later on in this week, but it sounds like the injury has surfaced again and Bennett will not be playing in Saturday night's preseason finale against the Winnipeg Jets. Bennett reportedly suffered the injury against the Canucks a week ago Friday, but he still managed a bit more preseason time, playing two out of the three games, mid-week. There is no word on the severity of his injury yet, but the Flames do appear to be resting him.
The rumour is out there that Wyllie is very anxious on Bennett, unsure of whether or not he'll be sent back to junior or not. This may count as an injury that could be used in the preseason Waiver Draft, but he is probably waiting out to see what the decision is.
It is somewhat surprising that it has taken this long for one of the players taken in the draft to be cut from their NHL roster, but it waited until Saturday before it happened. Teuvo Teravainen of the Blackhawks was sent down to the AHL on Saturday, as the Blackhawks have decided to go with a bit more depth on their blueline to start the season. The silver lining here is that this is only to the AHL and not to a junior team, so there are recalls still to be had and Teravainen would be considered an early one.
Teravainen was Clayton's 12th round pick in the draft, going after this highly-touted rookie. Since Clayton went all-in on his goalies and defense early on, he was going to need some late-round home runs from his forwards, including the Finn, but it's still too early to call him a bust.
Minor league demotions are not eligible for the preseason Waivers.
An updated list of injuries can be found here.