The 2020 NHL All-Star Game is in the books. The 3-on-3 tournament produced a familiar result, with the Pacific Division taking home the title. In five years under this All-Star format, the Pacific has won three times and the Metropolitan twice, with the Atlantic and Central still seeking a title. The Atlantic got close yesterday; after winning their first game 9-5 over the Metro, the Atlantic suffered a 5-4 loss in a much tighter game against the Pacific, who had also blown out their first game against the Central, 10-5. Unsurprisingly, the celebrity captain assigned to the Pacific was Wayne Gretzky, who always has the hockey gods on his side. Despite the final loss, Boston forward David Pastrnak was voted the MVP of the All-Star tournament with a total of four goals and six points (if only Pastrnak could help his Bruins – league leaders in OT/SO losses by a wide margin – improve on their 3-on-3).
Now, with many teams returning to action on Monday, be prepared for a flurry of activity today, as evidenced by an early start. Many minor moves will be filed before games resume tomorrow night, so keep up with all of today’s transactions here:
- The Ottawa Senators have recalled forwards Drake Batherson and Filip Chlapik from AHL Belleville, the team announced. Chlapik has skated in 23 games with Ottawa this season, recording five points, while Batherson has a pair of points in nine NHL games. Batherson though has largely spent his year in the AHL, where he has compiled 46 points in 37 games – the league’s third-highest scorer. In fact, Batherson was supposed to be in attendance at today’s AHL All-Star event in Ontario, California, but apparently will be a last-minute absence.
- According to CapFriendly, the Anaheim Ducks have reversed the exact move the team made eight days ago before their bye week began. Blake Pietila has been reassigned to the AHL’s San Diego Gulls, having not gotten into any NHL games still thus year, while fellow forwards Max Jones, Chase De Leo, and Troy Terry have been recalled. Following a long-term injury, Terry needed the extra game action in the minors over the break, but both he and Jones have played in 30+ games with the Ducks this season and look like NHL fixtures moving forward. De Leo on the other hand has only skated in one game with Anaheim this year and is still working toward proving himself.
- CapFriendly also adds that the Tampa Bay Lightning have brought veteran defenseman Luke Schenn and young forward Mitchell Stephens back to the NHL ranks. Schenn has cleared waivers multiple times this season and looks like a capable and flexible depth option for the team down the stretch, even if his usage has been limited thus far. Stephens, 22, is still waiver exempt and has split his season evenly between the NHL and AHL, contributing at both levels.
- After several injury-plagued seasons and a failed attempt at earning a contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs in training camp, veteran goaltender Michal Neuvirth has decided to return to his roots, perhaps until he calls it a career. Neuvirth has signed with HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga, returning to the organization that he grew up in as a developing teenager before embarking on a pro career in North America. The team’s press release reveals that Neuvirth, who trains with the team during summers, has also been working with them over the past couple of months before deciding he was ready for game action. They note that persistent injuries remain a concern, but that the opportunity is there for Neuvirth to seize the starting job and perhaps earn a contract extension beyond this season.
- The Buffalo Sabres have recalled defenseman Lawrence Pilut from the AHL’s Rochester Americans. The Sabres are overloaded with defenders, but Pilut’s production in the minors this season – 22 points in 30 games – has left them with little choice but to keep giving him NHL looks.
- The Detroit Red Wings announced they have recalled goaltender Calvin Pickard from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL on emergency conditions, while sending goaltender Kaden Fulcher to the ECHL ’s Toledo Walleye. Pickard will likely take over backup duties while Jonathan Bernier works his way back from a lower-body injury.
- The Nashville Predators announced they have recalled three players from the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL, including forwards Colton Sissons, Yakov Trenin and defenseman Jarred Tinordi. Sissons spent the past week practicing with the Milwaukee after missing 10 games with the Predators due to a lower-body injury. Trenin has become a popular figure after he went toe-to-toe with Boston’s Zdeno Chara several weeks ago. He has two goals and six points in 13 games where he is averaging just 10:33 of ATOI. He has 31 hits in those 13 contests. Tinordi has appeared in seven games, averaging 14:12.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs have recalled forward Tyler Gaudet of the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. The 26-year-old has two goals and 13 points for the Marlies this year in 39 games. Gaudet, considered to be a tireless worker, has been a favorite of head coach Sheldon Keefe for years. Gaudet played for him back in the CCHL with the Pembroke Lumber Kings during the 2012-2013 season and then again with the Soo Greyhounds between 2012-14.
- The Winnipeg Jets announced they have assigned forward Jansen Harkins to the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, so Harkins could play in the AHL All-Star Game. The Jets replaced him on the roster with forward Cameron Schilling. The move was necessarily even though Winnipeg doesn’t play again until Jan. 31, because the team must keep a 20-man roster and by sending Harkins down, the Jets had no choice but to recall Schilling.
- The San Jose Sharks announced they have recalled forwards Joel Kellman, Dylan Gambrell and Antti Suomela from the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL. That reverses a move made before the team’s break with the exception of Gambrell, who replaces Joachim Blichfeld on the NHL roster. Gambrell played 30 games with the Sharks, but was assigned to the Barracuda to work on his game where he had 12 points in 15 games there.
- The Calgary Flames have recalled forward Buddy Robinson from the Stockton Heat of the AHL. The 28-year-old forward is having a solid season with the Heat, posting 16 goals and 30 points in 40 games. Robinson has played in seven NHL games over the course of his career (all with Ottawa), but hasn’t appeared in a game since 2016-17.
- The Los Angeles Kings have recalled two players in Blake Lizotte and Matt Luff from the Ontario Reign of the AHL, according to Fox Sports’ Jon Rosen. Both players were sent down before the break. Lizotte was out with a lower-body injury and hasn’t been in the lineup since Jan. 8. He played one game for Ontario over the break, but is expected back in the lineup. He has four goals and 15 points over 45 games. Luff has five points in 17 games with the Kings.