Looks like Wade Redden's two-year banishment to the minors is about to end.
The St. Louis Blues activated the 35-year-old defenceman Wednesday, opening the door for him to play Thursday against the Nashville Predators. To make room for Redden, the Blues sent Ian Cole to Peoria of the AHL.
Redden was bought out by the New York Rangers, who had signed him to a huge free-agent contract in 2008, before the start of training camp and was signed to a one-year contract by the Blues. He played the last two seasons with the Rangers' minor-league affiliate after just two years in the Big Apple.
"I always felt that I went down (to the minors) with a purpose," Redden told the Backhand Shelf blog. "I obviously wasn't happy about the demotion or getting sent there. And I played in this league for a long time, so I knew I could play. Obviously there were different circumstances that affected my reason for being there. I went down there, worked hard, played hard, tried to be a good teammate, and did all the things I usually do.
"I always felt like if I did those things, it'd be my best chance to get back. I'm happy and fortunate to have found another chance."
ISLES WON'T DEAL NINO
The New York Islanders have no interest in dealing disgruntled prospect Nino Niederreiter, according to Newsday.
Niederreiter, a first-round pick of the Isles in 2010 who played with the team last season, reportedly asked for a trade earlier this week. But it looks like that's not going to happen.
"All conversations with players remain private, but I will say that Nino has never told me that he's unhappy," Islanders general manager Garth Snow told Newsday.
Niederreiter was apparently miffed that he wasn't extended an invitation to training camp this year despite playing 55 games during the 2011-12 campaign. He has 36 points in 39 games with Bridgeport of the AHL and was named to the Eastern Conference all-star team.
WINGS' WHITE OUT
The already-decimated Detroit Red Wings defence corps took another hit Wednesday.
Ian White will be out 2-3 weeks with a leg laceration that happened during Tuesday's lost to the Dallas Stars. He was cut by the skate blade of Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard during the third period.
"He had a very deep laceration," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said on MLive.com. "No damage to any tendons, but some of the muscle was detached. During surgery, Dr. (Doug) Plagens reattached some of the muscle. All went well."
The Red Wings were already without the services of defencemen Carlo Colaiacovo, who is out for a month with a shoulder injury, and Jonathan Ericsson, who is day-to-day with a hip problem. Detroit signed journeyman defenceman Kent Huskins Tuesday to help fill the void.
Philadelphia Flyers winger Scott Hartnell could miss some time with a foot injury.
Hartnell was hurt when he was hit by a shot from Flyers defenceman Kimmo Timonen during Tuesday's game against the New Jersey Devils. The Flyers don't know the extent of the damage yet, though.
"We will know more on this within a day or two as we await results of tests," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement.
The Flyers are already without the services of Danny Brier, Zac Rinaldo and Brayden Schenn for Thursday's game against the New York Rangers.
GERBE ALMOST BACK
Buffalo Sabres forward Nathan Gerbe must still be medically cleared to play but could return to the lineup Thursday.
Gerbe, who started the season on injured reserve, has been sidelined after having back surgery in the off-season. He had been dealing with back and neck issues for more than a year after being his by Marc-Andre Bourdon of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The tiny, 25-year-old has been practicing with the Sabres and skated on a line with Mikhail Grigorenko and Steve Ott at Wednesday's workout. The Sabres play Thursday in Carolina.
Gritty Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Downie is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.
Downie, who was hurt trying to hit David Drewiske of the Los Angeles Kings, will have knee surgery to repair the tear, according to the Avalanche.
Acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay last season, Downie had shoulder surgery last summer. He played 20 games, posting two goals and 11 assists, for the Avs last season but his effectiveness was limited by the injury.
The Avalanche called up forward Brad Malone from Lake Erie of the AHL to take Downie's spot on the roster.
SCHENN IN HOT WATER
Philadelphia Flyers forward Braydon Schenn was suspended one game by the NHL Wednesday.
Schenn was banned after a hearing with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, who determined he should sit out a game for a charge on New Jersey Devils defenceman Anton Volchenkov during the second period of Tuesday's game. Schenn was not penalized for the hit during the game.
"Rather than delivering a legal body check, Schenn launches up off the ice prior to contact, into Volchenkov, making contact with Volchenkov's head," Shanahan said in a video explaining the punishment. "This is charging."
Replays showed that Schenn was airborne when he hit Volchenkov.
Veteran NHL defenceman Mark Eaton and forward Tom Kostopoulos have signed a professional tryout agreement with Wilkes-Barr/Scranton of the AHL ... The Calgary Flames sent forward Roman Horak to Abbotsford of the AHL. Horak had one assist in two games with the Flames.