Two significant pieces of news came from the New Jersey Devils regarding two of their currently-injured significant players. One's good news and the other is not.
The bad news involves Michael Cammalleri. His right hand or wrist injury that has kept him out since January 26 will keep him out for the rest of the season. Tom Gulitti reported at Fire & Ice earlier today that while he's been skating, he's still not using a stick; and, the unspecified injury does not need surgery but does need time to recover, and that time will go beyond April 9. While one man alone can't carry an offense, Cammalleri was a significant reason why the Devils had something resembling an offensive punch at times. In 2015, Cammalleri finished the calendar year just outside of the top ten scorers in the NHL. In 2016, he's played four games. Not that the Devils were goal scoring machines with him, but they've been worse off without him. Short of any significant move, he's signed through next season (and two more) so the hope is that his injury will heal and an older Cammalleri can still blast one-timers and finish feeds across the Royal Road for the 2016-17 Devils.
The good news involves Cory Schneider. He returned to practice on Tuesday and the knee is in good condition, according to this article by Gulitti at Fire & Ice. That's very good news. I know I wrote that he should be shut down when the news came out about his MCL sprain. Yet, I'd be lying if I didn't want to see Schneider in net again. Especially now that tanking now won't really yield much. Anyway, Gulitti also confirmed from head coach John Hynes that Schneider will not play later this week. He will be held out of the back-to-back with Pittsburgh and Washington. He didn't entirely rule out Sunday's trip to Carolina, but the plan is definitely for a return to games next week. With six in the final thirteen days of the season, he'll get plenty of chances to get back into things and make plenty of great saves. I wouldn't say it's the end for Keith Kinkaid; I think he'll get one or two more once #35 returns just because the season would be winding down. Those enthralled by Scott Wedgewood's first NHL game will have to cross their fingers for an appearance in the next two games. As it's a back-to-back, it's likely he'll get in - it's just that the opponent may either be Pittsburgh or Washington.
What about the third man, Patrik Elias? Going back to Gulitti's article about Cammalleri not returning this season, Elias hopes to know by Friday whether he'll play again this season. I'm hoping the answer is yes, even if it's only for the final game of the season. Between his age, the state of the team, the state of his game, and his contract ending, it seems to me that could very well be his "goodbye" game after a long, illustrious career in New Jersey. It's better to do that on the ice than not. We'll see what happens.
What's your reaction to the news with Cammalleri, Schneider, and the next update for Elias? Do you want Schneider to return? Do you think Cammalleri will come back to his 2015-16 form and fully healthy for 2016-17? Please leave your answers in the comments. Thank you for reading.