Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Brandon Prust could be a stop gap measure for the Canucks.

This is the final year on a four-year deal for the tough winger and he will have a cap hit of $2.5 million. Prust will team with Derek Dorsett to give the Canucks a lot of truculence up front but with most NHL teams shying away from enforcers, it may be a luxury that the Canucks can ill afford to have. Prust had 18 points and 134 penalty minutes in 82 games last season and averaged 12:57 minutes of ice time.
Jul 5 - 7:30 AM

Derek Stepan is expected to file for salary arbitration by the 5:00 pm ET Sunday deadline.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that the Rangers cannot be happy with the seven-year/$52.5 million contract that Ryan O'Reilly signed on Friday as Stepan is better in almost every category than the new Buffalo Sabre. Stepan should be looking at upwards of $7 million a season and that will get them dangerously close to the cap ceiling with a few signings still to take place. Stepan had 16 goals and 55 points in 68 games and chipped in with 12 points in 19 playoffs games.
Source: NY Post
Jul 5 - 6:45 AM

Look for Kevin Bieksa to be the veteran leader of the Anaheim Ducks blueline.

The Ducks had Francois Beauchemin as their veteran leader last season but the unrestricted free agent left for the Colorado Avalanche this week. The 34-year-old Bieksa will provide the veteran presence for the young Ducks like Cam Fowler 23, Sami Vatanen 24, Hampus Lindholm 21 and Simon Despres 23. Bieksa used to be a very good fantasy defenseman but with four goals and 14 points in 60 games last season, he has little value outside of his penalty minute totals at this stage of his career.
Jul 5 - 6:38 AM

Slava Voynov is still trying to recover from Achilles tendon surgery in addition to going to jail.

Voynov pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse and received 90 days in jail as well as three years probation. He tore his Achilles tendon near the end of the season and underwent surgery in April so there is no guarantee that he will be healthy enough to return if the NHL lifts his suspension for the domestic violence. Voynov is suspended by both the NHL and the Kings and is due to be released from prison in early October unless he gets time off for good behavior. Stay tuned.
Jul 5 - 5:31 AM

Darnell Nurse is hoping to play this season with the Edmonton Oilers.

The highly touted defenseman is no longer eligible to play junior hockey and will begin his first full professional season with either the Oilers or their AHL farm club. He played two games in the NHL last season before Edmonton returned him to Sault Ste. Marie of the OHL. The seventh overall pick in the 2013 Draft, Nurse is the Oilers top prospect on the blueline but with Edmonton signing Andrej Sekera and trading for Griffin Reinhart and Eric Gryba, he may be in tough to crack the lineup out of camp. Stay tuned.
Jul 5 - 5:23 AM

The Columbus Blue Jackets have named former NHLer Jarkko Ruutu as their European player development coach.

Ruutu retired from hockey in December after playing the last three seasons in the Finnish SM-liiga. He played 652 NHL games with Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Ottawa and Anaheim and GM Jarmo Kekalainen is looking forward to having Ruutu work with the Blue Jacket prospects. "I absolutely want a person and a player like Jarkko around our young guys," Kekalainen said. "This is a guy who worked his (butt) off and did everything he could to get to the league and stay there. His work ethic earned him everything he’s got. There’s a great lesson there."
Jul 5 - 5:17 AM

Sam Bennett will be the top prospect at the Flames development camp which begins on Monday.

Bennett leads the group of 42 which will include the Flames top two picks from last week's draft, second rounders Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington. Bennett suffered a shoulder injury last season which required surgery but returned to action and played in 11 playoff games for Calgary, scoring three times and chipping in with an assist. He is expected to break camp this fall with the Flames and you should expect a 40-45 point season from the talented pivot.
Source: Calgary Sun
Jul 5 - 5:11 AM

Edmonton defenseman Joey LaLeggia is attending his fourth Developmental Camp with the Oilers but, unlike the previous three years, he'll spend the full campaign playing at the pro level.

