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Cnotes NHL 2017 Latest News And Notes !

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  • Cnotes NHL 2017 Latest News And Notes !

    2017-18 Season Win Totals
    September 17, 2017

    The 2017-18 NHL season begins in October as the Pittsburgh Penguins shoot for its third consecutive Stanley Cup title.

    The oddsmakers at released season win totals for all 29 teams in the league, including the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. Not surprisingly, Vegas is listed with the lowest win total in the league at 26½, while the Avalanche (who finished with the least amount points in the NHL) are the only other squad below 30 wins by getting posted at 29½.

    On the high end, the Capitals were one of four teams to reach the 50-win mark last season and are the only squad to be listed above 50 at with 50½ victories. The upstart Oilers have the highest win total in the Western Conference at 47½, while the defending champion Penguins sit at 46½.

    Listed below are the odds in alphabetical order per

    Regular Season Wins

    Anaheim Ducks
    Over 46 Wins -115
    Under 46 Wins -115

    Arizona Coyotes
    Over 33 Wins -115
    Under 33 Wins -115

    Boston Bruins
    Over 44½ Wins +100
    Under 44½ Wins -130

    Buffalo Sabres
    Over 37 Wins -130
    Under 37 Wins +100

    Calgary Flames
    Over 42½ Wins -115
    Under 42½ Wins -115

    Carolina Hurricanes
    Over 41½ Wins -115
    Under 41½ Wins -115

    Chicago Blackhawks
    Over 44½ Wins -130
    Under 44½ Wins +100

    Colorado Avalanche
    Over 29½ Wins -115
    Under 29½ Wins -115

    Columbus Blue Jackets
    Over 46½ Wins +100
    Under 46½ Wins -130

    Dallas Stars
    Over 43½ Wins -115
    Under 43½ Wins -115

    Detroit Red Wings
    Over 34½ Wins +105
    Under 34½ Wins -135

    Edmonton Oilers
    Over 47½ Wins -115
    Under 47½ Wins -115

    Florida Panthers
    Over 38½ Wins -115
    Under 38½ Wins -115

    Los Angeles Kings
    Over 40½ Wins -115
    Under 40½ Wins -115

    Minnesota Wild
    Over 46½ Wins +100
    Under 46½ Wins -130

    Montreal Canadiens
    Over 44 Wins -145
    Under 44 Wins +115

    Nashville Predators
    Over 44 Wins -115
    Under 44 Wins -115

    New Jersey Devils
    Over 31½ Wins -130
    Under 31½ Wins +100

    New York Islanders
    Over 42½ Wins +105
    Under 42½ Wins -135

    New York Rangers
    Over 44½ Wins -115
    Under 44½ Wins -115

    Ottawa Senators
    Over 40 Wins -115
    Under 40 Wins -115

    Philadelphia Flyers
    Over 38 Wins -130
    Under 38 Wins +100

    Pittsburgh Penguins
    Over 46½ Wins -115
    Under 46½ Wins -115

    San Jose Sharks
    Over 43½ Wins -115
    Under 43½ Wins -115

    St. Louis Blues
    Over 44½ Wins -115
    Under 44½ Wins -115

    Tampa Bay Lightning
    Over 44 Wins -130
    Under 44 Wins +100

    Toronto Maple Leafs
    Over 44½ Wins +100
    Under 44½ Wins -130

    Vancouver Canucks
    Over 30½ Wins -130
    Under 30½ Wins +100

    Vegas Golden Knights
    Over 26½ Wins -130
    Under 26½ Wins +100

    Washington Capitals
    Over 50½ Wins +115
    Under 50½ Wins -145

    Winnipeg Jets
    Over 41½ Wins -115
    Under 41½ Wins -115

    Odds subject to change

  • #2
    NHL Note - Anaheim Ducks Beauchemin, Francois
    August 22, 2017

    D Francois Beauchemin is returning for a third stint with the Anaheim Ducks, who signed him to a one-year contract Monday. Terms were not disclosed, but deal is worth a reported $1 million with an additional $500,000 that can be earned through performance incentives. Beauchemin, 37, appeared in 525 career NHL games with Anaheim, recording 179 points (53 goals, 126 assists), and he was a member of the 2007 Stanley Cup champions.


    NHL Note - Colorado Avalanche Kerfoot, Alexander
    August 24, 2017

    F Alexander Kerfoot signed a two-year, entry-level contract through the 2018-19 season, the Colorado Avalanche announced Thursday. Kerfoot became a free agent last week when his rights with the New Jersey Devils expired. New Jersey initially selected the now-23-year-old British Columbia native in the fifth round of the 2012 draft. "We are thrilled that Alexander decided to sign with the Avalanche," Colorado general manager Joe Sakic said. "He's a highly skilled, playmaking center who is responsible at both ends of the ice. We look forward to seeing him take the next step of his hockey career with our organization."


    NHL Note - New Jersey Devils Butcher, Will
    August 28, 2017

    D Will Butcher, the 2017 Hobey Baker Award recipient, agreed to a two-year, entry-level contract with Devils on Sunday.

    Butcher will receive an average annual salary of $925,000. The 22-year-old was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the fifth round of the 2013 draft, but elected not to sign with the club and became an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 16. A college player has four years to sign with the team that drafts him before he can become an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 16 of that fourth year.

    Butcher spent four seasons with the University of Denver and served as team captain in 2016-17, helping the Pioneers win the NCAA national championship. He collected seven goals and 30 assists in 43 games last season.


    NHL Note - New York Rangers Pirri, Brandon
    August 30, 2017

    F Brandon Pirri is returning to the Florida Panthers on a professional tryout, the team announced Tuesday. Pirri collected eight goals and 10 assists in 60 games with the New York Rangers last season.


    NHL Note - Arizona Coyotes Doan, Shane
    August 31, 2017

    RW Shane Doan, the former Arizona Coyotes captain, announced his retirement from the NHL after 21 seasons.

    The 40-year-old Doan only played for the Coyotes during his career, dating back to before the franchise moved from Winnipeg to Arizona in 1996. The forward was the seventh overall pick by the Jets in 1995. Doan had been an unrestricted free agent after the Coyotes informed him on June 19 that they would not be re-signing him to focus on younger players. He made his announcement in a first-person letter to fans published in the Arizona Republic. Doan is the team's career leader in games played (1,540), shots (3,945), goals (402), assists (570), points (972), power-play goals (128) and game-winning goals (69). He is tied for 14th for most games played in NHL history.


    NHL Note - Pittsburgh Penguins Archibald, Josh
    September 1, 2017

    F Josh Archibald cherished his day with the Stanley Cup, although it's highly unlikely his three-week-old child will retain the memory. Archibald, 24, and his wife had Brecken baptized in the Stanley Cup during a ceremony held in Brainerd, Minn. While babies have "celebrated" with the Stanley Cup over recent years, Archibald's baptism is believed to be the first such event since 2008. At that time, Detroit forward Tomas Holmstrong arranged for his seven-week-old niece to be baptized after the Red Wings defeated Pittsburgh in the final.


    • #3
      Center Mikko Koivu agreed to terms on a two-year, $11 million contract extension with the Minnesota Wild on Monday.

      Koivu, who is Wild captain, will make $6 million next season and $5 million in 2019-20 ($5.5 million average annual value). His salary cap hit charge this season is $6.75 million, according to

      Koivu, 34, had 58 points (18 goals, 40 assists) and 34 penalty minutes in 80 games last season. He had an NHL career-high plus-27 rating and was a finalist for the Selke Trophy, awarded to the best defensive forward in the League.


      • #4
        Blue Jackets lock up top-line center Wennberg for 6 years
        September 1, 2017

        COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed free-agent center Alexander Wennberg to a six-year, $29.4 million contract.

        The Blue Jackets announced the deal Friday, locking up their top-line center through the 2022-23 season, with a cap hit of $4.9 million a year. The 22-year-old Swede was a key part of a young team that set franchise records for wins and points and advanced to the playoffs last year.

        Wennberg posted NHL career highs in 2016-17 with 13 goals and 46 assists for 59 points and a plus-9 plus/minus rating in 80 regular- season games. In his third year in the league, he led Columbus in assists and finished second in points to Cam Atkinson.


