Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2021-22 season, NHL.com will have you covered with the latest news.
Alexander Radulov was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol Tuesday.
The forward has scored 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) in 31 games this season.
He joins goalie Braden Holtby and forward Denis Gurianov, who were placed in protocol Tuesday.
Holtby is 6-8-1 with a 2.56 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 17 games (16 starts) this season.
Gurianov has scored 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 31 games.
Goalie Anton Khudobin was recalled from Texas of the American Hockey League and likely will back up Jake Oettinger against the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday (BSSW+, ROOT-NW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).
Claude Giroux is expected to play for the Flyers at the Boston Bruins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, SNE, SNO, TVAS, NHL LIVE).
The forward missed three games in COVID-19 protocol. He exited protocol and practiced Tuesday.
“‘G’ being out there with us today, I would expect G to be ready to go,” coach Mike Yeo said.
Giroux leads the Flyers with 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 32 games.
The Flyers had their game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday postponed due to COVID-19 issues affecting them, but they were able to practice and will practice Wednesday before traveling to Boston.
“I feel good right now,” Giroux said. “Conditioning, maybe one more practice wouldn’t hurt. When you don’t do anything for five, six days, it’s kind of tough to get back into practice. But today was a good practice and it’s good that we have another one tomorrow.”
Yeo said he was hopeful defenseman Ivan Provorov or forward Travis Konecny, possibly both, could exit protocol and play Thursday. Provorov has missed three games, Konecny has missed two.
“I know that they’re getting near that timeline,” Yeo said. “So we’ll see, but as of right now, just keep working with the group that we have.”
The Flyers placed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen in protocol. Defenseman Justin Braun entered Monday.
Forward Patrick Brown is expected to be out four weeks with a sprained MCL in his knee, sustained when he collided with San Jose Sharks forward Matt Nieto in the third period of a 3-2 overtime loss Saturday. — Adam Kimelman
Jon Merrill agreed to a three-year, $3.6 million contract Tuesday. It has an average annual value of $1.2 million.
The 29-year-old defenseman could have become an unrestricted free agent after the season. He has scored 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 33 games.
Merrill signed a one-year contract with the Wild on July 29.
Jaccob Slavin was placed in COVID-19 protocol.
The defenseman has scored 18 points (one goal, 17 assists) in 33 games and leads Carolina in average ice time per game (23:57).
The Hurricanes host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.
St. Louis Blues
David Perron was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday.
The forward has scored 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 25 games. He joins forward Brayden Schenn and defenseman Colton Parayko, who entered COVID-19 protocol Monday. Each will miss at least one game, against the Seattle Kraken on Thursday.
Schenn played three games after missing five with an upper-body injury. The forward has scored 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 22 games.
Parayko has scored 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 36 games. The defenseman leads the Blues with an average of 24:10 in ice time per game.
Forward Vladimir Tarasenko and defensemen Scott Perunovich and Jake Walman, each placed in protocol Thursday, could return against the Kraken. Tarasenko, who has missed two games, is second on the Blues with 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) in 34 games. — Lou Korac
New York Islanders
Defenseman Ryan Pulock and coach Barry Trotz were placed in COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday.
Trotz, who returned to practice Saturday following the death of his mother, missed a 3-2 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 1. That was the last game New York played before having games postponed because of COVID-19 issues.
Pulock has two assists in 12 games this season. He has not played since Nov. 15 because of a lower-body injury but has been skating.
New York is next scheduled to play the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.