Monthly Archives: August 2017

Saturday’s trade gives the Islanders roughly $9 million in cap space

His last season in Brooklyn with the Islanders was a difficult one, though, for Hamonic. Injuries limited him to only 49 games played, and he struggled with his on-ice play even when healthy. However, he has been a respected, solid player, and a strong locker room presence, the past seven seasons for the Islanders.

I couldn’t be more excited, it’s a young team, but a good team said Hamonic, who earlier this week was recognized for his extensive charitable work off the ice, being named the NHL Foundation Award recipient. You want to surround yourself with great players. That’s a huge part of the excitement.

Newsday reported that the Islanders turned down a previous offer by Toronto this weekend that would have seen winger James van Riemsdyk traded to New York as part of a deal for Hamonic.

Saturday’s trade gives the Islanders roughly $9 million in cap space, as well as draft pick assets to possibly trade to bolster the current roster.

Lias Andersson (No. 7 overall, NYR): His father, Niklas, was selected 68th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1989 NHL Draft and skated in 164 career NHL games across five seasons with the Nordiques, New York Islanders, San Jose Sharks, Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames.

Owen Tippett (No. 10 overall, FLA): His cousin, Mitchell Stephens, was selected 33rd overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Callan Foote (No. 14 overall, TBL): His father, Adam, is a two-time Stanley Cup champion (1996 and 2001 w/ COL) who patrolled the blueline for 1,154 career games with the Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets.

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New Sabres GM Jason Botterill will use Penguins’ blueprint to build Buffalo

New Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill made a clear impression during his opening news conference that he has a fresh plan for the organization: instilling principles he learned from one the NHL’s top teams to lift up one of the league’s doormats.

The Sabres hired Botterill on Thursday to lead a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs in six years, the second-longest active drought, ahead of only the Hurricanes and their eight seasons seasons without a playoff berth.

Botterill made it clear he isn’t coming into Buffalo to pick up where recently fired GM Tim Murray left off. He wants to make changes in how this team is built, from top to bottom, to help get the franchise out of the mud. Botterill played for the Sabres from 2002-05, and knows what kind of fan base he’s walking into.

Encouraged by Selanne, Kariya left the door open to reintegrating himself into hockey if the right offer comes along. In fact, Selanne said he has made it one of my missions.

I know that he can make a big difference, Selanne said.

Just another assist from an old pal.

To be going in with Teemu, ?I wouldn’t be getting this call if I didn’t get the opportunity to play with him, Kariya said. He made me a better player, a better person and I appreciate everything he did for me off the ice as well as on.

That friendship will come full circle in November when the two are formally enshrined in Toronto.

Now that their careers are officially conjoined forever, Selanne joked they might as well plane-pool if Kariya footed the bill to get there. ?As the movie goes, Ducks always fly together, after all.

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The 35-year-old right wing has signed a two-year deal with the Hurricanes

The 30-year-old Hjalmarsson, a three-time Stanley Cup winner, will play alongside his friend and fellow Swede Oliver Ekman-Larsson on the Coyotes’ top defense pair.

He’s a guy we targeted for a while now, Chayka said. We think Hjalmarsson is a perfect partner for (Ekman-Larsson), who struggled last season. That was the genesis of that move. Oliver, what makes him special, is his play with the puck, his offensive side of the game, the way he makes plays. And Hjalmarsson is an elite defender, one of the best, and he will free Oliver up to do his thing. Plus they’re good friends, both from Sweden, so I think there’s a lot of synergy there.

The 35-year-old right wing has signed a two-year deal with the Hurricanes, bringing him back to the team with which he won a Stanley Cup in 2006. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Williams, whose NHL-record 14 points in Game 7s during his career earned him the nickname Mr. Game 7, scored 48 points with the Capitals last season.

Sharp, a key member of three Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks teams, is headed back to Chicago, according to multiple reports. The 35-year-old left wing spent the past two seasons with the Dallas Stars, but the Chicago Tribune reports he is taking a steep discount to return to the Windy City. Sharp spent 10 seasons with the Blackhawks, scoring a career-high 78 points in the 2013-14 season, before being traded to Dallas. He scored 18 points in 48 games last season, as he dealt with injuries. He had season-ending hip surgery in March and was expected to need four to five months to recover.

You know what, I can’t explain it, Senators coach Guy Boucher said when asked about Karlsson’s ability to play at a high level through injury.

No one can.

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Pittsburgh’s 22-year-old rookie sensation was in some kind of scoring funk himself

It might have been a different outcome if P.K. Subban’s first-period goal hadn’t been reversed on a controversial coach’s challenge (more on the below). But the Penguins pulled a rabbit out of their hat to take the first game of what promises to be a wild championship series.

Pittsburgh’s 22-year-old rookie sensation was in some kind of scoring funk himself, having gone eight games without a goal since piling up nine in his first 11 career playoff games.

Frederick Gaudreau, the Predators’ own rookie hero, netted his first-career NHL goal with 6:31 to play in regulation to erase a three-goal deficit and overtime seemed inevitable. But less than three minutes later, Guentzel corralled a loose puck in the neutral zone, burst into the attacking zone and roofed a perfect wrister over Rinne’s glove to send PPG Paints Arena into a frenzy.