        Canucks sign Thomas Vanek to 1-year deal, $2 million deal
        September 1, 2017

        VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Thomas Vanek and the Vancouver Canucks agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal Friday.

        The 33-year-old forward had 17 goals and 31 assists in 68 games last season with Florida and Detroit.

        ''Thomas has been a prolific scorer throughout his career and we're excited to add his offence and experience to help with the continued growth of our forwards,'' Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. ''His skill and ability to contribute on the scoresheet, combined with his lead-by-example style will help our team this year, and will benefit our younger players as they continue to develop their game.''

        The former University of Minnesota star from Austria has 333 goals and 364 assists in 885 regular-season games with Buffalo, the New York Islanders, Montreal, Minnesota, Detroit and Florida.


        NHL Note - Arizona Coyotes Duclair, Anthony
        September 4, 2017

        F Anthony Duclair signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed, but it was reported to be a one-year, $1.2 million deal. "We are very pleased to sign Anthony to a new contract," Coyotes general manager John Chayka said. "Anthony is a highly skilled forward with great speed and scoring ability. We are confident that he can be an impact player for our team and look forward to having him in our lineup this season."


        Canucks: We're not trading Sedins
        September 5, 2017

        Henrik and Daniel Sedin will not be asked to waive their no-trade clause this season, Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning said.

        Both Swedes, who will turn 37 on Sept. 26, are entering the final season of their respective four-year, $28 million contracts.

        "We're not moving the Sedins unless they come to me at some point and they say, 'Well, we want to move on,'" Benning told Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver. "When we've talked to them, we're not going to go to them and ask them to waive their no-trade. We're not going to approach them for them to move on to another team."

        Daniel and Henrik were selected with the respective second and third overall picks of the 1999 NHL draft. Henrik, the team's captain, tops the franchise in points (1,020), assists (783) and games played (1,248) while Daniel is first in goals (370) while his assists (616), points (986) and games plaed (1,225) rank second.

        Last season was not a particularly productive one for the Sedins, as Henrik recorded just 50 points (15, goals, 35 assists) in 82 games while Daniel mustered just 44 (15 goals, 29 assists).


        Red Wings sign D Russo to two-year contract
        September 6, 2017

        The Detroit Red Wings agreed to terms with defenseman Robbie Russo on a two-year contract Wednesday.

        The deal reportedly will pay Russo a salary of $650,000 when playing for the Red Wings, and $125,000 this season and $250,000 next season at the American Hockey League level.

        Russo, 24, appeared in 19 games for the Red Wings at the end of the 2016-17 season, making his NHL debut on March 7, averaging 16:04 time on ice and recording two penalty minutes, 18 shots on goal, 24 hits and 13 blocked shots.

        The 6-foot, 195-pound Russo played in 58 games with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins in 2016-17, picking up 32 points (seven goals, 25 assists) and 37 penalty minutes in 58 games and earning a spot at the AHL All-Star Classic.

        Russo also skated in 19 postseason games with Grand Rapids, registering seven assists and 22 penalty minutes to help the Griffins to their second Calder Cup championship in five seasons.

        Russo owns 71 points (12 goals, 59 assists) and 79 penalty minutes in 129 regular-season games for Grand Rapids and 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) and 31 penalty minutes in 28 AHL playoff contests.

        Originally drafted by the New York Islanders in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL draft, Russo joined the Red Wings as a free agent on Aug. 16, 2015. The Westmont, Ill., native spent four seasons at the University of Notre Dame prior to signing with Detroit.


        Senators' Karlsson has no timeline to return after surgery
        September 6, 2017

        NEW YORK (AP) Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson has no timetable to get back on the ice following offseason foot surgery.

        Karlsson, the runner-up for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, said Wednesday he hasn't been able to do anything for three months since the operation in June to repair torn tendons in his left foot. The 27-year-old played with foot fractures and torn tendons during the playoffs as the Senators reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final.

        ''It's going to be a while,'' Karlsson said in an interview with The Associated Press at the annual NHL/NHLPA media tour. ''We'll see when I can start skating again. We don't have a timeline for that, either. I think once I do that, we will know a little bit more clearly when I'll be able to play again.''

        At the time of the surgery, Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion forecast a four-month recovery that would allow Karlsson to start the regular season. With the Senators opening Oct. 5 against Washington, that's now in doubt.

        Karlsson, who came back from a torn Achilles tendon in 2013, hopes taking it slow ensures this won't be a long-term problem. The smooth-skating Swede who was third among defensemen with 71 points last season was glad the injury came at a time that allowed him to focus on his wedding and isn't worried about having no target return date.

        ''It's actually been pretty nice,'' Karlsson said. ''Sometimes you put timelines and you expect certain things and with injuries you're always going to have things that are not going to go the way that you want. And I think with this we've been really good in taking our time and making sure that this is not something that's going to affect me down the road.''

        Despite playing with so many foot problems, Karlsson led all defenseman with 18 points in the playoffs. Ottawa lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in double overtime, and Karlsson earned a lot of respect around the league by playing and performing well while injured.

        ''You can't help but respect a player like that that plays in a ton of situations and just seems to be so effective and make it look it easy at times even when it was known that he was injured and he was playing through it,'' said Ryan McDonagh, whose New York Rangers lost to the Senators in the second round. ''I've played through injuries similar to my foot, too, in past playoffs. It was pretty incredible to see the things he was able to do.''


        Parros to head NHL's Player Safety
        September 7, 2017

        Former enforcer George Parros was named as the NHL's senior vice president of player safety, the league announced Thursday.

        Parros will take the place of Stephane Quintal, who is stepping down to pursue other opportunities within the game. Quintal, however, has agreed to remain with the department through the end of the 2017-18 season to assist in the transition.

        "George possesses one of the brightest and most innovative young minds in our game," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. "He has immersed himself in all aspects of player safety during the last 12 months and his selection to run this department not only will maintain the stability and consistency in decision-making that have been essential to the department's success but also will enable it to continue evolving in step with our game.

        "We thank Stephane for the passion and dedication he brought to the National Hockey League from the day he first joined us soon after the Department of Player Safety's inception in 2011 and since taking over as the head of the department three years ago. We expect Stephane will play a valuable role in the transition process and we intend this season to utilize his many talents and relationships in the game to further other league initiatives outside of player safety as well."

        The 37-year-old Parros, who served as director of the department under Quintal, racked up 1,092 penalty minutes - including 150 fighting majors - in his nine-year NHL career.

        Parros won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. He also played for the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers and Montreal Canadiens, finishing with 36 points before retiring from the NHL in 2014.


        Ryan Ellis out 6 months after surgery
        September 7, 2017

        NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis will need a full six months to recover from offseason knee surgery, and general manager David Poile says they don't expect him back until possibly 2018.

        Poile gave an update on injuries Thursday to Ellis and new center Nick Bonino after a rookies' practice. Both were hurt during the Stanley Cup Final that Nashville lost in six games to Pittsburgh , and Bonino was playing for the Penguins.

        ''The discussion with our doctors at this time, they would like to take it a little bit slower with his recovery,'' Poile said of Ellis.

        The original timetable called for a recovery of four to six months. Poile said the Predators and doctors feel Ellis will need the full six months to recover.

        ''Ryan is not skating yet, probably will be skating in approximately another three weeks and the recovery will go from there,'' Poile said. ''We don't expect him back until at the end of the year, maybe the New Year, maybe right around Christmas time.''

        Ellis scored 38 points in 71 games last season, but he was even better during the playoffs. Ellis tied Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen for third among the Predators with 13 points. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Ellis paired with Mattias Ekholm to help anchor the Nashville defense along with All-Star P.K. Subban and Romani Josi.

        The defenseman even played despite being hurt in the decisive Game 6 before having surgery. His recovery is why the Predators traded with the Vegas Golden Knights to acquire defenseman Alexei Emelin.

        ''Obviously we had a little bit of a heads up and that is really one of the reasons why we got Emelin from Las Vegas to add to not only our depth but the quality of our defense,'' Poile said.

        The general manager says Bonino, who broke a foot in the final, will not be playing in any preseason games. The Predators signed Bonino away from Pittsburgh with a four-year, $16.4 million deal in July as protection when captain Mike Fisher later announced his retirement.

        ''We are very hopeful that he will be ready at or near the beginning of the season,'' Poile said.


