Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

The AHL's Tucson Roadrunners will retire Craig Cunningham's number 14 on Oct. 27.

Cunningham was playing for the Roadrunners when he went into cardiac arrest during a game in November. The 26-year-old played just 11 games with the farm team, so this is simply a nice gesture on their part. Cunningham is now serving as a pro scout with the Arizona Coyotes.
Source: The Score
Aug 19 - 7:21 PM

John Tavares opened up about undergoing thumb surgery back in April.

"It’s something I’ve had for a few years," Tavares said. "I kind of did it, aggravated it the first time training a few years ago. It was never really that bad but something I always kept an eye on. Then I hurt it in Boston in January, I fell on it awkwardly late in the game and because of the previous time that I’d hurt it, it was a little bit weak and I tore a ligament in my thumb. I had to wear a brace the rest of the season. For only 2-3 weeks it was really annoying and then, with some good treatment and staying on top of it, I was able to do everything I could normally do on the ice. It didn’t hinder me in any way." It sounds like Tavares will be entering his contract year fully healthy. He had 28 goals and 66 points in 77 games last season.
Aug 19 - 6:43 PM

Zach Hyman may not play with Auston Matthews as much as he did last year.

Hyman spent the vast majority of the 2016-17 season playing on a line with Matthews and William Nylander, but the arrival of Patrick Marleau could change that. "Wherever you play, there is enough ice time for everybody," said Hyman. "It's good to have this problem, because it means you have a lot of good guys and a lot of depth." The 25-year-old had 10 goals and 28 points in 82 games last season. Hyman might be a candidate for a line with Nazem Kadri and Connor Brown if he doesn't stick with Matthews.
Source: Toronto Sun
Aug 19 - 5:09 PM

Will Butcher's phone call with the Vegas Golden Knights "went well," according to agent Brian Bartlett.

"The conversation went well," said Bartlett. "The management was well prepared and painted an impressive picture of their plan and how a player like Will would fit into that." The Golden Knights wouldn't be a bad fit for the college free agent if he wants to make it to the NHL as quickly as possible. They have a lot of defensemen on the roster, but the expansion team will likely want to give their best young players and opportunity to suit up sooner than later. Butcher had 37 points in 43 games in his last year at the University of Denver last season.
Aug 19 - 3:13 PM

Jakub Jerabek believes he's ready to make the leap to the NHL from Europe.

Jerabek signed a one-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens after spending eight years with Plzen HC in the Czech League and Vityaz Podolsk in the KHL. "I know the hockey in the NHL is different than the one I'm used to both on and off the ice," said Jerabek, per NHL's Czech website (quotes have been translated). "The pace of the game is faster in the NHL. There's also more contact than there is in Europe. Like (former NHL defenseman Jaroslav Spacek) told me, I have to get used to playing a simpler game. I can't keep possession of the puck for too long. I have to make plays very quickly." The 26-year-old put up five goals and 34 points in 59 games in the KHL last season. With the departures of Andrei Markov and Nathan Beaulieu, the Canadiens could have an opening on the left side of their defense for Jerabek. First, he'll have to prove he's capable of playing at the highest level. Don't expect him to have any fantasy value this season.
Source: TVA Sports
Aug 19 - 1:43 PM

Nate Schmidt suffered an ankle injury while training.

Schmidt was scheduled to attend a Golden Knights street hockey clinic, but he was unable to travel because of the injury. Golden Knights GM George McPhee said Schmidt will be reevaluated in a week or so. Vegas is counting on Schmidt to be one of the better defensemen on their roster this season. The 26-year-old had three goals and 14 assists in 60 games with Washington last season.
Aug 19 - 12:18 PM

Luke Opilka has undergone surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip.

The Blues drafted Opilka in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. This is his second hip surgery in just over a year. The 20-year-old had a 13-13-3 record with a 3.58 goals-against-average and a .889 save percentage with OHL Kitchener last season. He's expected to be out until December.
Aug 19 - 11:29 AM

The improvements Calgary made on defense and in goal have Glen Gulutzan feeling optimistic about the 2017-18 season.

The Flames acquired goalie Mike Smith from Arizona and they completed a draft-day trade for Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic. "The thing that gives me the most optimism is the way we’ve solidified our defensive core, along with our goaltending — I like the tandem that we have, the size of the goalies and their character and their play — and then up front, just the growth of our young guys. So this is a three-pronger for me," said Gulutzan. "I feel we’re better anchored at D, we’ve solidified our goaltending for the next couple years, and we have this young group of forwards that just keeps pushing forward."
Source: Calgary Sun
Aug 19 - 10:40 AM

College free agent Alexander Kerfoot had a "very productive and informative" meeting with the Vancouver Canucks, per agent J.P. Barry.

