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Off Day Watch, 1/17: Jake and Jeff on the Mend

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On the other hand: Jussi on the outs.

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Los Angeles Kings Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Remember the preseason? When every team was waiving guys left and right, and aside from Two-Time Stanley Cup Champion Jordan Nolan, the free assets were ignored entirely? Every team turned their nose up at the offerings in September and October, but in January, it’s suddenly much harder to sneak someone through. Case in point: the Anaheim Ducks picked up JT Brown, who was waived by Tampa. To create room, the Ducks in turn waived Logan Shaw, and Montreal snagged him!

Freddie Hamilton, Ryan Carpenter, and Nathan Walker are other forwards to have been claimed in the past month, and though pricey, potentially useful defensemen (Cody Franson? Paul Martin?) have snuck through the wire, the forwards apparently are commodities. I guess you can add Jussi Jokinen to the list. Jokinen could have the largest impact of any of the above five players with their new team; indeed, the three forwards before Brown and Shaw have combined to play two NHL gams with zero points since being picked up.

KINGS WATCH

  • So Jokinen heads off to Columbus after putting up a goal and four assists in 18 games with LA. By comparison, Mike Cammalleri has registered two goals and six assists in 25 appearances with Edmonton since the two were traded for each other, although Cammalleri’s -7 puts a damper on his slightly better scoring numbers.
  • After missing three games with an injury, Jake Muzzin is expected to return to LA’s lineup tomorrow. He’s about three games later than I was hoping, but nonetheless, it’s a major relief. Kevin Gravel and Paul LaDue will battle to be the sixth defenseman against Pittsburgh, just like old times.
  • Also taking a noticeable step in his recovery: Jeff Carter! #77 is skating on his own at practice now. It’s a welcome sight, though beware: he might have to dodge the roses being thrown on the ice by grateful Kings fans.

WORLD WATCH

  • As long as we’re discussing returns from injury, let’s wave to Gabriel Vilardi out in Kingston. He’s at #8 on Corey Pronman’s recently released prospect rankings, and that’s surely boosted by his fine form since his return to the OHL. Vilardi is teaming quite nicely with Ducks prospect Max Jones; since Kingston acquired those two, Vilardi has nine points in five games. [The Athletic]
  • Kid Rock is headlining the All-Star Game in Tampa. It’s a mystifying choice, especially after the NHL brought in Snoop Dogg, Carly Rae Jepsen, Nick Jonas, and John Legend for All-Star Weekend in LA last year. I guess anything to keep him from running for Senate.

GAME TO WATCH

Only two NHL contests tonight, but the late one features LA’s next two opponents. Penguins-Ducks at 7:00, on NBCSN.

WATCH THIS

If this is the last thing Mike Amadio does this year for the Ontario Reign, then it’s a nice capper. Also, it’d be awesome if this is the last thing Mike Amadio does this year for the Ontario Reign, because that’d mean he was too good for LA to send him back.