        Crosby hangs with rookies as Pens prep
        September 7, 2017

        CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) Sidney Crosby likes his summers short. Really short. Short summers for Crosby means long playoff runs for the Pittsburgh Penguins, ones that usually end with parades through the city in mid-June, the Penguins captain holding the Stanley Cup aloft.

        There is no other feeling like it. So the question isn't why would Crosby want to cut the celebration short, but why would he want to put off starting the process all over again?

        So just 88 days after Pittsburgh closed out Nashville in six games to become the first team in nearly two decades to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, Crosby found himself out on the ice with assorted prospects, many of whom have little chance of making it to the NHL this season.

        That didn't stop Crosby and his familiar No. 87 jersey serving as perhaps the most decorated ''welcome wagon'' in professional sports. For the better part of an hour the face of the game skated with the newcomers. Later in the afternoon the more established players went through a workout of their own, well aware of the message Crosby's appearance in the building earlier in the day sent.

        ''I think that's where it starts with this team,'' said forward Carl Hagelin after a voluntary workout. ''Any new guy that comes up or any new guy that gets traded here, they get treated extremely well by Sid first of all and then the organization. You kind of follow his lead. There's a good culture within this locker room and within this organization. When you get here, you've got to follow or you're going to get left behind.''

        Crosby makes it a point to be the first one to extend a hand, even though it can make for occasionally awkward moments, particularly for players like forward Ryan Reaves. The Penguins acquired Reaves from St. Louis over the summer looking to give their lineup a physical presence. The issue, of course, is that part of Reaves' responsibilities during his time in St. Louis was making Crosby as uncomfortable as possible whenever the two teams met.

        ''I would say me and Sid's relationship before this was rocky,'' Reaves said with a laugh. ''But I don't know many people that like me on the ice though. But we've hung out a couple times. Really nice guy for sure.''

        Reaves joined some of his new teammates in a fantasy football draft over the weekend. Reaves believes he has an eye for talent. He also has an eye for leadership. He wasn't exactly surprised when he arrived at the rink and Crosby was already out there working with kids who may never actually play alongside him.

        ''That's why he's the best in the world,'' Reaves said. ''He does things like that and he makes the younger guys better and he pushes everybody to be the best. He's the best in the world for a reason.''

        One intent on guiding the Penguins to a third consecutive Cup, something that hasn't been done since the New York Islanders ripped off four straight in the early 1980s, long before the salary cap came around, a move designed to level the playing field both financially and competitively. It didn't look like that last spring as the Penguins raced by Columbus, outlasted Washington and Ottawa then pulled away from the upstart Predators in the final.

        ''Last year everyone said it was impossible to do, winning two in a row,'' said Hagelin, whose empty-net goal in the final seconds of Game 6 quieted the ''Smashville'' crowd and clinched Pittsburgh's fifth Cup. ''Everyone is going to come after you. Now we're used to that and we're expecting the same thing this year. There's going to be no surprises this year obviously.''

        Doing it means enduring training camp, a six-month regular season followed by eight more weeks in the crucible of playoff hockey. The Penguins were supposed to be too tired from the Cup run in 2016 to do it again. And yet they did. As the official opening of camp looms, the lure of history is giving even established players like Hagelin a dose of adrenaline.

        ''Usually this time of year, you have such a short summer, maybe you're kind of dreading it a little bit,'' Hagelin said.

        Not Hagelin. He missed a chunk of the regular season and the playoffs with injuries but returned in time to make an impact in the final, his legs a blur as he sped away from the Predators to flip in the goal that secured his name on the Cup for a second time.

        ''Focusing on coming out and getting a good start, that's usually the tough part, to have every guy on the same page in the beginning of the year to really dig down and make sure you win those games,'' he said. ''That's our goal. After that we just keep playing and keep getting better, that's the type of team we're trying to be.''


        • #5
          Ovechkin sees his effect on Washington
          September 7, 2017

          SPRINGFIELD, Va. (AP) Even though Alex Ovechkin doesn't want to talk about the upcoming season just yet, he got a chance Thursday to survey evidence of his 12 seasons with the Washington Capitals.

          Another pair of NHL-sized rinks is set to go up in the suburbs next year, a testament to the so-called Ovechkin effect on the growth of hockey in the area.

          ''I don't think it's an `Ovechkin effect,''' Ovechkin said. ''But it is nice to be part of it. It's nice to be involved. And it's nice to see how fast it grows. It's just an unbelievable feeling when you see the place gets crazy. It's amazing.''

          Ovechkin talked in front of a construction site for The St. James, a planned sports complex that will focus on hockey and other athletic opportunities for children. Hockey has taken hold significantly in the D.C. area since Ovechkin arrived as a precocious teenager in 2005 who barely spoke English.

          ''It was very interesting for me when I just came here from Russia to find a new world, a new place,'' Ovechkin said. ''It was kind of hard decision for me and my family to come to D.C. because I was 19 years old. It was a different world for me. Different culture, different people, different atmosphere. But as soon as I get in here I start to feel like everybody love me, everybody can't wait to see me on the ice.''

          The Capitals have yet to make it past the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs during Ovechkin's tenure, but that love affair hasn't wavered. The popularity of the sport continues to rise locally even as Washington enters an uncertain period of Ovechkin's career.

          Ovechkin turns 32 on Sept. 17 and has four years left on his 13-year contract. With training camp starting next week, there aren't many chances left at that elusive Cup.

          These days Ovechkin talks about the past as much as he does the future.

          ''As soon as I step on the ice, I always knew we we're going to have a good team, we're going to have a great organization and the fans are going to come and we're going to have a hockey town,'' Ovechkin said. ''It was a huge honor for me to be a part of it and you can see where the organization's grown up. I hope this building is gonna be growing up the same like when I came here. It's going to be famous and it's going to be huge.''


          Canucks sign forward Bo Horvat to 6-year extension
          September 8, 2017

          VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) The Vancouver Canucks signed restricted free-agent center Bo Horvat to a $33 million, six-year contract extension Friday.

          The 22-year-old Horvat had 20 goals and 32 assists in 81 games last season for the Canucks.

          ''Bo has quickly become a foundational player on our team and we're thrilled for him to be a part of what we're building here long term,'' Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in a team release. ''His commitment and work ethic have helped his game improve each season. He's already a leader on our team and a young player fans can be excited to watch for years to come.''

          Horvat has 49 goals and 68 assists in 231 career games in three seasons with Vancouver.

          The Canucks open training camp Tuesday at Rogers Arena.


          Flyers G Stolarz (knee) out indefinitely
          September 8, 2017

          Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Anthony Stolarz underwent surgery on his left knee to repair a meniscus tear on Thursday and will be out indefinitely.

          Stolarz spent the summer rehabbing at the Flyers' practice facility after being injured at the end of the American Hockey League season with Lehigh Valley.

          Selected by the Flyers in the second round in 2012, Stolarz recently completed his third pro season with the organization.

          Stolarz made his NHL debut last season, stopping 29 of 32 shots in a 5-3 victory over the Calgary in November. He appeared in seven total games for the Flyers in 2016-17, going 2-1-1 with a 2.07 goals-against average and .928 save percentage.

          In the AHL last season, Stolarz went 18-9-0 record with a 2.92 GAA and .911 save percentage.


          Devils sign defenseman Severson to 6-year, $25M contract
          September 11, 2017

          NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Being an unrestricted free agent without arbitration rights, defenseman Damon Severson was hoping to get contract from the New Jersey Devils that would carry him over for a couple of years.

          The Devils instead gave the 23-year-old Severson a vote of confidence, signing him to a six-year, $25 million contract that will keep him with the team through the 2022-23 season.

          ''Damon brings an important dimension to our hockey club and he is a young defenseman that we are excited to work with,'' general manager Ray Shero said Monday in announcing the deal that gets Severson signed in time for the opening of training camp this week. ''This deal shows our ownership's commitment in what we continue to build here.''

          Severson will earn $2.5 million this season and his salary will escalate to $5.1 million in the final year of the contract. He set career highs with 28 assists and 31 points in 80 regular-season games last season, leading all New Jersey defensemen in assists and points.

          It is expected that Severson will get a chance to pair with Andy Greene on the Devils' top defensive unit.

          Severson had hoped that the contract would be settled before the start of training camp, but this was pushing it.

