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Ice Chips: Leafs' Marner on LTIR, Vilardi returns for Jets

Keep updated on all the injury news and roster updates from around the NHL with daily Ice Chips.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forward Mitch Marner has been placed on long-term injured reserve, retroactive to March 7, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced on Saturday.

The move was made for roster management purposes, the team said. 

The Leafs also recalled defenceman Marshall Rifai from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League ahead of Saturday's matchup against the Buffalo Sabres

Marner, 26, has not played since March 7, when he suffered a high-ankle sprain against the Boston Bruins.

The Markham, Ont., native returned to practice earlier this week, but was expected to miss at least two more games. 

Marner has 25 goals and 76 points in 62 games this season. 

Winnipeg Jets

Head coach Rick Bowness said Connor Hellebuyck will get his 500th career start in goal for the Winnipeg Jets when they host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

The team also said forward Gabriel Vilardi will make his return to the lineup following a 15-game absence due to an upper-body injury and enlarged spleen.

Vilardi has 16 goals and 14 assists in 38 games this season.

Hellebuyck is 32-18-4 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 54 games this season.

Bowness also indicated there are a couple planned starts for netminder Laurent Brossoit in the final eight games of the season after Saturday.

Brossoit is 12-5-2 with a 2.05 GAA and .927 save percentage in 2023-24.

Projected lineup vs .Senators as per TSN's John Lu:

Connor - Scheifele - Vilardi
Ehlers - Monahan - Toffoli
Niederreiter - Lowry - Appleton
Barron - Namestnikov - Iafallo

Morrissey - DeMelo
Dillon - Pionk
Stanley - Schmidt


Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens announced blueliner Johnathan Kovacevic will return to the lineup against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.

Kovacevic, 26, last played on March 21.

The Hamilton, Ont., native has six goals, three assists and a plus-nine rating in  55 games this season.   

Ottawa Senators

Defenceman Thomas Chabot, who missed Thursday's win over the Chicago Blackhawks, remains sidelined with a lower-body injury as the Senators bring a four-game winning streak into their matchup with the Jets

Head coach Jacques Martin said Chabot will possibly return to action Tuesday vs. Minnesota or Thursday against Florida. 

Lineup for Saturday night vs. Jets as per TSN's John Lu:

Tkachuk - Pinto - Batherson
Crookshank - Stützle - Giroux
Kubalik - Greig - Joseph
Katchouk - Kastelic - Kelly

Sanderson - Zub
Chychrun - Bernard-Docker
Kleven - Brannstrom


New Jersey Devils

Defenceman Dougie Hamilton isn't likely to return this season, interim head coach Travis Green said Saturday.

Hamilton last played on Nov. 28 and has been sidelined indefinitely with a torn pectoral muscle.

The Toronto native registered five goals, 11 assists and a minus-eight rating in 20 games this season.

The Devils are sixth in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 36-34-4.

Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames forward Andrew Mangiapane has been ruled out for Saturday's matchup with the Los Angeles Kings and is also expected to miss Tuesday's contest against the Anaheim Ducks.

Projected lineup vs. Kings as per TSN's Salim Valji: