During Wednesday night’s games, the Montreal Canadiens and St. John’s IceCaps suffered numerous injuries to their forward corps. For the Canadiens it was Paul Byron and Brendan Gallagher who were felled. For the IceCaps Nikita Scherbak was potentially lost to injury.
These names are added to an already populous list of injured forwards that includes Alex Galchenyuk (knee), David Desharnais (knee), Andrew Shaw (concussion), Charles Hudon (ankle), Max Friberg (flu), and Connor Crisp.
Scherbak was hit blindside to the head, but returned towards the end of the game. His status in unknown. As of Thursday morning this left the Canadiens with 11 healthy forwards and the IceCaps with 10 or 11 healthy forwards, depending on Scherbak’s condition.
The IceCaps made several moves on Thursday to help start overcoming these shortcomings signing four players to 25-game Professional Tryout contracts.
As a first move, the IceCaps announced the signing of forward Alexandre Ranger to a PTO contract.
This will be Ranger’s fourth team this season, splitting time between the Norfolk Admirals and Tulsa Oilers in the ECHL, and the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL. In 17 games played across those three teams, Ranger has one goal to his name. Last season in his first season as a pro, he split time between the Norfolk Admirals and the IceCaps, where he also signed a PTO contract. In 17 games with the IceCaps he scored two goals and added one assist. He primarily played right wing on the fourth line.
Later on Thursday the IceCaps announced another PTO signing, this time defenceman Reggie Traccitto from the Brampton Beast.
After going undrafted in the NHL draft, the 27-year old Oakville, Ontario, native played a few games with the Ontario Reign of the ECHL, before going to the University of Prince Edward Island for four seasons, where he made CIS All-Canadian Second All-Star team. He returned to professional hockey last season with the Brampton Beast, playing in 37 games, scoring 8 goals and adding four assists. In 31 games with the Beast this season he has scored once and added 10 assists.
The IceCaps also added left winger Anthony Camara from the Kalamazoo Wings in the ECHL on a PTO.
The third round draft pick by the Boston Bruins in 2011 spent the past three seasons with the Providence Bruins, but was not re-signed after his entry level contract expired. This season with Kalamazoo he has scored nine goals and added eight assists in 25 games, putting him third in scoring on a weak Wings team. He also has 50 penalty minutes this season, a stat that has always been on the higher side for him throughout his career.
The IceCaps continued to sign players, adding Michael McCarron’s older brother John to a PTO contract.
The right winger was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 2012, but was never offered an NHL entry level contract. In his rookie professional season he split his time between the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL. This season for the Florida Everblades of the ECHL McCarron scored 12 goals and added 18 assists in 29 games.
The IceCaps currently have six players on PTO contracts, the others being forward Brandon MacLean and defenceman Julien Brouillette, whose PTO expires in six games.
Goaltender Bryan Pitton was also recently released from his second PTO of the season, used as an auxiliary when one of the goalie tandem of Charlie Lindgren or Yann Danis is not available.