          ''I just didn't want to be the type of guy that missed training camp or took some time skating away from the team,'' he said in a conference call. ''I wanted to be here with the guys in camp preparing the same way as everybody else.''

          Severson said he was open to signing a contract to bridge a couple of years or getting a long-term one.

          ''With the long-term deal I am happy to be here,'' Severson said. ''I am comfortable now and I guess just forward to what is to come here with all the moves we made in the offseason. I am very happy to get it done. Long term in New Jersey was what the main goal was.''

          The Devils have not made the playoffs since going to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012. They drafted Nico Hischier with the first pick overall in the NHL draft in June, signed veteran free-agent center Brian Boyle and defenseman and Hobey Baker Award winner Will Butcher, and acquired left wing Marcus Johansson from the Capitals.

          ''You can tell we want to turn the page here and get this going in the right direction,'' Severson said.


          NHL Note - St. Louis Blues Lindbohm, Petteri
          September 13, 2017

          D Petteri Lindbohm signed a one-year, two-way contract, the St. Louis Blues announced Tuesday. Lindbohm did not record a point in seven games with the Blues last season. The 23-year-old Finland native collected eight goals and as many assists to go along with 54 penalty minutes in 52 games in 2016-17 with Chicago of the American Hockey League. Lindbohm has posted two goals, an assist and 37 penalty minutes in 40 career NHL contests since being selected by St. Louis in the sixth round of the 2012 draft.


          Fiddler announces retirement after 14 NHL seasons
          September 13, 2017

          Forward Vernon Fiddler announced his retirement from the NHL following a 14-season career with four different teams.

          The 37-year-old Fiddler's announcement was made in The Players' Tribune on Wednesday, approximately three months after his Nashville Predators fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals.

          "The Cup run that that followed was the perfect way to finish my career," Fiddler wrote Wednesday. "Even though we didn't quite get the job done, it was an amazing few months. And to be honest, it was just icing on the cake -- my whole career was."

          Fiddler was acquired by Nashville from the New Jersey Devils in February last season for a fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft. He scored just one goal in 20 games with Predators.

          Fiddler, who made his NHL debut with Nashville in 2002, collected 104 goals 157 assists and 558 penalty minutes in 877 career contests with the then-Phoenix Coyotes, Dallas Stars, Devils and Predators.


          Duchene situation hovers over Avalanche
          September 13, 2017

          Even with two years left on his contract with the Colorado Avalanche, Matt Duchene's situation is anything but simple.

          With his name in trade talks at the deadline and then again at the draft, Duchene went about his business playing for by far the NHL's worst team. But after another offseason of general manager Joe Sakic not making a move, Duchene is unhappy in limbo and now training camp has arrived.

          Unlike the NFL, where holdouts are commonplace, it's unprecedented in the NHL's salary-cap era for a player under contract not to report to camp, and Sakic has said he expects Duchene to be there. But it's probably the strongest leverage the $6 million center has to effect change as interest swirls from teams like the Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, Columbus Blue Jackets and two-time Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

          ''I'm not the GM, so whoever Joe and the staff decide to put on the team, I know it's going to be for the best and it's going to make us better,'' Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon said last week. ''With Duchy, I'm not sure what the situation is exactly. I know there's trade rumors and things like that, but he's not traded as of today and he's my teammate, so getting ready for him to be on the team this season.''

          Duchene being in Colorado's opening night lineup Oct. 5 at the New York Rangers is far from any kind of certainty. The Avalanche are in rebuilding mode after their 48 points were 21 fewer than the next-lowest team, and at age 26 Duchene is their best trade chip in the hopes of landing a young defenseman.

          Here are some more things to watch as training camps open around the NHL:


          If the New York Islanders don't sign captain John Tavares by July 1, he can be an unrestricted free agent. That's a terrifying thought for the Islanders. His situation will be a never-ending story line made complicated by the Islanders' unsettled arrangement at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The smart money is on Tavares trying to shove contract distractions aside in camp but wait to sign a big-money, eight-year contract later.

          NICO AND NOLAN

          New Jersey Devils No. 1 pick Nico Hischier and Philadelphia Flyers No. 2 pick Nolan Patrick will each get a good opportunity to make the NHL. Hischier's chances improved with Travis Zajac out four to six months following pectoral surgery, and the Swiss center is part of New Jersey's excitement that this may be a better year. Taylor Hall, the top pick in 2010 who could be Hischier's left winger this season, said it's up to teammates to make him as comfortable off the ice as possible so he can perform.

          ''I think if he's comfortable there he's going to play well on the ice,'' Hall said. ''And we need him to play well.''


          Six restricted free agents remain unsigned: Boston's David Pastrnak, Columbus' Josh Anderson, Colorado's Nikita Zadorov, Detroit's Andreas Athanasiou, Minnesota's Marcus Foligno and St. Louis' Petteri Lindbohm. Athanasiou's agent said Russia's Kontinental Hockey League is an option, though Pastrnak is vital to his team's success, so all eyes are on the Bruins. Jaromir Jagr and Jarome Iginla are unsigned greybeards still waiting for a call.

          TRY AGAIN

          Among the 60-plus players attending camp on a professional tryout agreement, Brandon Pirri in Florida, Jimmy Hayes in New Jersey, Alex Chiasson in Washington, Cody Franson in Chicago and Daniel Winnik in Minnesota have some of the best chances to earn a contract.


          Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson said last week he has no timetable to skate, let alone play, and he'll miss at least the start of camp after offseason foot surgery. As soon as Karlsson gets on the ice in Ottawa it's a significant accomplishment for a team that was the closest to knocking off the Penguins in the playoffs last spring.


          A salary-cap crunch brought changes for the Washington Capitals after another playoff disappointment, and star winger Alex Ovechkin isn't getting any younger. General manager Brian MacLellan challenged Ovechkin to train differently to prioritize speed over power as the captain is about to turn 32, and now it's time to see if it worked.

          ''It's a great message that he's sending to Mac, to the coaches, most importantly I think it's a great message he's sending to the rest of us as teammates, saying that we have to change, we have to get better and it starts with him,'' said teammate T.J. Oshie, who signed a $46 million, eight-year deal to stay. ''Hats off to him, and I think the rest of us will have no trouble following.''


          Wild, Koivu agree to 2-year, $11M extension
          September 18, 2017

          ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The Minnesota Wild and captain Mikko Koivu have agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract extension.

          The Wild announced the deal on Monday night. The 34-year-old Koivu was entering the final season of his contract. He is coming off of one of his best years with 18 goals and 40 assists in 80 games and was a finalist for the Selke Trophy, given annually to the best defensive forward.

          Koivu will make $6 million in the first season of the extension in 2018-19 and $5 million the following season. He is first on the Wild's career list for points, assists and multipoint games.

          The agreement was first reported by The Athletic.


          Wild sign G Baribeau to entry-level deal
          September 18, 2017

          The Minnesota Wild signed goaltender Dereck Baribeau to a three-year, entry-level contract on Monday.

          Baribeau, 18, appeared in two games for Minnesota at the Traverse City Prospect Tournament, stopping 49 of 56 shots for a 3.65 goals-against average and an .875 save percentage.

          The 6-foot-6, 199-pound native of Quebec City, Quebec, was ranked 10th amongst North American goalies by NHL Central Scouting for the 2017 draft.

          Baribeau was 12-15-2 with a 3.93 goals-against average, an .881 save percentage and one shutout in 35 games with Val-D'Or and Quebec last season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He went 0-2 with a 3.68 GAA and a .917 save percentage in two playoff starts.


          • #6
            Sharks begin 1st camp without Marleau
            September 15, 2017

            SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) There was something familiar missing in San Jose when the Sharks opened training camp.

            For the first time since 1996, the Sharks took the ice for their first training camp practice without Patrick Marleau on the team as the franchise's career leader in games and scoring left as a free agent for Toronto this summer.

            ''I've spent a lot of years with him. It is kind of strange,'' said Joe Thornton, who came to San Jose in 2005. ''It's his birthday today too. It's a little weird, but he's going to do great up in Toronto.''

            Marleau had been with San Jose since being picked second overall in 1997 but left the Sharks to sign an $18.75 million, three-year deal with the Maple Leafs in July.

