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 Le Journal de Montreal reports. Analysis: He has only played six NHL games in his career and has spent the last three years in the Swiss-A league. If another NHL team does not claim him, he will report to AHL Lake Erie. Maxim 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 and he has very low fantasy value, if any.
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: Shayne Gostisbehere was assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley on Tuesday, Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News reports Analysis: Shayne Gostisbehere scored two goals and added an assist in the preseason, but he never merited serious consideration for Flyers' 23-man roster. With the absence of Kimmo Timonen, the rookie could still get called up midseason if the team is need of reinforcements on the blue line, but for now, it seems like the team wants him to keep working on his game in the AHL.
News: Darcy Kuemper will start both of the Wild's final two preseason contests, Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Analysis: The decision would seem to signal that he's got the inside track on the starting job, as the latter stages of the exhibition schedule are typically treated by coaches as dress rehearsals for the regular season. It's still likely that Darcy Kuemper and fellow No. 1 goalie contender Niklas Backstrom share duties between the pipes in the early stages of the season, but Kuemper's superior numbers in 2013-14 (12-8-4, 2.43 GAA, .915 save %) make him the preferable option of the two to own.
News: Zack Stortini was waived by the Flyers on Wednesday, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. Analysis: Aside from agitating opponents (299 PIM in 73 games at AHL Norfolk) last season, Zack Stortini doesn't bring much skill to the ice. He could see time with the Flyers as a checking-line option later in the season, assuming he clears waivers and reports to AHL Lehigh Valley.
News: Boone Jenner had surgery on his broken hand Tuesday and is expected to miss approximately five weeks, the Blue Jackets' official site reports. Analysis: Boone Jenner is coming off a successful rookie season in which he notched 16 goals and 29 points, setting him up to become a top-six forward with Columbus in 2014-15. In light of this news, the Blue Jackets' first two lines look highly unsettled, as Jenner's absence, Nathan Horton's back problems, and Ryan Johansen's contract dispute have created three vacancies. Jenner should be a valuable contributor when he returns to action, but he'll likely plummet down cheat sheets with the knowledge that he'll be out until November.