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MONTREAL – Dan Lacroix helped the New York Rangers send the Canadiens packing eight weeks ago. Now, he’ll be doing everything in his power to see that nothing stands in the Habs’ way.

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Rob Ramage joins the Canadiens as Player Development Coach

PRESS RELEASE

MONTRÉAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, announced Wednesday the appointment of Rob Ramage as player development coach with the Club.

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Dan Lacroix joins the Montreal Canadiens coaching staff

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, announced Wednesday the appointment of Dan Lacroix as assistant coach with the Club.

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2014-15 Can’t-Miss Games

Oct. 8, 2014
Canadiens @ Maple Leafs
The tradition continues. For a sixth straight year, the Canadiens will kick off the regular season by battling the Toronto Maple Leafs. This time around, the Air Canada Centre will play host to the tilt. Statistics suggest we’re in for a good game as four of the last five season-openers between the two teams have been decided by just one goal.

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What We Learned: Breaking down Central Division, NHL Group of Death (Puck Daddy)

Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.  
Things have calmed down considerably in the free agent market. Rosters at this point are more or less set, and we can therefore go about taking stock of who did what this summer, and what that means for the season that’s currently still three or so months away.
It’s pretty tough to make the case that any single division improved more than the Central, and given the league’s new playoff format, those several teams that took huge steps forward might find that it’s not going to be enough for them to get things together and actually make the postseason.
We can all more or less agree that Chicago, which made only one significant move in bringing aboard bargain-basement Brad Richards and letting Michal Handzus walk, not only is the best team for this coming season as it was for the prior one, but also improved marginally. That top spot in the Central, and perhaps the whole of the Western Conference or even NHL, is very much spoken for.
But then there’s the matter of everyone else. The race to get into the bottom two to five spots in the West’s playoff picture — though banking on the higher side there seems foolish — is going to look like when all three Stooges try to go through the same door at once. St. Louis, Dallas and Minnesota all seem very likely contenders for those spots, having either remained good from last season or improved in this summer signing period. Dallas has clearly taken the largest step forward in adding Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky, but they also have a lot more ground to make up in terms of the point gap from last season; getting into the playoffs with 91 points is barely an accomplishment.
The Blues are obviously in the best position, having added Paul Stastny and despite the loss of Vladimir Sobotka. Their biggest need was an additional top-six forward, and they added one. The decision to stick with someone who isn’t Ryan Miller, meanwhile, seems a prudent one in goal.
As for Minnesota, there’s still a lot to dislike about this team. Depth and goaltending remain issues that need to be proven out if anyone’s going to believe they’re a contender for anything any time soon. But 98 points last season does sort of seem like a fluke. One can’t imagine that Josh Harding continues to post a save percentage north of .915 or so, and the rest of that cast doesn’t do much to inspire confidence.
But as with a few divisions last season, the importance of finishing second versus third or fourth or, if you’re really unlucky, fifth is massive in the Central. Finish third and you probably play a 100-point team that’s considerably better than you are. Finish fourth and you play either the Blackhawks or (probably) Kings. A lot of people seem to think it’s likely that the Central sends five teams to the playoffs, and successfully holds the fourth team in the Pacific out, but it’s tough to see where that would be the case; it happened last year mainly because the Canucks were pitiful under John Tortorella. While they haven’t exactly taken a step forward so far with Jim Benning at the controls, they haven’t taken a step back either, overall. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that Anaheim and Vancouver duke it out for a wild card spot. Both, certainly, are better than Winnipeg, Nashville or Colorado, full stop.
Of course, all this comes with the caveat that Chicago could falter as it did last season and somehow not end up first in the division, but that doesn’t seem likely. Big problems with special teams was what did them in last season, but it’s hard to imagine the power play finishes 10th in the league again this year, or the PK 19th. It’s also difficult to envision the Avalanche doing anything but crashing and burning after a full year of cheating death in terms of possession; they were sixth in goal differential in their own conference and yet finished second in points. That doesn’t happen often, especially not when your percentages are in the league’s toilet.
If it’s between St. Louis and Dallas for the second spot (and it probably is), though, then it’s tough to see Dallas making a 20-something-point jump without a “2013 Maple Leafs” measure of luck stirred in. No team in the league improved as much as Dallas did this summer, but even no improvement from the Blues would have left them pretty tough to squeeze past. Even with unproven rookie Jake Allen in net, it’s not like things are ever going to go especially badly for them, not with that lineup and depth. A worst-case scenario for the Blues is probably in the 105-point range, which you can’t be too unhappy with at the end of the day.
Then there are the Stars, who could be a 100-point team if things go right. They’re clearly counting on some internal improvement from the kids, especially on the blue line, to make their planned improvement. Minnesota’s not far behind them, though, in both the overall quality and “expecting young players to make a jump” departments. For me, these are the two most fascinating teams in the West this season. Everyone else seems to be a known quantity, more or less.
Not that any of this really matters, of course. It’s probably going to take more than moderate improvement to be better than Chicago over 82 games, or again in seven when the playoffs roll around, and even then, that doesn’t make you elite. But getting closer is the goal, and Dallas and St. Louis have certainly made that step.
What We Learned
Anaheim Ducks : Saku Koivu is selling his home near Anaheim for $6.6 million . Say, Ryan Kesler’s due $10 million over the next two seasons. Hint hint.
