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National Hockey League
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  • Oilers' Draisaitl signs 8-year, $68M contract extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 16, 2017

    The Edmonton Oilers signed center Leon Draisaitl to an eight-year, $68 million contract extension through the 2024-25 season.

    • The deal has an average annual value of $8.5 million.

      The 21-year old Draisaitl completed his third NHL season in 2016-17, setting career highs with 77 points (29 goals, 48 assists) in 82 games, and also finishing with 20 penalty minutes.

      Draisaitl, a native of Cologne, Germany, finished second in team scoring behind Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid and ranked eighth among all NHL scorers. He also set a record for points by a German player in an NHL season, surpassing the mark of 59 points set by Marco Sturm in 2006.

      The 6-foot-1, 216-pound Draisaitl tied for the team lead with 27 power-play points (three goals, 24 assists) and also had five game-winning goals, three of which came in overtime. His power-play points ranked tied for eighth in the NHL.

      Draisaitl led the Oilers in scoring during the 2017 playoffs, posting 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 13 games. Over 191 career regular-season games with the Oilers, he has accumulated 137 points (50 goals, 87 assists) and 44 penalty minutes.

      Draisaitl has played internationally for Germany at three World Hockey Championships (2014, 2016, 2017), two World Junior Hockey Championships (2013, 2014) and two Under 18 World Hockey Championships (2012, 2013). He also was the youngest member of Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, contributing two goals in six games and reaching the final against Team Canada.

      Draisaitl was selected by the Oilers in the first round (third overall) of 2015 NHL draft.

      On July 5, McDavid signed an eight-year, $100 million extension ($12.5 million average annual value) with Edmonton. The new deal will begin in 2018-19.

  • Islanders F Prince to miss 4-6 months
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, August 14, 2017

    New York Islanders forward Shane Prince will be sidelined four to six months after undergoing ankle surgery, the team announced Monday.

    • Prince collected five goals and 13 assists in 50 games last season before missing the final four contests of the regular season with a high ankle sprain.

      "At the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, Shane Prince returned home and continued the rehabilitation of his high ankle sprain injury," the Islanders announced on their website Monday. "During the later stages of his rehabilitation he began to have increasing discomfort that deterred his training process for the upcoming 2017-18 season. After notifying our medical staff he was referred to specialists, who after trying more conservative measures determined that it was in Shane's best interest to have surgery.

      "He has since had the surgery, is doing well and is expected to return to full activity in 4-6 months."

      Prince is entering the final season of a two-year, $1.7 million contract.

      The 24-year-old New York native has notched 11 goals and 25 assists in 114 career contests with the Senators and Islanders since being selected by Ottawa in the second round of the 2011 NHL draft.

  • Red Wings object to use of logo at rally
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, August 12, 2017

    The Detroit Red Wings condemned the use of their logo by extremists at a white nationalist rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va.

    • A group of people were viewed with placards sporting the Red Wings' logo.

      "The Detroit Red Wings vehemently disagree with and are not associated in any way with the event taking place today in Charlottesville, Va.," the franchise said in a statement. "The Red Wings believe that Hockey is for Everyone and we celebrate the great diversity of our fan base and our nation.

      "We are exploring every possible legal action as it pertains to the misuse of our logo in this disturbing demonstration."

      The NHL also denounced the use of the popular logo.

      "We are obviously outraged by the irresponsible and improper use of our intellectual property as seen this weekend in Charlottesville, Va.," the league said in a statement. "This specific use is directly contrary to the value of inclusiveness that our league prioritizes and champions.

      "We will take immediate and all necessary steps to insure the use is discontinued as promptly as possible, and will vigorously pursue other remedies, as appropriate."

      Published reports point to there being a Michigan-based white nationalist group called the Detroit Right Wings. There isn't confirmation that the group is in Charlottesville.

      The activism was allegedly in response to Charlottesville's recently announced plan to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

  • Longtime coach, GM Murray dies of colon cancer
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, August 12, 2017

    Bryan Murray, a former NHL coach and general manager with five different teams in his career, died of colon cancer on Saturday. He was 74.

    • NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement on Murray's passing.

      "Bryan Murray's strength and character were reflected in the teams he coached and the teams he built over decades of front office excellence," Bettman said. "While his warmth and dry sense of humor were always evident, they were accompanied by the fiery competitiveness and determination that were his trademarks.

