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Montreal Canadiens send Mattias Norlinder to Laval Rocket for conditioning

The defenceman is nearing a game return.

NHL: SEP 27 Preseason - Maple Leafs at Canadiens Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens have sent defenceman Mattias Norlinder to the American Hockey League’s Laval Rocket for conditioning.

The defenceman was injured during pre-season, and has not played a game since then. He recently returned to practice this week and skated as an extra defenceman.

Norlinder cannot be assigned to the Rocket as he has a contract with Frölunda in the Swedish Hockey League. The fact he is being assigned to Laval and not sent back to Europe when he is cleared to play means the team is taking a look at him for an NHL job. The SHL season is also entering an international break, so it is possible that this plays into the timing as well. Because Norlinder is returning from injury, the conditioning assignment can last up to six days or three games while on injured reserve. If Norlinder is added to the 23-man roster, it can last up to 14 days.

The Rocket have two games this weekend in Syracuse and Utica. Their next home game is next Wednesday against the Belleville Senators. It remains to be seen how long Norlinder will stay with the Rocket.

Laval also had Cole Caufield added to the team, who will also make his AHL season debut this weekend on the road.