In today’s News & Notes, Artemi Panarin has changed his agent, Matt Grzelcyk is hurt and will miss Saturday’s game, Travis Hamonic was at practice despite exiting Thursday’s game with a hand injury and James van Riemsdyk has been fined for a high-sticking incident.
Panarin Changes Agent
An interesting turn in the saga of Panarin and his future as a pending free agent, the 27-year-old forward has left agent Daniel Milstein and has signed with Paul Theofanous. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), Theofanous also represents Panarin’s teammate Sergei Bobrovsky who is in a similar situation to Panarin heading into the trade deadline and eventually free agency.
This isn’t the first time that Panarin has changed his agent, however, as he also did so when he originally left the KHL to join the Chicago Blackhawks and again late in the negotiation process with the Blackhawks for his current contract, according to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays a role in Panarin’s future.
The winger is up to 20 goals and 60 points in 51 games already this season, his fourth consecutive season with 20 or more goals and at least 60 points.
Grzelcyk Injured, Will Miss Saturday’s Game
The Boston Bruins got some bad news on the injury front as Grzelcyk was absent from Friday’s skate and will miss Saturdays’ game against the Los Angeles King as a result.
Grzelcyk has played in 50 games this season and is already within one point of his career-high 15 points (set a season ago in 61 games). The numbers may not stand out as legitimate top-tier statistics but there’s no denying how important Grzelcyk is to the Bruins.
In two games in 2016-17, Grzelcyk would get limited exposure with 12:29 of ice time per game. That number would jump to 16:44 in his second season a year ago. This season, however, Grzelcyk has proven that he can handle the brunt of the workload on defense and has skated in 19:46 of average ice time.
Grzelcyk may not be on many fan’s radars as a top-four defender, but Grzelcyk is in the conversation for one of the Bruins most consistent defenders all season long. Usage comes into play here as Grzelcyk doesn’t have to consistently face the same competition that players like Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy and even Brandon Carlo have to, but Grzelcyk has proven he can hold his own regardless of the competition.
Hamonic Attends Practice Despite Injury Scare
Despite leaving Thursday’s game with an apparent hand injury, Hamonic was present at the Calgary Flames’ practice on Friday and should be good to go when the team takes on the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.
Hamonic has dealt with a plethora of injuries this season and has been as unlucky as any player league-wide. Still, he’s battled through and has been an essential part of what has become one of the best teams in the entire NHL.
In 43 games this season, Hamonic is averaging 20:49 of ice time and has scored three goals and 12 points.
James van Riemsdyk Fined
Philadelphia Flyers’ forward James van Riemsdyk was fined $5,000 for high-sticking Kings’ defender Alec Martinez on Thursday. The play occurred just a minute into the first period of play but wouldn’t result in a penalty. Still, the incident was enough to draw the attention of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety and was deemed worthy of supplemental discipline.
In 38 games this season, van Riemsdyk has scored 13 goals and 25 points. He signed a five-year, $35 million contract with the Flyers in the offseason to rejoin the team after he spent the previous six seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Unfortunately, he’d miss over a month of action earlier in the season with a lower-body injury and has been limited in his first season back in Philadelphia.