Former Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Chiasson is getting another crack at the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings after playing 29 games for the franchise’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He saw limited ice time on Saturday afternoon against the New York Islanders and had one shot on goal in Detroit’s 4-1 loss.
The 32-year-old forward produced 22 points for the Canucks last season over 67 games after making the team out of training camp on a professional try-out (PTO) opportunity. He was praised at the time as a “power play specialist”.
The Maple Leafs have very specific motivations as they take on Vancouver at Rogers Arena on Saturday afternoon. They already know they’ll be playing the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs this spring and they seem to have added to their roster accordingly.
Ryan O’Reilly, Luke Schenn, Jake McCabe and Erik Gustafsson, all newbies for the Maple Leafs, should appear in the line-up against the BC boys. As they acclimate, the other motivation is home ice in the first round against Tampa. At the moment it’s looking pretty good for Toronto. They had a five point lead for second place in the Atlantic Division over the Bolts and Tampa Bay just lost Saturday afternoon on the road to the Buffalo Sabres.
Gone just a few days, Schenn will likely get some type of video tribute and a warm welcome from the Canucks faithful as he returns for Saturday’s game.
The somewhat desperate Calgary Flames, entering Saturday nine points out of 3rd place in the Pacific Division and five points out of the second Western Conference wild card spot, made one last trade on deadline day Friday and it involved brothers.
29-year-old winger Brett Ritchie, a Canada Day baby, was sent along with defenceman Connor Mackey to the Arizona Coyotes for younger brother and winger Nick Ritchie and former Canucks defenceman and Richmond native Troy Stetcher.
The flames host a conference rival in the MInnesota Wild on Saturday night in what amounts to a must win.
The team nine points ahead of the Flames in the Pacific is none other than the Canucks neighbours to the south, the Seattle Kraken, the second year club on the verge of wrapping up a playoff spot. The Kraken are taking advantage of a favourable schedule in recent days having beaten the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night and presently on a three game win streak.
General Manager Ron Francis decided to stand pat on deadline day, sticking with the chemistry and identity that got his club to this point. Otherwise, the team expects scorer Andre Burakovsky back from a week-to-week injury in the next two weeks to help bolster the line-up.
Twelve wins over their final twenty games would get the Kraken to 100 points on the season.
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