It was two in, three out for the St. John’s IceCaps Monday.
With the Winnipeg Jets’ season done, the NHL team returned right-winger Spencer Machacek and centre Patrice Cormier to the IceCaps, and while the assignments were expected ever since the Jets were eliminated from playoff contention, they were nonetheless welcome for an AHL team that will begin its Calder Cup playoff run just over a week from now,
Machacek went to Winnipeg three weeks ago, but remains St. John’s leading scorer, with 48 points (17 goals, 31 assists) in 58 games. In 13 games with the Jets, he had two goals, seven assists and a plus-eight rating. Cormier had 17 goals and 14 assists in 54 games for the IceCaps and had big roles on faceoffs and the power play. He had no points in nine games with Winnipeg.
At the same time the returns of Machacek and Cormier were being made official, the IceCaps were announcing the release of three forwards from tryout contracts.
Kyle Rogers and Josh Lunden were on professional tryouts after being brought in from the ECHL, while Scott Zurevinski was on an amateur tryout after finishing his collegiate career at Quinnipac University. Rogers, who appeared in two games for St. John’s, and Zurevinski, who dressed for eight, didn’t record any points for the IceCaps. Lunden saw action in 11 games with St. John’s this season, picking up one assist.
Even though the moves mean the IceCaps have one less body, they still have 30 players on their roster. About a half dozen are injured, but that number is also being slowly whittled down.
St. John’s finishes its regular-season schedule with three games in New England this weekend. The IceCaps (42-23-8) need a single point or for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to lose a game to clinch the second playoff seed in the AHL’s Eastern Conference.