NHL News & Notes: Gagner, Miller & More

In today’s News & Notes, Sam Gagner has been recalled from the AHL, Kevan Miller is expected to return from injury and the NHL has announced their three stars of the week.

Related: NHL News & Notes: Elliott, Strome, Wickenheiser & More

Canucks Recall Gagner From AHL

The Vancouver Canucks have recalled Gagner from the AHL after the team loaned him to the Toronto Marlies in October. Gagner is in the second year of a three-year contract worth $9.45 million. Unfortunately, his production of only 10 goals and 31 points in 74 games in his first season in Columbus after a breakout 18-goal, 50-point campaign in Columbus was far from enough to justify keeping him in the lineup on a nightly basis.

Vancouver Canucks winger Sam Gagner
Vancouver Canucks winger Sam Gagner (Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports)

Rather than assigning Gagner to the Utica Comets, the AHL affiliate of the Canucks, the team elected to loan him to the Toronto Marlies to send him closer to home as Gagner is originally from London, Ontario.

This move comes after Gagner scored seven goals and 15 points in 15 games with the Marlies.

The Canucks’ owner wasn’t originally a fan of the team sending him to the AHL so this decision is probably one that will please him.

Related: NHL News & Notes: Gagner, Emelin & More

“When they made that decision to put Sam in the minors, when they told me, I wasn’t happy about it,” Canucks’ owner Francesco Aquilini said. “I mean, it’s $3 million (per season). It’s crazy, but that’s what was necessary.”

Miller Set to Return to Bruins Soon

When the Boston Bruins take on the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday, they’ll likely be doing so with Miller in their lineup. The veteran defender has been out of the team’s lineup since Oct. 19 with an upper-body injury and will help the Bruins greatly as they’re currently missing Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, John Moore, Urho Vaakanainen and Miller on the back-end. At forward, the team is also missing Patrice Bergeron.

Kevan Miller Bruins
Kevan Miller, Boston Bruins, Dec. 2, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

While losing so many defenders and players in general is bad news, the Bruins also lost the vast majority of their regular penalty killers due to injuries. Miller returning will give the team a huge boost in that department but the Bruins are still far from fully healthy.

Not known for his offensive production, Miller currently has one assist in seven games.

NHL Names 3 Stars of the Week

Joe Pavelski has been named the NHL’s third star of the week after recording three multi-point efforts in as many games last week. The Sharks’ captain shared in the league-lead with five goals and was third overall in scoring with six points in three games. He now has 13 goals and 16 points in 21 games this season.

Joe Pavelski - Sharks
Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks, Oct. 9, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Corey Crawford has been named the NHL’s second star of the week following a 2-0-1 week that saw him flash a dazzling 0.65 goals-against average and .980 save percentage. It’s hard to have a better week than Crawford did last week as the veteran recorded his 24th career shutout and allowed only two goals in three games. The only loss he suffered was at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings in a 2-1 shootout loss that saw him make 31 of 32 saves in regulation and overtime.

Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets, NHL
Cam Atkinson led all Blue Jackets in goals and points in 2016-17. (Photo: Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Cam Atkinson has been named the NHL’s first star of the week after he scored five goals, tied with Pavelski for the league-lead, and eight points in three games. The Blue Jackets went undefeated in those three games last week and the Columbus Blue Jackets remain atop the Metropolitan Division as a result. Atkinson scored his fifth-career hat trick last week as well tying him with Rick Nash for the most hat-tricks in the history of the Blue Jackets franchise. Atkinson is up to 12 goals and 20 points in 19 games this season.