Chris Driedger officially ended his two week stint to injured reserve on Tuesday, activated from a previous ailment that went undisclosed while goaltender Joey Daccord was reassigned to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League.
Driedger was originally placed on injured reserve hours before the Kraken fell to the New Jersey Devils, 4-2 on Oct. 19 to complete a grinding stretch of five games in the first eight days of the season, all on the road.
The 6-foot-4, 208 pound goaltender, playing previously in full or parts of five NHL seasons with Florida and Ottawa, was last seen in a 6-1 Kraken loss at Philadelphia the night before, making his Kraken debut with six saves on seven shots faced in relief of Philipp Grubauer.
Driedger, who appeared in a career-high 23 games last season with the Panthers last season but also squeezed in 12 games the year prior while missing several weeks with a lower body ailment, earned career bests in wins (14), shutouts (3) and was tied for sixth in NHL save percentage (.927) last season for the Panthers while appearing in three Stanley Cup Playoff games.
The Kraken now have a healthy Grubauer and Driedger at their disposal for game action together, while still facing 12 more “back-to-back” scheduling situations. The Kraken have split goaltending duties in their first two sets, first going with Grubauer as the starter on both nights, then Daccord the next game.
Driedger’s return also necessitates the reassignment of Daccord to the Checkers, who is 16-8-2-1 in 27 career AHL games with Charlotte and Belleville and made 29 saves in his Kraken debut Oct. 19, the same day he arrived on a short-order call-up to play. Daccord got back into game action last night, starting against the Edmonton Oilers while turning in 23 saves.
Driedger, who skated with the Calgary Hitmen and locally with the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League making his NHL debut with Ottawa in 2014-15, was selected by the Kraken on Jul. 21 in the NHL Expansion Draft.
The Kraken, taking a day off after returning home from Edmonton, will next play on Thursday at Climate Pledge Arena at 7pm when the host the Buffalo Sabres.