Dec 8, 2010, 2:08 PM EDT
The news all season long for the Devils has generally been bad. While most people want to focus on Ilya Kovalchuk and his offensive struggles for the moribund team from New Jersey, what’s truly been their Achilles heel has been how bad their defense is. Today, the Devils got some good news about a pair of key players that appear close to returning to the lineup.
Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice has the update for us from New Jersey that young defenseman Matt Taormina was back on the ice skating today. Taormina suffered a high ankle sprain on November 14th and put an already shorthanded blue line corps in further peril. Another player that’s getting closer to coming back is Anssi Salmela. Gulitti reports that Salmela is in great shape and ready to get into some games.
Defenseman Anssi Salmela, who has yet to play this season after having surgery in late May to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and torn meniscus in his right knee, has been given the green light to start playing in games and it appears he will be headed to Albany of the AHL for a conditioning assignment. He can stay there a maximum of two weeks—longer if he and the NHL approve it.
“We’re going to make a decision to get him to play some games,” Lamoriello said. “He’s been battling quite a bit (in practice). He’s been getting the contact. The doctors said he’s probably ready to get in a game. A game is different than practice.”
Lamoriello said he’s going to “have a conversation” with Salmela today about the possibility of going to Albany on conditioning.
Every little bit will help the Devils right now and tightening up the defense and adding more talent to the blue line will help straighten things out for everyone else. Hey, something’s got to work out in New Jersey.
- Subban, Habs can’t agree to terms before arbitration hearing 0
- Flyers’ Mason broke his right pinky finger playing ball hockey 19
- Lindros, LeClair and Desjardins to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame 63
- It’s back! PHT’s Team of the Day summer series starts tomorrow 8
- Pens sign Spaling — two years, $4.4 million 13
- Agent: Subban hasn’t told me to make him NHL’s highest-paid D 31
- Devils sign Greene to five-year, $25M extension 18
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million 46
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ 59
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 15
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Lindros, LeClair and Desjardins to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame (63)
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ (59)
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million (46)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (45)