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Sharks sign McNally, McCarthy, Lerg, Haley to contracts (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:30:37 PDT)
The San Jose Sharks signed former Harvard defenseman Patrick McNally to a two-year contract Thursday and forwards John McCarthy, Bryan Lerg and Micheal Haley to one-year deals. The Sharks also signed minor league defenseman Mark Cundari to a one-year deal as they stocked up the depth in their organization. San Jose began filling out Peter DeBoer's new coaching staff by hiring assistant Bob Boughner and goaltending coach Johan Hedberg.

Sensible July 1 deals; free agent fallout; 'Moose' heads to San Jose (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:51:40 PDT)
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at .   Two of the newest jerseys in the @NHL Store here in NYC. @BlueJacketsNHL @LAKings #Saad #Lucic . — Steve Mears (@MearsyNHL) July 1, 2015 • That’s a nice shiny, brand new Brandon Saad Blue Jackets jersey. Better act now before the unsigned restricted free agent gets offer-sheeted by another NHL team. [ @MearsyNHL ] • “I don’t want to say Saad got bad advice, because he’s going to get at least a 500% raise and make more money than we’ll ever dream of to play hockey. But I guess you can say that if Saad genuinely wanted to stay and would have taken less money to do it and his agent got him punted to Ohio.” [ The Committed Indian ] • The opening of free agency saw a lot of sensible deals. What gives? Are GMs getting smarter? [ Sporting News ] • “Kessel cared, but he cared in his own weird Kessel way. He wanted to win, but he wasn’t the kind of player who could bleed on the ice in an obvious lost cause – like the end of last season – night after night.” [ Globe and Mail ]  • The Islanders were pretty quiet on Day 1 of free agency. Do they have some trades brewing? [ Isles Beat ] • What’s the fantasy spin of Matt Beleskey landing in Boston? [ Dobber Hockey ] • Is Beleskey worth it for the Bruins? [ Today’s Slap Shot ] • There are plenty of questions about the Vancouver Canucks’ moves so far, but GM Jim Benning deserves patience. [ Province ] • Really great first-person read about Rich Clune and his battle with sobriety. [ The Players’ Tribune ] • Good read on painkillers and culture in the NHL. [ Pension Plan Puppets ] • “NBCSN pulled in just 252,000 viewers for the first day of the draft Friday night, the smallest audience since 2012’s 207,000 and a 25 per cent drop from last year’s 337,000.” [ Awful Announcing ] • Examing the numbers of new Washington Capital Justin Williams. [ Japers’ Rink ] • Remembering the good times that Williams helped deliver in Los Angeles. [ Jewels From the Crown ] • The Dallas Stars made changes up front and in goal. So what’s up with the defense? [ Dallas Morning News ] • Bob Boughner joins the San Jose Sharks as assistant coach, while Johan Hedberg is the team’s new goaltending coach. [ Sharks ] • Scott Clemmensen has called it quits and is joining the New Jersey Devils as their goalie development coach. [ ] • Interesting in-depth look at the LA Kings and their draft process. [ Mayor’s Manor ] • Breaking down the Zack Kassian addition for the Montreal Canadiens. [ Rabid Habs ] • The Detroit Red Wings made some good signings on Wednesday that should help keep their playoff streak alive. [ Bleacher Report ]  • But more moves are needed, says Ken Holland. [ Winging It In Motown ]  • This is not a good look for a national hockey columnist. [ Litter Box Cats ] • There were a number of gamble picks during the CHL Import Draft, and there are a number of general managers hoping they pay off. [ Buzzing the Net ]  • Finally, here's Connor McDavid talking after taking the ice for the first time with the Edmonton Oilers:

Longtime Sharks executive Wayne Thomas retires (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:34:43 PDT)
Longtime San Jose Sharks executive Wayne Thomas is retiring after 22 years in the organization. The 67-year-old Thomas announced his decision to step down as vice president and assistant general manager on Thursday. Thomas spent 45 years in hockey as a player, coach, scout and executive.

Kessel trade to Penguins highlights start of NHL free agency (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 01 Jul 2015 21:12:26 PDT)
On the first day of NHL free agency, a blockbuster trade stole the spotlight. The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired high-scoring winger Phil Kessel from Toronto on Wednesday in the biggest move of the day, while a handful of prominent defenseman found new homes in free agency. Mike Green signed a multiyear deal with Detroit, Andrej Sekera signed a $33 million, six-year contract with Edmonton, Paul Martin inked a $19.4 million, four-year deal with San Jose and Francois Beauchemin got a three-year deal with Colorado.