      "As we mourn Bryan's passing, we celebrate his many contributions to the game -- as well as his courage. The National Hockey League family sends our deepest condolences, comfort and support to Bryan's family, his many friends and all whose lives he influenced."

      Murray was general manager of the Detroit Red Wings (1990-94), Florida Panthers (1994-98), Anaheim Ducks (2002-04) and Ottawa Senators (2007-16), and coached the Washington Capitals (1981-90), Red Wings (1990-93), Panthers (1997-98), Ducks (2001-02) and Senators (2005-08).

      Murray was a 620-465-23 coaching record with 131 ties in 17 NHL seasons. He won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year with the Capitals in 1983-84, guiding them to a 48-27-5 record.

      Most recently, Murray served as a special adviser to Senators general manager Pierre Dorion after stepping down as Ottawa GM in April 2016 to focus on his health and to spend time with his family. He was inducted into the Senators Ring of Honor on Jan. 24.

      "Bryan was one of the greatest men that the game of hockey has ever known and also a great father, mentor and teacher," Senators owner Eugene Melnyk told the team's website. "We extend our sincere condolences to his wife, Geri, daughters, Heide and Brittany and the entire Murray family on their loss."

      Murray was general of the Ducks when they reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 2003 and the franchise remembered him on Saturday.

      "As both head coach and general manager of the team (2001-2004), Bryan led our organization with class, dignity and charisma," the team said in a statement. "He won 620 games as an NHL head coach and led three teams to the Stanley Cup Final, including 2003, when he served as the architect of our amazing run. But Bryan's legacy goes far beyond his success on the ice, including his courageous fight with cancer and countless contributions to the communities he served. He will be forever remembered by all he touched."

  • Oilers sign first-round pick Yamamoto
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 10, 2017

    The Edmonton Oilers signed 2017 first-round pick Kailer Yamamoto to a three-year entry level contract on Thursday.

    • Yamamoto, picked 22nd overall, appeared in 65 games with the Western Hockey League's Spokane Chiefs last season, scoring 42 goals while adding 57 assists and 46 penalty minutes. He also had a plus-14 rating. He was also named to the 2016-17 WHL Western Conference Second All-Star Team.

      The 5-foot-8, 153-pound forward has appeared in 190 WHL games in his career, scoring 84 goals and 143 assists with 130 penalty minutes. He has also played in 12 playoff games, scoring three goals and seven assists.

      The Spokane, Wash., native attended the Oilers' 2017 Development Camp in Jasper, Alberta, and played for Team USA at the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich.

  • Jagr keeps options open, including playing for own Czech team
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 10, 2017

    Jaromir Jagr finds himself in unfamiliar territory as the future Hall of Famer is without a job with the NHL season under two months away.

    • The 45-year-old Jagr admitted that he could play with the second-tier team he owns in his native Czech Republic if an NHL team doesn't come calling.

      "The most serious negotiations I have are with Kladno because Kladno has a smart owner who knows what he wants," Jagr joked, per NHL.com. "No, really, I don't have a clue. I leave it all on my agent (Petr Svoboda). There is a couple of (NHL) teams that showed interest, but nothing specific yet."

      Jagr recorded 46 points (16 goals, 30 assists) last season with the Florida Panthers, but the sides failed to come to terms on a new deal and parted ways.

      The 10-time All-Star and 23-year NHL veteran resides 57 games shy of passing Gordie Howe for the most ever. His 765 goals are 36 behind Howe for second place in back of Wayne Gretzky while his 1,914 points have him second only to "The Great One."

      Jagr has five 100-point seasons in his career -- four coming during his 11-season tenure with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

      "I know very well I'm not the same player like 10 or 15 years ago when I was able to win games by myself," Jagr said. "It's up to the coach what position he wants to use me. Maybe it would be even better for me if I played on a second or third line because I would play against worse players and worse defensemen. I didn't have as much luck in my entire career, I always had to face the top defensemen. Even in Florida, I always played against the best, which was always very tough."

  • Canucks re-sign Gaunce
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 9, 2017

    Vancouver Canucks forward Brendan Gaunce signed a two-year contract on Wednesday.

    • Gaunce notched five assists in 57 games last season before missing the final month of the regular season with a shoulder injury.

      The 23-year-old Ontario native was exposed to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft before remaining in Vancouver.

      Gaunce has collected one goal and five assists in 77 career games contests since being selected by the Canucks with the 26th overall pick of the 2012 draft.

