In today’s News & Notes, Carey Price is set to return to action, Jack Eichel is out for at least two games and Jason Garrison has cleared waivers.
Price Returns to Canadiens’ Crease
After missing the Montreal Canadiens past three games with a lower-body injury, Price is set to return to action for the Habs in their Thursday night tilt against the Vancouver Canucks. This is good news for a Canadiens team that relies heavily on Price.
Despite their dependence on Price, the Canadiens were actually able to fair very well in the three contests that he missed. With Antti Niemi taking the reigns as the starter, the team was able to earn victories against the Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars while narrowly losing 6-5 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The No. 1 priority for the Canadiens should be keeping Price healthy given his history of injuries. This is especially true when considering that Price reportedly played through his injury for seven weeks.
Fortunately, Joel Armia is also set to return for the Canadiens after missing 25 games with a lower-body injury.
In addition to this news, the Canadiens did get some bad news. While Price and Armia are returning to the Canadiens’ lineup, the team will be without Andrew Shaw after the veteran forward suffered a neck injury on New Year’s Eve that resulted in the team placing him on the injured reserve Thursday.
Eichel Out At Least 2 Games
The Buffalo Sabres got some bad news Thursday when they learned that Eichel would be day-to-day with an upper-body injury that would keep him out for at least the next two games. Eichel has been the Sabres’ best player this season and has scored a very impressive 15 goals and 49 points in 40 games.
In his absence, the Sabres will be taking on the Florida Panthers on Thursday before heading to Boston to take on the Bruins at the TD Garden on Saturday. The Sabres recently lost a 3-2 overtime game to the Bruins on Dec. 29 and will be looking to right the ship this time around, even without their best player.
The Sabres are 21-13-6 this season and hold the first wildcard spot ahead of the Montreal Canadiens and just behind the Bruins (though the Bruins and Sabres are tied with 48 points apiece). Because of how tight the division race is getting, the Sabres will need to pull out all the stops Saturday if they want to keep the Bruins well within their sights.
Garrison Clears Waivers
After failing to report to the AHL and being placed on waivers, Garrison has cleared and is expected to have his contract terminated by the Chicago Blackhawks as a result.
Garrison was acquired by the Blackhawks in the trade that saw Drake Caggiula head to the Blackhawks in exchange for defenders Brandon Manning and Robin Norell.
With the Blackhawks looking to clean house and put themselves in a situation to succeed in the future, this decision made sense. For Garrison, it’s also hard to blame him for not reporting to the AHL.
The 34-year-old was on a one-year deal worth $650,000 and is considering overseas options, according to Elliotte Friedman, rather than playing in the AHL. The decision didn’t require him to leave a lot of money on the table and will allow him to explore his options rather than being relegated to the NHL’s development league.