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  1. #16
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    Blackhawks ship F Kruger to Las Vegas
    July 2, 2017


    The Chicago Blackhawks traded forward Marcus Kruger to the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday in exchange for future considerations.

    Kruger, 27, registered 105 points (33 goals, 72 assists) in 398 career regular-season games with Chicago over seven seasons, including winning two Stanley Cup titles. He had five goals and 12 assists in 70 games in 2016-17.

    The 6-foot, 186-pound Kruger just completed the first year of a three-year deal that carries a salary-cap hit of $3.083 million. The Blackhawks reportedly were over next season's salary cap of $75 million by about $2.1 million prior to the trade.

    "We thank Marcus for his many contributions to our team -- most notably, two Stanley Cup Championships," general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. "His work ethic, reliability and strength as a two-way player made him a valuable member of the organization. We wish him the best with Vegas."

    The Stockholm, Sweden, native was a member of the Blackhawks' 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup championship teams, collecting six goals and 10 assists in 87 career postseason games.

    Kruger was drafted by the Blackhawks in the fifth round of the 2009 NHL draft.

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    Habs lock up G Price on 8-yr, $84M deal
    July 2, 2017


    The Montreal Canadiens signed goaltender Carey Price to an eight-year, $84 million contract extension Sunday to keep him with the team through the 2025-26 season.

    The deal is worth a reported $10.5 million per year starting with the 2018-19 season.

    Price, 29, completed his 10th season in the NHL, all with the Canadiens, in 2016-17. He maintained a record of 37-20-5 in 62 games, recording three shutouts, a 2.23 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.

    Price was one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, awarded annually to the best goaltender in the NHL. He took part in his fifth All-Star Game.

    Since 2007-08, the 6-foot-3, 226-pound Price owns a 270-175-55 record in 509 regular-season games, with a 2.40 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage. He ranks fourth in Canadiens history with 39 shutouts.

    During the 2014-15 season, Price set a Canadiens record for a goaltender with 44 wins, and earned the Hart, Vezina, Jennings and Ted Lindsay trophies.

    Price, a native of Anahim Lake, British Columbia, was the Canadiens' first-round pick (fifth overall) in the 2005 NHL draft.

    On the international stage for Canada, Price has won the gold medal at the 2007 World Junior Championship, at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and at the World Cup of Hockey last September. He also helped the American Hockey League's Hamilton Bulldogs win the Calder Cup in 2007.

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    Penguins sign D Schultz to three-year deal
    July 1, 2017


    The Pittsburgh Penguins signed restricted free agent defenseman Justin Schultz to a three-year, $16.5 million contract, the team announced on Saturday.

    The contract has an average annual value of $5.5 million and runs through the 2019-20 season.

    Schultz recorded career highs in goals (12), assists (39), points (51), plus-minus (plus-27) and power-play points (20) in 78 games last season with the Penguins. The 26-year-old is coming off a one-year, $1.4 million deal.

    "Justin plays a very important role for our team," general manager Jim Rutherford said. "It's very good to know that he will be returning to us for the next three years."

    Schultz has collected 41 goals and 119 assists in 344 career NHL games since being selected with a second-round pick by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2008 draft. He was unable to agree to a contract with the Ducks and later signed with Edmonton and spent four seasons with the Oilers.

    Schultz was ultimately dealt to the Penguins at the trade deadline for a 2016 third-round pick.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  2. #17
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    Mason, Elliott cash in on robust free agent goalie market
    July 1, 2017


    Brian Elliott looked at the free agent landscape for goaltenders and knew it wasn't pretty.

    There were only a handful of openings for starters or in platoon situations, making the process plenty stressful for him and his goaltending counterparts around the NHL.

    Even in this climate, the goaltending market was robust on the first day of free agency as Elliott signed a two-year deal with Philadelphia, Steve Mason with Winnipeg and Ryan Miller with Anaheim.

    ''With the spots open to play a majority of the games and be a major contributor and not a backup, there weren't that many spots,'' Elliott said after signing a $5.5 million deal worth $2.75 million each season with the Flyers.

    ''You kind of knew what was out there and knew what everybody was thinking, so you just make your decision from there.''

    Though there were no deals of any kind beyond seven years or more than $30 million, it was a big day for the goaltending carousel.