Pens add high-scoring Kessel in trade with Leafs
(Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:16:33 PDT)
(Reuters) - The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired high-scoring forward Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a deal involving six players and three draft picks on Wednesday. Kessel, along with forward Tyler Biggs, defenseman Tim Erixon and a 2016 second-round draft pick, went to Pittsburgh for defenseman Scott Harrington, forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Nick Spaling and first and third-round draft picks in 2016.

NHL-Pens add high-scoring Kessel in trade with Leafs
(Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:54:38 PDT)
(Adds Kassian-Prust trade, signings) July 1 (Reuters) - The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired high-scoring forward Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a deal involving six players and three draft picks on Wednesday. Kessel, along with forward Tyler Biggs, defenseman Tim Erixon and a 2016 second-round draft pick, went to Pittsburgh for defenseman Scott Harrington, forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Nick Spaling and first and third-round draft picks in 2016.

Hurricanes buy out Semin's contract, sign Riley Nash (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 01 Jul 2015 13:56:46 PDT)
The Carolina Hurricanes have officially bought out Alexander Semin's contract. Carolina waived him Tuesday with the intent of buying out his deal. Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, Semin is owed $14 million - two-thirds of the amount remaining on his contract - over six years.

Canucks trade Kassian to Canadiens for Prust (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:14:21 PDT)
The Vancouver Canucks have traded Zack Kassian and a 2016 fifth-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for Brandon Prust on Wednesday. Kassian, 24, has a year left on his contract at a cap hit of $1.75 million. Kassian has 35 goals and 31 assists in 198 games with the Canucks and Buffalo Sabres.

UFA Frenzy Live Blog (Rotoworld)
(Wed, 01 Jul 2015 08:45:00 PDT)
Check in throughout Wednesday afternoon for the latest news.

NHL-National Hockey League roundup
(Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:58:49 PDT)
June 30 (The Sports Xchange) - Two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup, the Chicago Blackhawks made a multi-player deal on Tuesday. The Blackhawks traded forwards Brandon Saad and Alex Broadhurst and defenseman Michael Paliotta to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forwards Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp, and a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. Saad, 22, posted career bests in goals (23), assists (29), points (52) and ice time (17:15) in 82 regular-season games for the Blackhawks last season. He was the team's third-leading goal scorer and finished fourth in points. ...

Canadiens agree to 2-year deal with forward Brian Flynn (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 30 Jun 2015 12:54:38 PDT)
MONTREAL (AP) -- Forward Brian Flynn agreed to a $1.9 million, two-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

The 10 most awkward 2015 NHL Draft rookie photographs (Gallery) (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 30 Jun 2015 12:04:36 PDT)
SUNRISE, Fla. – While Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and the Boston Bruins’ front office received the most attention at the 2015 NHL Draft, there was another annual tradition we here at Puck Daddy had our eyes on in Sunrise, Fla.:  The 2015 NHL Draft awkward rookie photographs! We covered this bizarre ritual in 2011  and 2012 and 2013 and 2014 . Alas, over time, the NHL and its photo editors have sucked much of the fun out of the posed images. Not a single one of Jack Eichel leaping through a curtain to scare us! Luckily, there’s still plenty of awkward to go around. Join us, won’t you, in celebrating moments like Mitchell Marner attempting to fend off a sentient and carnivorous Toronto Maple Leafs jersey? And here … we … go. 10. Nicholas Merkley, No. 30 overall, Arizona Coyotes

Grading the Draft - Part 2 (Rotoworld)
(Tue, 30 Jun 2015 07:31:00 PDT)
Corey Abbott breaks down the picks and trades for the Atlantic and Central divisions.

AP source: Sabres place forward Cody Hodgson on waivers (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 29 Jun 2015 18:56:58 PDT)
Once heralded as a key part of the Buffalo Sabres future, Cody Hodgson's career in Western New York will soon be over. A person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press on Monday that the Sabres have placed Hodgson on unconditional waivers with the intention of buying out his contract. Hodgson signed a six-year, $25.5 million contract with the team in 2013 in one of the last significant deals under former general manager Darcy Regier.