            Marleau has 508 goals and 574 assists for 1,082 points. He had 46 points in playing all 82 games last season as he rebounded from a disappointing 2015-16 season by scoring 27 goals, including the 500th of his career. He ranks first in San Jose in career goals, games and points.

            Only six players in NHL history have played more games with one team than Marleau's 1,493 in San Jose. The Sharks haven't played a game without him on the ice since April 7, 2009.

            ''Obviously Patty has meant so much to this organization and this group,'' captain Joe Pavelski said. ''Everyone in this room has pretty much played with him and Patty has done something to help them out. He'll be missed. ... Just by committee somebody will step in and fill that kind of hole. That's what we'll need.''

            The Sharks made no major additions this offseason so will need to replace Marleau's 27 goals by getting development from younger players like Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Danny O'Regan, as well as bounce-back seasons from veterans like Thornton, Mikkel Boedker and Joonas Donskoi.

            Only Pavelski, Logan Couture and Brent Burns are back after scoring more than 12 goals last season.

            ''When I look back at last year we had key people either have down years or miss significant time with injuries or coming off injuries,'' coach Peter DeBoer said. ''I think if we can stay healthy I think we've got a large group of guys that can really take a step this year and I expect a step out of them.''

            While the Sharks lost Marleau in free agency, they did manage to keep Thornton by giving him a one-year, $8 million contract despite dwindling production last season and offseason knee surgery.

            He scored just seven goals - his fewest in an 82-game season since his rookie year in 1997-98 - and was a key part of a power-play unit that uncharacteristically struggled last season. But he still managed 43 assists, teaming with captain Joe Pavelski on San Jose's top line.

            Thornton missed the final week of the regular season and the first two playoff games with a left knee injury before returning for the final four games of a first-round loss to Edmonton. Thornton then underwent surgery to repair his MCL and ACL after the season but was back skating in August and started ramping it up for training camp two weeks ago. Thornton believes the lower-body work he did in rehab this offseason will pay dividends on the ice.

            ''They feel real strong,'' he said of his legs. ''I feel a lot of pop out there. They're probably as strong as they've ever been just because I had to rehab that knee so much.''


            Rangers set to begin camp practices
            September 15, 2017

            GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) The New York Rangers are set to start training camp practices this weekend having undergone some changes since a second-round playoff exit just over four months ago.

            After another disappointment for a team perennially expected to compete for a Stanley Cup - which it has won once in the last 77 years - the defense was shored up with the signing of top free agent Kevin Shattenkirk and the infusion of some younger players. However, there are questions in the middle and behind Henrik Lundqvist in goal.

            The Rangers knew they had to make some changes to their core group that reached three conference finals in four years, including a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014, before a first-round exit to eventual champion Pittsburgh in 2016 and then Ottawa last season.

            Veteran Dan Girardi, 33, was bought out and 32-year-old Kevin Klein retired. Shattenkirk, 28, was signed to a four-year, $26.6 million deal, and Tony DeAngelo, 21, was acquired as part of the trade that sent Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta to Arizona.

            ''We wanted to go out and change our defense and give it a different look and get a little more puck movement,'' Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton said Friday at the team's practice facility.

            The offensive-minded Shattenkirk has had at least 30 assists and 40 points in six of his first seven seasons - with the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign the exception - and should help a power play that ranked 10th in the NHL last season at 20.2 percent.

            ''He has been one of the best power-play guys in the league for quite some time,'' Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said when he addressed media the previous day. ''(He) is going to help our whole group. It's a new season, we need to figure out who fits where and who does what.''

            Brendon Smith, acquired at the trade deadline, was re-signed and Vigneault said he expected Brady Skjei to build on his stellar rookie season in which he had five goals and 34 assists.

            Shattenkirk won't be paired with captain Ryan McDonagh on the team's top defensive pairing at the start of training camp so Vigneault can get a look at other guys and combinations, but the coach said that could change as the start of the season gets closer.

            Players had their physicals on Thursday and on-ice tests Friday. The first day of practice is Saturday.

            Other things to know as the Rangers open camp:

            : Stepan's departure will likely result in Kevin Hayes and Mika Zibanejad moving up to center the top two lines, and J.T. Miller will also play in the middle to start camp. Miller was drafted as a center and played there in the minors, but has been mostly on the wing in the NHL. After playing center in stretches the last two seasons, he expected the possibility of the move.

            ''I kind of had an idea this summer with what happened with some of our players,'' Miller said. ''It's a responsibility I'm willing to take on. I think they know that. I've proved I can play there before so they're just going to feel it out and see how it goes, see where it fits.''

            Asked if the team was still exploring trade options at center, Gorton said: ''It's fair to say we're always looking, but were comfortable with J.T. ... He hasn't played a lot of center at the NHL level, (but) we know in the past in his career he's been able to do it so preseason we'll take a look at him there.''

            NO LIMIT ON HENRIK: Lundqvist is coming off a 31-20-4 season in which he had career worsts with a 2.74 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage. Raanta was a solid backup the last two seasons but he's now in Arizona, Ondrej Pavelec was signed to fill the role. Pavelec has struggled the last few seasons and had a 3.55 goals-against average last season with a .888 save percentage in eight NHL games

            Vigneault said he doesn't have a specific number of games in mind for the 35-year-old Lundqvist, who helped Sweden win the world championships in May.

            ''I always like that mindset, not to focus on one number,'' Lundqvist said. ''That's the approach I like. Feel it out, it's a long season. You got to go with the flow a little bit. ... It's hard to know in November what's best for you come April.''

            FIGHTING FOR JOBS:
            One day after Vigneault said Marc Staal was one of the players who would be ''fighting for ice time, fighting for a spot on the team,'' the veteran defenseman wasn't bothered by the coach's assessment.

            ''This is my 11th season, I'm not naive,'' Staal said. ''I don't take anything for granted. I come to camp with that mindset every year - you have to earn your minutes. ... I've been a Ranger a long time and I plan on being here for a lot more years.''


            Sabres C Eichel has plenty to prove
            September 18, 2017

            Sabres center Jack Eichel isn't mincing words when assessing his first two NHL seasons.

            ''Actually, I think I've proven nothing,'' the 20-year-old face of the franchise said before bluntly outlining his lack of accomplishments.

            ''If you look at what I've done, it hasn't been a whole lot,'' Eichel said. ''Two mediocre seasons on a losing team.''

            The player selected No. 2 in the 2015 draft behind Connor McDavid might be overstating his case given he produced at nearly a point-a-game pace last year despite missing 21 games with a sprained left ankle. And yet, the comments reflect Eichel's level of motivation to establish himself as one of the league's top young players.

            The competitor in Eichel was miffed watching rookie Auston Matthews help the cross-border rival Toronto Maple Leafs vault ahead of Buffalo in the standings and clinch a playoff berth.

            Then there's Eichel's contract status , entering the final year of his rookie deal. While he and the Sabres are still negotiating an extension, McDavid's was completed in July, when he signed an eight-year, $100 contract.

            An eight-year contract is on the table for Eichel, though the two sides are divided on a dollar amount. That makes Eichel an intriguing player to follow, given his production will help determine his value.

            ''I look at myself to be one of the leaders on this team,'' Eichel said. ''I think if I do that, guys will follow and we'll be successful.''

            A number of other players to watch in 2017-18:


            Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights.

            The three-time Stanley Cup-winner has departed the Penguins to become the face of Golden Knights after being selected in the NHL expansion draft in June.

            The 32-year-old Fleury became expendable in Pittsburgh following the emergence of Matt Murray. Fleury will be the last line of defense on a patchwork Golden Knights team that includes forwards James Neal and Vadim Shipachyov, who made the jump from playing in Russia, and defenseman Shea Theodore.

            Selected with the No. 1 pick in the 2003 draft, Fleury has a 375-216-68 record, putting him 25 wins short of becoming just the 13th player to reach 400.


            Forward Patrick Marleau, Toronto Maple Leafs.

            The 38-year-old Marleau left behind Joe Thornton and 19 seasons in San Jose to join the youth-laden, Mike Babcock-coached Leafs, who reached the playoffs for just the second time in 12 seasons last year.

            Marleau's experience and leadership are valuable to a team that had seven rookies play at least 50 games last season, including Matthews, the NHL's rookie of the year. Marleau can still score after finishing with 27 goals and 19 assists last season - the 14th time he's topped 20 goals.


