NHL News & Notes: Vermette, Rask & More

In today’s News & Notes, Antoine Vermette has announced his retirement from the NHL, Tuukka Rask will start in net for the Boston Bruins and Dustin Byfuglien is progressing well and is considered day-to-day.

Related: NHL News & Notes: Watson, Robitaille & More

Vermette Announces NHL Retirement

After playing in the NHL for 14 seasons, Vermette has announced his retirement from the NHL. The veteran forward was originally drafted in the second round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators and would make his debut in 2003.

What followed was a 15-year career split between theSenators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks that included 1,046 games, 228 goals, 515 points and a Stanley Cup victory in 2015 with the Blackhawks.

Antoine Vermette Ducks
Antoine Vermette, Anaheim Ducks, Oct. 24, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Vermette was one of the NHL’s most respected players on and off the ice throughout his career and leaves behind a legacy that will not soon be forgotten amongst his peers.

Below is part of Vermette’s statement announcing his retirement. The entirety of the statement can be found here.

As a child, I dreamed of having a chance to play in the best league in the world of my favorite sport. After 15 years in the NHL, here I am, officially announcing my retirement from professional hockey. What a privilege! I am immensely grateful for all these incredible years punctuated by memorable moments that I will cherish forever. For me, hockey has been an outstanding vehicle for teaching the right values such as perseverance, discipline and respect.

– Antoine Vermette

Rask to Start Against Flyers

The Bruins will be getting a boost to their lineup Thursday when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers as Rask is set to get the start for the team.

Related: Rask and Halak Trending in Opposite Directions

Rask is returning from a concussion that he suffered just prior to the Bruins’ bye-week and the All-Star Game. The injury occurred when New York Rangers rookie Filip Chytill drove the net and scored a goal.

Unfortunately, Chytil was skating too fast and Bruins’ defender Charlie McAvoy would make contact with him as he aimed to avoid contact with the Bruins netminder. The result was a full-speed collision that took Rask out of action.

Tuukka Rask Bruins Referee
Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask talks with referee. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Healthy and ready to go, Bruins’ head coach Bruce Cassidy named Rask the starter for Thursday’s contest.

“Tuukka’s going to start,” Cassidy said. “He’s out there. Assuming there’s no ill effects [after the morning skate], he’s a go. We trust him. If he’s not ready, that’s fine. He’s coming off a pretty serious hit there. But when he’s ready, we said he’d go back in and that’s about it.”

Byfuglien Progressing, Listed as Day-to-Day

The Winnipeg Jets are hopeful that they will be getting Byfuglien back sooner than later and are listing him as day-to-day. The veteran defender hasn’t played since suffering an injury on Dec. 29 against the Minnesota Wild. He did skate and feel good Thursday, according to Mitchell Clinton.

Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien
Dustin Byfuglien (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

“We are now in day to day,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “So if he comes back tomorrow and he feels good, we’ll take him out with the coaches and give him a pretty good tug on the ice. And if he feels better the next day we’ll get him back with the team and start getting into some tight turns and things like that. It’s almost like a version of a concussion. You just keep incrementally increasing the works load.”

Byfuglien has scored four goals and 29 points in 32 games this season and has been just as impressive offensively as ever despite dealing with multiple injuries.