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Hand injury hampering Kane
Friday might be remembered as one of the juicier news days of the 2013-14 Winnipeg Jets season...
But somewhat lost in the Dustin Byfuglien shuffle and the Jets' line juggling Friday was an update on Evander Kane's status for today's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Kane did not skate on Thursday and, initially, his absence was referred to as "maintenance."
Head coach Claude Noel revealed Friday the young Jets sniper is battling a "hand issue" and might not be available. Kane has battled a hand injury before this season and in the dying moments of Tuesday's loss to Tampa was also in a fight with Lightning defenceman Eric Brewer.
On Friday Eric O'Dell was working in Kane's place with Mark Scheifele and Michael Frolik, a unit that has been the Jets' best over the last dozen games.
"That's another thing I'm looking at because the door is open there," said Noel of O'Dell. "He's a guy that's not a fourth-line player and, in all fairness to him, you're trying to give him an opportunity to succeed. With that line... he's an offensive guy, has good hockey IQ as do Frolik and Scheifele, so that could be a fit.
"But I'll pay attention to that as well. This is a guy who has played centre and I don't know if he's ever played wing, let alone left wing."
SHIFT CITY: Devin Setoguchi, who has now gone 17 games without a goal, will move from right to left wing with all the line juggling, with Blake Wheeler joining a unit that has Olli Jokinen at centre. Setoguchi switched sides in San Jose and then in his first year in Minnesota.
"It's a little different, sometimes it makes it easier, sometimes it makes it more difficult," he said.
"You got to try and find something that works. You can put guys with everybody and switch and swap, but if you don't put the work in then it's not going to work. This is just trying something new, trying to create a little spark."
SUMMONED FROM THE ROCK: With Byfuglien moved to forward — he will still see power-play time on the point — and Paul Postma (leg) and Grant Clitsome (back) still in sick bay, the Jets recalled defenceman Zach Redmond from St. John's on Friday.
Redmond has 13 points (5G, 8A) in 17 games with the IceCaps this season and has 11 career NHL games, all with the Jets, under his belt.