What We Learned: NHL Draft report cards (and Boston's near failure) (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 29 Jun 2015 06:57:10 PDT)
The first thing you have to say about what the Bruins have done this offseason is that it's all an overreaction. Were they an elite team to the level they had been from, say, 2010-2014? No, obviously not. Many of the bad habits they picked up during that time — trading very useful or even great players, overpaying depth, believing that their “identity” was what made them effective, etc. — festered and eventually infected the organizational brain. But luck was certainly a factor in what has driven more or less every decision in this bizarre summer. Last season, they went 4-10 in the shootout. That's a luck problem, because you're supposed to go about .500, because you're supposed to shoot about 30-33 percent; the Bruins shot 15 percent, second-worst in the league behind only — you guessed it — unlucky Los Angeles. Tuukka Rask also posted the worst save percentage he's seen in four seasons. And while .922 is still in the upper echelon of the league (and you really can't legitimately ask for better than .922 from anyone), that also played a role. The Bruins missed the playoffs by two points, and also suffered at the hands of an unsustainable run from Ottawa, over which they didn't have much control. Did they look punchless down the stretch? Yes and no. From March 15 through the end of the season, they went 5-4-4, which isn't a run that a Bruins team at the height of its powers would go on when it was pushing for something. Even this season, in fact, wringing just 12 points from a 13-game stretch would be very unlikely. But they played the last 10 games of the season without Dougie Hamilton, which is a major problem because as has been discussed before , Dougie Hamilton is already a clear No. 1 defenseman. That hurts, especially because of how bad the Bruins blue line is beyond Hamilton and Zdeno Chara. Or, rather, was. On Friday afternoon in what will likely prove a legendary fleecing from Brad Treliving, the Bruins traded Hamilton to Calgary for three picks, only one of which was in the first round, because he wanted more money than they were prepared to give him and indeed could give him based upon their cap constraints. Some reports had that money in the $5.5 million to $6.5 million range — a number that certainly doesn't strike a reasonable person as untoward given that, again, we're talking about a top-20 or so defenseman in the entire league already who's also about two months older than Exciting Young Player and new teammate Johnny Gaudreau. It also doesn't seem untoward based on what the Bruins currently pay a lot of the defensemen on their roster. For instance, if Dennis Seidenberg is worth $4 million until he's 36, are Hamilton's age-23 through, say, age-28 seasons not worth 40-60 percent more than that? Certainly, the extension given to Adam McQuaid (four years at $2.75 million per) indicates that old willingness to overpay for toughness — sorry, “identity” — while shunning high-level talent and trading it away for pennies on the dollar. Hamilton is worth at least two McQuaids, and probably more. There's Boston precedent here, but it's not a good one to follow. Peter Chiarelli — fired at the start of the offseason for doing precisely this kind of thing with regularity — dug into the couch cushions to give Torey Krug $3.4 million but his successor, having learned the value of, what, fiscal responsibility or something, wouldn't let 28-year-old bottom-pairing defenseman McQuaid walk to squeeze just a bit more out of the cap situation. And instead gave him a fat raise. The Bruins' fourth and fifth from last season (Torey Krug and McQuaid) now cost more than $6 million, but they didn't want to pay Hamilton for some reason. You can quibble about Hamilton's value vis a vis his asking price (and you'd be wrong, but you can do it) but his on-ice value to the Bruins cannot be questioned. Without him — and with the acknowledgement that Sweeney knows more about his own plans than any of us do — the Bruins currently have one (1) top-four defenseman signed for next season: 126-year-old Zdeno Chara. Seidenberg has the reputation of still being valuable, but he is not. Krug can only be used in low-danger situations because he has an incomplete game. Putting McQuaid out against decent competition is done at your peril. Kevan Miller is barely an NHLer. Who knows what Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman, and newly acquired Colin Miller are at this level? But you'd certainly want one of them trying to replace the minutes vacated by a departing McQuaid instead of a long-gone 22-year-old cornerstone defenseman. (Also of note: Sweeney turned down a slightly better deal from Edmonton than it got from Calgary for the Hamilton trade. Why? Because they tried to make Peter Chiarelli throw in Darnell Nurse, just because he's Peter Chiarelli and he just got fired. Spite shouldn't enter into this stuff but here we are, I guess. It was nothing if not predictable.) There's not a lot of work left for Don Sweeney to do this summer beyond extend a few RFAs. But there are still so many questions about the Bruins' defense situation —they have six defensemen signed with $7.2 million in open cap space, plus Marc Savard's injury replacement money —  but again, they're almost certainly going to slot in low-cost youth to fill out many of those holes. Morrow, Trotman, and Miller will probably compete for at least one of those D spots, and maybe a cheapish UFA acquisition gets into the mix. Extensions for Ryan Spooner and Brett Connolly bump up the Bruins forward corps to 12, plus another possible UFA maybe. And that, of course, is necessitated by the Milan Lucic trade, which Boston should have made three years ago. Back then, Lucic was 24 and coming off seasons in which he scored 30 and then 26 goals in just 160 games total. Over the last three, he's got just 59 in 207. This is basically the definition of selling low, but the haul Sweeney pulled out of what can only be described as a Los Angeles club desperate to replace the departing Justin Williams. He'll probably be a good running buddy for Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar, and might even threaten to kill someone on the Ducks. So the Bruins got LA's first-round pick, sought-after goalie Martin Jones (who was traded because he deserves a bigger runout and must therefore be thrilled to go from backing up Jonathan Quick to backing up Rask), and the aforementioned Colin Miller, an AHL defenseman who seems ready to take the next step. So Jones is now Rask's backup, and he's likely to be a little pricier than Malcolm Subban. One wonders, though, if this is a test for trying to find someone who wants to take on the Rask contract instead if Jones can indeed play at a high level with more minutes. If so, maybe he, and not the 28-year-old former Vezina winner (signed until he's 33 at a $7 million cap hit) is the Bruins' goalie of the