The 23-year-old was originally drafted by New Jersey in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, but he became a free agent last Wednesday after failing to agree to terms with them. Kerfoot is from Vancouver, so it's easy to see why he wanted to meet with them. He had 16 goals and 45 points in 36 games with Harvard last season.
Aug 19 - 9:45 AM

The Colorado Avalanche will reportedly move their AHL team to Colorado in 2018-19.

The Colorado Eagles currently play in the ECHL, but according to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post, they'll move up to the AHL after this upcoming season. The Avs' current minor-league affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, will become the affiliate of the St. Louis Blues in 2018-19, so Chambers' report definitely makes sense.
Source: Denver Post
Aug 18 - 8:58 PM

Mark Jankowski played in one NHL game last season and he can't wait to get back there.

Jankowski was Calgary's first round pick, 21st overall, in 2012. The 22-year-old put up solid numbers in the AHL last season, as he accumulated 27 goals and 56 points in 64 games with the Stockton Heat. "Getting that one game in made quite an impression on me, as I'm sure it does on everybody in the same position," admitted Jankowski. "If anything, it just lit a fire in my gut to get back. Ever since I was sent back down, my focus has been on being in Calgary again, and staying. I think this is my time. I really have to seize the opportunity. This is a team I believe I can make and I plan on doing that." With a solid training camp, he might be able to crack Calgary's roster.
Aug 18 - 7:04 PM has Arizona Coyotes forward Tobias Rieder as a potential breakout player this upcoming season.

Through 234 career NHL games, Rieder has picked up 43 goals and 92 points playing on predominantly low scoring Coyotes teams. With new head coach Rick Tocchet in town, Rieder might see an expanded offensive role and is a candidate to eclipse his career high of 37 points set during the 2015-16 season. He should be a good bet to hit the 20-goal mark for the first time but we remain skeptical of a vast improvement offensively. The complete list of breakout candidates can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
Aug 18 - 7:02 PM

Despite being a coveted free-agent, Will Butcher isn't asking for a guaranteed NHL spot from interested teams.

"What ends up winning the day, I’m not sure," Butcher’s agent, Brain Bartlett, told the Tampa Bay Times. "But we have not told teams that if you don’t have an NHL spot for him in training camp, don’t bother even calling. It’s quite the opposite." Instead of looking for a team that can fast track him to the NHL, it appears Butcher is looking for a club that can develop him properly. Teams that have been linked to him so far have been the Devils, Leafs, Sabres, Habs and the Penguins. With training camp not too far away, Butcher's decision might be nearing.
Source: NBC Sport
Aug 18 - 5:10 PM

Jack Eichel is currently slated to enter the final year of his entry level contract and hopes his extension will keep him in Buffalo long enough to reward the city with a championship.

"I've made it clear that I want to be a Sabre. I want to be in Buffalo when we start winning. I want to reward the city," the North Chelmsford, Mass., native told Barry Scanlon from the Lowell Sun. "It's been two great years. I don't want to go anywhere else." Eichel will certainly be looking at the contract extension of Connor McDavid in Edmonton as a comparable for himself. Both players were selected during the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, with Eichel following McDavid as the second overall pick. Eichel finished last season with 24 goals and 33 assists in 61 games last season. He has plenty of room to grow and could push for his first 80-point season if he stays healthy.
Source: TheScore
Aug 18 - 3:06 PM

Jori Lehtera believes that a fresh start in Philadelphia will be good for his career.

Lehtera was traded from St. Louis to Philadelphia as part of the deal that sent Brayden Schenn to the Blues on draft day. Lehtera struggled last season, as he just 22 points in 64 games in his final year in St. Louis. But the veteran believes switching teams will do him some good. "I have no idea why (the Blues traded me), but I think it’s better for me that I got traded, so I don’t really care why," said Lehtera. "That’s the business part of hockey. It’s always tough to leave when you know all of the guys and the city. But hockey-wise, it’s going to be good for me. I didn’t play well at the end, but I think a new start will be really good for me." The change might help make him more productive, but don't expect him to be relevant in standard fantasy leagues.
Aug 18 - 1:01 PM

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