The Pittsburgh Penguins are still reeling after their elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs at the hands of the Washington Capitals, and the team faces a big offseason as they hope to recapture the Stanley Cup next year.
Pens’ general manager Jim Rutherford talked about a number of topics as the Penguins approach to offseason, starting off with potential roster changes.
“It’s a little (too) early to tell. It’s obvious that I’m going to keep an open mind to making some changes” Rutherford said, according to NHL.com’s Sam Kasan.
“I will make some changes. I can’t give you a definite answer on who that’s going to be right now and exactly the positions.
“We’re a good team, and we will be a good team going forward. We’ll have a chance to win again. We have the nucleus to do that…We also have the pieces in place that are players that other teams are going to want that we’re going to be able to make those changes. Sometimes you don’t always have those players for cap reasons or for different reasons.
As most teams do, the Penguins will approach this offseason looking to improve and Rutherford says a different team will take the ice next season.
“It’s fair to say that this will be a different looking team by the time we open next season. It doesn’t mean there will be drastic changes or a lot of changes, but there will be changes in the areas that will become necessary…If we can improve at defense or forward and the right deal comes along we’ll do it.”
One change that will be in place is that forward Daniel Sprong will be a regular for the team next season.
“We were very careful with him this year. We develop players in different ways. Certainly he had the ability to come in at certain times and play an offensive role on our team. But he needed to work on his all-around game. He did that.”
Hurricanes Activate Goalie Scott Darling
Carolina Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling has been officially activated from injured reserve Monday and then subsequently assigned to the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers on a conditioning stint, Hurricanes’ general manager Don Waddell announced on Monday.
Darling will suit up on Wendesday for the Checkers as they take on the Utica Comets and it will mark Darling’s first appearance since suffering a lower-body injury during Carolina’s final preseason contest back on September 30th.
Darling is looking to bounce back following a rough 2017-2018 campaign.
Blue Jackets’ Seth Jones To Make Season Debut Against Arizona
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones will make his long-awaited season debut on Tuesday as the Blue Jackets take to the ice to face off with the Arizona Coyotes, Columbus head coach John Tortella announced on Monday.
Jones has been out since a preseason game back on September 25th which saw him suffer an MCL sprain that was initially to sideline him for four-to-six weeks of time.
The return of Jones will be a welcome sight for the Blue Jackets as Jones finished second in team scoring last season and led all Columbus defensemen with 57 points.
Devils’ Jesper Bratt Out 2-3 Weeks
New Jersey Devils forward Jesper Bratt will be out 2-3 weeks with a broken jaw.
Bratt, 20, was injured Thursday when he was hit in the face by a puck that was shot from the point and deflected off the crossbar.
“It was just a freak accident after practice; he was in the corner and there was a shot that went to the net and it hit the crossbar and inadvertently hit him,” Devils head coach John Hynes said (h/t NHL.com). “He has a fracture and no surgery is needed, so that’s good news. He should be able to continue his physical activity over the course of that time and he’ll be back ready to go when that time comes.”
“It stinks because he’s had a great training camp,” Devils forward Travis Zajac said. “He was playing better than how he started last year, but he’ll get a chance to come back even stronger. It’s one of those things as a young guy you just have to take in stride, not let it bother you, and just make sure you’re prepared to contribute when you do come back.”
“I met up with him right away after practice Thursday, and you feel so bad for him,” New Jersey forward Marcus Johansson stated. “This is once-in-a-lifetime thing to play an NHL game in Sweden and having family and friends here. He was playing really well, too, and working hard all summer.
“It’s not a fun situation and he’s not happy right now, but he’s a young kid and he has a lot of hockey ahead of him so you don’t want to risk anything by coming back too soon.”
- Hurricanes Activate Goalie Scott Darling
- Oilers Place Ty Rattie On Injured Reserve
- Blue Jackets’ Seth Jones To Make Season Debut Against Arizona
- Devils’ Jesper Bratt Out 2-3 Weeks
- Flames’ Travis Hamonic Suffers Facial Fracture During Fight
- Panthers’ Derek MacKenzie Retiring at End of Season
- Islanders Name Anders Lee Captain
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