future. But it's important to keep in mind that the Bruins continue to claim they want to compete for a playoff spot next year. If so, these moves are uniformly curious, because they both make the Bruins immediately worse than they were last season and don't really do much to yank the team out of cap hell (given that they retained $2.75 million of Lucic's $6 million cap hit). The idea that Jones might — and again, we can't know Sweeney's future plans here — split time with Rask more evenly than Rask did with Niklas Svedberg or Jones did with Quick should be damaging to those postseason aspirations. Remember, Rask had a down year at .922; Jones's career save percentage is .923 in just 34 games. This doesn't even get into the idea that Sweeney, using the Nos. 13, 14, and 15 picks got guys often projected to go around Nos. 15, 28, and 40. While it's all well and good to pick three times in the first round and “get your guys,” going off the board that hard in a draft this deep strikes one as worrisome. Even the broadcasters on the draft, who try to be diplomatic at the very least, had a hard time spinning those picks in anything resembling Sweeney's favor. If you're worried about paying Hamilton because of the cap constraints, fine. But with the Lucic trade, even considering the retained salary, there was immediately more than enough room to sign him at whatever his allegedly unreasonable (but probably not, in a sane world) number was. Maybe the Lucic trade doesn't happen without the Hamilton trade, but that seems unlikely. They appear wholly independent. And that's what's most troubling here, especially because Sweeney — clearly being picked on by more veteran GMs — wasn't given the ability to move up even with all those mid-first-round picks. Would he have liked Noah Hanifin? Clearly. Probably would've settled for Ivan Provorov or Zach Werenski. But he was forced to use three straight choices and while he got “his guys,” there are wholly reasonable doubts “his guys,” even three years down the line, begin to scratch the surface of what a Hamilton provides to this team now, three years from now, and 10 years from now. The Bruins' window to be truly Cup-competitive was closing, no doubt about it. Sweeney slammed it shut on Friday. And that he still hasn't opened up shop and put price tags on guys like Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, David Krejci, Rask, and so on as well — all of whom will be at least 28 by the time next season begins but still hold significant value suggests he has little idea of how to proceed from here. Boston is worse today than it was last week, even ignoring the necessary Carl Soderberg swap (because you gotta pay Chris Kelly and Reilly Smith, right?). That means the clearly unlucky playoff miss last season — which got Sweeney the job in the first place — is now more likely to happen again. While looking for upgrades wasn't going to work given the cap issues, standing pat as best as possible would have been wise. But this, whatever this is, shows a lack of direction and, perhaps, understanding. What We Learned (Draft grades edition) Anaheim Ducks : Carl Hagelin will make a great addition to the Getzlaf/Perry line, and Anton Khudobin is a bargain pickup. But thinning out the blue line by shipping James Wisniewski probably wasn't the brightest idea but you gotta give to get, as they say, and goaltending was a bigger concern. I'm wait-and-see on the Palmieri trade but I don't think it was particularly wise since they got so little back. C+ Arizona Coyotes : They got Dylan Strome, which isn't a bad start, and then did a thing that was good — for them, not the league — in taking on the Chris Pronger contract to get closer to the cap floor without actually having to shell out the money for the cap hit. I mean, it's revolting that teams are able and/or allowed to do this, but that's the CBA and as the budget-est of budget teams, this is what Arizona is always going to try to do. Their new jersey isn't as good as their old one though. B Boston Bruins : Here's Fluto Shinzawa expertly going in on the team's horrible weekend , which only got away from a failing grade by getting a decent return for Lucic and because at least one of those three first-round picks kind of has to turn into a legit NHL player, right? I mean, you'd hope so. And that Chiarelli tax was beyond stupid. D- Buffalo Sabres : Add Jack Eichel, check. Add Ryan O'Reilly, check. Add Robin Lehner, check. Add some umm grit and leadership, check. You don't often see draft weekends that go this well . Tim Murray didn't put his foot down in the wrong place once, and improved his team both now and in the future. A+ Calgary Flames : Except you almost saw it happen twice in one weekend. The Flames got a franchise defenseman (which now gives them three, by the way) for a song, then got D prospects Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington late, which is effectively found money on two guys who were projected to go much higher than they did. The Flames went into this weekend with no real defensive depth in their system , and now this. It was a great couple of days for Brad Treliving. A Carolina Hurricanes : Ron Francis did a good job of upgrading both the current on-ice product (I like both Lack and Wisniewski as NHL contributors) and got a steal in Noah Hanifin at No. 5. But I'm a little dubious of Carolina's clear intention to usher Hanifin into the bigs at 18 — he won't be 19 until January — because so few guys are able to do that. Odds that two rookie defensemen can in a two-year period seem low. B- Chicago : They seem to really like the guy they got at 54, but when that's your first pick of the draft it's hard to get excited about anything. And that Rannta-for-Haggerty deal? It was fine I guess. C Colorado Avalanche : Didn't really have much of a choice but to trade O'Reilly — and also overpay Carl Soderberg ? — but the return they got back was solid (for me, Grigorenko got a raw deal and Zadorov is a strong defensive prospect), and they also got Mikko Rantanen as a very nice future. Losing O'Reilly hurts, though. B- Columbus Blue Jackets : The acknowledgement is they needed blue line help , and while it's not as immediate as they probably would have liked, the two defensemen they got in the first round look pretty solid. Zach Werenski especially. But again, he's probably not NHL-ready or anything right now, so Jarmo Kekalainen probably has more work to do this week. B Dallas Stars : If Denis Gurianov can be as exciting as Valeri Nichushkin, you take that. I don't get the Antti Niemi trade at all, though. Why pay your goalies a combined $10-plus million, even if you're that worried last season wasn't a fluke for Kari Lehtonen? Doesn't make sense. C- Detroit Red Wings : Well, the Wings finally got a right-shot defenseman . And they drafted a few Europeans so everyone could ooo and ahh over how brilliant they are. Wait and see? Nah, they drafted Pavel Datsyuk in the seventh round one time! They have this stuff figured out. B