He spent the past four years at the University of Denver. "It’s great to come in here and meet the staff and meet the guys that you hope to one day be suiting up with," LaLeggia said. "It’s a great experience for all of us and great to meet everybody and get comfortable. I feel that every time I come here I get more comfortable and also get more confident." He had 15 goals and 40 points in 37 contests with Denver last season. He'll probably end up spending the bulk, if not all, of the 2015-16 campaign in the minors, but he's worth keeping an eye on during training camp as he might end up turning some heads.
Source: NHL.com
Jul 4 - 10:34 PM

Two of Nicklas Lidstrom's sons are participating in the Detroit Red Wings' developmental camp this weekend.

Lidstrom, of course, starred in the NHL as a defenseman for 20 years and is part of the 2015 class for the Hockey Hall of Fame. Adam Lidstrom is 19 years old and served as a forward with the SuperElit league's Vasteras. He had seven goals and 14 points in 40 contests. His older brother, Kevin Lidstrom, is a blueliner and recorded an assist in 22 contests in Hockeyettan, which is Sweden's third-tier league.
Source: NHL.com
Jul 4 - 7:07 PM

As Nic Petan hopes to make the Winnipeg Jets, he believes he's really improved his defense to make that happen.

"This past season I just focused on defensive play, faceoffs, being low in my own zone. I thought I got better at it," Petan said. The 20-year-old had 15 goals and 89 points in 54 WHL contests in 2014-15, which is actually down from 113 points in his previous campaign. The 43rd pick of the 2013 NHL Draft will probably get a decent shot next season.
Jul 4 - 6:48 PM

Brandon Prust was vacationing in Rome with his fiancee when he heard he was traded July 1 by Montreal to Vancouver.

"Funny, I saw the headline (on Twitter), 'Zack Kassian traded to the Canadiens from the Canucks,' but I didn't see at first who he was traded for," Prust said. He was called by Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin soon after that to inform him of the deal. Although he admitted to being left "in shock" by the news, he's excited to play in Vancouver at this point. Prust had 18 points and 134 penalty minutes in 82 contests in 2014-15.
Source: NHL.com
Jul 4 - 6:37 PM

The Denver Post's Mike Chambers doesn't think that Francois Beauchemin is the defenseman that the Colorado Avalanche need, comparing him (unfavorably) to Brad Stuart.

Chambers: "They are the same player, and joining the Avs with a careers-worth of mileage on their bodies. Brad Stuart was not the answer the team sought, and already is considered a No. 5 or No. 6 guy."
Source: Denver Post
Jul 4 - 6:34 PM

Phil Kessel says he's extremely excited to have been traded the other day to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"Being in Toronto, I got to play in one playoffs in all my years (six) there," Kessel said. "Hopefully, I'll get to play in many in Pittsburgh. I'm just so excited, I really am. For it to be Pittsburgh. . .with everything that franchise has meant and two of the best players in the world there … I never would have thought I'd have the chance to play with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, to play on a team like the Penguins. It's just amazing. I'm so pumped." Kessel had 25 goals and 61 points in 82 games in 2014-15, which is a down season by his standards. The Maple Leafs as a whole struggled last season though and obviously Crosby or Malkin will represent a huge upgrade over the centers he's worked with during his tenure with Toronto.
Source: NHL.com
Jul 4 - 6:26 PM

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz believes that the St. Louis Blues are actually better off without T.J. Oshie.

Miklasz believes that Oshie is "overrated" and Troy Brouwer will score the tough goals that his trade counterpart failed to do. The columnist doesn't appreciate Oshie's "celebrity" status in St. Louis, which he views as unearned.
Jul 4 - 6:26 PM

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch sees Matt Calvert as a fourth-line forward in 2015-16.

Calvert scored 13 goals and 23 points in just 56 games, so it seems reasonable to ponder him as someone in the top nine. Either way, the Blue Jackets should be a lot tougher to deal with, especially if they enjoy more reasonable injury luck.
Jul 4 - 6:18 PM



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