Dan Boyle is targeting a return before the end of January from his wrist injury. That's a couple of weeks ahead of schedule, by my count.


The Denver Post is reporting that Ryan Smyth has suffered a serious ankle injury. He is a warrior, so he will be back earlier than you think, but unofficially it looks like it will be weeks as opposed to days.


Gilbert Brule has finally been sent to Syracuse of the AHL. The Jackets have hindered his development enough. He is still a valuable keeper league player. If he's still there on January 10th, I may re-activate him on my prospects list. He would be a surefire Top 10 guy there.


The Leafs are shaking things up for tomorrow's contest. I find that the team gives established guys far too many chances and aren't hard enough on there. In fact, if Sergei Samsonov was a Leaf, they probably still would not have scratched him! Anyway, Paul Maurice is sending Kyle Wellwood to the press box. He is a minus-6 in his last eight games and has just two points.


Scott Clemensen will get the start for the Buds.


Maurice is once again trying Jason Blake on Sundin's line.


Simon Gagne is practicing harder and hopes to feel no effects from his concussion. If all goes well, you could see him this weekend at the earliest.


Andy McDonald's pulled chest muscle is not getting any better. He has missed three games already and I would expect him to miss at least three more.


The Kings signed Wayne Simmonds to an entry level deal. The budding power forward is currently with Team Canada in the WJC. He is not yet on my prospects list, because I still feel his upside is a little limited and he is years away from an NHL job.


Marc-Andre Bergeron had a three point night last night, serving notice that he wants back in Nolan's good books. He has been a healthy scratch 15 times this season. Last season he was an absolute stud for the Islanders and I had visions of 60-plus points from him this year. If you have him on your bench, definitely activate him because he should give you some good games for the next week at the very least.


Matt Cullen was back in the lineup last night, but played fewer than five minutes. He was feeling the effects of the hit he took last week that knocked him out but didn't give him a concussion (tongue-in-cheek remark).


Mikko Koivu is steadily improving and should return to practice in a couple of days. Expect him in the lineup around the 10th of January against Detroit.


Mike Cammalleri sat out practice again yesterday and will not be in the lineup tomorrow. Suddenly, his 'not serious' injury is becoming serious. Once again, I'm learning not to trust what the team says.


The Flyers sent down Ryan Potulny and Stefan Ruzicka, indicating that Upshall may be back soon.


Ethan Moreau has played two games for the Oilers and has points in each, three in all. He is averaging over 18 minutes a game and seeing time on the second power play. This young team needs his leadership and ethic. I think, if healthy, he's a 55-point guy on this team. He's hot right now, so scoop him up for some depth points.


David Vyborny tweaked his groin muscle and is questionable for the next game. Bad news for Vyborny owners. Groin injuries tend to linger all season long.


Dave Koci will be back in the lineup after the 'Hawks scratched him for the last two weeks.
Sergei Samsonov cleared waivers. Montreal tried to get another team to take him via re-entry waivers and failed, so I certainly don't see it happening when the Blackhawks do it.


Chicago line combos: Toews, with Sharp and Bourque. Kontiola, with Ruutu and Kane. This could be the spark Ruutu needs and keep an eye on Kontiola, my 105th ranked fantasy prospect.


Martin Rucinsky has a seperated shoulder and will be on the shelf for several weeks.


Martin Gerber will get a chance to bounce back from his brutal Saturday performance by getting the start tomorrow.


Sandis Ozolinsh was a healthy scratch last game.


Patrik Elias (groin) says he is 50-50 for tomorrow.


SPECTOR is reporting that Chris Osgood is hoping to sign a three-year contract to remain in Detroit. If so, he could be a starter next season if Hasek retires (which he should). Osgood's keeper league value will increase with this news.


He is also reporting that the Sens may be interested in signing Cujo, given Gerber's inconsistency and Emery's ...um ... situation. Cujo played extremely well at the Spengler Cup.


Happy New Year!


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