            Forward Jonathan Drouin, Montreal Canadiens.

            The Habs need offense, and they're counting on the 22-year-old French-Canadian for help after acquiring Drouin in a trade with Tampa Bay. The third player selected in the 2013 draft, Drouin has 29 goals and 66 assists for 95 points in 164 career games with the Lightning.

            Drouin's career-best 21 goals and 53 points last season both would have ranked third on the Canadiens.


            Center Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils.

            The No. 1 draft pick will be given every opportunity to make the young and rebuilding Devils, who also acquired forward Marcus Johansson in a trade with Washington. The Swiss-born Hischier is a play-making center who was the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's rookie of the year last season.

            The Devils took somewhat of a gamble in selecting Hischier ahead of NHL Central Scouting's top-ranked prospect Nolan Patrick, who was drafted second by Philadelphia.


            Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, New York Rangers.

            The top prize in free agency went to the Blueshirts in adding an established seven-year veteran to a revamped blue-line already featuring 28-year-old captain Sean McDonagh and 30-year-old Marc Staal. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist is 35.

            Shattenkirk had a career-best 56 points (13 goals, 43 assists) split between St. Louis and Washington last year. He struggled in both ends during the playoffs, in which Washington was eliminated by Pittsburgh in the second round.


            Goalie Scott Darling, Carolina Hurricanes.

            If the Hurricanes are going to deliver on being pegged the preseason chic pick surprise playoff contenders, the 6-foot-6 Darling might have to play a key role. Carolina acquired the former Blackhawks backup in a trade in April, putting him in a position to usurp long-time starter Cam Ward for the No. 1 job.


            LOOSE PUCKS

            Lightning captain Steven Stamkos returns after tearing a ligament in his right knee in November. ... The John Tavares contract watch is on, with the New York Islanders captain entering the final year of his six-year deal. ... Forward Artemi Panarin, the NHL's 2015 rookie of the year, is now in Columbus after being traded by the Blackhawks. ... Brandon Saad, acquired in the Panarin trade, and free-agent addition Patrick Sharp are both back in Chicago after a first-round playoff sweep against Nashville led to the Blackhawks shuffling their roster. ... The Dallas Stars hope to have rectified their goaltending issues with the addition of Ben Bishop in a trade with Los Angeles. ... Will someone finally call 45-year-old free agent forward Jaromir Jagr ?


            Vegas routs Canucks in 1st preseason game
            September 17, 2017

            VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) By the time the Elvis Presley impersonator singing tunes between whistles had left the building, the NHL's newest franchise was already well on its way to victory in its first exhibition game.

            Tyler Wong scored three times and added an assist to help the expansion Vegas Golden Knights rout the Vancouver Canucks 9-4 on Sunday. Wong scored the first exhibition goal in club history.

            ''It's a huge honor,'' Wong said. ''The city's very excited to get a team. To be a part of excitement like that is something special. It's a pretty cool moment for all of us.''

            The Golden Knights dressed a roster of mostly prospects and fringe NHLers, leaving behind the likes of forwards James Neal, Jonathan Marchessault, David Perron and Cody Eakin, defensemen Brayden McNabb and Deryk Engelland, and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

            In the spirit of Vegas' debut, the Elvis impersonator sang classics like ''Viva Las Vegas'' and ''Burning Love'' during some of the TV timeouts at Rogers Arena for some added Sin City flair to what was, for the most part, a sloppy game.

            ''It's a once in a lifetime opportunity being able to be part of an expansion team,'' said Golden Knights forward Cody Glass, the sixth pick in the draft this summer. ''I'm just trying to take it all in.''

            Vegas coach Gerard Gallant was happy with the way his youngsters performed, but like his players, also took the opportunity to soak in the moment.

            ''We had two rookie games last week, but this is the first real NHL game,'' Gallant said. ''The first time stepping on the ice was real good and you do feel good about it.''

            Tomas Hyka scored twice, Tomas Nosek had a goal and two assists, and Nick Suzuki added a goal and an assist. Paul Thompson and Alex Tuch also scored, Brad Hunt chipped in with three assists, and Glass had two assists.

            Wearing their road white uniforms with grey, gold and red trim, along with black pants and white and gold gloves, the Golden Knights survived a 5-on-3 power play for 1:44 early in the first period before Wong opened the scoring. The winger collected a chipped feed from Glass on a power play, cut down the right and beat goalie Richard Bachman with a short-side backhander at 4:58.

            ''The puck was finding me in good spots,'' said Wong, who had 43 goals and 46 assists in 72 games last season in junior with the Lethbridge Hurricanes last season and signed as an undrafted free agent. ''I was able to bury them.''

            Brock Boeser scored twice and had an assist for Vancouver. Philip Holm and Jordan Subban also scored.

            Almost all of the Canucks' veterans were on a charter plane on their way to China for games against the Los Angeles Kings in Beijing and Shanghai. Trent Cull, the head coach of the Canucks' AHL affiliate in Utica, New York, was behind the bench, with Travis Green and his assistants on their way to China.

            The Golden Knights will play three more times on the road before their first preseason home game Sept. 26 against Los Angeles.

            ''I hope (Vegas fans) don't expect that every night,'' Gallant said. ''It's a lot of fun in our market and I am sure they are going to enjoy that, but it's an exhibition game.''


            • #7
              NHL notebook: Devils' Boyle has leukemia
              September 19, 2017

              New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, the team announced Tuesday.

              The type of leukemia Boyle was diagnosed with forms in bone marrow. Team doctor Michael Farber said it was discovered early and is treatable.

              The 32-year-old Boyle doesn't plan on being sidelined long, though the team doesn't yet have a formal timetable for his return.

              Boyle signed a two-year, $5.1 million deal in the offseason with the Devils. He knows the season opens on Oct. 7 and is keeping that date in mind in case his treatments go well.

              Boyle recorded 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) last season while splitting time with Tampa Bay and Toronto.

              --The St. Louis Blues
              already are dealing with two significant injuries in training camp.

              Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will be re-evaluated in three weeks after sustaining a fractured left ankle. The team also announced that forward Zach Sanford is expected to be sidelined five-to-six months after undergoing surgery for a dislocated left shoulder.

              Bouwmeester, 33, recorded one goal and 14 assists in 81 games last season. Sanford, 22, collected two goals and three assists in 13 games after being acquired in a Feb. 27 trade with the Washington Capitals for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

              --Ottawa Senators forward Colin White sustained a broken left wrist and will be sidelined six to eight weeks, the team announced.

              White was injured while blocking a shot in the third period of Ottawa's preseason victory against the provincial-rival Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday. The 20-year-old Boston native already underwent surgery.

              White, who was selected by Ottawa with the 21st overall pick of the 2015 draft, joined the Senators in April after finishing his season at Boston College. He did not record a point in two regular-season games and one playoff contest with Ottawa last season.

              --Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi was named as the eighth captain in franchise history, the team announced.

              Josi, who was an alternate captain last season, will wear the "C" on his jersey after Mike Fisher announced his retirement on Aug. 3. Fisher was named Nashville's captain after defenseman Shea Weber was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in June 2016.

              Josi recorded 49 points (12 goals, 37 assists) and netted a career-high seven power-play goals last season.


              • #8
                NHL notebook: Kings-Canucks play first exhibition game in China
                September 21, 2017

                Tanner Pearson scored two goals in an exhibition game, which would typically be no gigantic feat. But it felt like more of an accomplishment to the Los Angeles left wing with Thursday's contest being the first NHL game played in China.

                Standout goalie Jonathan Quick made 31 saves and the Kings posted a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks before 10,088 fans in Shanghai.

                The atmosphere certainly wasn't a problem as Chinese fans were enthralled by the action. One of the biggest cheers inside Mercedes-Benz Arena came when NBA icon Kobe Bryant appeared on video to pass on a message to the Kings.

                The Kings and Canucks play again on Saturday in Beijing, host of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

                --Montreal Canadiens
                prospect Noah Juulsen will be sidelined at least six weeks with a fractured foot.

                Juulsen, a defenseman, sustained the injury during Monday's preseason game against the Boston Bruins in Quebec City. The 20-year-old did not practice on Tuesday due to what the team called a bruised foot.

