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Eastern Conference

Leafs’ Auston Matthews Practices With Team, Still No Timetable

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The Toronto Maple Leafs saw a positive step in the recovery of Auston Matthews as he practiced with the team on Wednesday for the 1st time since injuring his shoulder on February 22nd.

“I don’t know what they (the medical staff) will do,” Toronto head coach Mike Babcock said (h/t NHL.com). “I just noticed he was wearing red today; we don’t have a whole lot of red in our uniform.”

There is currently no timetable for his return.

Matthews skated wearing a red non-contact jersey on his own prior to joining the first 20 minutes of the main session Wednesday but did not participate in line rushes or special-teams drills and departed after 20 minutes.

“He’s working hard on his conditioning and the big thing about this injury, you have your legs,” Babcock said of Matthews on Saturday.

“When you come back from the previous injury, you don’t have any legs because you didn’t do anything so I think jumping right in and being ready to go when it’s time to come back will be positive for him. He won’t have to get his conditioning back; he’ll have it back already.”

The Maple Leafs are 7-6-2 in the 15 games that Matthews has missed and 1-2-2 in the five games he’s missed since the February 22nd game.

“I think it’s good for him mentally instead of just hanging out by yourself,” Babcock said.

“We were gone for 10 days and these are his buddies so who do you hang out in Toronto with? I think the priority for him obviously is to do as much as he can each day and then when he’s ready or over-ready, we’ll get him back in the lineup.”

Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings’ Anthony Mantha Out Four To Six Weeks

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The Detroit Red Wings will be without bright spot forward Anthony Mantha, who has developed impressively this season, will miss four to six weeks with a hand injury and will undergo surgery today, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.

Mantha injured his hand while fighting with Patrik Nemeth of the Colorado Avalanche, a game that resulted in the two-game suspension of Tyler Bertuzzi.

Mantha has picked up 14 points in 27 games this season.

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Eastern Conference

Flyers Hire Chuck Fletcher as General Manager

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The Philadelphia Flyers have announced the hiring of Chuck Fletcher as the team’s new general manager, according to a team announcement on Monday.

Fletcher, who becomes the eighth man to serve as GM in franchise history, will take over for Ron Hextall who was fired back in November.

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Eastern Conference

Devils’ Steven Santini Sent To AHL On Conditioning Loan

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The New Jersey Devils have sent defenseman Steven Santini to the AHL on a conditioning loan as the 23-year old works his way back from a broken jaw, according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti.

Santini has played in only one game for New Jersey this season, struggling to catch on as a full-time player for the Devils, and has only played in 76 NHL games during his short career after the Devils selected him with the 42d pick in the 2013 NHL draft.

 

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