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Deep Blue Sea: Alex Stalock begins road back to NHL

Plus Jack Eichel skates with Vegas, Ken Holland’s pursuit of Evander Kane and more in today’s news and notes.

Alex Stalock #32 of the Edmonton Oilers skates during the pregame skate before the game against the Vancouver Canucks on May 15, 2021 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

After originally being projected to miss the entire 2021-22 NHL season due to a heart condition brought on by contracting COVID-19, Edmonton Oilers goaltender and San Jose Sharks alum Alex Stalock is finally feeling healthy enough to attempt another comeback.

According to Michael Russo of The Athletic, the 34-year-old has been cleared by his own doctors to return to play. The next step is for Stalock to travel to Bakersfield, where he’ll have a physical, Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic reports. If Stalock passes his physical, then he will have to go through waivers before being assigned to the Oilers’ AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors.

It may be unlikely that Stalock challenges for a spot with the Oilers themselves, as Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen are the current tandem, and even getting starts with the Condors may prove difficult, given Stuart Skinner’s excellent play with the Condors since being reassigned. In eight AHL games so far, he’s posted a 1.96 goals against average and .925 save percentage.

Despite the challenges he may face getting back to the NHL, it’s good to see that Stalock has recovered well enough to hopefully play hockey again soon. This isn’t the first time Stalock has been in a position to battle his way back to an NHL roster, and we wish nothing but the best for his future.

News & Notes

Blood in the Water

  • Bobby Clarke: “None of Our Scouts Wanted Nolan Patrick” [The Hockey News]
  • Kane’s agent, Oilers speak, GM Ken Holland says [NHL.com]
  • Boston Bruins bring back goaltender Tuukka Rask on one-year contract [CBS Sports]
  • Former NHL off-ice officials allege they were fired for being whistle-blowers on racism [TSN]
  • Prospect Ramblings: Goaltenders and Height Biases in NHL Drafting [Dobber Prospects]
  • Yzerman tabs Lidstrom as new Red Wings VP of hockey operations [The Detroit News]
  • Eichel may need time to regain form with Golden Knights after surgery [NHL.com]
  • Jets focusing on things they can control amid COVID-19 outbreak [Sportsnet]
  • After flying to Philadelphia, Canes ask questions as Flyers practice after postponement [Raleigh News and Observer]

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