                --Boston Bruins
                defenseman Torey Krug will miss the remainder of training camp with a broken jaw.

                Krug sustained the non-displaced fracture after he was hit in the face with a puck during Tuesday's preseason victory against the Detroit Red Wings. The Bruins said Krug will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

                --The St. Louis Blues named Hall of Famer and nine-time Stanley Cup champion Larry Robinson as their senior consultant to hockey operations.

                Robinson is a former NHL defenseman, coach and executive. The 66-year-old most recently served as an associate coach with the San Jose Sharks from 2012-15.

                --Forward Joffrey Lupul apologized over social media for writing in an Instagram comment that the Toronto Maple Leafs "cheat" after he failed a physical for the team on the first day of training camp.

                "I responded earlier this week to some negative comments on Instagram. It was an inappropriate response, and I deleted it, but I take full responsibility," Lupul posted.

                Lupul posted a photo on Instagram Sunday of himself snowboarding with the comments, "Haha failed physical? They cheat, everyone lets them," and "I'm ready. Just awaiting the call."

                Lupul is under contract through the end of this season but hasn't played since the 2015-16 season because of numerous injuries.


                • #9
                  Penguins accept White House invitation
                  September 24, 2017

                  CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) Sidney Crosby is backing the Pittsburgh Penguins' decision to accept a White House invitation from President Donald Trump.

                  The reigning two-time Stanley Cup champions announced their decision Sunday morning.

                  ''I support it,'' Crosby said after the Penguins' 4-1 loss against the St. Louis Blues during the annual Hockeyville USA exhibition game Sunday night. ''It's a great honor for us to be invited there.''

                  The Penguins' decision came on a day that President Trump's criticisms of players who kneel during the national anthem sparked a mass increase in such protests around the National Football League. President Trump also rebuked NBA star Steph Curry this weekend for saying he wouldn't attend a White House visit with the league champion Golden State Warriors before rescinding the team's invitation.

                  The Penguins said they respect the office of the president and ''the long tradition of championship teams visiting the White House.'' The team also attended White House ceremonies following Stanley Cup championships in 2009 and '16, touring the building a visiting briefly with Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama.

                  ''I think we all really enjoyed it last year, being able to see something that not everyone gets to see, and to be able to experience the White House,'' forward Bryan Rust said. ''I think for us, as an organization, we relish the opportunity, and it's something we get to do because we are champions, and we're going to make the most of it.''

                  About 200 NFL players sat, knelt or raised fists in defiance on Sunday. A week earlier, just six players protested. Most NFL players locked arms with their teammates - some standing and others kneeling - in show of solidarity. A handful of teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, stayed off the field until after ''The Star Spangled Banner'' to avoid the issue all together.

                  There were no such protests during the exhibition hockey game between the Penguins and Blues.

                  The Penguins said the organization respects the rights of other individuals and groups to express themselves as they see fit, but added that any agreement or disagreement with a president's politics, policies or agenda can be expressed in other ways.

                  ''Everyone's got the right to go or not to go,'' Crosby said. ''But we've been invited and we accepted the invitation. I don't think you have to read into it any more than that.''


                  • #10
                    Eastern Conference looks wide open
                    September 25, 2017

                    A handful of Pittsburgh Penguins players whose names are on the Stanley Cup, some of them twice or even three times, are gone.

                    The same goes for core players from the back-to-back Presidents' Trophy winning Washington Capitals.

                    The goliaths of the East haven't fallen apart, but maybe they've lost just enough to make the conference winnable for just about anyone. Pittsburgh no longer has forwards Nick Bonino, Chris Kunitz and Matt Cullen, defensemen Trevor Daley or goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Washington couldn't afford to keep Justin Williams, Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk.

                    The Penguins and Capitals are still favored to finish 1-2 in the brutal Metropolitan Division, but improvements made by the New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes and a return to health for members of the Tampa Bay Lightning have cracked the Eastern Conference wide open.

                    ''The competition level is as high as ever,'' Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask said. ''There's a lot of teams that have a chance to win the Cup. Making the playoffs, it's very tough nowadays. I think we're not the only team when we always say, `We want to make the playoffs and then we'll see what happens' because you just want to make the playoffs and then anything can happen. There's no real favorites.''

                    Pittsburgh is still the betting favorite, and if Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Co. make it happen they'd become the first NHL team with three consecutive titles since the early 1980s New York Islanders dynasty. Then again, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is healthy after a knee injury ended his 2016-17 season, the Hurricanes got a top goaltender in Scott Darling and the Toronto Maple Leafs are only expected to get better now that Auston Matthews and the kids have some playoff experience.

                    ''Toronto obviously made a big step forward, Columbus is a team that has tremendous upside, made a big move this summer, and then you look at a team like Carolina who's going to be knocking on the door in the next few years,'' said Shattenkirk, who signed with the revamped Rangers.

                    In a league with considerable playoff turnover from year to year, there's no rest for the eight teams that made it last year: the Penguins, Capitals, Columbus Blue Jackets, Montreal Canadiens, Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Bruins and Maple Leafs. But Fleury, now the starter for the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, believes his old team has a chance to three-peat, and Alex Ovechkin said the Capitals will be good.

                    ''Our goal is still to go out there and be the best team in the regular season and be the best team in the postseason,'' Washington winger T.J. Oshie said. ''It's not a very far-fetched goal.''


                    Some things to watch in the Eastern Conference this season:

                    YOUTH IS SERVED

                    Matthews is only 20, but now there's a whole new crop of potential teenage stars, including the New Jersey Devils' No. 1 pick , Nico Hischier, and the Philadelphia Flyers' No. 2 pick, Nolan Patrick. The Swiss-born Hischier turned heads with some big-time plays in the preseason and in the process ratcheted up expectations.

                    PRICE IS RIGHT

                    The Canadiens lost defenseman Andrei Markov and winger Alexander Radulov and traded their top defensive prospect for forward Jonathan Drouin. Montreal probably should make the playoffs despite all the changes because of goaltender Carey Price, who won the Hart and Vezina Trophies in 2014-15 and missed most of the 2015-16 season with a knee injury.

                    ''He is the best goalie in the NHL,'' Drouin said. ''He's proved it for a lot of years now.''

                    Price has some competition in Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky and Washington's Braden Holtby, the past two Vezina winners. The play of those three and Pittsburgh's Matt Murray will likely determine the order of finish in the East.

                    C'MON, CROSBY

                    After leading the league with 44 goals in the regular season and the playoffs with 27 assists, there's no doubting Crosby has another MVP season in him. Teammates and opponents always expect him to sharpen another skill, though he could just keep scoring goals better than anyone else.

                    ''He was always, I think, a passer a little more - always looking for other guys,'' Fleury said. ''But he doesn't have a crazy hard shot. It's just how quick the release is. He's skating, he's looking around and the shot comes (from) any angle. His backhand is good too, probably as hard as anybody.''

                    BRIGHT LIGHTS ON BIG CITY

                    The Rangers added Shattenkirk, re-signed Brendan Smith and traded Derek Stepan to retool while goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is still in his prime. Across town, the Islanders are hoping to re-sign captain John Tavares before he can become a free agent next summer New York is where it's at, and there's no shortage of drama.

                    SUNRISE REDUX

                    Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has gone to great lengths to undo some of the moves made in the summer of 2016 when he was shifted out of a position of power. Defenseman Jason Demers and forward Reilly Smith are gone, Bob Boughner is the new coach and big things are expected in South Florida.

                    ''We've got to go in one direction and never look back,'' winger Jonathan Huberdeau said. ''That's what we want to do, and Dale Tallon knows that. We want to build something with Bob and we'll see what's going to happen.''


                    • #11
                      Lightning to retire No. 4 of Lecavalier
                      September 25, 2017

                      Vincent Lecavalier will become the second player in Tampa Bay Lightning history to have his number retired, the team announced on Monday.

                      The Lightning will retire Lecavalier's No. 4 in a ceremony prior to the team's home game against the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 10, 2018.

                      Lecavalier is the franchise's all-time leading goal scorer (383) and spent 14 years with the team. The Quebec native was named the club's captain in his second season, with the then-19-year-old becoming the youngest to wear the "C" in NHL history at the time.

