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Eastern Conference

Rangers’ Kevin Shattenkirk’s Transition “A Work In Progress”

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Its’ been a rough season for New York Rangers’ defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who has been struggling to find his stride with the Rangers and also been on the receiving end of some criticism.

Last month, Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz was critical of Shattenkirk, his former player, by saying Washington acquired Shattenkirk last season with intentions of installing him as a top-pair defenseman down the stretch, but Shattenkirk failed to live up to expectations.

Trotz late apologized for the comments.

Now, Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault is seemingly frustrated with Shattenkirk’s slow transition to the team, if you read between the lines of his comments on Sunday.

Shattenkirk signed four-year, $26.6-million contract with the Rangers back in July.

“I would say he’s a work in progress,” Vigneault said Sunday, according to Dan Rosen of NHL.com. “There’s no doubt that our expectations and his expectations are a little bit higher than what we’ve seen so far.”

“I think (Shattenkirk) is probably putting a little bit of pressure on himself to do real well in front of new teammates, a new environment, friends and family,” he said. “Sometimes it takes a little bit of time.”

Eastern Conference

Lightning Shopping Slater Koekkoek

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are shopping defenseman, and former first round pick, Slater Koekkoek, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Tampa Bay is now motivated to trade away their once prized prospect, who is currently playing with the Syracuse Crunch on a conditioning stint.

Koekkoek is waiver eligible and will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer of 2019.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky Will Not Dress Due To Team Incident

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that veteran goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not dress for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators due to what is being described as an “incident”.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen stated the following:

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”

In corresponding moves, the Blue Jackets has recalled Jean-Francois Berube, and placed both Brandon Dubinsky and Markus Hannikainen on injured reserve.

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Eastern Conference

Leafs’ Frederik Andersen Targeting Saturday Return

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Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Frederik Andersen said that he is eyeing the team’s upcoming game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday to make his return to the ice.

Andersen was placed on injured reserve on January 3rd, retroactive to December 23rd, and hasn’t played since December 22nd.

Despite his goal of a Saturday return, Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock is looking towards Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche as the best time for his return.

Babcock pours a little cold water on Andersen’s reveal, saying it might be Monday vs. Colorado. Hmmm…— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) January 9, 2019

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