Roman Josi Activated, Jason Spezza Out & More

The Nashville Predators have activated defenseman Roman Josi from the injured reserve, the team announced Saturday. Josi has been out of the lineup for the Predators’ last nine games after being placed on the injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

Josi has five goals and 22 points in 42 games with the Predators this season and projects to return to the team’s lineup Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings. The Predators haven’t had both Josi and P.K. Subban in the lineup simultaneously in 22 games, dating back to Dec. 15. With Subban and Josi both returning to the lineup, the team will try to make a late-season push after the first half of their season was forgettable.

In 376 games in his career, the 26-year-old Josi has scored 57 goals and 212 points, including at least 40 points, 55 points, and 61 points in each of the last three seasons respectively. With at least 13 goals in each of his last three seasons, Josi has proven to be one of the more effective defensemen shooting the puck in the NHL. While playing a key role in Nashville’s offense, Josi has also filled out the mold of what legitimate top-two defensemen are supposed to be in the NHL over the last few seasons with the Predators.

Jason Spezza Out

The Dallas Stars will be without center Jason Spezza for the foreseeable future, head coach Lindy Ruff said. The injury will likely keep Spezza out of the lineup for a week or two, if not longer, Ruff said. Though the actual injury isn’t known right now, Ruff did specify, however, that the injury wasn’t a concussion.

“He’s going to miss some time. He’s got an upper-body injury,” said Lindy Ruff. “Right now we don’t really have a time frame on it, but it’s more than days.”

Spezza has missed seven games this season with lower-body injuries and suffered an upper-body injury Thursday following a hit from Winnipeg Jets’ forward Adam Lowry.

Since joining the Dallas Stars, Spezza has played in 202 games over the last three seasons and has recorded 58 goals and 156 points. For his career, the 33-year-old has scored 309 goals and 843 points in 888 games. Spezza has been a big player for the Stars all season, posting eight goals and 31 points in 45 games following a 33-goal, 63 point season one year ago.

Mike Ribeiro Sent to Milwaukee

It’s been an interesting few days for Mike Ribeiro and the Nashville Predators. After asking to be traded from the team Thursday, the Predators placed Ribeiro on waivers Friday. After clearing waivers Saturday without a claim, the Predators announced that they were assigning the veteran forward to the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL.

Ribeiro has scored just four goals and 25 points in 46 games this season after scoring seven goals and 50 points in 81 games last year. Once a very solid offensive threat, Ribeiro has seemingly fallen from grace amid a season that has seen him struggle.

In 1074 NHL games split between the Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars, Washington Capitals, Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators, Ribeiro has scored 228 goals and 793 points. His best season came as a member of the Dallas Stars when he scored 27 goals and 83 points in 76 games – just one of three instances where the 36-year-old has scored 20-or-more goals in his 15-plus NHL seasons.

Odds & Ends

– It was announced Friday that Arizona State University withdrew from a potential arena partnership with the Arizona Coyotes. Darren Dreger mentioned Saturday that there were few remaining options for the club outside of moving the team out of Arizona or remaining in Glendale. Dreger also mentioned that the NHL has control over whether or not the franchise moves.

– Saturday’s matinee game between the Saturday’s afternoon tilt between the Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals was delayed for 12 minutes in the first period due to a hole in the boards behind one of the nets. The boards were eventually repaired and the Capitals went on to beat the Canadiens 3-2.