San Jose has activated Joe Thornton, who is expected to play tonight against the Rangers. He missed four games after sustaining a shoulder injury against the Ducks. They placed Mirco Mueller on IR, who apparently suffered an injury at the World Juniors.
While it's good news that Thornton will return to a Sharks lineup that was outclassed by the Blues on Thursday, Mueller going on IR is not. Perhaps his injury is serious enough that he needs some time off, but it just means that he will go at least another week without playing. The Sharks have eight defenseman on the roster, seven now that Mueller is on IR. But Doug Wilson will have to make a decision and either waive Hannan/Irwin or send Mueller back to junior. It's not a good idea to keep rotating the young rookie in and out of the lineup.