Arizona Coyotes : Y’know, when you look at it all laid out like this , the Coyotes’ only additions this offseason being Sam Gagner (a player who’s pretty good but was always getting unduly flogged in Edmonton for one reason or another), BJ Crombeen, Joe Vitale and Devan Dubnyk, you have to say that Don Maloney didn’t have a very good summer. Another year without playoffs in the desert. What fun.
Boston Bruins : Loui Eriksson moving to the Bruins’ “ first line ” is a little misleading because he was on it last year. Patrice Bergeron plus Brad Marchand plus (anyone) equals “first line.” They’re better at all aspects of the game than David Krejci and Milan Lucic, not that you’d know it in this town. That Claude Julien gives more minutes to Lucic and Krejci is a major failing of Claude Julien’s. It’s really that simple.
Buffalo Sabres : Pretty alarming, isn’t it, that Luke Adam had to sign a two-way deal ? What happened to that dude? Pre-lockout he looked like he could be a decent contributor, but he’s just dropped off a cliff.
Calgary Flames : Karri Ramo was pretty effectively put on notice by Flames brass this summer. First they bring in Jonas Hiller to take his No. 1 job — which it must be said Ramo didn’t do badly with in his first season, given the circumstances — for the next two years, then they give AHL starter Joni Ortio a two-year deal that guarantees a one-way in 2015-16 .
Carolina Hurricanes : Bill Peters says Eric Staal’s power play output last season was “ unacceptable .” Would you believe he scored just one time on the man advantage? He had more shorties than that. Good lord. (Another guy that had only one power play goal last season? Evander Kane. Five or six more of those and I doubt any of these rumors come up.)
Chicago Blackhawks : Growing up, Brad Richards dreamed of being the starting goaltender for the Blackhawks, and I don’t blame him. Look what they pay their goalies when they’re not even good.
Colorado Avalanche : While riding his bike last week, Cory Sarich was hit by a car and broke multiple vertebrae . Horrible news but he’s apparently doing much better already. He wants to continue his playing career, which, I dunno…
Columbus Blue Jackets : Question posited by someone who I’m pretty sure is a Blue Jackets fan: “ Is Sergei Bobrovsky truly the goalie of the future ?” Hmm, a 25-year-old who has a .926 save percentage with the team over 96 appearances, and already has a Vezina to his name? Nah, it’s probably Oscar Dansk.
Dallas Stars : One point of concern for the Stars is the workload Kari Lehtonen has pulled the last few seasons because of how bad his backups have been. This time around they have Anders Lindback and maybe, like, Jack Campbell or Jussi Rynnas. So, no?
Detroit Red Wings : Danny DeKeyser says “ there won’t be any problems ” getting his new contract done before camp. No kidding. If they gave Danny Cleary another year, DeKeyser might be able to pull a max contract.
Edmonton Oilers : If the Oilers try to use their organizational depth to fill their hole at center , they’re not really approaching things very wisely.
Florida Panthers : It’s looking like Jimmy Hayes and the Panthers will indeed go to arbitration this week. There goes that chance of signing Kevin!
Los Angeles Kings : Nice to see the Kings get one of their draft picks into the Hall of Fame.
Minnesota Wild : Well sure they’re never going to win a Stanley Cup, but Stephane Veilleux will lead the Wild to ping pong glory .
Montreal Canadiens : Please stop asking PK Subban about contract negotiations . He doesn’t appreciate it.
Nashville Predators, America’s Favorite Hockey Team : Kevin Fiala is one of the growing number of high-quality Swiss players in the NHL. Thanks a lot.
New Jersey Devils : One of the things that doomed the Devils (not rhyming with Farty Frodeur) was the fact that they didn’t win their first seven games of the season . That’s gotta change this year. Probably will, too.
New York Islanders : Kevin Poulin will be back for another season on Long Island. After he went .893 in 28 appearances last season, they basically had to re-sign him.
New York Rangers : The award Derick Brassard wanted to play his prove-it year with the Rangers as their presumptive No. 2 center was $4.95 million. Glen Sather talked him down to $25 million over five seasons. Now THAT’S negotiating!
Ottawa Senators : The Senators plan to meet with the agents for Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur about extensions in the coming week. “How does league minimum sound?”
Philadelphia Flyers : The Flyers neither improved nor took a step back this summer. Given the way the rest of the division improved, though, that’s tantamount to taking a step back. Gonna be a tough season in Philly, one suspects.
Pittsburgh Penguins : Now this is a fascinating question: Will this be the last season in Pittsburgh for Marc-Andre Fleury? Pretty easy to see this going either way, really.
San Jose Sharks : Dude, they didn’t run over your dog . They beat you in hockey four games in a row. It happens.
St. Louis Blues : The Blues’ success, ultimately, rests on whether Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz can become even better offensive weapons . They both averaged about one goal every three games last season, which will need to improve.
Tampa Bay Lightning : This was a fairly good look at the youth in the Lightning system. Shocking to see Jonathan Drouin at the top of the list. Shocking.
Toronto Maple Leafs : Loved this look at the Kyle Dubas hire from Fluto Shinzawa, which included the shocking new idea that maybe you don’t need to have been in the NHL to make player evaluations, because other major business executives don’t need to know how to make the products their companies sell.
Vancouver Canucks : Jake Virtanen signed Sunday . He’s going to do very well at World Juniors this season.
Washington Capitals : Expecting Joel Ward to be a driver of success with the Caps this season is asking a lot. Or, if you prefer, the impossible.
Winnipeg Jets : When you’re trying not to spend a lot of money, maybe giving a bunch of money to bad players is not a good idea . Just a thought. Kevin Cheveldayoff really ought to be fired. This is a catastrophe.
Gold Star Award

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P.K. Subban drinks beer from Stanley Cup with Seth Rogen (Video) (Puck Daddy)

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Canadiens star defenceman P.K. Subban keeps quiet about contract negotiations (The Canadian Press)

Star defenceman P.K. Subban is keeping quiet about negotiations on a new contract with the Montreal Canadiens. Subban is scheduled to go to arbitration on Friday unless he can ink a new deal with the club before then. “I’ll answer one question about the negotiation: It’s been kept pretty quiet the whole time and it’s going to remain that way until a deal’s done,” he said Saturday at the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal.