Song becomes first Chinese-born player drafted in NHL
(Sat, 27 Jun 2015 16:31:28 PDT)
Song Andong became the first Chinese-born player to be drafted into the National Hockey League when the New York Islanders chose the sturdy defenceman in the sixth round of the entry draft on Saturday. The Islanders took Song with the 172nd pick in the annual draft which showcases the best college and junior players from leagues in North America and Europe. The Edmonton Oilers took Connor McDavid with the first overall pick on Friday but the selection of Song a day later was also significant because he was born in Beijing and began his hockey there in youth leagues and tournaments before his family moved to Canada.

Chuck Fletcher on Devan Dubnyk contract talks: 'I think we made progress' (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 26 Jun 2015 20:32:35 PDT)
SUNRISE, Fla. – So this week we saw a lot of Devan Dubnyk at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas and asked him about his contract . There were still some questions lingering into the NHL Draft, where GM Chuck Fletcher was going to talk to Dubnyk’s agent Mike Liut.  And it appears there is some movement towards a new deal with Minnesota and the 2014-15 Masterton Trophy winner.  “I think we made progress. We’re still cautiously optimistic we’ll get it done shortly,” Fletcher said.  We’ve had good talks the last couple of days. Both sides are working hard and hopefully we can conclude something shortly.” The sounds like a man who thinks he’s going to lock up his No. 1 goaltender pretty darn soon. There was this report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Friday morning. I'm told they're not far off money-wise. Wild has gotten up to the low $4 million range. Dubnyk is willing to come into the high 4s. I do think term is the biggest issue. Dubnyk is asking for bigtime security (many years, maybe the max eight, I hear) and the Wild likely doesn't want to go more than four years and probably prefers three.   Yeesh, eight years? That sounds like a lot for a guy who was traded for spare parts by Nashville to Montreal a year ago. Remember that time Devan Dubnyk was in the Montreal Canadiens organization? Though he did go 27-9-2 with Minnesota last season and rescued the team from not making the playoffs. Is Dubnyk taking advantage of the free agent interview period? Perhaps, but Fletcher hasn’t been paying much attention to that. He seems mostly concerned with what the Wild can control in these negotiations with their goaltender/saver of the 2014-15 season. Ha, get it? Saver of the season? Goaltender? “They’ve been negotiating in good faith I guess and we’ve been exchanging ideas so clearly they’re working hard to get a deal done with us and we’re working hard with them, so again I think it’s a good fit for both sides so I’m optimistic,” he said. Why in the world did Fletcher not lock up Dubnyk like right after the Wild’s playoff run ended against the Chicago Blackhawks in the second-round of the postseason? The Wild didn’t have a salary cap number – something that was announced Tuesday at $71.4 million for next year. “Until we had the cap number there wasn’t a sense of urgency to sprint into it from our standpoint,” Fletcher said. “I think they wanted to wait and get the shopping period as well.” Oh negotiations. So much fun. - - - - - - - Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY  