Guentzel’s shot, somehow, was Pittsburgh’s first in nearly two full periods. Sullivan pleaded with his players to get a shot to the net just as Guentzel left the bench to start his shift.

It stood as the game winner as Bonino added another goal with Nashville’s net empty to give the Penguins a 5-3 win of the most improbable variety.

A week after cutting ties with longtime heart-and-soul defenseman Dan Girardi via a buyout, Gorton traded veteran center Derek Stepan and goaltender Antti Raanta to the Coyotes in exchange for 21-year-old defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the seventh overall selection in Friday’s NHL Draft, which they used to select Swedish league forward Lias Andersson.

Gorton added that the Rangers are trying to remain a top contender they have reached three Eastern Conference finals, won the 2014-15 Presidents’ Trophy, and played in the 2014 Stanley Cup Finaleven while changing their personnel on the fly.

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the Islanders’ captain and one of the best players in the game.

Eberle scored 20 or more goals the past four years, and hit that number in five of his seven NHL seasons. He netted a career-high 34 in 2011-12. However, in his first career postseason action this past spring, he was held without a goal across 13 games.

In New York, he is expected to join the top line alongside Tavares, the Islanders’ captain and one of the best players in the game.

3. Dmitrij Jaskin, Blues Not only did Jaskin score Friday’s first goal, he had a team-high four hits as the Blues turned in perhaps their most aggressive game of the postseason.

2. Connor McDavid, Oilers McJesus notched his first multi-point game of the postseason as the top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft is proving his worth in his second season. The 2017 Art Ross Trophy winner netted a goal and added an assist as Edmonton built its 3-0 lead. Edmonton’s 20-year-old captain led the NHL with 100 points on 30 goals and 70 assists in the regular season and is a huge reason the Oilers are even in the playoffs.

1. Corey Perry, Ducks Not only did Perry net the game-winner in double overtime, he had two assists in the win. After Ryan Getzlaf, who assisted on Perry’s game-winner, got Anaheim’s first goal with 3:16 remaining, Perry helped Cam Fowler score 35 seconds later and then had the assist on Richard Rakell’s game-tying goal with just 15 seconds on the clock.

Game 5: Penguins at Capitals, 7:15 p.m. ET, NBC (Penguins lead series 3-1)The Presidents’ Trophy winners will try to avoid elimination at home. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin took the blame for Wednesday’s Game 4 loss, so it will be interesting to see how the Caps respond in front of their home crowd.

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the six highest-paid goalies in the NHL have only one Stanley Cup amongst them

Therein lies the rub of signing Price, a world-class goaltender, to such a large contract, eating up so much cap space. Despite his brilliance, Price has been unable to get good not great teams over the hump, so far. And he’s far from the only high-paid, upper-echelon goalie to fall into this category.

Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers, who used to be the league’s highest-paid goalie until Price inked his extension, also has amazing NHL and international credits, including a Vezina Trophy and Olympic Gold Medal. Yet despite three trips to the Eastern Conference finals since 2012, and an appearance in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, Lundqvist and the Rangers have not won a Stanley Cup. Many argue that New York is anchored now by his long-term $8.5 million per year contract, especially with the 35-year-old Lundqvist showing a downturn in his game the past year.

In fact, the six highest-paid goalies in the NHL have only one Stanley Cup amongst them and Tuukka Rask earned that in 2011 as a backup to Tim Thomas with the Bruins. That group, consisting of Price, Lundqvist, Sergei Bobrovsky, Pekka Rinne, Rask and Braden Holtby, won each of the last six Vezinas, however, with zero Cups in that same span.

Clearly Zibanejad is trending up as an NHL player, with his prime years directly in front of him. His upside offensively is greater than Stepan, who recorded 50 or more points each of the past four years, but never topped the 57 he notched in 2013-14.

While likely miscast as a No. 1 center, Stepan was extremely important to the club on the defensive side of the puck, and was an excellent penalty killer to boot. Consistency was key with Stepan, and Zibanejad will need to prove that he can be as reliable while also building on the higher ceiling he has as a player.

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Stanley Cup playoffs three stars: Capitals make most of second chance to force Game 7

The Capitals got one and averted a major case of deja vu with a wire-to-wire 5-2 drubbing of the Penguins Monday to force the Game 7 hockey fans so badly wanted but weren’t sure would ever come. Pittsburgh was on the verge of eliminating its bitter rival for a third time since 2009, including Nick Bonino’s Game 6 crusher a year ago, but will have to wait two more days to try again.

The Sabres fired coach Dan Bylsma along with Murray back in April. Botterill hopes to have a new coach hired in time for the NHL Draft in June.

If the Predators win, it’ll be a style-of-play issue. The Penguins haven’t played anyone quite like the Predators. They’ve played teams with better regular-season records. They’ve played teams with high-end superstars in Alex Ovechkin and Erik Karlsson. They’ve played more physical teams, from Columbus to Washington to Ottawa.