                      "It is a great honor to have my number retired and I'd like to thank the Lightning organization and (chairman) Jeff Vinik for recognizing me with this achievement," the 37-year-old Lecavalier said in a team release. "The Tampa Bay community and our fans have treated me and my family so amazingly that this honor is extra special to share it with everyone. My family and I are very excited for Feb. 10 when we can share so many memories."

                      Lecavalier, who joins Martin St. Louis as the lone members of the Lightning to have their numbers retired, collected 874 points over his 1,037 games with Tampa Bay.

                      "We are thrilled to retire another one of our franchise's great players, and it's extra special since this year we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary," Vinik said.

                      "Vinny was a tremendous player during his 14 years with the team and a true ambassador and hero for many people in Tampa Bay for his tireless work in the community."

                      Lecavalier helped the Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 2004. His best season was the 2006-07 campaign, when he won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal scorer in a season in which he had 52 goals and 108 points for the Lightning.

                      The four-time All-Star retired in June 2016 after 17 seasons in the NHL, recording 421 goals and 949 points in 1,212 career games with the Philadelphia Flyers, Kings and Lightning.

                      Lecavalier was the No. 1 overall pick by Tampa Bay in the 1998 NHL draft.


                      NHL notebook: Lightning to retire Lecavalier's No. 4
                      September 25, 2017

                      Vincent Lecavalier will become the second player in Tampa Bay Lightning history to have his number retired, the team announced on Monday.

                      The Lightning will retire Lecavalier's No. 4 in a ceremony prior to the team's home game against the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 10, 2018.

                      Lecavalier is the franchise's all-time leading goal scorer (383) and spent 14 years with the team. The Quebec native was named the club's captain in his second season, with the then-19-year-old becoming the youngest to wear the "C" in NHL history at the time.

                      Lecavalier, who joins Martin St. Louis as the lone members of the Lightning to have their numbers retired, collected 874 points over his 1,037 games with Tampa Bay.

                      --The Pittsburgh Penguins signed undrafted free agent forward Sam Miletic to a three-year, entry-level contract.

                      Miletic, 20, played in two NHL preseason games with the Penguins this year, scoring the opening goal in Pittsburgh's win in Columbus on Friday. He played in all three Prospect Challenge contests in Buffalo in early September, tallying a goal and an assist in the opening game against Boston. Miletic also skated in Pittsburgh's prospect development camp in July.

                      The 6-foot, 196-pound Miletic led the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League last season with 37 goals in 65 games, a total that ranked 12th in the OHL. He recorded 55 points overall with 18 assists.

                      --The Los Angeles Kings signed forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan to a three-year, entry-level contract.

                      The 18-year-old Anderson-Dolan was a second-round (41st overall) selection of the Kings in 2017 NHL draft.

                      The 5-foot-11, 191-pound native of Calgary, Alberta, played in 142 career regular-season games with Spokane of the Western Hockey League, totaling 102 points (53 goals, 49 assists) and 43 penalty minutes. In seven postseason games, he had a goal and two assists.


                      • #12
                        NHL '17: Predators facing challenge of staying on top
                        September 26, 2017

                        The Nashville Predators are proof anything is possible in the NHL playoffs. History suggests they are up against quite a challenge.

                        Nashville made it into the last postseason as the eighth-seeded team in the Western Conference and ended up becoming just the third team seeded last to reach the Stanley Cup Final since 1994.

                        The Predators couldn't stop Pittsburgh from repeating, and they're about to find out how hard it is to defend a championship in their stacked conference. The Western Conference has not had a repeat champion since the Detroit Red Wings pulled off the feat in 2008 and 2009, hosting a Stanley Cup and then losing a Game 7 against the Penguins.

                        Nashville's appearance in the playoffs, though, was not fluke. The franchise was in the postseason for the third straight year and the 10th time in 13 seasons. And, the city should be prepared to have a good time again next spring, catfish and all.

                        ''This year, our expectation is to be in the playoffs, but our expectation is also to give ourselves the best opportunity to win hockey games and to play in our building as much as we can because our fans were so great, especially through the run,'' defenseman P. K. Subban said. ''It was a huge edge for us in the playoffs being at home. We went most of the playoffs without losing at home. That's what we're going to need. We're going to need our team to realize how important it is for us to win at home.''

                        The Predators seem set up for more success.

                        Mike Fisher retired and was effectively replaced on the ice by Penguins center Nick Bonino. General manager David Poile has goaltender Pekka Rinne under contract for two more seasons to go with top-line forwards Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg, along with defenseman Subban for at least five years.

                        ''We all know it was a lot of fun, and it was a tremendous experience going through all that,'' Johansen said. ''At the end of the day like 29 other teams, we didn't reach our goal.''

                        Here's a look at some other things to watch in the West:

                        LOGJAM AHEAD

                        The Colorado Avalanche, easily the NHL's worst team last season, may be the only team in the Central Division without a legitimate shot to make the playoffs. The division was so tough last year that Nashville finished a relatively distant fourth behind Chicago, Minnesota and St. Louis. Each of those teams figures to be just as good this season and will have to compete with Dallas, which seemed to lead the league in major moves .

                        Don't sleep on Winnipeg, either. The Jets have made the playoffs only once in the last decade, but they could break through this season. Mark Scheifele, a 24-year-old center, quietly ranked among league leaders with 82 points last season. He leads a team with rising stars Patrik Laine, a 19-year-old winger who was taken No. 2 behind Auston Matthews, and 21-year-old Nikolaj Ehlers.

                        CAUTIOUS CONNOR

                        The Pacific Division is so stacked even the 20-year-old, reigning NHL MVP with a $100 million contract is far from cocky about his team's chances.

                        ''It's so competitive,'' said Edmonton's Connor McDavid, who was given an eight-year extension last summer. ''It is a grind. And the Pacific, especially, I think you see a lot of teams that are right around that 100-point mark, 95-point mark, that are kind of right on the cusp.''

                        WELCOME BACK

                        Chicago raised some eyebrows by trading Artemi Panarin one season after he was rookie of the year to Columbus for Brandon Saad. The move likely saves the Blackhawks some money as they manage the salary cap in future years. Saad's return may bring the best out of Jonathan Toews , coming off one of the worst seasons of his career.

                        CALIFORNIA DREAMING

                        Ryan Getzlaf, who shows no sign of slipping at the age of 32, is back to lead the five-time defending Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks. Coming off their second trip to the conference finals in three years, they're desperately seeking their first trip to the Cup final since winning it in 2007. The San Jose Sharks are without Patrick Marleau for the first time in two-plus decades after he left in free agency for Toronto, and the Los Angeles Kings are hoping to re-open their championship-contending window with coach John Stevens replacing Darryl Sutter.

                        VETERANS IN VEGAS

                        The Vegas Golden Knights are betting a few veterans making at least $5 million this season to make help them be relatively competitive in their debut season: goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and forwards James Neal and Reilly Smith. The franchise's path to potential success won't be with castaways from other teams, but by drafting and developing talent. The Knights had three of the top 15 picks in the draft, including center Cody Glass sixth overall, but they don't plan to rush any of them to the big show on the Strip. Prospect Alex Tuch, a 21-year-old forward, was acquired from Minnesota and the 2014 first-round pick may get a chance to play a lot.


                        • #13
                          Sharks' Joel Ward could bring anthem protests to NHL
                          September 26, 2017

                          SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Sharks forward Joel Ward told The Mercury News he might take a knee during the national anthem at an upcoming game, becoming the first NHL player to join the protests that started in the NFL and drew criticism from President Donald Trump.

                          The 36-year-old Ward, one of about 30 black players in the league, is from Canada. Asked by the newspaper if he would consider kneeling during the anthem, Ward said it's something he ''wouldn't cross out.''

                          ''I've experienced a lot of racism myself in hockey and on a day-to-day occurrence,'' he said. ''I haven't really sat down to think about it too much yet, but I definitely wouldn't say no to it.''

                          Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem in the preseason a year ago to make a statement about social inequality and police treatment of blacks in the United States. More than 200 players knelt or took other action during Sunday's anthems in the wake of Trump's suggestion that NFL owners fire players who protest during ''The Star-Spangled Banner.''

                          Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league baseball player to take a knee during the national anthem Saturday.

                          Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said he would back Ward if he decides to take a knee this season. Ward said general manager Doug Wilson also has been supportive.