Montreal Canadiens take Noah Juulsen, going back to the Everett Silvertips well (Buzzing The Net)
(Fri, 26 Jun 2015 17:23:02 PDT)

NHL-List of first overall NHL draft picks
(Fri, 26 Jun 2015 16:46:38 PDT)
June 26 (Reuters) - List of first overall National Hockey League draft picks: 2015 - Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers 2014 - Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers 2013 - Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche 2012 - Nail Yakupov, Edmonton Oilers 2011 - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers 2010 - Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers 2009 - John Tavares - New York Islanders 2008 - Steve Stamkos - Tampa Bay Lightning 2007 - Patrick Kane - Chicago Blackhawks 2006 - Erik Johnson - St. ...

2015 NHL Draft: First Round (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 26 Jun 2015 16:22:00 PDT)
The Rotoworld staff gives you live pick-by-pick analysis of the first round of the NHL Draft.

Mock Draft 2.0 (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:06:00 PDT)
Michael Finewax gives us his take on Friday's first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.

Awkward NHL Awards interviews (pt. 2): Benn, Subban, Ovechkin, Letang, Ekblad, Doughty, Bergeron (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 25 Jun 2015 19:13:15 PDT)
LAS VEGAS - In Part 1 of our series , we learned man-child Johnny Gaudreau has not gambled despite being 21, Peter Laviolette wants to be a jockey for a Kentucky Derby winner, and I'm no match for Colin Hanks and his eloquent crushing of my Ducks fandom.  We also learned Carey Price thinks Jamie Benn would wear Axe Body Spray. Now Mr. Benn gets to answer said charges. Also making appearances are: P.K. Subban, Alex Ovechkin, Kris Letang, Aaron Ekblad, Drew Doughty, and Patrice Bergeron.

2015 NHL Draft Tracker: First-Round Picks & Profiles (Yahoo Sports)
(Thu, 25 Jun 2015 14:07:22 PDT)
2015 NHL draft: Follow the team-by-team selections in the first round of the draft, with profiles on each pick provided by Buzzing The Net blogger Neate Sager.

Blackhawks book Cup banner raiser against Rangers
(Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:53:43 PDT)
The Chicago Blackhawks will raise their third Stanley Cup championship banner in six seasons on the opening night of the NHL season when the New York Rangers visit on October 7, the league announced Thursday. The opening night of the campaign will also see the Montreal Canadiens visit the Toronto Maple Leafs in another matchup of "Original Six" clubs while Vancouver visits Calgary and San Jose travels to Los Angeles. The Blackhawks also will help the New York Islanders open their new home arena, as they move to Brooklyn's Barclays Center for their home debut October 9.

Canadian prime minister lauds Quebec City for NHL (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 25 Jun 2015 10:59:49 PDT)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Quebec City is the ideal place for an NHL expansion team. ''If you're looking at markets, I would certainly say to the NHL, to anyone, there is no better place for an expansion team in the National Hockey League than this city, Quebec, which is a great hockey center,'' he said in the provincial capital Thursday after an unrelated news conference. Harper spoke a day after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the league will begin a formal expansion process next month.