    Despite an inconsistent season, Mason cashed in with an $8.2 million contract to start for the Jets, and despite being on the verge of turning 37, Miller got $4 million from the Ducks to split time with John Gibson.

    Mason got the biggest contract among free agent goalies even after his .908 save percentage ranked 34th among those with at least 30 appearances last season.

    Five teams expressed serious interest, and Winnipeg was willing to pay him $4.1 million a season to shoulder the load and mentor young Connor Hellebuyck.

    ''At 29 years old right now, I feel I'm entering the prime of my career,'' Mason said. ''I can come up with the big saves that we can need on any given night that can help us get over the edge here.''

    Elliott had a number of teams calling about him after an up-and-down season with the Calgary Flames that ended with a first-round sweep. The 32-year-old has led the league in save percentage twice and will be given the chance to win the No. 1 job for the Flyers, competing against Michal Neuvirth in a market that's no stranger to goalie controversy.

    While Mason said upon leaving Philadelphia that he didn't think a platoon works, Elliott pointed to the Pittsburgh Penguins winning the Stanley Cup with a two-goalie system as evidence.

    Explaining his roller-coaster career that led to this free agent opportunity wasn't so easy.

    ''I'd write a book if I knew that,'' Elliott said. ''Everybody's been the best goalie in the NHL one night and everybody's been the worst. ... The NHL, there's so much pressure on every night that you have to perform.''

    Miller has endured that pressure as the starter in Buffalo, St. Louis and Vancouver and found a home in Anaheim close to where actress wife Noureen DeWulf works. A good fit for his family also got Miller a two-year deal that's increasingly rare for goalies in their late 30s.

    ''I was exploring what people were open to, and the Ducks were open to that,'' Miller said. ''I feel like I have a lot of hockey left in me. I've been able to take care of myself. I can still play at a fairly high level.''

    The biggest goalie contract of the day belonged to the San Jose Sharks' Martin Jones, who was extended for $34.5 million on a deal that kicks in for the 2018-19 season and counts $5.75 million per season after that. GM Doug Wilson said Jones plays big when it matters.

    Not long ago Jones was a backup in Los Angeles to Jonathan Quick, and on Saturday a handful of current or new backups got good money. Jonathan Bernier signed a $2.75 million, one-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche, Chad Johnson got $2.5 million next season from the Buffalo Sabres and Anders Nilsson got $5 million over two years from the Vancouver Canucks.

    ''I had good conversations with different agents, with different goaltenders, but Jonathan Bernier, he's a guy that we thought was a good fit for us, especially with his experience,'' Avalanche GM Joe Sakic said. ''With (Semyon Varlamov) coming back (off surgery), we don't want him playing much more than 50 games. Jonathan played almost 40 games last year for Anaheim, so we know he can do it.''

    Former Jets starter Ondrej Pavelec signed a $1.3 million, one-year deal to be Henrik Lundqvist's backup with the New York Rangers, Darcy Kuemper signed for $650,000 with the Kings and Antti Niemi went from being bought out by the Dallas Stars to taking a $700,000, one-year deal to join the Penguins and play behind Matt Murray.

    The shifting goalie landscape means Mason and Miller are moving into more mentorship roles at this stage of their careers as they try to compete for jobs at the same time. Mason pointed to teaching young Anthony Stolarz the ropes in Philadelphia, and Miller had a similar circumstance in Vancouver with goalie of the future Jacob Markstrom.

    ''My role is going to change, and I'm aware of that heading into it,'' Miller said. ''You need to play the best you can to give your guys a chance to win. That's still a priority. That's what I'm focusing on. If I can help John along the way, I hope to.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  3. #18
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    Golden Knights get to know each other in development camp
    July 1, 2017


    LAS VEGAS (AP) While the rest of the NHL chased veteran players in free agency, the Vegas Golden Knights finished up the franchise's first player development camp Saturday with optimism for their young future.

    The expansion club's prospects spent the week working out at the diminutive Las Vegas Ice Center, about 15 minutes southwest of T-Mobile Arena and 10 minutes from its nearly-completed practice arena. The rink was packed with fans when the Golden Knights held intrasquad scrimmages over the final three days of camp.

