Donovan returns after the trade of Andrew MacDonald to Philadelphia. Halmo returns after Eric Boulton reportedly broke his hand in a fight in Winnipeg Tuesday night, and Thomas Vanek departed in a trade to Montreal.
For both prospects, that could mean they are up with the big club for good with 18 games to play in the season. (Halmo previously got his two-game NHL debut when called up under emergency conditions.)
With Boulton out, John Tavares hurt and Vanek gone, that means openings on the bottom two lines and lots of opportunities for the coaches to try Halmo as well as fellow rookies Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and Anders Lee in a variety of combinations.
As for Donovan, he's still joining an eight-man blueline when counting frequent scratch Matt Carkner and seldom-used Radek Martinek. Time flies, and Calvin de Haan now already has more NHL games (38) than Donovan (36) this season.
But like de Haan, Donovan's earned this. It's time to give him a full shot. The team truly has nothing left to lose.