The Islanders are one of a couple teams that most believe should be playing better than they are. It’s about to get tougher to get to a better place, though. Sunday, the Islanders announced that defenseman Travis Hamonic will miss the next four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury.
Hamonic leads the Islanders in average ice time over the last two seasons and may be the team’s best defender. He’s now on injured reserve, retroactive to Nov. 5.
In response, the team called up 22-year-old defenseman Adam Pelech on Monday. Since the team has only been carrying six defensemen, Pelech is basically a lock to be in the lineup for Monday’s game against the ailing Vancouver Canucks. It was a bit of a no-brainer to call up Pelech because their other 22-year-old cusp defender, Ryan Pulock, is currently on injured reserve.
Seth Jones Is Out
The Blue Jackets announced Monday morning that defenseman Seth Jones has suffered a hairline fracture in his foot. He is expected to miss three weeks of play due to the injury, the team announced in a release.
Through 10 games this season, Jones has three goals and six points.
Kadri’s Home Free
Nazem Kadri’s hit on Daniel Sedin in Saturday’s physical contest between Vancouver and Toronto has been controversial. Sunday it became clear that the league would not be suspending Kadri for the hit, likely because the initial point of contact appears to be the shoulder.
Lots of fans were disappointed in that outcome, as was Vancouver GM Jim Benning. “We disagree with the ruling this morning and are very disappointed,” Benning said in a written statement. “However, we must accept it and put it behind us so we can focus on tomorrow’s game.”
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) November 6, 2016
Officially, the Department of Player Safety did not issue any statement on the hit, but the Department’s Damian Echevarrieta did address the hit on Twitter. Noting that, right or wrong, blindside hits are not illegal in the NHL. The angle taken for the hit isn’t of relevance to a suspension as long as the head isn’t the main point of contact.
Blind side hits are NOT illegal in itself. If the head isn't the MAIN point of contact, it doesn't matter if it's North/South or East/West. pic.twitter.com/edzNqfnf2M
— Damian Echevarrieta (@Ech28) November 6, 2016
Another result of Saturday’s melee is that Jannick Hansen has been moved to injured reserve Monday morning. Vancouver says the move is the result of a huge hit he took from Toronto’s Morgan Reilly during the game. The hit actually came just a couple seconds before the Kadri hit. Hansen, though he’d just been leveled in the neutral zone, sprang to Sedin’s defense and fought Kadri, which probably didn’t help alleviate whatever injury he has sustained.
Hansen is out "for a while," said Desjardins, from Rielly hit in Toronto. He has returned to Vancouver, as has Tanev.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) November 7, 2016
In a corresponding move, the Canucks have recalled Michael Chaput to the NHL.
The Hits Keep Coming in Winnipeg
The Jets are dealing with a bevy of injuries to their forward group. It gets worse. Joel Armia’s recent absence will be extended four-to-six weeks as he deals with an MCL injury that will not require surgery.
Finnish NHL beat writer Sami Hoffren reporting #nhljets F Joel Armia is out 4 to 6 weeks with MCL – no surgery
— gary lawless (@garylawless) November 7, 2016
Armia might not be the team’s best player, but they’re already without Bryan Little, Mathieu Perreault, Drew Stafford, Shawn Matthias and Tyler Myers due to injuries. They’re also playing without Jacob Trouba, who has demanded a trade out of Winnipeg. When you’re down that many players, every injury is significant.
The Retirement Lifestyle
John “Everyman” Scott has announced his retirement, kind of. In a post on Instagram over the weekend, Scott shared a video of a Belgian farmhouse-style saison he’s brewing and said that he’s enjoying the “retirement lifestyle.”
It was already clear that Scott wasn’t getting a new NHL contract from any team, despite his All-Star game heroics. It’s been taken as a subtle way of letting everyone know that he’s hung up the skates for good.
If it does indeed mean that it’s the end of the line for Scott he’ll retire the veteran of 586 NHL games, over which he tallied five goals and six assists, as well as an All-Star Game MVP honor in what might be the NHL’s best All-Star Game ever.
Bertuzzi’s in a Vanek Down By the River
The Detroit Red Wings have placed forward Thomas Vanek on long-term injured reserve. He was the team’s leading scorer, looking poised to have a nice bounce back after being bought out by the Wild. Vanek could miss up to another two weeks with injury, according to reports.
That is bad news for the Red Wings, who are floundering. After Sunday’s loss to Edmonton, they’ve now lost five straight games and sit in fifth place in the Atlantic Division despite a hot start to the season.
In a corresponding move, the Red Wings have recalled 21-year-old forward Tyler Bertuzzi, who would be making his NHL debut if he suits up in Tuesday’s game against the Flyers.
Odds and Ends
– The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Cory Conacher to the NHL. He was recalled recently and got in his first NHL game since the 2014-15 season at that point. So far this year, he’s posted three goals and eight points in seven games with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.
– The Chicago Blackhawks have signed 2016 draft pick Alex DeBrincat to a three-year, entry-level contract, reports NHL.com’s Mike Morreale. He has 35 points in the first 14 games of the season for the Erie Otters of the OHL.
– The rookie-laden Arizona Coyotes have recalled defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and forward Tyler Gaudet on Monday morning.
– That’s cold, Ottawa. Just cold.
— Ottawa 67’s (@Ottawa67sHockey) November 7, 2016
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.