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Hab at Heart – Rachid Badouri

MONTREAL – Rachid Badouri has made his mark in every facet of the entertainment industry. Whether in theatre, television or film, Badouri has been successful at everything he’s undertaken. While he’s often on tour around Quebec, or entertaining folks in Europe, Badouri still manages to keep up with the Canadiens throughout the season. The canadiens.com crew caught up with the Quebec-based comedian to learn more about his love for the CH.

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An unforgettable experience

BROSSARD – There was no shortage of excitement at the Bell Sports Complex over the past four weeks, as boys and girls at the Canadiens Hockey School honed their skills and met some of their hockey idols along the way.

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National Hockey League roundup (Reuters)

(The Sports Xchange) – The Montreal Canadiens and forward Lars Eller agreed to terms on a four-year contract, the team announced Thursday. No financial details were released, but the Montreal Gazette reported the total value to be $14 million. The signing avoids a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Friday. Eller, 25, had 12 goals and 26 points in 77 regular-season games in 2013-14, but he was even better in the Stanley Cup playoffs — his five goals were second on the team to Rene Bourque’s eight, and his 13 points trailed only defenseman P.K. Subban’s 14. …

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National Hockey League roundup (Reuters)

(The Sports Xchange) – The Montreal Canadiens and forward Lars Eller agreed to terms on a four-year contract, the team announced Thursday. No financial details were released, but the Montreal Gazette reported the total value to be $14 million. The signing avoids a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Friday. Eller, 25, had 12 goals and 26 points in 77 regular-season games in 2013-14, but he was even better in the Stanley Cup playoffs — his five goals were second on the team to Rene Bourque’s eight, and his 13 points trailed only defenseman P.K. Subban’s 14. …

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NHL-National Hockey League roundup (Reuters)

July 24 (The Sports Xchange) – The Montreal Canadiens and forward Lars Eller agreed to terms on a four-year contract, the team announced Thursday. No financial details were released, but the Montreal Gazette reported the total value to be $14 million. The signing avoids a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Friday. Eller, 25, had 12 goals and 26 points in 77 regular-season games in 2013-14, but he was even better in the Stanley Cup playoffs — his five goals were second on the team to Rene Bourque’s eight, and his 13 points trailed only defenseman P.K. Subban’s 14. …

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Canadiens agree to 4-year deal with Lars Eller (The Associated Press)

The Montreal Canadiens avoided arbitration with center Lars Eller, agreeing to a four-year contract with the 25-year-old Thursday. ”Now it’s up to me to go out and play the best hockey I can,” he said in a phone interview with the Canadian Press from the airport in Toronto, where he was waiting to catch a flight home to Denmark. ”Going to arbitration was really a last resort if all other options failed,” he said. ”We are very pleased to have agreed upon a long-term agreement with Lars Eller,” general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement.

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Canadiens avoid arbitration, sign centre Lars Eller to four-year deal (The Canadian Press)

The Montreal Canadiens avoided arbitration with centre Lars Eller, agreeing to terms of a four-year contract with the 25-year-old Thursday that reportedly pays him an average of US$3.5 million a season. “This (Montreal) was the place I want to be. Eller was scheduled to have an arbitration hearing on Friday. “Going to arbitration was really a last resort if all other options failed,” he said.

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Lars Eller, Canadiens settle on four-year, $14 million deal (Puck Daddy)

Lars Eller and the Montreal Canadiens continued this summer’s trend of teams and players avoiding arbitration when they agreed to a four-year, $14 million deal on Thursday .
From the Canadiens :
“We are very pleased to have agreed upon a long term agreement with Lars Eller. He is an important part of our group of young veterans. He has a tremendous work ethic and a great attitude. He is the type of player you can rely on for his play at both ends of the rink. Lars can play big minutes against the opponents’ top players and still be an offensive threat. We are confident he will reach his full potential and become an impact player who will compete at a high level for many years to come”, said Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin.
Eller was looking for $3.1 million , a raise from the $1.15- and $1.5 million he made in each of the past two seasons. The Canadiens, meanwhile, were looking for something in the $1.65 million range.
A $3.5 million AAV over four seasons is a nice win for both player and club as the 25-year old forward gets his raise and the term, while the team buys two years of unrestricted free agency. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman , the contract will pay $2.5 million over the first two years, then, when he would have become a UFA, $4.25 million and $4.75 million in the final two.
It’s a success for general manager Marc Bergevin, who now faces his next test and one of the off-season’s most interesting arbitration cases: P.K. Subban.
– - – - – - –
Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy

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Canadiens agree to terms on a four-year contract with forward Lars Eller

MONTREAL – General manager Marc Bergevin announced on Thursday that the Canadiens have agreed to terms on a four-year contract with forward Lars Eller through the 2017-18 campaign.

