News: Jesse Winchester sustained a concussion in Tuesday's preseason tilt against the Kings, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: Coach Patrick Roy suggested Jesse Winchester could be out a while, as he'll be subjected to the league's concussion protocol before returning with the ice. With the regular season just over a week away, there's a good chance Winchester could land on injured reserve if he fails to make much progress.
News: Jonathan Ericsson (hip flexor) isn't certain if he'll play in the Red Wings' remaining two preseason games, MLive.com's Ansar Khan reports. Analysis: Though Jonathan Ericsson returned to practice Wednesday, he may not be operating at full speed when the Red Wings conclude their exhibition schedule Saturday. He does, however, feel that he will be 100 percent healthy for the Oct. 9 opener against the Bruins, especially after he gets in a few more hard skates. The blueliner is also returning from a broken finger that prevented him from playing in the final 14 regular-season contests and the playoffs, but that particular injury isn't expected to hinder him any further.
News: Maxim Noreau was placed on waivers by the Avalanche on Tuesday, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. Analysis: He has only played six NHL games in his career and has spent the last three years playing in Switzerland. If another NHL team does not claim him, Maxim Noreau will report to AHL Lake Erie. Noreau last appeared in the NHL during the 2010-11 season with Minnesota, where he only lasted five games with the team. There is a very low chance that he will see NHL action this season, minimizing his fantasy value.
News: Bruno Gervais was put on waivers by Colorado on Tuesday, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. Analysis: He spent all of last season in the AHL where he played 59 games, scored 10 goals, and added 16 assists. Bruno Gervais who has played over 400 games in the NHL, will report to AHL Lake Erie if he goes unclaimed on waivers. The only way he could see time with the Avalanche is if the team falls victim to a rash of injuries. Otherwise, he will have very little fantasy value even in deeper leagues.
News: Niklas Backstrom appears to be losing ground in the battle for the No. 1 goalie gig with Darcy Kuemper, Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Analysis: Niklas Backstrom was the frontrunner for the starting job entering camp, but after Kuemper reported to the Wild upon agreeing to a new contract with the team, the declining veteran looks on track to eventually settle into a reserve role. The 36-year-old has performed respectably in training camp with 29 saves on 32 shots over two appearances, but the memory of last season's 5-11-2 record, 3.02 GAA and .899 save percentage will probably make the Wild somewhat reluctant to use him regularly. Though some of his struggles could be attributed to injury, the youthful Kuemper posted far better numbers as a rookie and probably gives the Wild a better chance at ascending to the Western Conference's elite in 2014-15. Expect Backstrom's long tenure in Minnesota to allow him to cut into Kuemper's workload early in the season, but Kuemper should soon separate himself as the team's clear No. 1 option.
News: Scott Laughton was assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley on Tuesday, Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News reports. Analysis: The former first-round pick had a strong preseason thus far, but his performance was not enough to make the final roster. Scott Laughton is held in high regard as a prospect in the Flyers' system, and he's still young enough to stay in the AHL for the year to develop his skills further. Barring injury, he won't see much playing time in the NHL this year since the Flyers seem rather settled at center, but keeper league owners should still give him a look.
News: Jonathon Blum was recalled from AHL Iowa on Wednesday, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: Jonathon Blum was among three players the team placed on waivers earlier in the week, but he'll return to provide depth for Thursday's preseason game against the Blues. Chances are, Blum will head right back down afterward, but he did play in 15 games with Minnesota last season and figures to get another chance at some point in 2014-15.
News: Justin Falk was recalled from AHL Iowa on Wednesday, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: A handful of players were added for depth ahead of Thursday's exhibition with St. Louis, leaving the team with one extra skater. Presumably, a defenseman will be scratched, and even if it isn't Justin Falk, he'll likely just head back down after the game.
News: Joel Rechlicz was recalled from AHL Iowa on Wednesday, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: Joel Rechlicz, who posted one goal, one assist and 87 penalty minutes in 25 games with AHL Hershey last season, will be up merely to provide depth for Thursday's preseason game against St. Louis.
News: Zack Phillips was recalled from AHL Iowa on Wednesday, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: The Wild added some reinforcements ahead of Thursday's exhibition against the Blues, Zack Phillips included. A first-round pick in 2011 (28 overall), Phillips put up 33 points (12G, 21A) and a minus-30 rating in 76 games with Iowa last season. He'll likely head back down right after the game.