Wisniewski Gets a Contract, Redmond Waived & More News

James Wisnieski is coming back to North America. Is been a long, strange road over the last couple years for the defenseman. It was just two seasons ago that Wisniewski was eating up consistent minutes for the Blue Jackets.

He was shipped to the Ducks at the trade deadline, but never really caught on. In fact, he didn’t see any ice during their playoff run. Then shortly before free agency, he was traded to Carolina for goaltender Anton Khudobin. Unfortunately, Wisniewski would tear his ACL in the first game of the season and never saw the ice again.

His contract expired at the end of the campaign and he was tasked with finding a new team without having played in a year and no clear indication that his knee was able to go at regular season speed. The Lightning brought him into training camp on a PTO, but ultimately didn’t give him a contract once the dust settled.

He went to the KHL and to play for Admiral Vladivostok. He saw 16 games before he joined HC Lugano for the Spengler Cup. A couple days after he joined Lugano, while the tournament was still going, Vladivostock announced the official termination of his contract.

But now, he’s back in the U.S. after signing a deal to play for the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, affiliate of the St. Louis Blues. The deal is a 25-game professional tryout. Like in Tampa, there’s little guarantee the audition will pan out, but it’s a high-upside risk for the organization.

Remond on Waivers

The Canadiens have waived 28-year-old defenseman Zach Redmond. He has laced up in 16 NHL games this season, registering five assists in that time.

His waiver assignment no doubt has to do with the fact that the Montreal blue line just got crowded after the team acquired Tampa’s Nikita Nesterov in a trade. Nesterov has yet to suit up for the Habs but is expected to when the team returns from break.

Redmond may find himself in a new sweater soon. Though his offensive totals are meager, he’s posted solid possession numbers in his limited time, leading all Montreal defenders with a 5.3 CF%Rel and a 57% CF%. With the small sample size, there’s certainly no expectation that he’s Superman, but there are teams struggling with injuries and to manage their blue line depth. With a cap hit of just $612,500 this year and next, Redmond is a manageable option for many teams.

Odds & Ends

– There’s no reason a skater in the AHL All-Star Skills Competition can’t be just as fast as anyone in the NHL’s Skills event. Winnipeg Jets rookie Jack Roslovic proved that over the weekend by doing the speed contest in 13.674 seconds. That’s just a step slower than Connor McDavid and the fourth fastest mark in AHL history.

– The CHL Top Prospects Game is scheduled to take place tonight in Quebec City. The CHL announced they have no concerns for the safety of the players after a terrorist attack on a Quebec City mosque late Sunday.

– The Lightning have recalled Jake Dotchin from the Syracuse Crunch. The defenseman has seen three games of NHL action this season, which includes his NHL debut. There may be some shuffling on the Tampa blueline following the trade of Nesterov to Montreal in exchange for a sixth-round pick and Jonathan Racine. Crunch beat writer Brandon Curtis notes that Luke Witkowski may hit waivers soon and return to the AHL.

– The Wild have recalled defenseman Mike Rielly in advance of a short road trip they’ll face in their return from the All-Star break.

– The Blues have recalled forward Ivan Barbashev. The 2014 second-round draft pick made his NHL debut against the Wild the game before the All-Star break, just after center Kyle Brodziak was placed on injured reserve with a right foot injury.

– The Capitals have recalled defenseman Christian Djoos and forward Chandler Stephenson from the Hersey Bears of the AHL.

– The Big Ten has announced a one-game suspension for Ohio State’s Josh Healey. The discipline comes from a hit he made on Wisconsin’s Grant Besse during a game on Jan. 28. In the game, Healey received a five-minute major for the hit. Afterward, he scored a game-tying goal with just seconds to play. Ohio State would ultimately drop the game in overtime.