The Buffalo Sabres have a new coaching staff in place and could be getting back a key player from injury soon as interim coach Don Granato said that starting goaltender Linus Ullmark is expected to join the team for their four-game road trip starting on Monday, according to NHL.com’s Jourdon LaBarber.
“We need to integrate him into practice. That’s the next step here,” said Granato.
That doesn’t sound like Ullmark is ready to play, but getting on the ice with the team would be a big step for a player, who has only appeared in 12 games this season and hasn’t seen the ice since Feb. 25. Ullmark was playing quite well with a 5-4-2 record, a 2.44 GAA and a .919 save percentage. If he can return soon, that could be a huge boost for a team that has lost 13 in a row.
- Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said that forward Jason Zucker continues to progress in his rehab from a lower-body injury. The winger was placed on LTIR, retroactive to Feb. 23, according to PGPSportsNow’s Matt Vensel. Sullivan said that Zucker dressed in full gear Sunday and skated with the taxi squad, suggesting he’s getting closer to a return. Regardless, it looks like Zucker should be able to return before the end of the season. The 29-year-old has four goals and seven points in 17 games, but should supply a big boost to the team’s top-six once he returns.
- Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy writes that sources suggest that the Boston Bruins are willing to move fourth-line forward Sean Kuraly in any package and the team could find a taker in the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus might be interested in Kuraly, who is a local kid, and could provide the team with solid two-way play. The scribe writes that the team feels they have younger players who look ready to step in as fourth-line options.