Sheary’s Injury, Stars Trade for Goaltender & More News

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Conor Sheary will be out four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury, head coach Mike Sullivan said on Wednesday.

college free agents
Conor Sheary (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Sullivan made the announcement after the team’s practice at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex but did not reveal how Sheary’s injury occurred. Sullivan also added that Sidney Crosby had the day off, joking that the team had “hid his skates” before practice. Phil Kessel also did not participate in the team’s practice but was given a maintenance day, according to Sullivan.

Sheary, 24, is in his sophomore season with the Penguins and has been a productive player skating alongside Crosby on the team’s first line. Sheary has compiled 17 goals and 18 assists — fifth overall in scoring on a Penguins team that’s leading the league with a 3.6 goals for per game.

The Penguins have been without a number of key forwards of late, including Evgeni Malkin (lower-body injury) who has been out since just before the All-Star break and Matt Cullen (foot injury) who has been out of the lineup since being hurt on Jan. 16. Defenseman Kris Letang returned to game action on Tuesday for the first time since he suffered a knee injury on Jan. 14.

The Penguins snapped a two-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

Stars Acquire Goaltender in Trade With Coyotes

The Dallas Stars acquired goaltender Justin Peters and defenseman Justin Hache from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forwards Brendan Ranford and Branden Troock, Stars general manager Jim Nill announced on Wednesday.

The trade comes as the Stars find themselves in fifth place in the Central Division and one point behind the St. Louis Blues for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference with just 31 games left to play in the regular season.

Justin Peters Hurricanes
Justin Peters (Photo: Andy Martin Jr.)

The Stars, who were considered one of the premier offensive teams out of the West before the season began, are ranked 12th in goals for per game (2.8) but have fallen to 21-20-10 on the season as they’ve struggled on the defensive side of the puck. They are 27th in the NHL in goals-against per game (3.1) and have dropped six of their past 10 contests as they’ve been unable to maintain low-scoring games.

Peters, 30, has seen action the bulk of action with the Tucson Roadrunners (American Hockey League) in 2016-17, but played in three games with the Coyotes, posting an 0-1-0 record with a 3.16 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage. With the Roadrunners this season, he’s gone 5-6-0 with a 4.17 GAA and .868 SV% in 12 contests.

Peters has a total of 83 games of NHL experience (68 starts) with the Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals. He’s compiled a record of 22-31-8 with three shutouts during his NHL career.

Hache is a 23-year-old blueliner that’s played with the Roadrunners and the Rapid City Rush (ECHL) this season. He’s recorded one assists in five games with the Roadrunners, while tallying two goals and seven assists in 21 contests with the Rush.

Ranford, 24, has compiled six goals and 11 helpers in 36 games this season with the Texas Stars (AHL) and has seen one game of NHL action with Dallas during the 2014-15 regular season.

Troock is a 24-year-old Alberta native that’s split time between the AHL with the Stars and in the ECHL with the Idaho Steelheads this season. He’s tallied four assists in 10 AHL contests in 2016-17 and added nine points in 15 ECHL games with the Steelheads.

NHL Announces February is “Hockey is For Everyone” Month

The NHL announced on Wednesday that February is “Hockey is For Everyone” month across the game — a monumental initiative in which the league, the NHLPA and the league’s member clubs will each focus on the inclusive nature of hockey.

The month-long initiative will work in partnership with the You Can Play Project — an organization co-founded by Patrick Burke, the son of Calgary Flames president Brian Burke.

This is the first time that the NHL, NHLPA and member clubs have joined forces to “collaborate to encourage inclusiveness and diversity in hockey at all levels daily for an entire calendar month,” according to the league.

While there are going to be numerous events taking place in February, one of the biggest events known at this time is when a female hockey player from the United Arab Emirates, Fatima Ali, will be the special guest of the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center for a home game.

Odds and Ends

— The Edmonton Oilers traded forward Mitchell Moroz to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Henrik Samuelsson on Thursday evening.

— The Los Angeles Kings are set to recall defenseman Paul LaDue from the Ontario Reign (AHL), according to a report by Jon Rosen of L.A. Kings Insider on Wednesday. The decision is part of a series of roster moves made by the Kings over the last couple of days, including placing Matt Greene on injured reserve on Monday and waiving defenseman Paul Gilbert on Wednesday morning.

— The Washington Capitals have reassigned defenseman Christian Djoos to Hershey Bears (AHL). The 22-year-old Swedish blueliner has registered 26 points in 35 games with the Bears this season.