NHL News & Notes: Giordano, Ouellet & More

In today’s News & Notes, Mark Giordano will have a hearing with the NHL’s DoPS, Xavier Ouellet has been placed on waivers and the Winnipeg Jets have activated two defenders off of the injured reserve.

Giordano to Have Hearing With NHL DoPS

Giordano will have a hearing Friday with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety following an incident that occurred Thursday in a game against the Minnesota Wild. The Calgary Flames’ captain was assessed a minor penalty for tripping Wild captain Mikko Koivu, though the NHL deemed the play worthy of more discipline than just a minor call.

Flames defensemen Mark Giordano
Flames defensemen Mark Giordano (Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)

While tripping itself isn’t worthy of supplemental discipline, kneeing is. Because of this, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety could fine or suspend Giordano depending on how bad they deem the infraction to be.

Giordano is in the middle of another very impressive season as he has three goals and 29 points in 29 contests thus far. He’s putting together another legitimate bid for a Norris Trophy and has to be considered one of the front-runners for the award at this point of the season.

Ouellet on Waivers

The Montreal Canadiens placed Ouellet on waivers Friday. The 25-year-old defender has played in 19 games with the team this season, his first in Montreal after signing with them in the offseason. He’s scored three assist in those contests.

This waiver transaction for the Canadiens likely isn’t their way of saying they’re giving up on Ouellet. Instead, Ouellet is likely the odd-man out as far as their roster is concerned with the team needing to make a move to clear space for the return of Noah Juulsen. The Habs are making a calculated risk in placing Ouellet on waivers and while they’d like to retain him, there’s a distinct possibility that he gets claimed prior to the 12:00 P.M. EST deadline.

Ouellet spent the first five seasons of his career with the Detroit Red Wings after he was taken in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He spent his previous four seasons in the QMJHL as a member of the Montreal Juniors/Blainville-Boisbriand Armada franchise.

Byfuglien & Kulikov Ready to Play

The Jets have officially activated Dustin Byfuglien and Dmitry Kulikov off of the injured reserve. Both will return to the Jets’ lineup Friday against the St. Louis Blues.

Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien
Dustin Byfuglien and Dmitry Kulikov are ready to return to the Jets’ lineup. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

Byfuglien has been held out of action with a concussion since Nov. 29 though he did skate with the team Thursday which was encouraging for his chances of playing Friday.

Kulikov also returned to practice Thursday and similarly to Byfuglien was officially announced as active for Friday’s game by Jets’ head coach Paul Maurice.

Related: NHL News & Notes: Byfuglien, Smith & More

Though the Jets will see the return of Byfuglien and Kulikov to their lineup, they’ll be without Andrew Copp as he was placed on injured reserve Friday.