The Ottawa Senators have somehow remained one of the more consistent presences in the Atlantic Division despite preseason projections that they’d flounder. And it hasn’t always been easy going for them.
One of their in-season additions was goaltender Mike Condon, who has proven to be a reliable backup (and occasional starter in the absence of Craig Anderson). One day after the team saw Andrew Hammond clear waivers and get assigned to the AHL, Sun Media’s Bruce Garrioch has confirmed the team is talking about a contract extension with Condon, as well as 29-year-old left wing Tom Pyatt.
In 29 starts and 32 total appearances, Condon has posted a .913 save percentage with a 16-9-5 record. He appears to have found solid ground to stand on after bouncing around a bit. He had a solid run early in Carey Price’s absence last year but buckled as the season went on. This season, he was claimed off waivers by the Penguins, who flipped him to Ottawa for a fifth-round draft pick.
Meanwhile, Pyatt has six goals and 17 points through 53 games. He spent the last two seasons playing in Switzerland for Genève-Servette under new Senators head coach Guy Boucher. With the team talking about an extension, it seems his NHL return has been a success.
The Good News/Bad News Penguins
Pittsburgh has a good news/bad news situation for fans. Evgeni Malkin is close to a return. He practiced with the team Monday and is considered to be a game-time decision against Vancouver on Tuesday.
The bad news? Bryan Rust’s injury is worse than feared. Coach Mike Sullivan called the injury “longer term” following Monday’s practice.
Rust is dealing with an upper-body injury sustained Thursday against the Avalanche when he caromed into the net. ESPN reports that Sullivan is “reluctant” to label the injury season-ending, but they aren’t expecting him back soon.
Through 50 games, Rust has 12 goals and 25 points this season.
Vancouver All-Star Bo Horvat left Saturday’s game against the Sabres after he was hit by a Jack Eichel shot. He left the ice in considerable pain.
Horvat had a CT scan in Pittsburgh and it didn’t turn up anything serious. The center is said to be dealing with a “deep bruise” and is questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Penguins. However, it won’t be a long-term absence.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) February 13, 2017
The Minnesota Wild have waived fourth-line center Tyler Graovac. He’s put up six goals with a 39.9 percent adjusted CF% through 45 games. Nonetheless, many — ranging from Elliotte Friedman to Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher — believe there’s a good chance Graovac gets claimed.
(Here are a few teams that might claim him.)
More Wild Moves
Tied to the Graovac waive are a few other moves out of St. Paul. The team has moved defenseman Jonas Brodin to injured reserve, retroactive to Jan. 18. This doesn’t impact his expected recovery timeline, which has him back in roughly a week. Because it’s a retroactive assignment, he’s free to return whenever he’s ready.
Moving the Swedish defender to IR and waiving Graovac makes room for the team to recall Alex Tuch and Zack Mitchell from the AHL. Tuch and Mitchell are both right wings, even though Mitchell has been playing center in Iowa. This (along with goaltending) might be a weak spot for the Wild. Bringing them up might give coach Bruce Boudreau another look at what he’s got down the right side with just a little time left now before the trade deadline strikes.
Both Mitchell and Tuch made their NHL debuts this season.
Moreover, Matt Dumba is still sidelined for the Wild. He didn’t practice Monday and is “probably out” for Tuesday’s game, though there is no official word on his status at this time.
Odds & Ends
– After being waived Sunday, Kings winger Devin Setoguchi cleared waivers Monday and has been assigned to Ontario of the AHL.
– Braden Holtby will wear a special You Can Play helmet as a part of “Hockey is for Everyone” month in the NHL.
— You Can Play (@YouCanPlayTeam) February 13, 2017
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.