There has been plenty of roster movement between NHL teams and the taxi squad on a daily basis this season. Although some major names may be highlighted in separate articles, this is where you’ll find the majority of that shuffle news each day:
- The Ottawa Senators got the day started on the transaction wire with the swap of two forward prospects, partially reversing the moves they made yesterday. The team announced that Alex Formenton has been recalled from AHL Belleville and assigned to the taxi squad. In a corresponding move, Jack Kopacka has been reassigned from the squad to the minors. Formenton has played in two games with Ottawa so far this year, while Kopacka has spent time on the active roster but has yet to make his Senators debut.
- Veini Vehvilainen has finally joined the Toronto Maple Leafs after completing his mandating quarantine period. The young goaltender, acquired earlier this month from the Columbus Blue Jackets, has been assigned to the taxi squad, with prospect Ian Scott returning to the AHL Marlies. Vehvilainen’s arrival comes at a good time; starter Frederik Andersen remains sidelined and replacement Jack Campbell was given a rest day, so Vehvilainen and Michael Hutchinson were the only goaltenders in attendance at Leafs practice today. Should the Maple Leafs suffer another injury in net, Vehvilainen is now the next man up with the other three goalies already on the active roster.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins are set to wrap up a homestand on Monday before heading out on the road and are taking the opportunity to switch out their taxi squad personnel. Forwards Jordy Bellerive and Josh Currie have been reassigned to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Without announcing any corresponding move, this likely bodes well for the health of numerous Penguins forward currently sidelined by injury or on the COVID Protocol list.
- The Buffalo Sabres will give young goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and forward Brett Murray some play time, reassigning the duo from the practice squad to the AHL’s Rochester Americans. Luukkonen, considered the Sabres’ starter of the future, has played in eight AHL games so far this season but could get his first look with the top club before the end of the year. Murray is also looking to make his NHL debut; the 2016 fourth-round pick took a circuitous route to the pros but has nevertheless proven himself to be an effective player in the AHL and could soon get a chance in Buffalo.
- While the Maple Leafs have added former Blue Jacket Vehvilainen to their practice squad, Columbus has gone one step further today by recalling the other side of that recent trade, defenseman Mikko Lehtonen, to the active roster. Lehtonen, a prolific KHL offensive defenseman, recorded three points in nine games with Toronto before the trade, but the Blue Jackets hope that they can put him in a position to be more productive among their deep group of dependable defenders. Forward Stefan Matteau will be taking Lehtonen’s spot on the taxi squad, while promising young forward Liam Foudy will also join the squad after being promoted from the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters.
- As they embark on a road trip, the Minnesota Wild have called in reinforcements up front in Luke Johnson. The veteran AHLer has been recalled to the taxi squad from AHL Iowa, where he has only played in two games this season versus six with Minnesota. A taxi squad fixture, Johnson has been a reliable depth piece for the Wild this year.