  • Dallas Stars oppose "bathroom bill"
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 9, 2017

    The Dallas Stars of the NHL became the first Texas-based professional sports franchise to officially oppose a "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people.

    • Stars president and CEO James Lites issued a statement on Wednesday claiming that the club is "strongly opposed to any legislation perceived as discriminatory."

      "We welcome fans from all over the globe, and our roster boasts players from half a dozen countries. Dallas welcomes all, and we welcome all," Lites said.

      "... We are proud of our home and want every visitor to feel at home here, too, and that' s why we oppose this discriminatory bathroom legislation."

      The NFL and NBA have previously joined other businesses in opposing a proposal requiring transgender people to use bathrooms in schools and government buildings assigned to the gender on their birth certificates.

  • Olczyk recovering from colon cancer surgery
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    Former NHL forward and current broadcaster Eddie Olczyk is undergoing treatment for colon cancer.

    • Olczyk, who works as a broadcaster for the Chicago Blackhawks and played five of his 16 NHL seasons with the team, released a statement through the organization on Tuesday.

      The 51-year-old Olczyk, the No. 3 overall selection in the 1984 NHL draft, was diagnosed with the disease last week. He underwent a surgical procedure to remove a tumor and said he plans to return to the booth following completion of his treatment.

      "I have been diagnosed with a form of colon cancer and am currently undergoing treatment for the disease," he said in the statement. "I have been working with outstanding health care professionals and expect to be back in the broadcast booth after I complete my treatment. Having the support and encouragement from my family, the Chicago Blackhawks organization, NBC Sports and all my friends and fans means the world to me and will give me continued strength to beat this. My family and I appreciate privacy during this time as we focus our attention on my treatments."

      Olczyk appeared in 1,031 games for the Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings, Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs, amassing 794 points on 342 goals and 452 assists.

      After retiring following the 1999-2000 season, Olczyk coached the Pittsburgh Penguins for two seasons (2003-05). He has been an in-game analyst for Blackhawks games starting with the 2006-07 season, working for CSN, WGN and NHL on NBC.

      Olczyk also was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.

  • Islanders sign Stephen Gionta to 1-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    The New York Islanders signed center Stephen Gionta to a one-year, two-way contract on Tuesday.

    • Gionta, 33, spent the first seven years of his career in the New York area, playing for the New Jersey Devils for six seasons from 2011 to 2016. He joined the New York Islanders last season.

      The former Boston College standout had one goal and five assists in 26 games with the Islanders last season. In 296 career games, Gionta has 16 goals and 40 assists for 56 points.

      Gionta is the younger brother of veteran right wing Brian Gionta, who began his career with the nearby Devils and played for the Buffalo Sabres last season.

  • Crosby shows off Stanley Cup on 30th birthday
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, August 7, 2017

    Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby celebrated his 30th birthday with a few of his friends on Monday.

    • Well, numerous friends and a very famous championship trophy, to be precise.

      Crosby brought the Stanley Cup to his native Nova Scotia, where he served as grand marshal of the Natal Day Parade that began in Halifax and ended in Dartmouth. The two-time Hart Trophy winner and two-time reigning Conn Smythe Trophy recipient then headed to Rimouski, Quebec, where he played his junior hockey for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Oceanic.

      "It's just a number," Crosby said of his 30th birthday. "When I think about that, it's a number. Sometimes I don't feel 30. Sometimes I do. It depends. I just try to enjoy things as much as I can. It's pretty special to be able to do this on my birthday, share with everybody. I'll just take that as a great experience and move on.

      "I'm just happy to have the Cup here, and to be spending time with it and everybody on my 30th, I'll take that for sure."

      The Penguins captured their second straight Stanley Cup championship and fifth in franchise history by defeating the Nashville Predators in six games in June. Pittsburgh became the first team to repeat as champion since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98.

  • Sharks sign F Goodrow to two-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, August 7, 2017

    San Jose Sharks forward Barclay Goodrow signed a two-year contract, the team announced on Monday.

    • Financial terms were not disclosed for Goodrow, who recorded a team-leading 25 goals to go along with 20 assists in 61 games last season with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League.

      "Barclay played a key role in the success of the Barracuda last season and we feel he took a step forward in his development," Sharks assistant general manager and Barracuda GM Joe Will said. "He took on more of a leadership role with the Barracuda and we look forward to him competing for a spot in the NHL this season."

      Goodrow notched an assist in three games with the Sharks last season.

