The Dispatch is reporting that Raffi Torres is headed to the IR again for his re-occurring knee problem. Man that a tough pill to swallow for Raffi as he was coming off an injury riddled campaign that ended with major knee surgery and was looking to make an impact with his new squad. He certainly showed some signs of the impact he could make but just wasn't quite able to bring that game every night -- now we know why.
So with Raffi out who gets the call?
I'll tell ya I doubt its Filatov. If it was a top 6 skill position then maybe but I think the org feels he needs some more time baking down in the 'cuse. Filatov has 6g 7a for 13p in 18g but like most of the Crunch players he has cooled of late offensively. I haven't got to watch him play so I can't say one way or the other if his stats reflect the play.
Instead I look for a veteran like Derek MacKenzie to get the nod. I think Hitch will want a dependable "worker" in the bottom 6 and MacKenzie brings that to the table and showed well in that role last season. In 12 games since coming off his injury in Syracuse he has 13 points (6g, 7a).
Another guy to keep an eye on is Mike York. He looked slow and sluggish in camp but he's quietly leading the Crunch in points with 4g, 15a for 19p in 22g. Again I haven't watched the Crunch so I'm not sure how his play reflects his stats but he's another veteran the organization could look to to fill the Torres void.
To this point the Jackets have recalled mostly their young guns on the farm. Filatov, Dorsett, Russell have all gotten the nod. Howson may want to give one of his hard working vets a cup of coffee this time around....not only to fill the void up on the big team but it never hurts to have your morale up amongst your veterans in terms of getting a shot in the NHL this season as it does for your youngsters.
Also keep an eye on Craig MacDonald. He's another vet whose racked up 7g, 8a for 15 points in 22 games.
Of course the biggest draw back with the vets is the dreaded waivers. Once a player comes off IR chances are that veteran will get sent back down and all 29 other teams will have a shot at him... if he's playing well the Jackets could lose him.
Fire away - who would you recall?