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Steven Stamkos will play for the Toronto Maple Leafs (depending on a few things) (Puck Daddy)

Steven Stamkos is getting the LeBron question.
It’s July 2014, and Stamkos has two more years on his 5-year, $37.5-million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Then he becomes an unrestricted free agent, free to sign the NHL’s first $12-million annual contract with any team named the Toronto Maple Leafs. 
He’s getting the LeBron question because LeBron showed you can take your talents to Florida and then take them back home again. If you’re thinking “yeah, but Stamkos never played for the Maple Leafs in the first place, like LeBron did with the Cavs,” you’d both be correct and missing one of the singular charms of the Centre of the Hockey Universe, which is that every NHL player born in Ontario is on loan to the rest of the League until their inevitable return to lead the Maple Leafs to their first Stanley Cup since the year “The Graduate” was released.
Mr. Stamkos … are you trying to seduce us?
“I’m from around here and grew up cheering for the Leafs, so any time I get a chance to come back here I enjoy it, and any time I get a chance to play against the Leafs it’s fun,” he said at a Coca-Cola ball-hockey promotional event in Toronto.

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Bozon on comeback trail after life-threatening illness

NHL.com – With 20 goals in his previous 22 games, Kootenay Ice forward Tim Bozon was playing so well that nobody paid much attention when his nose suddenly started bleeding during warm-ups for his Western Hockey League game against the Saskatoon Blades on Feb. 28.

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After LeBron went home, Stamkos understands but ignores Leafs speculation (The Canadian Press)

LeBron James going home to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers led to speculation about whether a star NHL player might do the same in the near future. Naturally, Steven Stamkos was at the centre of that speculation. The Tampa Bay Lightning captain and Markham, Ont., native could be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2016, and the allure of playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs could be there. It’s a couple years away,” Stamkos said Wednesday.

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Simply brilliant

MONTREAL – If many Canadiens fans weren’t familiar with Dustin Tokarski a few months ago, it’s safe to say they are now.

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Kreider, Rangers avoid arbitration; the Subban dynasty; KHL adds hybrid icing (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)

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.
Last year the ice was gold, this year it’s a big coloring book. Summer ice at @BrdgstoneArena is awesome! pic.twitter.com/bEDINDvxwG — Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) July 21, 2014
• Give little kids the opportunity to paint ice and this is what happens. [ @PredsNHL ]
• Joe Sakic on hammering out the Ryan O’Reilly deal : “He’s a very valuable player to us and we want him long-term. That (type of contract) hasn’t happened yet, but we’ll keep working at it and see what happens.” [ Denver Post ]
• After agreeing to a one-year, $3.5 million deal with Mats Zuccarello on Tuesday, the New York Rangers also avoided arbitration with Chris Kreider as the two sides hammered out a two-year, $4.95 million contract. [ NY Post ]
• Speaking of arbitration, Lars Eller would like $3.1 million per season. The Montreal Canadiens are thinking something along the lines of $1.65 million. [ Habs Eyes on the Prize ]
• Andre Benoit heads to the Buffalo Sabres after signing a one-year, $800,000 deal. [ Olean Times ]
• How does a potential violation of Arizona’s Open Meeting Laws affect the Arizona Coyotes? [ Five for Howling ]
• The New York Islanders are probably going to trade one of their forwards to bolster their blueline; should it be Josh Bailey or Michael Grabner? [ Lighthouse Hockey ]
• Why Loui Eriksson as a first line winger for the Boston Bruins is more than all right. [ Days of Y’Orr ]
• It’s been a long time coming, but the Subban family is building their own NHL dynasty. [ Color of Hockey ]
• The KHL has joined the NHL in adopting hybrid icing. [ KHL ] 
• Don’t know the backstory behind the Hartford Whalers’ logo? Today’s your lucky day. [ Icethetics ]
• Brooks Laich and Julianne Hough are in looooooooooove . [ Fashion & Style ] 
• Looking at a new way to determine the NHL draft order. [ The Hockey Writers ]
• Former highly-touted prospect Angelo Espositio has signed with the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets. [ Komets ] 
• For the first time, the World Cup of Ball Hockey will be held in the United States when Tampa hosts in September. [ Tampa Bay Business Journal ]
• Former NHLer Patrick Cote has been sentenced to 30 months in prison after confessing to two bank robberies. [ CJAD ] 
• There are some NHL fighters who can help your fantasy league in other categories. Here are 10 to keep an eye on. [ Dobber Hockey ]
• Finally, here’s the latest NHL 15 video, which shows off the superstar skill stick: 

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Hockey player Tim Bozon set to play in France (CBC)

Tim Bozon, the Kootenay Ice hockey player who was hospitalized in Saskatoon with meningitis, has recovered enough to hit the ice again.

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Stars re-sign Roussel; Tim Peel’s day on Twitter; Lundqvist selling penthouse (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)