Nashville is fast. Nashville has skilled defensemen who carry the puck and generate offense. As Chris Kunitz said after becoming the hero of the Penguins’ Game 7 win over Ottawa, They have four Erik Karlssons. That may be a stretch, because Karlsson is the reigning Norris Trophy winner. But in P.K. Subban, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm they have four D-men who recorded at least 20 regular-season assists.

The Penguins have beaten the No. 1, No. 4 and No. 12 overall seeds on their way to the organization’s sixth Stanley Cup Final appearance; it would stand to reason that taking care of No. 16 should be a breeze. But we saw a 16-0 Patriots team lose to 10-6 Giants team in the Super Bowl that ended the 2007 season, and we saw the 83-win Cardinals claim the 2006 World Series over the 95-win Tigers.

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Pittsburgh learned it would be without star defenseman Kris Letang until next season because of a herniated disc in his neck.

After winning it all last June, the team had a short summer to recover physically. Then six of its best players — Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Matt Murray, Patric Hornqvist, Carl Hagelin, and Olli Maatta — ramped things up early, and missed most of training camp, by participating in the World Cup of Hockey. The 82-game Battle Royale of a regular season in the highly competitive Metropolitan Division followed, with assorted injuries taking a toll along the way.

The Penguins grinded their way to 50 wins, 111 points and the second-best record in the NHL, despite incredible wear and tear on their minds and bodies.

It’s been an exhausting season, maybe even more so mentally than physically, Penguins forward Carl Hagelin admitted to Sporting News late in the year.

Before the first puck even dropped on the postseason, Pittsburgh learned it would be without star defenseman Kris Letang until next season because of a herniated disc in his neck. A lower body injury suffered by Murray in warmups ahead of the playoff opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets was another ominous sign that back-to-back titles might not be attainable.

The problem is Jagr turns 46 midway through next season. Only Gordie Howe and Chris Chelios played beyond their 46th birthdays. The NHL has gone increasingly younger and faster while Jagr is older and slower, but his 46 points still ranked fourth on the Panthers last season.

The future Hall of Famer feels he has a 24th season to give if a team will take it. Florida and Philadelphia publicly stated it won’t be with them, but Jagr still makes sense as a veteran locker room presence and marketing darling for a team like the Golden Knights. Call the man.

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NHL playoffs 2017: Penguins not Capitals feeling heat as teams head to Game 7

When the Capitals fell behind the Penguins three games to one in their NHL playoff second-round series, it seemed as though history was about to repeat. Another Presidents’ Trophy regular season, another second-round exit.

Two wins in elimination games later, and the Capitals have pushed all of that pressure back onto the Penguins. No longer is Washington trying to avoid embarrassment; now Pittsburgh is.

Barroway added that the search to replace Tippett will begin immediately.

After some thoughtful discussions with Andy, we both agreed that it was best for me to move on, Tippett said in a statement through the team. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Coyotes and wish Andy and the entire organization all the best in the future.

There have been numerous reports of discord in the Coyotes front office predating the hire of 27-year-old John Chayka, the youngest general manager in NHL history.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported Thursday that there was lots of friction and tension within the organization, namely between Tippett and Barroway.

Tippett, 55, is old-fashioned in his coaching philosophy, which flew in the face of Chayka and Barroway’s strategy to rebuild a young roster.

In his eight seasons with the Coyotes, Tippett went 282-257-83, including the franchise’s only first-place finish and a Western Conference finals berth in 2011-12. But the Coyotes have missed the playoffs in five consecutive seasons since that run and had begun the process of getting rid of veterans like Doan in favor of more youthful talent.

Arizona Sports reported Tippett did not agree with the departures of Doan and starting goalie Mike Smith, who was traded to the Flames last week.

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In appreciation of Marian Hossa, whether this is the end of his career or not

If this is the end for Marian Hossa potentially cut down at the end of his career by an unfortunate skin disorder that will at least force him to miss the 2017-18 season it’s impossible to imagine a more ill-befitting way for him to go out.

Hellebuyck will have every opportunity to show the type of numbers he put up his rookie season weren’t a flash-in-the-pan, and Mason, carrying a cap-hit north of $4 million, certainly wasn’t brought in simply to be a mentor to the young goaltender. Having a second option or a viable backup is a good thing for the Jets (from 2010 to 2016, Pavelec played the 11th-most games of all NHL goalies). Hellebuyck started a career-high 56 NHL games in 2016-17, though he started the identical number the year prior, split between the NHL (26) and AHL (30).

The Jets need their goaltending to be better. In the Central Division, competing with the likes of the Nashville Predators, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Minnesota Wild, and the St. Louis Blues, it’s hard to invision Winnipeg sniffing the postseason without average goalie play. The Dallas Stars figure to be better than their 2016-17 version, and the Central can qualify a maximum of five teams into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

And maybe one of them will be the Jets, marking the franchise’s second such appearance since relocating north of the boarder, but to do so, it needs it last line of defense to give it a chance at winning.

He got a little revenge by punishing his opponent with a legal hit on the opening faceoff of Game 7, and a lot more revenge by surging off the bench with Ottawa pinned in its own zone 5 minutes into the second overtime to set up Chris Kunitz game-winning goal.

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