NHL Buzz: Simmonds assigned to minors by Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forwards Wayne Simmonds, Kyle Clifford and Adam Gaudette, and defenseman Victor Mete cleared waivers and have been assigned to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League on Monday.

“Reality of where we are at with the [NHL salary] cap and our roster,” trainer Shledon Keefe mentioned. “Frankly ever since we made the decision to sign Calle Jarnkrok, we were in a position where we knew we were going to be carrying a tight roster, a very short roster. We believe that Jarnkrok, that addition makes us a better and deeper team and as a result you are going to have to make some decisions like this. These guys (being sent down) we really believe in. Clifford and Simmonds in particular are guys that mean a lot to our team and to our room. … The 12 forwards we have remaining I believe we are a deeper and improved forward group than we were a year ago so there are some guys who are going to slide down that depth chart.”

Simmonds has 524 issues (263 targets, 261 assists) in 1,019 regular-season video games and 22 issues (8 targets, 14 assists) in 53 playoff video games with the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres and Maple Leafs. He signed a two-year, $1.8 million contract on July 29, 2021.

Clifford has 143 issues (66 targets, 77 assists) in 751 regular-season video games with the Kings, St. Louis Blues and Maple Leafs. The 31-year-old has 16 issues (4 targets, 12 assists) in 64 playoff video games and received the Stanley Cup with Los Angeles in 2012 and 2014.

Gaudette signed a one-year contract with the Maple Leafs on July 13 and Mete signed a one-year contract the next day to come.

Nick Robertson was once additionally assigned to the Marlies. The 21-year-old ahead had one objective in 10 NHL video games ultimate season.

“I think the best we can do is just talk to him and be up front and honest,” Keefe mentioned. “It’s an unfortunate situation for a player who has worked really hard and is as competitive as he is and he did all the things we asked him to do. A player like him at his age is never a finished product so I think there is always some benefit to playing in the AHL.” — Dave McCarthy


New York Rangers

Sammy Blais didn’t follow Monday and the ahead is unsure for the Rangers season opener towards the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN1, TVAS, SN NOW).

Blais sustained an upper-body harm early in New York’s ultimate preseason recreation towards the Boston Bruins on Saturday.

The 26-year-old hasn’t performed since Nov. 14, when he suffered a torn ACL in his proper knee that required season-ending surgical operation. He had 4 assists in 14 video games with the Rangers ultimate season.

Blais began coaching camp as the proper wing at the Rangers most sensible line with middle Mika Zibanejad and left wing Chris Kreider, however he most probably would have began the season because the left wing at the fourth line with middle Ryan Carpenter and proper wing Ryan Reaves.

Dryden Hunt or Jimmy Vesey may well be the left wing at the fourth line towards the Lightning. Vesey agreed to a one-year contract Sunday. He was once in coaching camp on a certified tryout contract (PTO). — Dan Rosen, senior author


Buffalo Sabres

Kyle Okposo returned to follow Monday within the hopes of being able for the season opener towards the Ottawa Senators on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, TSN5, RDS, ESPN+, SN NOW).

The ahead, who was once named captain of the Sabres on Saturday, sustained an upper-body harm overdue in the second one length in a preseason recreation towards the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct. 4.

“We’ll see,” he mentioned. “Definitely working hard to try and get back for that. But no definitive answer on that for you.”

Okposo wore a no-contact jersey and took part in many of the drills, even taking “a bump or two that I wasn’t supposed to.” It was once his first time skating since being injured.

“He was fully engaged,” trainer Don Granato mentioned. “So, very encouraging. Obviously, knowing him, no secret he’s going to want to play Thursday and I’m probably going to be cautious of that based on the fact that he’s still where he’s at now with the yellow jersey on. But we’ll cross that bridge when we have to. He did, by the way, want to skate last week and we had to tell him no. We’ll still take it day by day and that little ongoing battle. He’s a competitive guy.” — Heather Engel


Washington Capitals

Forward T.J. Oshie (higher physique) and defenseman Dmitry Orlov (decrease physique) are positive about being able to play within the Capitals regular-season opener towards the Boston Bruins on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; TNT, SN NOW) after working towards Sunday. Each didn’t play in Washington’s preseason finale towards the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday after being injured towards the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

“That night, it was a little scary,” mentioned Oshie, who was once injured when he was once checked into the forums by Red Wings ahead Joe Veleno. “We didn’t know how it was going to feel in the morning and woke up in the morning and it felt a lot better than we expected. I still got to go through all the steps with (athletic trainer Jason Serbus), so I’m not going insert myself anywhere, but I felt really good today.”

Orlov mentioned he tweaked one thing towards the Red Wings and felt stiff the next day to come, so the Capitals held him out of form for 2 days.

“Right now, I feel good,” Orlov mentioned. “It feels normal almost and I’ve got a couple more days to feel more ready and get prepared for the first big game of the season.” — Tom Gulitti 


Philadelphia Flyers

Sean Couturier is not going to play within the season opener towards the New Jersey Devils on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, SN NOW).

The middle has been regarded as week to week as a result of an upper-body harm sustained sooner than coaching camp began.

“I haven’t talked to the trainers, I’m not exactly sure where they’re at with that,” trainer John Tortorella mentioned Sunday. “It’s certainly not going to be opening night. What it comes down to in days or weeks, I’m not sure.”

Couturier skated on his personal for approximately 40 mins. He’s been skating because the finish of ultimate week, however mentioned Sunday was once the primary time he was once allowed to shoot pucks and stick-handle.

“Just getting better and better every day,” he mentioned. “Back on the ice so that’s a step in the right direction. … We’re going gradually, every day doing a little more and see how it responds every day and how it goes.

“Really day to day. They’re roughly comparing me each day, see how I’m going, see how I growth. The objective is truly to be 100% once I come again and no longer have to care for anything else all 12 months.”

Couturier didn’t play last season after Dec. 18, and had season-ending back surgery Feb. 11. He said he had been fully cleared for training camp the first week of September. — Adam Kimelman


Vancouver Canucks

Brock Boeser practiced Sunday for the first time since surgery on his hand Sept. 26 and the forward could return for the season opener Wednesday at the Edmonton Oilers (10 p.m. ET; SN, ESPN+, SN NOW).

Boeser was originally expected to miss 3-4 weeks and 3-7 games but resumed skating and stickhandling within a week of surgery and was shooting during practice Sunday while wearing a no-contact jersey.

“He was once satisfied to be in the market. His legs are tremendous,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We simply were given to get the remainder of his physique able and expectantly he’ll get permission to play on Wednesday.”

Boeser, who opened training camp on right wing of a top line with center J.T. Miller and Tanner Pearson, had 46 points (23 goals, 23 assists) in 71 games last season. The 25-year-old skated primarily on a fourth line with left wing Dakota Joshua and middle Nils Aman on Sunday.

Forward Conor Garland, who left in the second period of a 4-0 preseason win against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday with an undisclosed injury, did not practice Sunday. Neither did top defenseman Quinn Hughes, who did not play against the Coyotes, but Boudreau said both were having maintenance days.

“They’ll each be at the ice [Monday],” Boudreau mentioned. — Kevin Woodley

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