Arizona Coyotes Jason Demers Assigned to AHL Conditioning Stint

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Arizona Coyotes Jason Demers
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Jason Demers #55 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck during the NHL game against the New York Islanders at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Arizona Coyotes President of Hockey Operations and general manager John Chayka announced today that the Coyotes have assigned defenseman Jason Demers to the Tucson Roadrunners (AHL) for conditioning purposes.

Demers has missed 46 games due to a lower-body injury. He was expected to miss the rest of the season but has accelerated his recovery with hard work and determination. He had one goal, two assists in 18 games before falling to injury.

At Last Another Player Returns

Jason Demers is Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s Blueline Partner

One player who will be excited to have Demers back in the lineup as early as Tuesday is his defensive linemate Oliver Ekman-Larsson. They were a good number-one pairing and it will strengthen an already strong defense as the playoffs approach.

The Roadrunners have two road games in Loveland, Colorado on Saturday and Sunday. That will give Demers some game action and ready him for play Tuesday night in Arizona.

Arizona Coyotes Are Winning

Even with the devastation of major starters being out on injury and leading the league in the most man-games lost, the Coyotes are still winning.

The injury curse struck them again when their top-line center Derek Stepan fell to another lower body injury. Stepan is expected to be out 4-6 weeks and again the team must figure out how to win without key players in the lineup.

Adding Demers will certainly take the sting out of losing Stepan. He is a great locker room player, always joking and keeping the guys loose. Stepan has volunteered to be head coach Rick Tocchet‘s temporary assistant coach. Tocchet agreed wholeheartedly that Stepan is a key player on and off the ice.

The Arizona Coyotes are currently riding a five-game winning streak and Demers can certainly help maintain that momentum. He’s a stay-at-home defenceman and is a right-handed shot.

Ilya Lyubushkin Has Filled in Admirably; Fischer Back

While Demers was on the injured list, Ilya Lyubushkin was the lone right-handed shot on the blueline for the Coyotes. The Russian is a physical presence playing in 38 games accumulating 58 blocks and 134 hits.

Now with Demers back soon the defensive pairings will change a bit. That is not a bad thing at all since he will add to the backline admirably. The team also called up AHL player Hudson Fasching to supplement the forward line with the loss of Stepan.

The team also announced that right-wing Christian Fischer will be back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the last four games.

We will soon discover if this Coyotes’ team can continue to amaze onlookers by winning games without a resemblance of a full team.

Their motto “fight and scratch” will need to be a focus to gain a wild-card spot.

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