By Hailey Robinson – Silvertips staff wirter
The stories, headlines, and more that make the buzz for today, Friday, December 7:
Noah Juulsen: After taking two pucks to the face in a game against the Washington Capitals on Nov. 19, Juulsen is again travelling with the Canadiens as they head to the Midwest to play Chicago and Minnesota. He has yet to be officially cleared to play, and will not play Thursday night against Ottawa according to the Montreal Gazette, but travelling with the team is a sign he’s healing from the facial fractures sustained in Nov. and should return to play soon.
Carter Hart: While Philadelphia hockey media seems agreed that Hart isn’t quite ready to make the leap to the NHL, he’s finding success in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He made 35 saves on 33 shots, including a highlight reel save that made the rounds on Twitter, to lead the Phantoms to a 5-2 win over the Toronto Marlies in what may have been the best game of his professional career. While Hart isn’t putting up the same MVP-winning numbers he did with the Silvertips, he’s adjusting to the faster pace of professional hockey quickly with a 0.936 save percentage in his last two starts.
Ryan Murray: After leaving last Saturday’s game with a foot injury, there was concern that Murray would be missing games with yet another injury. However, he returned for the Blue Jackets in their next game against the Calgary Flames, posting two assists and 20 minutes of ice time. Despite Columbus’ 9-6 loss to Calgary, Murray came out +3.
Nikita Scherbak: After being put on waivers by the Montreal Canadiens, Scherbak was picked up by the LA Kings, an opportunity he’s excited for.
The last time Scherbak spent time in LA was for a hockey tournament when he was ten years old, and he’s happy to be back.
“I was just like, ‘No way,’” Scherbak told The Athletic. “It’s been my dream. I’ve been here when I was 10 years old. I have such great memories with the city. I was like, I cannot wait to come back. I guess God gave me opportunity, and I’m happy to be here. I cannot be more excited to be part of the Los Angeles Kings.”
It’s a fresh start for Scherbak, who was drafted in the first round by the Canadiens but never played a significant role with the team. The Kings, who are currently last in the Pacific Division, are in need off offense and hope Scherbak and other waiver wire claims will jumpstart that.
Kevin Bieksa connected with former teammates, dropped the puck in visit to Everett
Former NHL player for the Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks, Kevin Bieksa, visited the Silvertips and dropped the puck in a ceremonial puck drop before Wednesday night’s 4-2 win over the Spokane Chiefs.
Bieksa has a long history with two members of the Tips’ coaching staff, Dennis Williams and Louis Mass. His college career at Bowling Green State University overlapped with Williams and Mass, who were both seniors in his freshman season with the Falcons.
Bieksa is a member of Team Canada for the upcoming Spengler Cup, a hockey tournament that takes place in Switzerland in late December. Looking for a place to get ice time, he reconnected with his former teammates and skated with the Tips in order to prepare for the tournament.
“It’s been a lot of fun for me,” Bieksa said. “The youth and the passion is something I always enjoy being around, even in my last few years in the league.”
Bieksa said the skill level he saw from the Tips was much higher than what he remembers from attending OHL camps early in his career before deciding on the college route. He didn’t just gain from his experience with the Tips, but hoped to pass along things he’s learned from his 13 years of experience in the NHL to the Silvertips.
“I love giving advice and feedback, and I’ve always prided myself on being a guy who watches other players, learns, and adapts things that are working for other guys into my own game, and I think you have to be,” Bieksa said. “I’m just trying to pass that along to these guys as much as I can.”
The Silvertips have some big league new neighbors, as the NHL announced Tuesday that it would be expanding to Seattle.
The Athletic: Can nearby WHL teams continue to thrive with the NHL coming to Seattle?
The Everett Herald: Silvertips in ‘wait and see’ mode on impact of NHL team
More stories from The Herald:
Patterson excited for next chapter with Silvertips
Tips’ Dewar plans to use World Junior snub as motivation