A prototypical energy player for a team's checking line, Matt Calvert's willingness to get physical despite his lack of size continues to cost him, as he missed double-digit games last year due to injury for the third time in the last four seasons. When he's on the ice he is capable of supplying a little offense, scoring double-digit goals for the third straight campaign, but the 27-year-old is facing increasing pressure from a number of young forwards coming up through the Blue Jackets' system and could see his minutes continue to dwindle. After getting passed over by Las Vegas in the expansion draft, Calvert will head into the final year of his current contract looking to prove to prospective future employers that he can stay healthy
Calvert was not selected by the Golden Knights in the expansion draft. The checking-line winger was one of the players rumored to be an acceptable target for the expansion franchise as part of its pre-draft deal with Columbus, but instead Vegas plucked center William Karlsson. Calvert scored 10 goals and 15 points in 65 games last season while seeing 13:21 of ice time per night, and he'll likely remain in a similar role in 2017-18.
Calvert's chances of being exposed in the upcoming expansion draft seemingly have increased due to an agreement between the Blue Jackets and Golden Knights. According to theScore, only Calvert, William Karlsson or Ryan Murray would be available to the new team at the expense of Columbus sending the 24th overall selection in the entry draft and a prospect to be named later. There will be a lot of moving parts involved in assembling the Golden Knights roster, but this specific agreement reportedly would ensure that none of Josh Anderson, Jack Johnson, David Savard or even goalie Joonas Korpisalo would be lost to the Vegas club. Thirty NHL teams will submit their list of players to be protected Saturday, and those lists will be available to the public a day later.
Calvert will make his return to the lineup for Tuesday's Game 4 against Pittsburgh following a one-game suspension for cross-checking. A double-digit goal scorer in each of the last three seasons, Columbus will be looking for Calvert to provide some secondary scoring as it looks to climb out of a 3-0 series deficit. Making way in the lineup for Calvert will be Scott Hartnell, who failed to record a single statistic in 10:28 of ice time Sunday.
Calvert has been suspended one game for his cross-check to Pittsburgh's Tom Kuhnhackl. This means Calvert will miss Game 3 of this series between the Penguins and the Blue Jackets. Calvert did score in the series opener, but he only had 15 points in 65 games during the regular season, and he's a fourth-line player. His one-game absence will have a limited fantasy impact.
Calvert will have a hearing Saturday with the NHL to discuss a possible ban for his cross-check to Tom Kuhnhackl in Friday's Game 2 loss to Pittsburgh, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Calvert was only given a minor penalty after a brutal aggression on Kuhnhackl, but many believe Saturday's meeting will lead to a suspension. The 33-year-old has one goal and 10 hits so far this series, while only averaging 12:14 of ice time so far. Stay tuned to find out the extent of the disciplinary measures given to Calvert.
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