      The 24-year-old Toronto native recorded four goals -- including two game-winning tallies -- and 12 assists in 77 career contests with the Sharks over the past three seasons.

  • Golden Knights sign D Schmidt to two-year contract
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, August 6, 2017

    The Vegas Golden Knights signed defenseman Nate Schmidt to a two-year, $4.45 million deal following an arbitration decision.

    • The team announced the arbitrator's decision on the contract Saturday night that is worth an average annual value of $2.225 million.

      Schmidt, 26, was selected by the Golden Knights in the expansion draft on June 21, claiming him from the Washington Capitals.

      The 6-foot-1, 194-pound Schmidt played in 60 games for the Capitals during the 2016-17 season and recorded 17 points (three goals, 14 assists). He added one goal and three assists in 11 playoff games.

      Schmidt, a native of St. Cloud, Minn., initially signed with Washington as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Minnesota in 2013. He owns 43 points (eight goals, 35 assists) in 200 career NHL games over parts of four seasons.

  • Red Wings agree to terms with top pick Rasmussen
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, August 5, 2017

    The Detroit Red Wings agreed to terms with their 2017 first-round pick, center Michael Rasmussen, on a three-year entry-level contract Saturday.

    • Rasmussen, 18, was selected with the ninth overall pick of the NHL draft on June 23.

      The 6-foot-6, 221-pound forward is currently skating for Canada at the World Junior Summer Showcase at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich., and is slated to serve as captain of the Western Hockey League's Tri-City Americans for the 2017-18 campaign.

      Rasmussen spent the past two seasons with Tri-City and ranked second on the team in 2016-17 with 32 goals, despite missing the final 22 games of the season due to a wrist injury. The native of Surrey, British Columbia, led the Americans with 15 power-play goals, which tied for sixth overall in the WHL, and ranked among team leaders with 23 assists, 55 points and five game-winning goals.

      In 114 games with Tri-City since 2014-15, Rasmussen owns 98 points (50 goals, 48 assists) and 89 penalty minutes.

  • Stars ink D Oleksiak to one-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, August 4, 2017

    The Dallas Stars signed defenseman Jamie Oleksiak to a one-year contract Friday.

    • The deal is worth $964,688, the team announced.

      Oleksiak, 24, registered seven points (five goals, two assists) in 41 games for Dallas in 2016-17. His goals marked a career high and were third amongst team defensemen.

      The 6-foot-7, 255-pound Oleksiak owns 19 career points (six goals, 13 assists) in 119 contests over the past five years, all with Dallas.

      The native of Toronto was originally selected by Dallas in the first round (14th overall) of the 2011 NHL draft. Oleksiak represented Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning the bronze medal.

  • NHL notebook: Predators captain Fisher announces retirement
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 3, 2017

    Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday.

    • "This is the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but I know I've made the right one," the 37-year-old Fisher wrote in a letter published in The Tennessean on Thursday. "I've decided to retire from the NHL."

      Fisher, who is married to country music star Carrie Underwood, recorded 18 goals and 24 assists in 72 games last season. He added four assists in 20 postseason contests to guide the Predators to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

      Fisher was named Nashville's captain after defenseman Shea Weber was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in June 2016.

      --Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun had surgery to repair a knee injury that he suffered this week during offseason training.

      Chychrun is expected to make a full recovery, according to the Coyotes, but will be out indefinitely. The team said it would provide an update at the start of training camp in mid-September.

      Chychrun, drafted 16th overall last summer, had seven goals, 13 assists and 47 penalty minutes in 68 games as a rookie with the Coyotes last season.

      --The Calgary Flames announced several front office moves, the most significant of which was the promotion of Don Maloney to vice president of hockey operations.

      Maloney joined the Flames last year as a scout after serving as the Arizona Coyotes general manager from 2007 to 2016.

      The Flames also announced they extended the contracts of assistant general managers Craig Conroy and Brad Pascall.

      Also, Derek MacKinnon is the Flames new director of pro personnel, Rob Sumner and Fred Parker were named assistant amateur scouting directors under head scout Tod Button, and Chris Snow is the new director of hockey analysis.

      --The Florida Panthers reached agreement with defenseman MacKenzie Weegar on a one-year, two-way contract, the team announced.

      Weegar, 23, did not record a point while appearing in three games with the Panthers during the 2016-17 season. He made his NHL debut with Florida on April 3 against the Montreal Canadiens.

  • Coyotes D Chychrun undergoes knee surgery
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 3, 2017

    Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun had surgery Thursday to repair a knee injury that he suffered this week during offseason training.

