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Preseason Buzz: Sandin makes Maple Leafs opening-night roster

Rangers send first-round picks Chytil, Kravtsov to AHL; Reimer to back up Mrazek for Hurricanes @NHLdotcom

Welcome to the 2019 preseason! This is a busy time, with rookies looking to make a name for themselves and veterans looking to lock down roster spots. Each day, we will have all the updates of note right here.

Here is the news for Monday:


Sandin makes opening-night roster for Maple Leafs

Rasmus Sandin, and forwards Ilya Mikheyev, and Dmytro Timashov survived final cuts and are each expected to make their NHL debuts for the Toronto Maple Leafs when they begin the regular season against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Arena (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, SN, SN360) on Wednesday.

Sandin, who was selected in the first round (No. 29) of the 2018 NHL Draft, would be the first 19-year old defenseman to play for the Maple Leafs since Morgan Rielly, when he made his NHL debut Oct. 5, 2013.

"It's really cool, it's a dream come true," Sandin said. "That's what all the hockey players are playing for, they want to take a spot in the NHL. It feels really good right now, obviously, but it's only the first step here too, there's a long way to go still."

Mikheyev was signed as an unrestricted free agent May 26 after playing five seasons with Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League. Timashov was chosen in the fifth round (No. 125) of the 2015 NHL Draft.

"There's been quite a bit of change, we've got to get up to speed," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "We had a pretty good training camp and like 30 other teams, we're optimistic, excited and looking forward to getting going."

Dave McCarthy


Murphy, De Haan could miss Blackhawks opener

Connor Murphy hasn't skated since Wednesday because of an unspecified injury, and there's a possibility the defenseman will not play when the Chicago Blackhawks open their regular season against the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2019 NHL Global Series at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic on Friday (2 p.m., NHLN, SN360, NBCSP, NBCSCH, NHL.TV). 

Asked if Murphy was a few days away from skating again, coach Jeremy Colliton said, "Yeah, it doesn't seem imminent. Again, I don't think it's super long term, but he's not skating yet."

Colliton said Calvin de Haan is closer to returning but wasn't sure if the defenseman would play against the Flyers. De Haan has recovered from shoulder surgery he had in May but has a nagging groin injury.

"We'll see how everything plays out," Colliton said. "He's been practicing, full contact, so that's been good. We have a couple of more days."

Tracey Myers


Islanders will waive Hickey, Ho-Sang, Fritz

Thomas Hickey, Joshua Ho-Sang and Tanner Fritz will each be placed on waivers by the New York Islanders on Monday, president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said.

Hickey, a 30-year-old defenseman, has been with the Islanders since he was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 15, 2013.

"None of them are easy," Lamoriello said. "Thomas' case is certainly a little more different because of the history with the team. It doesn't mean he's going anywhere. It depends upon whether he gets acquired or not."

Ho-Sang, a 23-year-old forward, was selected by the Islanders in the first round (No. 28) of the 2014 NHL Draft and had two points (one goal, one assist) in 10 games last season.

"He came in and did everything that you could ask of a player to do to try and win a spot," Lamoriello said. "In my opinion, he was given every opportunity. It just did not work out and you have to make decisions."

Tweet from @NYIslanders: Lou Lamoriello addresses the decision to put three players on waivers. #Isles


Rangers send Chytil, Kravtsov, Shesterkin to AHL

Forwards Filip Chytil and Vitali Kravtsov, and goalie Igor Shesterkin were among five players the New York Rangers assigned to Hartford of the American Hockey League. 

Chytil was selected by New York with the No. 21 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft and Kravtsov was chosen with the No. 9 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. 

"He's a great prospect, a guy we think really highly of, but this is part of the maturation of a 20-year-old," Rangers coach David Quinn said of Chytil, who played 75 games in New Yorklast season. "Instead of sitting up here in and out of the lineup, he's going down there playing center, power play, all those minutes, it'll help his development."

Forward Vinni Lettieri and defenseman Ryan Lindgren were also assigned to Hartford, forward Boo Nieves will be waived with the purpose of being sent to the AHL, and defenseman Joe Morrow was released from his professional tryout contract.

Forward Lias Andersson, the No. 7 pick in the 2017 draft, will begin the season with the Rangers when they play the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, TSN3, NHL.TV).

Tweet from @NYRangers: OFFICIAL: #NYR reduce roster to 22 players. Chytil, Kravtsov, Lettieri, Lindgren & Shesterkin have been assigned to @WolfPackAHL. Nieves will be placed on waivers for the purpose of assignment. Reunanen has been loaned to Lukko in Liiga. Morrow has been released from his PTO.


Baertschi, Goldobin waived by Canucks

Forwards Sven Baertschi and Nikolay Goldobin, and defenseman Alex Biega, were waived by the Vancouver Canucks and will be sent to Utica of the AHL if they clear.

Baertschi was selected by the Calgary Flames with the No. 13 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. Goldobin was a first-round pick (No. 27) by the San Jose Sharks in the 2014 NHL Draft. 


Reimer will back up Mrazek for Hurricanes

Goalie James Reimer will start the season as the backup to Petr Mrazek for the Carolina Hurricanes after Anton Forsberg was waived for the purpose of being assigned to Charlotte of the American Hockey League.

Reimer was acquired in a trade with the Florida Panthers on June 30 for goalie Scott Darling and a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

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