    Vegas general manager George McPhee wasn't active in the veteran free-agent market, only signing six players to minor-league deals. Although he took plenty of calls and swung a trade to send defenseman Alexei Emelin to Nashville for a third-round pick, McPhee largely used the week to learn more about the talent in the Golden Knights' system.

    ''I hope they had a great week,'' McPhee said of his youngsters. ''I hope they learned something while they were here, hope they got to know future teammates, hope that for the rest of the summer they do what we've instructed them to do, in terms of training and eating right and accelerate their development process. It's been nice to be able to be here and focus on these players that are here.''

    The lone player in Golden Knights camp with any NHL experience was Alex Tuch. He wasn't expected to attend after being acquired in an expansion draft trade with Minnesota last week, but the 21-year-old forward showed up anyway.

    ''I wanted to get my bearings under me, get the lay of the land and everything,'' said Tuch, who played six games for the Wild last season. ''I hadn't been to Las Vegas at all, so I wanted to get the feel of that, see how the weather is, which is pretty nice. It's a brand-new organization, a lot to learn, new set of eyes, new management, new coaching staff, and that was my first thought coming in, that it would be awesome to get some more experience and comfortability with the staff and management coming into training camp.''

    Tuch said the Golden Knights' camp was a bit different than the three he has attended in the past, in that they involved more conditioning drills and were overall a bit more grueling. This week was more about fundamentals and going through seminars with coaches and guest clinicians, not to mention bonding with a group of players who barely knew one another.

    ''They're not trying to kill us,'' said Tuch, who had 37 points in 57 games with Iowa in the AHL last season. ''It's a learning experience. This has been a real good camp. Everybody has worked hard and you can see everyone wants to be here and wants to make an impact. There's a lot of younger guys ... and I think everyone has learned a lot this week.''

    Tuch was an elder statesman in camp with the likes of 18-year-old Cody Glass, Vegas' first-ever draft selection. The Portland Winterhawks center was chosen sixth overall last week, and while he probably won't see any NHL action for a couple of years, the camp was a key milestone.

    ''I think the week went by really fast, but it was a really good experience,'' Glass said. ''For me, I was just trying to take it all in. Getting into those games, obviously there's some strength-related issues I need to work on. To get to the next level you've got to be bigger and faster, and that's why in the summertime, that's a huge thing for me.''

    The Golden Knights are two months away from their first training camp, but they've already got most of their inaugural core in place from the expansion draft. McPhee won't stop looking for talent.

    ''We talked to people, but we just didn't see a fit with anyone for our club this year,'' McPhee said. ''We'll keep talking to clubs. If there is a deal there that makes sense, we'll move the player. If not, we'll keep him until we get to camp. We did really well in expansion ... so why don't we just see how they can do?''

    Vegas retained just under $1.2 million of Emelin's salary
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  4. #19
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    End of an era: Jagr's time in Florida is over
    July 1, 2017


    Jaromir Jagr gave the Florida Panthers some star power, helped them win a division championship and unquestionably played a role in energizing what had been a stagnant fan base.

    And now his tenure with the Panthers is over.

    Making official what was suspected for some time, the Panthers revealed Saturday that they are going forward without the future sure-fire Hall of Fame forward. On a day dominated by free-agent signings - like adding forwards Evgeny Dadonov, Radim Vrbata and Micheal Haley - the biggest news out of Florida was that Jagr is no longer in the Panthers' plans.

    ''I can't say enough. It was an honor to be touched by a legend,'' said general manager Dale Tallon, who ultimately made the call to move on. ''I was torn. It was a tough couple weeks, or months, whatever it was. Can't thank him enough. What he did for our kids, for myself and everyone in this organization, you can't measure it.''

    Jagr was with the Panthers for 2 1/2 seasons. He'll turn 46 next season, still wants to play and is coming off a 46-point season for a Florida team that wasn't exactly loaded with offensive weaponry. But in the end, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press, the two sides were simply too far apart on financial terms to make any more talks feasible.

    Jagr was a massive presence in the locker room, and teammates picked his brain constantly about his obsession with fitness and how he keeps his game as sharp as possible. He's the No. 2 all-time scorer in NHL history, behind only Wayne Gretzky.

    ''I think it's time now for our guys to take over,'' Tallon said. ''Our core young guys need to take over this team.''

