The Reign, and the rest of the ECHL, were off the ice today. It’s written into the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association that teams don’t practice during the All-Star Break. With no practice comes no updates, but here are a couple tidbits to pass along:
• Aaron Lewadniuk told me after last night’s game that he is leaving for Bakersfield today. Karl Taylor told me about a month ago that, because Ontario is relatively close to Bakersfield, it was possible that the ECHL would turn to the Reign for any injury replacements simply because it’s easier to get players to the game on short notice. The game is two days away and Lewadniuk, to my knowledge, is still the only Reign player heading north.
• Dusty Collins didn’t play for the Manitoba Moose yesterday, the first time he’s been scratched since being recalled to the AHL a week ago. His name hasn’t popped up on the transactions wire yet, but the player whose roster spot he took – Sergei Shirokov – was just returned to Manitoba by the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. But … the Canucks also recalled a defenseman from Manitoba, Lee Sweatt. No clear signals on this front.
• I spoke to Kings assistant GM Ron Hextall today about the Reign and the Manchester Monarchs. No Earth-shattering news to relay, but Hextall did say that he considered assigning a top-six-type forward (he didn’t give a name) from Manchester to Ontario at one point earlier this season when that player was struggling. That player turned his season around, however, and stayed in Manchester.
• 3:30 p.m. update: The Monarchs released defenseman Jordan Hill, who had been on loan from the Reign since December. Manchester doesn’t play a game until Wednesday, while the Reign don’t play until Friday in Utah. For now, pencil Hill in for the road trip – but a lot can happen in four days. Hill had one assist, 19 penalty minutes, and a minus-1 rating in 14 games with the Reign. He had one assist and 15 penalty minutes in 10 games for Manchester.
• 4 p.m. update: Hill is indeed flying in to Ontario today.