NHL Buzz: Werenski out for Blue Jackets


Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2020-21 season, NHL.com will have you covered with the latest news.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Zach Werenski will not play against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-O, NHL.TV).

The defenseman had an assist in 22:26 of ice time in a 3-2 overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday after he missed the previous three games with a lower-body injury.

“As good as ‘Z’ is, I just don’t think ‘Z’ can skate to pucks and get the pucks and compete hard enough and I don’t want his injury nagging,” coach John Tortorella told the Blue Jackets website. “… He’s such an important part to our team. … I want him healthier.”

Dean Kukan will replace Werenski in the lineup.

Carolina Hurricanes

Cedric Paquette will be the center on the fourth line in his debut with the Hurricanes (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-O, NHL.TV).

The forward was acquired with forward Alex Galchenyuk from the Ottawa Senators on Saturday for forward Ryan Dzingel.

Because Paquette, who has scored one goal in nine games this season, made the 13-hour drive from Ottawa to North Carolina, he will not have to quarantine.

“I’m really excited to be here, it’s a great team,” Paquette said Monday. “I don’t want to change anything. Be physical, be good on the ‘PK’, bring energy to the team and be a good teammate.”

Paquette had three assists in 25 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help the Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup last season.

“Anytime you can get guys who know how to win — that have been there, have done that — I think that helps,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “He’s the kind of player I think will fit in well here. He comes to the rink and gives an honest effort. That’s all we ever ask.” — Kurt Dusterberg

New Jersey Devils

The Devils practiced at Prudential Center for the first time following a 13-day pause to comply with NHL COVID-19 protocols.

New Jersey (4-3-2) last played Jan. 31, a 5-3 win in the second of back-to-back games against the Buffalo Sabres. The Devils had as many as 19 players on the protocol list since then; they entered their last game with six players on the list and four players were added the following day, when they had three games postponed.

Devils games against the Philadelphia Flyers (Feb. 11 and Feb. 13) and Boston Bruins (Feb. 15) also were postponed because of COVID-19 issues.

New Jersey had five players on the protocol list as of Sunday: forwards Nathan Bastian, Nikita Gusev, Nico Hischier and Travis Zajac, and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov.

The Devils are next scheduled to visit the New York Rangers on Tuesday. New Jersey’s nine games played are the fewest in the NHL this season. — Mike G. Morreale

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