    Tallon said the Panthers needed to get younger and faster - part of the thinking behind both the decision to move on from Jagr and to give forward Jussi Jokinen a buyout on Saturday. The 34-year-old Jokinen had 28 points in 69 games last season.

    ''It's just a matter of going in a different direction,'' Tallon said.

    Dadonov is the most likely candidate to join young standouts Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau on Florida's top line, filling the role that Jagr has held.

    Dadonov is starting his second stint with the Panthers after being out of the NHL for more than five years. Dadonov appeared in 55 games for Florida between 2010 and 2012, with 10 goals and 10 assists. He's spent the past five seasons in Russia's KHL, with 101 goals and 123 assists in stints with Donbass and St. Petersburg.

    ''In all the three world championships I've been involved with with Team USA, he's been the best player in the tournament,'' Tallon said. ''He's a totally different player than when he first came over.''

    Vrbata is 36, but is coming off a 20-goal season with Arizona. And with forwards Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith now gone to Vegas, Florida needed to find more scorers.

    ''Dale is excited about this team,'' Vrbata said. ''And so am I.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  5. #20
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    Ducks to sign G Miller, ink D Fowler to extension
    July 1, 2017


    Ryan Miller has agreed to sign a two-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks, the team announced Saturday.

    Terms of the goaltender's contract were not released by the team, but TSN reports Miller's deal is worth $4 million.

    The Ducks also signed defenseman Cam Fowler to an eight-year contract extension through the 2025-26 season. Fowler will receive $52 million over the life of the deal, the Orange County Register reported.

    Miller, 36, won the Vezina Trophy as a member of the Buffalo Sabres in 2010 and ranks 19th all-time in NHL history with 358 victories.

    The 14-year veteran is 358-262-73 with a 2.61 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage in 709 career games.

    Miller entered the league as a fifth-round draft pick of the Sabres in 1999 and spent his first 10 1/2 seasons with Buffalo. He was traded to the St. Louis Blues during the 2013-14 season and signed with the Vancouver Canucks as a free agent the following season.

    Last season with the Canucks, Miller posted a subpar 18-29-6 record with a 2.80 GAA and a .914 save percentage over 54 games.

    Fowler, 25, was a first-time All-Star with the Ducks last season after totaling a career-high 11 goals and 28 assists (39 points) in 80 games. He spent his first seven NHL seasons with Anaheim, totaling 45 goals and 172 assists (217 points) in 494 games.

    "Cam Fowler is the type of player we want here long term," Ducks executive vice president and general manager Bob Murray said. "He has the obvious skill set, but also tremendous character and a drive to succeed. As good as he is, he's not yet in his prime years, so we know the best is yet to come."

    Anaheim went 46-23-13 (105 points) to win the Pacific Division and finish third in the Western Conference last season. The Ducks advanced to the Western Conference finals before being eliminated by the Nashville Predators in six games.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  6. #21
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    Sharks lock up key cogs Vlasic, Jones with long-term deals
    July 1, 2017


    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) The San Jose Sharks opened free agency Saturday by signing long-term contracts that will keep two key players off the open market next summer.

    The Sharks signed shutdown defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to a $56 million, eight-year contract and goalie Martin Jones to a $34.5 million, six-year deal. Both players had one year remaining on their contracts and got modified no-trade clauses.

    ''They were really important,'' general manager Doug Wilson said. ''These are guys who fit for now and the future. They are core pieces for our team at key positons.''

    The Sharks did not reach deals with longtime stalwarts Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau before they hit the open market officially. San Jose has offers out to both players but Wilson wouldn't comment about where negotiations stand.

    Marleau has been with San Jose since being picked second overall in 1997 and has 508 goals in his career. Thornton was the top pick by Boston that same year and came to San Jose in November 2005. He ranks in the top 25 all-time in assists (1,007, 13th place) and points (1,391, 22nd place).

    The team has made three conference finals with the duo and went to the Stanley Cup Final before losing to Pittsburgh in 2016.

    ''I'd love them to be back,'' Vlasic said. ''If they're not, I totally understand the game. We'll try to find other guys in the league or in our system to fill the roles as much as they can.''

    If Thornton or Marleau leave, the Sharks will have to replace their scoring. The defense should be in good shape for years to come thanks to the new deals with Vlasic and Jones and an eight-year extension for Norris Trophy winner Brent Burns last November.