    • Chychrun is expected to make a full recovery, according to the Coyotes, but will be out indefinitely. The team said it would provide an update at the start of training camp in mid-September.

      Chychrun, drafted 16th overall last summer, had seven goals, 13 assists and 47 penalty minutes in 68 games as a rookie with the Coyotes last season.

  • Panthers D Weegar agrees to two-way contract
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 3, 2017

    The Florida Panthers reached agreement with defenseman MacKenzie Weegar on a one-year, two-way contract, the team announced Thursday.

    • Weegar, 23, did not record a point while appearing in three games with the Panthers during the 2016-17 season. He made his NHL debut with Florida on April 3 against the Montreal Canadiens.

      In 60 games with Florida's American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds, the 6-foot, 212-pound native of Ottawa led the team's defensemen in goals (14), assists (22) and points (36).

  • Flames tab Maloney as vice president of hockey operations
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 3, 2017

    The Calgary Flames announced several front office moves on Thursday, the most significant of which was the promotion of Don Maloney to vice president of hockey operations.

    • Maloney joined the Flames last year as a scout after serving as the Arizona Coyotes general manager from 2007 to 2016.

      Maloney will report to general manager Brad Treliving, who served as Maloney's assistant for several years with the Coyotes.

      The Flames also announced they extended the contracts of assistant general managers Craig Conroy and Brad Pascall.

      Also, Derek MacKinnon is the Flames new director of pro personnel, Rob Sumner and Fred Parker were named assistant amateur scouting directors under head scout Tod Button, and Chris Snow is the new director of hockey analysis.

  • Predators captain Fisher announces retirement
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 3, 2017

    Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday.

    • "This is the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but I know I've made the right one," the 37-year-old Fisher wrote in a letter published in The Tennessean on Thursday. "I've decided to retire from the NHL."

      Fisher, who is married to country music star Carrie Underwood, recorded 18 goals and 24 assists in 72 games last season. He added four assists in 20 postseason contests to guide the Predators to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

      "The way the city was behind us was unbelievable, and that's what makes the memory such a high -- but also bittersweet," Fisher wrote. "Can you imagine if we had a parade down Broadway?

      "It's moments like that which I know I'll miss. This job I've been able to have for a majority of my life is so much fun. To help create that entertainment and to see the joy we can bring to people is such a unique and exciting opportunity. I'll miss my teammates, my coaches and the game itself."

      Fisher was named Nashville's captain after defenseman Shea Weber was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in June 2016.

      "He had a big impact when he became captain in Nashville," said Buffalo Sabres coach Phil Housley, formerly an assistant with the Predators. "He was a terrific role model for young guys. He practices the right way. He carries himself the right way and he's a fierce competitor.

      "One of the toughest guys to play against in my opinion, game in and game out. I think he's had a terrific career. I am really happy for him. I would be with any decision he made. He's just a terrific person and I can't say enough great things about him and his family and what he's meant for the Nashville organization."

      Fisher has collected 276 goals and 309 assists in 1,088 career contests with the Ottawa Senators and Predators. He was selected by the Senators in the second round of the 1998 draft.

      The Ontario native represented his native Canada on two occasions, winning the silver at the 2005 and 2009 world hockey championships.

  • Islanders re-sign D de Haan
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 2, 2017

    The New York Islanders agreed to terms with defenseman Calvin de Haan on a one-year contract Wednesday to avoid salary arbitration.

    • De Haan's three-year, $5.9 million contract expired July 1, making him a restricted free agent.

      De Haan, 26, established career highs in points (25), goals (five) and assists (20), while playing in all 82 games during his fourth full season with the Islanders. He ranked fourth in the NHL in blocked shots (190).

      At the completion of the season, de Haan was selected as a member of Team Canada at the 2017 World Championships, winning a silver medal.

      "Calvin is a home-grown product of the organization and has developed into one of our top defenseman during his time with the organization," Islanders president and general manager Garth Snow said in a statement. "He plays important minutes for our club and we're excited to have him back for one more years."

      The Islanders selected de Haan in the first round (12th overall) of the 2009 NHL draft. In 271 career NHL games, he has 69 points (11 goals, 58 assists). He also has three assists in 16 Stanley Cup playoff games.

  • Wild sign F Granlund to 3-year contract
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 1, 2017

    The Minnesota Wild and forward Mikael Granlund agreed to terms on a three-year, $17.25 million contract, the team announced Tuesday.

