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Eastern Conference

Mark Hunter Dismisses Islanders Rumor, Comments On Leafs Departure

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Former Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager Mark Hunter is not far removed from his departure from the Leafs and he already has to swat away rumors of his next move.

One of the rumors has him heading to the New York Islanders, joining former Leafs’ GM Lou Lamoriello, something Hunter addressed.

“Isn’t it quick how people want to (make those connections?)” Hunter said, according to the Toronto Sun’s Terry Koshan.

“There is nothing to that. I have not talked to Lou. Lou has a million things going on right now. He has bigger fish.”

Hunter referred to the Maple Leafs general manager gig, a position he interviewed for that ultimately went to Kyle Dubas, calling it a “job you dream for”.

Despite his disappointment, Hunter says he is not bitter over how things played out in Toronto.

“No, I don’t get bitter,” Hunter said. “People make decisions and Shanny [Toronto team president Brendan Shanahan] had his reasons. (I) feel good about what has happened with the team, where we have gone and where we can go. Sure, it’s disappointing. But we all make decisions and move ahead and don’t look back.”

Hunter will have to wait until June 15th to find a new gig, thanks to a non-compete agreement.

 

Carolina Hurricanes

Hurricanes Activate Goalie Scott Darling

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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.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Seth Jones To Make Season Debut Against Arizona

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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.

 

 

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Eastern Conference

Devils’ Jesper Bratt Out 2-3 Weeks

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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.”

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