NHL Awards Ballot: Greg Wyshynski reveals his 2015 votes (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:23:29 PDT)
The Professional Hockey Writers Association decided this year that its members would withhold publishing their ballots for each award until after that unbearable smoldering train-wreck of a show was over, so enterprising fans couldn’t piece together who won through a small sample of the votes.  To be honest, it actually worked. Without half the membership spilling the beans on their top picks and runners-up, the wins for Erik Karlsson (Norris), Aaron Ekblad (Calder) and Jiri Hudler (Byng) were surprises, albeit mild ones. So as much as I enjoy filling time with awards ballot debates leading up the show, I might agree that trading them in for a scintilla of suspense is beneficial. The other issue, of course, is transparency, and that’s where I’m at odds with some of the PHWA membership. Members can keep their ballots secret. I completely understand the idea that keeping ballots secret can be good for the process. Beat writers, for example, never have to feel pressure from the teams they cover to cast a vote a certain way, or harm relationships when they don’t. (Remember, these things go beyond trophies: It’s also about bonus money, etc., and that’s a whole different kettle of monkeys when it comes to the media voting on these things.) I also understand that it’s a giant hassle to have fans, in this social media age, nitpicking every vote you cast. That said, we’re journalists. We spend more hours defending our work to critics than we do sleeping in a given week. Unless you’re approaching this honor with complete ennui, you should be able to defend the fact that you left Drew Doughty off your Norris ballot or didn’t cast a vote for Carey Price in the Hart race, which two voters didn't, for some reason. ("GOALIES" probably.) Anyway, I’m all for shedding light on the dark corners of the process. Here’s my ballot for the 2015 NHL Awards. (You can find Puck Daddy's Sean Leahy's ballot here  and here is Josh Cooper's awards ballot as well. ) HART TROPHY ("to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team")  1. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens 2. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals 3. Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild 4. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks 5. John Tavares, New York Islanders “Goalie bias” is the only reason Price doesn’t win and, frankly, is the reason why Dubnyk wasn’t in the top three, because no one had a more transformative effect on his team other than Price. (Sample size is a reasonable counterargument, however.) NORRIS TROPHY ("to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position") 1. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators 2. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings 3. P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens 4. Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks 5. Shea Weber, Nashville Predators Again, Karlsson is just on another level as far as offensive domination and his defensive game is improving every season. Does he make mistakes? Yes. Can he cover those mistakes with speed like no one other than Keith in the NHL? All game. It’s funny: Some of the Blackhawks players I asked bristled when I inferred that Keith was underrated. He finished seventh in the voting. So, yeah…  CALDER TROPHY ("to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition") 1. Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers 2. Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames 3. Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators 4. Mark Stone, Ottawa Senators 5. John Klingberg, Dallas Stars Admittedly, I’d have flip-flopped Stone and Forsberg if I could do this again. I think part of this was the recency bias that I felt really tarnished the accomplishments of the Nashville Predators, because they had the nerve to be really, really good at the start of the season. (See also: Laviolette, Peter.) But no rookie was more impressive than Ekblad, and no rookie was more dazzling than Johnny Hockey. This group went beyond the usual “rookie scoring leader means Calder winner” paradigm. LADY BYNG TROPHY ("to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability") 1. Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames 2. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings 3. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings 4. Ryan O’Reilly, Colorado Avalanche 5. Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks I went with the other boring guy on the Flames. I’m glad Hudler won. His speech was the only thing on the NHL Awards that resembled impromptu comedy. SELKE TROPHY ("to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game") 1. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins 2. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks 3. David Backes, St. Louis Blues 4. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings 5. Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks This is going to be a Datsyukian run for Bergeron for this award. He’s just a shade better than Toews, who would win this award every season were it not for Bergeron. Backes ended up fourth in the voting. Hossa was seventh, actually finishing behind Max Pacioretty on the wing NHL All-Star Team CENTER Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks John Tavares, New York Islanders Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins RIGHT WING  Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues Radim Vrbata, Vancouver Canucks LEFT WING Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals Rick Nash, New York Rangers DEFENSE Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks Shea Weber, Nashville Predators Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins GOALTENDER Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild If you missed the All-Star Team results, they’re here. No one really cares about this thing unless the PHWA screws up and lists Ovechkin twice, but here are my votes. NHL All-Rookie Team FORWARD Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators Mark Stone, Ottawa Senators DEFENSE Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers John Klingberg, Dallas Stars GOAL Michael Hutchinson, Winnipeg Jets I had the whole group save for the goalie, as Jake Allen becomes a two-time all-rookie team member. You read that right. So there’s my ballot. I take this stuff really seriously, as do the vast majority of PHWA members. It’s an honor to have a vote, and we want to get it right. And by that I mean not do things like give Randy Carlyle a vote for the Jack Adams. Silly broadcasters…