    • Granlund, who was a restricted free agent, will receive $5.25 million in 2017-18, $5.5 million in 2018-19 and $6.5 million in 2019-20.

      Granlund had 26 goals and 69 points in 81 games last season. He had just 12 penalty minutes and finished third in balloting for the Lady Byng trophy, which goes to the player who combines sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct with a high standard of play.

      "Mikael has been an important part of our club for the last five years, and he showed a great amount of growth with an impressive performance last season," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a statement. "People across the league are now surely aware of what our management group has always known: Mikael has a tremendous level of talent and skill.

      "Coupled with his excellent work ethic and tremendous character, we know he'll play a large role in the future success of our team, and we're thrilled to have him under contract moving forward."

      Granlund has tallied 57 goals and 201 points in 321 career games for the Wild.

  • Hurricanes agree on six-year deal with D Pesce
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 1, 2017

    The Carolina Hurricanes agreed to terms with defenseman Brett Pesce on a six-year contract extension, the team announced Tuesday.

    • Pesce will earn $4.025 million per year under terms the deal, which starts in the 2018-19 season.

      "Brett took another big step forward last season," said Hurricanes executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis. "He plays a smart defensive game and has good ability to move the puck and contribute offensively. We plan for him to be a part of the Hurricanes' defensive corps for a long time."

      Pesce, 22, completed his second full season in 2016-17, playing in all 82 games for the Hurricanes. He set career highs with 18 assists and 20 points and, along with his defensive partner Jaccob Slavin, posted a franchise single-season best plus-23 rating.

      A native of Tarrytown, N.Y., Pesce was a third-round pick of the Hurricanes in 2013. In his two seasons with Carolina, Pesce has six goals and 30 assists in 151 games.

  • Sabres sign D Beaulieu to 2-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, July 31, 2017

    The Buffalo Sabres signed defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to a two-year, $4.8 million contract, the team announced on Monday.

    • Buffalo acquired Beaulieu from the Montreal Canadiens last month after the 24-year-old recorded career-high totals in goals (four), assists (24), points (28) and games played (74) last season.

      The Canadiens received the Sabres' third-round pick (68th overall) in the 2017 NHL draft in the trade.

      Beaulieu collected 60 points (seven goals, 53 assists) in 225 career contests since being selected by Montreal with the 17th overall pick of the 2011 draft.

      The Ontario native won a bronze medal while representing Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

  • Blue Jackets coach Tortorella gets one-year extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, July 31, 2017

    Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella received a one-year contract extension, the team announced Monday.

    • Financial terms were not disclosed by the club for Tortorella, who won the Jack Adams Award last season as the NHL's coach of the year. He is just the sixth coach in the league to win the award on multiple occasions, having also done so in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

      Tortorella was entering the last season of a five-year, $10 million deal that he signed with the Vancouver Canucks in 2013. Columbus sent a draft pick to Vancouver in 2015 as compensation for hiring Tortorella.

      "I'm very appreciative of the opportunity I have to coach this team and be part of a wonderful community that has been very welcoming to my family, so I thank the McConnell family, Mike Priest (president), John Davidson (president of hockey operations), Jarmo Kekalainen (general manager), our staff and the entire organization," Tortorella said in a statement. "I'm proud of the steps we've taken as a team and I look forward to continuing to work with a very good group of coaches and players."

      Tortorella has led the Blue Jackets to an 84-57-16 record since replace Todd Richards on Oct. 21, 2015, highlighted by an impressive 50-24-8 mark last season. Columbus set franchise records last season for wins, points (108), home victories (28) and road points (51) while also enjoying a 32-point gain over 2015-16.

      "John Tortorella and his coaching staff have done a terrific job since his arrival nearly two years ago," GM Kekalainen said. "He is one of the top coaches in our game and we are excited about what lies ahead for our club with John as our head coach."

      Tortorella owns a 530-432-131 mark in 1,093 NHL games with Columbus, Vancouver, Tampa Bay and the New York Rangers, making him the winningest United States-born coach in league history.

      "I give John Tortorella and all the coaching staff a ton of credit for the work they've done here," Davidson told the Blue Jackets website. "I give the players a lot of credit, especially as young as this group is for adhering to the plan. And I think everybody now is seeing even the limited success we've had, and how enjoyable it is.

      "Now it's up to Tortorella, the coaches, Jarmo, myself, players, trainers, and everybody to continue that progression."