Note: story updated to reflect recall of John Albert Thursday afternoon
The St. John's IceCaps emerged unscathed on Wednesday, NHL trade deadline day, as the parent Winnipeg Jets didn't make any moves, but the IceCaps still ended up losing a player to recall 24 hours later.
The Jets are dealing with the loss of star rookie centre Mark Scheifele, who will be sidelined for at least four weeks - and possibly as long as two months - with a knee sprain suffered in a game Tuesday night against the New York Islanders.
With centres Scheifele and James Wright (ankle sprain) on, (or about to go on) injured reserve, and winger Chris Thorburn being described day-to-day after being hurt Tuesday against the Islanders, Winnipeg has 12 healthy forwards, including defenceman-turned-winger Dustin Byflugien, and one opening on its 23-man roster.
On Wednesday afternoon, Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff told reporters the Jets weren't immediately drawing on the IceCaps for help, saying they would hold back because of the rule that limits NHL teams to four non-emergency recalls between the trade deadline and end of the regular season.
But that stance changed fairly quickly. This afternoon, the Jets announced they were recalling centre/winger John Albert from the IceCaps.
It's the second promotion to Winnipeg for Albert, who played eight games with the Jets earlier this season. In 51 games with St. John's, Albert has 33 points (17G, 16A).
While the NHL trade deadline has passed, the American Hockey League trade deadline is not until next Wednesday. That's the last day when players on AHL contracts can be dealt to other teams within the league. However, players on NHL counteracts are also often moved at the AHL deadline as they are "loaned" to other AHL clubs by way of reassignments by NHL parent teams.
The IceCaps have seen players moves at the last two AHL trade deadline. In 2012, St. John's acquired forwards Brock Trotter and Ray Sawada, while sending Kenndal McArdle and Shawn Weller elsewhere. In 2013, the IceCaps got forward Mathieu Tousignant from the Texas Stars on loan from Dallas of the NHL.
A rundown of player movement involving AHL Eastern Conference teams as s result of deals on NHL trade deadline day:
Binghamton Senators - Add D Patrick Mullen, D Alex Grant; Lose F Andre Pettersson
Hershey Bears - Add F Chris Brown; Lose F John Mitchell
Manchester Monarchs: Add D Brayden McNabb; Add F/D Nick Deslauriers, F Jonathan Parker; F James Livingston
Norfolk Admirals - Add F Andre Pettersson; Lose D Alex Grant
Portland Pirates - Add F John Mitchell; Lose D David Rundblad, D Mathieu Brisebois, D Rotislav Klesla, F Chris Brown
Springfield Falcons - Add F Dana Tyrell, D Matt Taormina; Lose F Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, F Dalton Smith
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins - Add F Chuck Kobasew (assigned by Pittsburgh after clearing waivers)
Worcester Sharks; Lose F James Livingston
There will also be collateral moves associated with actions during the trade deadline, including those involving players being promoted to NHL teams to fill vacancies resulting from deadline deals.
Of note for the IceCaps in this regard ware the recalls of defenceman Matt Donovan and forwards Mike Halmo by the New York Islanders from their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who will be St. John's opponents Friday and Saturday at Mile One Centre. They'll fill openings created when the Islanders traded rearguard Andrew MacDonald and forward Tomas Vanek for draft picks.
In other cases, some players should see increased roles on their AHL teams as a result of trades made Wednesday.
Goulds native and Portland Pirates defenceman James Melindy looks to be a good example. The Pirates lost three defencemen - Rotislav Klesla, David Rundblad and Mathieu Brisebois - in trades involving the Phoenix Coyotes, with no AHL blueliners coming back.
Melindy has appeared in 21 games so far in his rookie pro season.