NHL News & Notes: Plekanec, Carlson & More

In today’s News & Notes, the Montreal Canadiens are placing a veteran forward on unconditional waivers, John Carlson will miss a game, the Boston Bruins have recalled Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Tuukka Rask has been granted a leave of absence.

Plekanec on Unconditional Waivers

The Montreal Canadiens intend to place Tomas Plekanec on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract, the team announced Friday. This move is expected to take place Saturday at 12:00 p.m. EST and will likely signal the end of Plekanec’s career in the NHL.

Related: Canadiens Placing Plekanec on Unconditional Waivers

The 36-year-old center skated in 984 games in a Montreal Canadiens uniform throughout his career and played in his 1,000th game in the NHL this season after re-signing with the team in the offseason. Plekanec was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the trade deadline last season and though he got a chance to return to Montreal to finish out his career, this likely wasn’t the way that Plekanec wanted his tenure with the team to end.

Montreal Canadiens Tomas Plekanec
Plekanec has been a major piece for the Canadiens for his entire career. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

Nonetheless, Plekanec will go down as one of the best Canadiens’ players of his generation and will live on as a legend in the mind of the fans in the city for all of his contributions.

Plekanec is expected to return to the Czech League following the termination of his contract which would end his NHL career at 1,001 games, 233 goals and 608 points. He would score 18 goals and 53 points in 94 postseason games but never competed in the Stanley Cup Final.

Carlson Out for Capitals

The Washington Capitals will be without Carlson, one of their best players, after ruling that he’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per Tom Gulitti. Though Carlson will be out of the team’s game Friday, the hope is that he’ll be ready to return to the lineup Sunday when the Capitals take on the Arizona Coyotes.

John Carlson #74 of the Washington Capitals
ANNAPOLIS, MD – MARCH 03: John Carlson #74 of the Washington Capitals celebrates his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Carlson has earned every penny of his eight-year, $64 million contract that he signed in the offseason thus far in the 2018-19 season as he already has five goals and 18 points in 14 games this season. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound defender has always been among the best point-scoring NHL defenders but in the first year of a huge contract, he’s stepped his game up to another level which bodes well for the Capitals as they embark on their season-long Stanley Cup defense.

Related: Carlson Signs 8-Year Contract Extension

In 622 career games, Carlson has scored 82 goals and 351 points. He’s also added 18 goals and 55 points in 100 postseason games including five goals and 20 points in 24 last season en route to the Stanley Cup.

Bruins Recall Forsbacka Karlsson & Grant Rask Personal Leave

The Bruins have recalled Forsbacka Karlsson from the Providence Bruins in search of an answer for their third-line center role. The team has cycled multiple players in and out of the role throughout the season already and it appears that it’s Forsbacka Karlsson’s turn.

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

The 22-year-old has only played in one NHL game to date that saw him play in 8:25 of ice time while being held without a shot and point. This time around, the hope is that he can help jump-start the third line despite not having the best of starts in the AHL this year.

Related: Bruins Recall Forsbacka Karlsson

In other Bruins-related news, the team has also granted Rask a personal leave of absence effective immediately. The team hasn’t issued any other information on the topic and is likely allowing Rask to keep his privacy during this matter.