NHL News & Notes: Oleksiak, Bruins Transactions & More

In today’s News & Notes, the Pittsburgh Penguins have traded Jamie Oleksiak to the Dallas Stars, the Boston Bruins have made multiple transactions and Mats Zuccarello is considered day-to-day with an infection.

Penguins Trade Oleksiak to Stars

The Penguins have traded Oleksiak to the Stars in exchange for a fourth-round pick. This is the same fourth-round pick that was sent to the Stars for Oleksiak last season, essentially making it like the original trade never even happened.

It’s very rare to see a player return to their former team in a trade the following season. It’s even rarer and potentially unprecedented to see a player traded back to their original team for the exact same return in consecutive seasons. The Penguins were effectively able to acquire Oleksiak for a postseason push with zero assets leaving their team.

Jamie Oleksiak Penguins
Jamie Oleksiak, Pittsburgh Penguins, January 2, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Penguins signed Oleksiak to a three-year, $6.4 million contract in the offseason which carries a team-friendly $2.137 million cap hit, an increase on the $964,688 contract that the Stars were paying him last season. This deal came out of necessity and familiarity, according to general manager Jim Nill.

“Our blueline has been depleted by injury all season and acquiring Jamie will give us depth at defense,” Nill said. “We know him very well and we’re excited to have him back in the fold.”

(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Oleksiak has scored four goals and 11 points in 36 games this season after scoring five goals and 17 points in 68 games a season ago. He would score four goals and 14 points in 47 games with the Penguins last season which is significant when considering he has scored just seven goals and 22 points in his previous 140 games in Dallas.

Bruins Transactions

The Bruins made multiple transactions Monday following their bye-week and the All-Star festivities.

The team would place Tuukka Rask on the injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 19 with a concussion. He’s deemed day-to-day by the club at this time. The team has recalled goaltender Zane McIntyre on an emergency basis to back up Jaroslav Halak in Rask’s absence.

New York Rangers Filip Chytil Boston Bruins Tuukka Rask
New York Rangers Filip Chytil collides with Boston Bruins Tuukka Rask. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

The Bruins would also assign forwards Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Ryan Donato to the Providence Bruins in the AHL while recalling Peter Cehlarik and Trent Frederic to play second-line left wing and third-line center respectively.

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson - Bruins
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Boston Bruins, September 17, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

When speaking of the assignment to the AHL for Forsbacka Karlsson, head coach Bruce Cassidy reflected positively on his time with the big club thus far this season.

“I was pleased with JFK’s progression. I think there’s more there obviously. He needs to bring that out. But at the end of the day, he was trending in the right direction. We just decided to take a look at Freddy and now is a convenient time.”

Zuccarello is Day-to-Day

Zuccarello would be held off of the ice for the second consecutive day due to a foot infection, the Rangers announced Monday. Because of this infection, Zuccarello is being considered day-to-day and will miss the team’s game Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers

Mats Zuccarello Rangers
Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers, Mar. 22, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Fortunately for the Rangers, Zuccarello is expected to return to the team’s lineup Thursday when they take on the New Jersey Devils.

Zuccarello has been very good for the Rangers this season and has scored eight goals and 24 points in 35 games this season. He’s also one of the most discussed players as far as trade bait goes this season and could find himself dealt by the time the trade deadline rolls around.