Puck Daddy's 11 can't-miss dates of the 2015-16 NHL season (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 25 Jun 2015 07:40:34 PDT)
The 2014-15 NHL campaign ended 10 days ago and now it’s already time to look forward to next season. As we come down from the tour de force that was the NHL Awards show Wednesday night and prepare ourselves for Round 1 of the NHL Draft Friday night, the league dropped the 2015-16 schedule on us Thursday morning, so start planning those road trips. Some notes about the schedule:  • The regular season begins Oct. 7 and ends Sat. April 9. • The Christmas break is from Dec. 23-25 • Super Saturday on the final day of the regular season! Here are 11 dates to mark on your calendar as appointment viewing: Oct. 7, 2015 New York Rangers at Chicago Blackhawk s It’s opening night league-wide and in what’s becoming a pretty regular thing, the Blackhawks will raise their third Stanley Banner in six seasons during their home opener against the Rangers. The roster on the ice for the pre-game ceremony will have plenty of new faces and who knows how many players who helped them capture the Stanley Cup earlier this month will be wearing different uniforms come October.  Oct. 8, 2015 Edmonton Oilers at St. Louis Blues Connor McDavid makes his NHL debut as angels sing from the Scottrade Center rafters and doves fly through the crowd signaling the arrival of The Next One. Seriously, no pressure, kid. Ottawa Senators at Buffalo Sabres  Meanwhile, in Buffalo, Jack Eichel begins his NHL career on what will be a revamped Sabres roster as the crowd dons their I LIKE EICH t-shirts and the nightly comparisions to McDavid begin. Oct. 9, 2015 Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings For the first time in 10 years, the Red Wings will have a new head coach when they start the season. Gone is Mike Babcock and replacing him is Jeff Blashill, who manned their AHL’s team’s bench for the past three seasons. It’ll certainly be odd seeing Babcock behind the Leafs bench and the entire day will be a lovefest to the coach to helped guide them to the 2008 Stanley Cup title. Maybe the Red Wings’ tribute video will just be three-minutes of angry Babcock stares from over the years? Chicago Blackhawks at New York Islanders Now it’s really going to sink in: Nassau Coliseum is no longer the home of the Islanders. When the Blackhawks come visit, the Islanders will officially open their new barn. They’ve already played two preseason games at Barclays Center over the last two seasons and have three more in September before things get real. It will still be odd to see the Islanders playing a home game in a non-decrepit building. Dec. 6, 2015 Buffalo Sabres at Edmonton Oilers The first meeting of McEichel, which will soon become this decades version of Crosby/Ovechkin, where both will be featured prominently on NBC programming.  Jan 1, 2016 Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins   Everyone loves a good rivalry and what the Canadiens and Bruins have developed over the years is nothing short of intense. So it makes sense for NBC and the NHL to pit the two in the annual New Year’s Day outdoor game, which will take place at Gillette Stadium. Jan. 10, 2016 Buffalo Sabres at Winnipeg Jets The Sabres will have a revamped roster on the ice and behind the bench when they start the 2015-16 season. From Dan Bylsma to Jack Eichel to whoever GM Tim Murray brings in during free agency, but one game to circle on the calendar is Evander Kane’s return to Winnipeg. The forward’s time with the Jets came to an end after TracksuitGate and season-ending shoulder surgery, both led to a March trade. Aside from the warm welcome Kane will likely receive, how many Jets fans will be donning track suits that night?

Awkward NHL Awards interviews (pt.1): Karlsson, Price, Tavares, Gaudreau, Dubnyk, Laviolette, Hanks (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 25 Jun 2015 00:46:52 PDT)
LAS VEGAS - Interviews from any red carpet at any event can be one of two things: 1) boring as heck or 2) super awkward. Naturally, I chose to go for the latter and catch some of hockey's finest talking about anything but hockey. This is part one of two in a series of whimsical (and yes, awkward) interviews from the red carpet at the NHL Awards. Up first we have Erik Karlsson, Carey Price, John Tavares, Johnny Gaudreau, Devan Dubnyk, Peter Laviolette, and Colin Hanks. Enjoy!

Canadiens goaltender Price wins Hart Trophy as league's MVP
(Wed, 24 Jun 2015 20:13:36 PDT)
(Reuters) - Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price had a busy night at the NHL's annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, taking home the Hart Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player and three other honors.     Price also won the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goalie, the Ted Lindsay award for the most outstanding player in the league as voted by the players, and the William M. Jennings Trophy.

Montreal goalie Price wins MVP in four-award haul
(Wed, 24 Jun 2015 20:12:55 PDT)
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, who backstopped his club's best regular season in 26 years, won four top honors Wednesday at the NHL Awards ceremony, including league Most Valuable Player. The 27-year-old Canadian led the NHL with 44 wins, a 1.96 goals-against average and a 93.3 save percentage, becoming the first goalie to pace the league in all three categories since Ed Belfour in the 1990-91 campaign. Price also broke the Montreal record for wins in a season, the 42 set by Jacques Plante in 1955-56 and matched by Ken Dryden in 1961-62.

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