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.
• This is a really cool photo of hockey at the 1928 Olympics. [ Reddit Hockey ] 
• More on the Soo Greyhounds saying goodbye to Kyle Dubas. He’ll be helping them install his replacement. [ Buzzing the Net ]
• Chris Johnston on the Dubas hire: “To deny the significance of possession stats in hockey is to be on the wrong side of history. Before Tuesday morning, the Toronto Maple Leafs were on the wrong side of history.” [ Sportsnet ]
• The Dallas Stars have avoided arbitration with Antoine Roussel, signing the feisty winger to a four-year, $8 million contract. [ Defending Big D ]
• Everybody’s favourite NHL referee Tim Peel (certainly our favourite) may have been on Twitter today. If it was really him, here’s what went down: he hopped on, then had to shut it down almost right away because the CBA doesn’t allow him to tweet. Once again, we wonder if Tim Peel knows the rules. [ Sporting News ]
• Henrik Lundqvist is selling his insane Hell’s Kitchen penthouse. It can be yours for about $7 million. [ NY Rangers Blog ]
• P.A. Parenteau calls joining the Montreal Canadiens a dream come true, which is what he was supposed to say. [ TSN ]
• The Anaheim Ducks have signed Sami Vatanen to a two-year, $2.5 million contract. [ Anaheim Calling ]
• Al Montoya hopes to be the next Cory Schneider, in the sense that he steals Roberto Luongo’s job: “The coach and the team knows what I’m capable of and when I’m called, I’m going out there to win games. I’m not just there to give Roberto a night off, I’m there to help the team move forward. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I think things are headed in the right direction. I haven’t seen my best yet.” [ Miami Herald ]
• Philadelphia laywer Andrew Barroway has reportedly made a huge offer for the New York Islanders. [ The Score ]
• The Flames have avoided arbitration with Joe Colborne, signing the big centre to a two-year deal. [ Matchsticks & Gasoline ]
• Dale Tallon on Aaron Ekblad: “”I’m really impressed with his hands. I knew he was a well-rounded player, but I’m really happy with his skills … how he handles the biscuit, how he moves it and how he shoots it.” [ Sun-Sentinel ]
• Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough on the seventh annual Blackhawks convention: “I think one of the missions of the Blackhawks Convention is to humanize these guys. Again, make them have a common man’s touch to professional sports. If there is any innocence left in professional sports — and I’m not sure that there is — I truly believe that it’s in hockey. [ CSN Chicago ]
• Logan Couture hypothesizes that the devastating loss to the Kings will motivate the Sharks. I should hope so. [ PHT ]
• In which Mike Modano is informed of Ronald Reagan’s untimely passing a decade ago. [ Deadspin ]
• Now in its third year, Dominic Moore’s smashfest charity continues to grow. [ Canadian Press ]
 
• You may remember this excellent video is from 2010, but it’s still amazingly topical. NBC’s broadcast schedule remains almost completely Canada-free, with the Leafs and Canadiens making it on national television in the States just twice each, and every other Canadian team completely shut out: 

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Winners, losers in NBC Sports 2014-15 NHL TV schedule (Puck Daddy)

You’ve got to feel for the San Jose Sharks. Not only did they see a good season wasted with yet another early-season exit, but this one may have been the most heart-breaking of all, with the team squandering a 3-0 lead to the eventual Staney Cup Champion LA Kings. Then, to make matters worse, they’ll have to open the season playing those same LA Kings and standing around trying not to look as their in-state rivals raise their second Stanley Cup banner.
It’s going to be truly uncomfortable for them, which means it’s appointment viewing for us, which is likely why NBC was all to happy to lead off their 2014-15 regular season coverage with this game.
In a manner of speaking. The game will be the second of an opening night double-header for NBCSN’s growing Wednesday Night Rivalry brand, immediately following a tilt between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins.
On Tuesday, NBC released their next-season broadcast schedule, which will see them airing a grand total of 103 regular-season games. As with past seasons, they know what the people want: the teams of the Northeast, minus the Islanders. From NBC:
Coming off of the most-watched NHL regular season ever on NBC and NBCSN, the most-watched Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2006 and most-watched Stanley Cup Playoffs on cable in 17 years, NBC Sports Group will deliver coverage of 103 NHL regular-season games during the 2014-15 season, featuring 14 games on NBC and 89 games on NBCSN. All games will be streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra. 
• NBC will present the 2015 NHL Winter Classic from Washington, D.C., between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Washington Capitals on January 1 at 1 p.m. ET.
• Making its return for the first time since 2012, NBCSN will present coverage of the NHL All-Star Game from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets. All-Star weekend will take place Saturday, January 24 and Sunday, January 25 and will include the NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ and the NHL All-Star Game.
• This year’s regular-season coverage features 31 games spanning 14 of the 15 series from the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including back-to-back rematches of the 2014 Western and Eastern Conference Finals on NBCSN (Blackhawks-Kings on Jan. 28, Canadiens-Rangers on Jan. 29), and a rematch of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final between the Rangers and Kings on March 24. Bruins-Red Wings, Blackhawks-Blues,
• Penguins-Flyers and Kings-Sharks are the most featured matchups, each appearing four times on NBC and NBCSN.
• 56 of NBC and NBCSN’s 103 telecasts feature at least one Western Conference team.
And as we often do, here’s a breakdown of how often each team will appear on the NBC Sports Group properties:
PACIFIC DIVISION
Anaheim Ducks: 7 Arizona Coyotes: 1 Calgary Flames: 0 Edmonton Oilers: 0 Los Angeles Kings: 13 San Jose Sharks: 13 Vancouver Canucks: 0
CENTRAL DIVISION
Chicago Blackhawks: 20 Colorado Avalanche: 7 Dallas Stars: 4 Minnesota Wild: 11 Nashville Predators: 1 St. Louis Blues: 11 Winnipeg Jets: 0
ATLANTIC DIVISION
Boston Bruins: 17 Buffalo Sabres: 11 Detroit Red Wings: 15 Florida Panthers: 0 Montreal Canadiens: 2 Ottawa Senators: 0 Tampa Bay Lightning: 5 Toronto Maple Leafs: 2
METROPOLITAN DIVISION
Carolina Hurricanes: 3 Columbus Blue Jackets: 1 New Jersey Devils: 2 New York Islanders: 0 New York Rangers: 14 Philadelphia Flyers: 16 Pittsburgh Penguins: 19 Washington Capitals: 13
And finally, a look at some of the winners and losers:
WINNER: The Buffalo Sabres. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict that the Sabres are going to be bad, and yet, somehow, they’ll appear on an NBC property 11 freaking times . If the goal is rivalries, one wonders what the hapless Sabres are going to be able to contribute. It seems reasonable to assume, more often than not, they’re going to get blown out on national television. That said, maybe NBC is counting on that and wants a lot of goals? But if that’s the case, they should have opted for more than zero Oilers game.
LOSER: And speaking of teams shut out, how did the Islanders get zero appearances? It’s clear NBC cares very little for Western Canada, as evidenced by the Oilers, Flames, and Canucks being shut out here, but the Islanders are right in the thick of the Northeast. All the teams within bussing distance have at least one appearance, and most have more than 10. But the Islanders don’t even get a sniff. Clearly, NBC doesn’t see much in them. In this way they’re like every free agent Garth Snow tried to sign early.
WINNER: The Western Conference. It became very clear last season that the better hockey is being played in the West right now, which might explain why NBC seems more willing than ever to give the teams out west some dap. As they pointed out, more than half of the broadcasts feature a Western Conference club. (It probably also helps that that’s where the Cup is right now. The Blackhawks, last year’s champion and a massively popular brand still on the rise, have the most appearances, at 20.)
LOSER: The New Jersey Devils. Like the Islanders, NBC clearly doesn’t have much faith in them to be compelling or competitive, as they have only two measly appearances. It’s a shame, in a way. Their non-playoff year is the issue here, but a look at their underlying numbers from last season suggests they’re going to be much better than most expect.
WINNER: California. The Pacific Division is ruled right now by the three California teams, and unsurprisingly, NBC wants to showcase a lot of that hockey. The trio will appear a combined 33 times. Plus, not only are the Sharks and Kings arguably the big draw on opening night, but NBC is going to that well four times over the season, as many as the Battle of Pennsylvania, Red Wings-Bruins and Blackhawks-Blues.
LOSER: Canada. Just two appearances for the Leafs, two for the Canadiens, and none for anybody else. But the country probably doesn’t care too much. They’ll be watching all their games elsewhere anyhow. Still, you’d think Canada would get a few more national showcases if their teams were any good.  
WINNER: The Blues. Between a growing rivalry with the Blackhawks and their continued employment of American hero T.J. Oshie, they get a lot of play. As mentioned, four games versus Chicago, and eleven overall. 
LOSER: The Arizona Coyotes. New name, new lease on life, no exposure. While plenty of Western Conference teams get their fair share of TV time, the Coyotes, who could probably use a boost, almost get Canada’d, with just one game to their name. It probably doesn’t help that they’re sharing a Division with the California three, nor that they’re known for playing some pretty bland hockey. 

