It appears that T.J. Oshie is ready to return to the Washington Capitals, as the team made roster moves that appear to indicate his return to play.
Washington assigned right-wing Brett Leason to the AHL’s Hershey Bears on Thursday. Oshie is also no longer listed as being on the injured reserve on the NHL’s media site. Vitek Vanecek and Anthony Mantha are still on the IR, and with Oshie back and Leason down in Hershey, the Capitals meet the maximum of 23 skaters on the roster.
Leason made his NHL debut on Oct. 29 in wake of several injuries down the lineup. He has played in 35 games this season, picking up three goals and three assists. The 6-5, 218-pound winger has played mainly on the bottom-6 and also slotted in on the Carl Hagelin-NIc Dowd-Garnet Hathaway line when times have called for it.
Washington appears finally ready to see Oshie draw back in for the first time since Jan. 15. He skated 1:46 minutes on that Saturday against the New York Islanders before exiting with an upper-body injury that subsequently held him out for over a month. He has fallen victim to multiple ailments this season, including upper and lower-body injuries, COVID-19 and the flu, which have resulted in multiple trips to the IR. The 34-year-old has been limited to just 18 games this season. However, he has made the most of his time in the lineup with five goals and eight assists in that span.
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Oshie Getting Oshie back will be a welcome sight for the Capitals, who are not only looking to spark the power play but get secondary scoring. He has been skating on the third line with Connor McMichael and Lars Eller over the last few practices.
“I don’t think there’s too many people in the game better than Osh as far as on and off the ice,” Tom Wilson said of his linemate and friend. “Just having him around on the day-to-day, making people better around him. A leader, a friend, a good teammate. Just a really good, first-class person and one of those guys you’re lucky to play with. Just makes everything at the rink better every time he’s there.”