As reported by Kirk Penton of the Winnipeg Sun, rookie defenseman Zach Redmond will make his NHL debut tonight, suiting up as the Jets' square off against the Florida Panthers in the front-end of Floridian back-to-backs:
Zach Redmond will make his debut tonight for #NHLJets.— Kirk Penton (@PentonKirk) January 31, 2013
Currently, it's uncertain who Redmond will draw in for. Defensive catalyst Dustin Byfuglien appears to be a game time decision, so it's very possible that Redmond come in to fill the void left by Big Buff.
Although Claude Noel won't commit to idea of Redmond's insertion, the other possibility would be that he replaces one of Paul Postma or Grant Clitsome, a duo who have had their fair share of hard luck so far this season.
For the Florida Panthers, Mike Santorelli and Erik Gudbranson have both been reassigned to the AHL's San Antonio Rampage and we caught up with Donnie Rivette of Litter Box Cats for more coverage on tonight's Panthers' line-up:
Gudbranson is coming off of a shoulder ailment sustained, allegedly, while wakeboarding at some point over the summer. He was subsequently suspended by the team - as is standard procedure with an off-season, off-duty injury - and presumably has been "unsuspended" given the loan of his services to San Antonio, Florida's AHL affiliate. This assignment is simply a "get in game-mode" two- or three-match conditioning stint. He has obviously been cleared to play by Florida's medical staff, so expect a return to the Panthers within a week or so.
Santorelli -- a castoff Nashville center who scored 20 goals (41 points) for the Cats in 2010-11 -- had a remarkably bad second season in Sunrise without former coach Peter DeBoer at the helm, collecting only 9 goals and 2 assists in a year which saw the Cats reload remarkably heavily up front. He spent the entirety of the Panthers' 2012 first-round, seven-game playoff appearance nailed to the bench under hard-nosed boss Kevin Dineen. In six of Florida's regular-season games thus far, Santorelli has logged time in three, scoring no points and a minus-two, on an admittedly bad team to this stage. Forgetting the oft-mentioned injuries to the Panthers' offense, Santorelli would likely have been loaned to San Antonio long ago; he had already previously cleared waivers. As far as the this iteration of the Panthers goes, one-and-done.
The good news for Florida is that Marcel Goc will make his return from injury tonight, which could be a shot in the arm for a 1-5-0 team.
Tonight's goalie match-up will be Ondrej Pavelec vs. Jose Theodore.