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The Last Word: Gael Garcia Bernal

Having made his on-screen debut at the tender age of one back home in Guadalajara, Mexico, before reaching full-blown heartthrob status during a stint starring in telenovelas as a teen, Gael Garcia Bernal has spent over three decades in the spotlight. Breaking out in the other two-thirds of North America thanks to his roles in Y Tu Mama Tambien and The Motorcycle Diaries, the 35-year-old is a rising star in Hollywood and recently served on the main competition jury at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. We caught up with the actor/director/producer during a stop in town for the Montreal Documentary Film Festival, where he took a break to take in a Habs game and discuss his love of all things bleu-blanc-rouge.

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NHL-National Hockey League roundup (Reuters)

(The Sports Xchange) – The Toronto Maple Leafs signed defenseman Cody Franson to a one-year contract on Monday, just hours before he was scheduled for a salary arbitration hearing. Franson had five goals and 28 assists in 78 games with Toronto last season. He has 28 goals and 133 points in 322 games NHL games with the Nashville Predators and Maple Leafs. He also has four goals and nine assists in 23 playoff games.

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Mount Rushmore – Alex Galchenyuk

If you could sculpt your own Mount Rushmore, what famous faces would you chisel into the iconic rock face? We asked Alex Galchenyuk that very question…

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Red Wings announce new arena plans; NHL and HBO talk ’24/7′; Bruins’ excess of d-men (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)

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.

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Canadiens sign first round pick Nikita Scherbak to a three-year contract

MONTREAL (July 21, 2014) – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, announced today the signing of 2014 first round pick Nikita Scherbak to a three-year, entry level contract (2014-15 to 2016-17).

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GMs should learn to shop smarter (What We Learned) (Puck Daddy)

( Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)
Tanner Glass and Lee Stempniak are teammates again, for the first time since spring, and second time since 2004-05. That year, they played together at Dartmouth, with Stempniak a senior and Glass a sophomore.
Now, they’re both on the New York Rangers and highlight a particularly bizarre portion of the NHL’s annual summer free agency period.
The early days of free agency almost always come off as being woefully inefficient. Guys who sign on or around July 1 tend to be overpaid in terms of dollars and years, and that’s a secret to approximately nobody. But the weird part is that things go from laughably expensive to laughably cheap pretty quickly, and it usually happens around the start of the second week of the month. The TSN-coined term “free agent frenzy” is, as a consequence, alarmingly apt. Teams get themselves all worked up to make it appear as though they’re doing something that they pay top dollar for players they shouldn’t.
Glass is the case in point here. He’s played 337 NHL games, and in them he’s piled up 54 points. He’s also on his fourth organization in five seasons, because what Glass does — get buried in possession and occasionally fight — is available on the open market for very cheap if you know where to look, and that’s if you have to go shopping for it; most minor league teams have at least one guy who can do what Glass does.
And yet his cap hit, on a contract unsurprisingly signed on July 1, will be $1.45 million for the next three seasons. That’s too much money and too many years for a fighter who’ll be 31 in November; remember how Shawn Thornton dropped off a cliff the last two or three seasons? Glass was never as good as Thornton.
Meanwhile, his old college buddy Stempniak had to wait until July 19 to sign his deal with the Rangers. Stempniak has more points in his 637-game career than Glass has games played. For each of his three seasons in Calgary, Stempniak’s possession numbers were better than what the rest of the team was doing when he wasn’t on the ice. His career low in points (13) is three below Glass’s career high, and that’s because the season in which he bottomed out was also one in which he played just 14 games. 
You don’t need stats to tell you that Lee Stempniak is better than Tanner Glass, of course. That much should be obvious. And yet no one would ever deign to call the former a highly sought-after free agent, obviously. Glass obviously was.
That’s why Glass collected a contract worth $4.35 million in total over three years — one that wasn’t worth the commitment for the Rangers the second it was signed — while Stempniak got just $900,000 for one year, and that was the end of it.
One wonders what, exactly, possesses a Glen Sather to consider Glass to be worth 1.6 Stempniaks, but “rational thought” cannot be included among the acceptable answers.
The point is, though, that this kind of thing happens all the time. From July 7 on, NHL teams have signed a total of 13 players, all but two for just one season, for an average cap hit of $1.17 million. Compare that to the first five days of July, when teams committed an average of about $7.15 million to 79 players, and the average term was about 2.3 seasons (that means an AAV of roughly $3.1 million).  
Now granted, some of that is skewed by the fact that the big-name free agents tend to get signed only July 1, or maybe a few days after that. None wait around until the middle of the month to make their decisions. But then again the vast majority of players being signed in that initial rush aren’t highly sought-after, or at least shouldn’t be. You’d have to feel comfortable lumping the more recently hired guys in with most July 1 signings in terms of quality.
Were you a betting man, you might be able to make some good money betting that Lee Stempniak has a better season than, say, Dave Bolland. Since 2007-08, they’re in roughly the same neighborhood in terms of ES points per 60; Stempniak is 142nd in the league at 1.66, and Bolland is 155th at 1.61. And yet the latter, who’s more injury prone and demonstrably worse, was the one who got $5.5 million a year for the next five seasons.
You can grab a lot of headlines on July 1, no doubt about that. But you’re not likely to grab good value. Teams that sit back and wait for players to come to them — teams like Nashville, which signed Derek Roy, Mike Ribeiro, and Anton Volchenkov in an eight-day period for a total of $3.05 million, for instance — are the ones that grab the value. Were you a betting man, you might also be able to make pretty good money wagering that Volchenkov will have a better year than Brooks Orpik.
Just because you have money doesn’t mean you should spend it. Splash the cash on quality free agents all you like, but don’t mistake a Day-1 bidding war for a bargain. Unless you’re adding players to your starting lineup, it will almost certainly be far cheaper to sit back and wait.
What We Learned
Anaheim Ducks : Please don’t count on John Gibson being a Calder candidate . It would take a disaster for him to get a full-time starting job this season.
Arizona Coyotes : Does Ray Whitney still have something in the tank ? Possession numbers remain shockingly fine, but anyone hoping for 60-point seasons any more will be sorely disappointed.
Boston Bruins : Milan Lucic says he will not apologize for the handshake line threats he made to various Canadiens. And if you ask him about it again, he’s going to [expletive]ing kill you.
Buffalo Sabres : Remember that kid who couldn’t stick with the team last season? Put him on the first line !
Calgary Flames : The Jonas Hiller contract is off to a running start .
Carolina Hurricanes : Easy to be happy with the Hurricanes’ depth additions this summer , but wouldn’t it also be nice to get some actual good star players too?
Chicago Blackhawks : Niklas Hjalmarsson believes the the Winter Classic will once again be a “ surreal ” experience. Agreed. Absolutely unreal that this is the team’s third outdoor game in six years. 
Colorado Avalanche : Joe Sakic says Jarome Iginla’s shot and leadership are good . If his legs actually work for the next three seasons, that just might matter!
Columbus Blue Jackets : Hey, they’re making strides in Ryan Johansen’s contract talks. The kid’s good but 30 goals might be a bit much to expect; I wouldn’t count on him shooting almost 14 percent next season. He’s lucky he got so lucky when he did, really.
Dallas Stars : Antoine Roussel wants $2.35 million in arbitration . The team wants to pay him $1.5 million. Let’s call it $2 million and who cares? Dallas has tons of cap space.
Detroit Red Wings : Yeah, “ bold ” is one way to put asking a bankrupt city to foot a too-large part of the bill for a $650 million downtown district that includes an arena that seats 20,000-plus. Public stadium financing is a scam to make the rich richer, and always has been.
Edmonton Oilers : Remember when the Oilers started their rebuild in 2009-10? There’s no one left from that team on the roster. What a life.
Florida Panthers : Love that Dmitry Kulikov contract. What I love even more is that he’s apparently “ inconsistent .” If having a 23-year-old who can drive possession out of his own zone against good competition isn’t good, then I don’t know what to think.
Los Angeles Kings : Justin Williams received the Key to the City of Ventnor City, N.J., when he brought the Stanley Cup back to his adopted hometown. That’s the second time he’s brought it there, but given the way the Kings are going, residents might want to get used to this kind of party.
Minnesota Wild : The Xcel Energy Center is getting a new scoreboard for the coming season. It will be about five times bigger than the previous one, giving fans a closer look at a team that will probably disappoint them this year.
Montreal Canadiens : The Canadiens haven’t done much this summer , which makes it all the more likely that this season will be like the one that followed the last time they made the Eastern Conference Final. A first-round bounce-out might actually be the best they can hope for.
Nashville Predators, America’s Favorite Hockey Team : Seth Jones remained in Nashville to train this summer. Apparently, almost no Preds actually do that.
New Jersey Devils : The Devils have a lot of good, young defensemen . And Adam Larsson.
New York Islanders : Griffin Reinhart wants to be on the Islanders next season . Someone’s gotta take all those tough Andrew MacDonald minutes.
New York Rangers : The city would burn .
Ottawa Senators : The Senators want to know how they can improve Canadian Tire Centre . One assumes most fans wrote, “Put a competitive team in it.”
Philadelphia Flyers : John Stevens brought the Stanley Cup to Philadelphia this past week, and people in Philly are apparently mad that he took it to the Rocky Steps . Does anyone want to let the city of Philadelphia know that “Rocky” isn’t even that good of a movie? Ay at least they didn’t bring it to Pat’s or Geno’s!!!
Pittsburgh Penguins : Mark Recchi was named the Penguins’ player development coach . Word of advice: Don’t ask if he wants to go to the movies.
San Jose Sharks : People are still upset about the Sharks’ new ice girls team . It’s a reasonable thing to be upset about, but the conspiracy theorist has to think this is at least partly a ploy to distract from how little Doug Wilson has done this offseason, eh?
St. Louis Blues : So cute. Doug Armstrong thinks Chris Butler is a “ qualified defenseman .”
Tampa Bay Lightning : Yeah look if you can’t squeeze Jonathan Drouin onto this roster you’re not doing a very good job of making the team better. Pretty simple.
Toronto Maple Leafs : If David Clarkson thinks last year went badly , just wait until he’s in year five of this awful contract and still has two to go! 
Vancouver Canucks : A decent number of people in Vancouver still don’t like Derek Dorsett from his junior days. Can’t imagine why.
Washington Capitals : Dmitry Orlov just isn’t an offensive defenseman . Sorry.
Winnipeg Jets : Another season of missing the playoffs coming up in Winnipeg. No one gets fired! Hooray!
Gold Star Award

