Newark — The New Jersey Devils got busy on Saturday. First, they signed forward Samuel Laberge to a one-year, two-way contract. Then, they activated captain Nico Hischier from the injured reserve.
Hischier was injured back on October 27th in a tilt against the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo defenseman Connor Clifton caught Hischier with an illegal check to the head. Although the Devils captain’s status was declared an “upper-body injury,” it was widely considered that Hischier was dealing with concussion-like symptoms.
Clifton received a two-game suspension as a result of the illegal check.
Hischier’s activation comes two days short of the one-month mark. Over that span, New Jersey was without the services of their captain for 11 games. The Devils accrued a 4-7-0 record in Hischier’s absence.
Hischier returned to practice with the team earlier in the week on Monday, November 20th. He skated in his usual spot on the second line in his first practice with the team. He then traveled with the Devils to Detroit when they faced the Red Wings, however, remained sidelined. In the following practices, Hischier skated on the fourth-line indicating he wasn’t quite ready.
It was an optional morning skate on Saturday. Hischier wasn’t on the ice, however, returns to game action Saturday night against the very team he was injured against.
In a corresponding move to Hischier coming off the IR, forward Tomas Nosek is placed on injured reserve. Nosek suffered an upper-body injury last Saturday against the New York Rangers. Timo Meier also remains out with injury, however, is “moving along” in his recovery.