    The Sharks also have key forwards Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture under contract for two more seasons and several young players they hope will develop in the next few years.

    ''That's a good starting point,'' Vlasic said. ''We've been competitive every year since I've been on this team. I don't see us dropping off in the near future and I see us being very competitive many years down the road.''

    The 30-year-old Vlasic was a second-round pick by San Jose in 2005 and became a constant presence on the blue line the following year. If he finishes this contract with San Jose he will spend 20 seasons with the Sharks.

    Vlasic has played 812 games over 11 seasons and is usually tasked with shutting down the opponent's top scorers. He had six goals and 22 assists last season, while blocking 146 shots and playing more than two minutes a game short-handed.

    ''Marc-Edouard is one of the most respected players in the league, certainly one of the best defenseman,'' Wilson said. ''Not only the best stopper against other teams' top players but he can move pucks. We expect even more offense going forward. We think he's coming into prime of his career.''

    The 27-year-old Jones has been a rock in goal since being acquired in a trade with Boston two years ago that included a first-round draft pick for a player who had never been a consistent starter in the NHL.

    Jones backed up San Jose's belief in him and helped the team reach the Cup Final in 2016 and the playoffs this past season.

    ''Ultimately he plays big when it matters,'' Wilson said. ''That's always been his history. Obviously we don't get to the Stanley Cup Final two years ago without him. The ultimate compliment for a goalie is that a team loves playing in front of him and trusts him. He has that.''

    Jones leads the NHL with 130 games started the past two seasons and is tied for second with 72 wins. He has allowed 2.33 goals per game with the Sharks.

    ''All I have to worry about is focusing on playing hockey right now,'' he said. ''It's important. I didn't have a lot of doubts it wouldn't get done anyway. But it's nice to get it out of the way and just focus on hockey.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  7. #22
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    NHL notebook: Avalanche sign former No. 1 overall pick Yakupov
    July 4, 2017


    The Colorado Avalanche signed former top overall pick Nail Yakupov to a one-year contract, the team announced Tuesday.

    Yakupov, a forward, collected just nine points (three goals, six assists) in 40 games with the St. Louis Blues last season. The 23-year-old Russian, who is coming off a two-year, $5 million contract, was scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer until the Blues opted against sending him a qualifying offer.

    "Nail is a young, skilled winger who will add depth to our lineup," Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said. "We look forward to seeing him at training camp."

    Yakupov has yet to live up to expectations since being selected by the Edmonton Oilers with the first overall pick of the 2012 draft. He spent four seasons in Edmonton before being traded to St. Louis in October for forward Zach Pochiro and a conditional third-round pick of the 2017 draft. Yakupov has recorded 53 goals and 67 assists in 292 career contests with the Oilers and Blues.

    --The San Jose Sharks signed forward Brandon Bollig to a one-year contract, the team announced.

    Financial terms were not disclosed for Bollig, who recorded 11 goals, 11 assists and 136 penalty minutes in 60 games last season with the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League.

    The 30-year-old Bollig spent his previous two campaigns with the Calgary Flames, collecting three goals and six assists in 116 games.

    A Stanley Cup champion with Chicago, Bollig notched 10 goals, 13 assists and 392 penalty minutes in 241 career contests with the Blackhawks and Flames.

    --The Carolina Hurricanes acquired center Marcus Kruger from the Vegas Golden Knights for a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NHL draft.

    Kruger recorded five goals, 12 assists and a plus-7 rating in 70 games last season with the Chicago Blackhawks. The 27-year-old is set to enter the second campaign of a three-year deal worth $9.25 million with a cap hit of $3.083 million.

    Kruger also represented his home country of Sweden for the 2017 IIHF World Championship, where he won the gold medal along with fellow Hurricanes Elias Lindholm, Victor Rask and Joakim Nordstrom.

    A two-time Stanley Cup winner, Kruger has collected 33 goals, 72 assists and 176 penalty minutes in 398 career games with the Blackhawks.

    --The Arizona Coyotes signed forward Michael Latta to a one-year, two-way contract.

    Terms of the contract were not disclosed for Latta, who notched four goals and 17 points in 113 games over three seasons with the Washington Capitals from 2013-2016.

    Latta, a former third-round pick of the Nashville Predators in the 2009 draft, split last season with the Ontario Reign and Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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