News: VandeChris Vande Velde signed a one-year deal with the Flyers on Thursday, Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly.com reports. Analysis: VandeChris Vande Velde, who had previously been signed to a minor-league contract with AHL Adirondack, will join the Flyers on Thursday and could play if needed. He'll likely see most of his duty on the third- or fourth-line and doesn't project to be much of a contributor in most fantasy leagues.
News: Tim Thomas left Thursday's practice with an undisclosed injury, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports. Analysis: Interim coach Pete Horachek said he had no information regarding the extent of Tim Thomas' injury, clouding his status for Friday's game until further notice. Thomas, 39, has missed time with lower-body injuries on two occasions this season and might be due for another rest soon in any case after starting 15 of the past 16 games for Florida.
News: James Reimer is expected to get the starting nod Thursday vs. the Blues, NHL.com's Lou Korac reports. Analysis: The Leafs didn't hold morning skate, so Thursday's starter likely won't be officially known until pregame warmups, but James Reimer appears on track to get the nod after Jonathan Bernier started Wednesday night. Reimer's 7-4-1 record and .932 save percentage are nice by backup standards, but his GAA has inflated to 2.63 of late with the shoddy defensive work in front of him starting to catch up to him.
News: Alexander Semin (concussion) will be activated from injured reserve and will play Thursday vs. the Flames. Analysis: The concussion forced the winger to miss 12 games, but he's seemingly ready to go after gradually increasing his activity over the last week. He'll likely be assigned to duty on the Jordan Staal-centered second line in his return to the ice Thursday.
News: Carter Hutton will be in the crease Thursday vs. the Stars, Mike Organ of The Tennessean reports. Analysis: Rookie Marek Mazanec's recent struggles has opened the door a little for Carter Hutton, who will start his second game in a row after silencing the Rangers his last time out. His underwhelming track record hardly suggests he'll be able to completely wrest the No. 1 goalie job away from Mazanec, but another strong outing Thursday would certainly help Hutton's cause.
News: Curtis McElhinney will get the start in the net Thursday vs. the Rangers. Analysis: He'll take his fourth straight turn in goal for the Blue Jackets, a stretch during which he's produced a mixed bag of results. After shutting out the Wild in his first start following Sergei Bobrovsky's groin injury, Curtis McElhinney surrendered two goals in a loss to the Penguins and gave up four scores Tuesday vs. the Devils but still managed to walk away with the win.