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Hab at Heart – Jay Baruchel

MONTREAL – If you followed Jay Baruchel’s career over the last few years, two things stand out : his outstanding sense of humour and his unwavering allegiance to the Montreal Canadiens. Whether it be on movie sets in Hollywood or on Twitter, the NDG resident proudly sports the bleu-blanc-rouge through both good and bad. The canadiens.com crew met up with the Montreal-based actor to learn more about his love for all things CH.

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Director of player development Brisebois leaves Canadiens for personal reasons (The Canadian Press)

MONTREAL – Patrice Brisebois is leaving the Montreal Canadiens for personal reasons, a source tells The Canadian Press.

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Abducted by Aliens – P.K. Subban

It’s no secret P.K. Subban possesses otherworldly-level talents, so we like to imagine his sweet dangles and spin-o-ramas have made headlines even in foreign galaxies. We told the 24-year-old Norris Trophy-winner that in 24 hours, aliens were plotting to snatch him away to help them gain an edge in their future faceoffs against evil. We assume Subban believed us, because he answered our questions about his final day on planet Earth.

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On the road with Max Pacioretty

Perhaps the best way to get to know someone is to take a road trip with him. Some conversation, a little music and a long stretch of asphalt can form an enduring bond between travel companions. Settle in and buckle up; we’re hitting the road with Max Pacioretty.

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What We Learned: NHL’s buyout culture and its surprising benefits (Puck Daddy)

( Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)
If nothing else, the fact that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL and NHLPA allowed for another round of compliance buyouts at least let teams go value shopping at their competitors’ expenses.
Since that first of the three rounds of compliance buyout periods, there have been 28 players who were shipped away from their teams for something as simple as money, and free of a potentially lengthy diminished cap hit. Two prior to the 2013 lockout-shortened season, 15 more last summer, and then 11 more this time around.
The reasons these players were bought out obviously varied from one to the next, but they can generally be put into a few different groups. There were the guys who were simply going to be paid too long and too much for what they provided at the time of their buyout (Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier). There were the guys who shouldn’t have ever gotten the contracts they did (Ville Leino, Rick DiPietro, Mike Komisarek). There were the guys who just couldn’t keep up in the NHL any more (Wade Redden, Steve Montador, Ed Jovanovski). And there were guys who had value even under their old contracts but were misjudged by their teams as being not worth it (Mikhail Grabovski, Tom Gilbert).
The reason these guys allowed for some discount shopping among NHL teams is that when players receive compliance buyouts, they’re generally seen as being worth almost nothing, and are generally being brought aboard for very short term and money so that they can prove they’re capable, even if it’s plainly evident that they are. The players don’t seem to mind this very much either, because while they probably don’t deserve to have so little value in the open market, they also have that cushion of several hundred thousand dollars coming to them over the next few years if all else fails.
At the time of their buyouts, these 28 players had an average cap hit of more than $4.21 million, and an average of 2.46 years remaining on their deals. By cutting them without cap consequences, the teams getting rid of them saved a total $117.92 million against the league’s limit. They were, as you might imagine, hired again for significantly less: About $2.31 million less annually, and for 1.06 years fewer.
That means that the typical player who was subject to a compliance buyout and then signed by another team carries an AAV of a little more than $1.9 million, and average term of 1.4 years. Both of those figures are being dragged up significantly by Vincent Lecavalier’s laughable deal, signed last summer, that pays him $22.5 million over five years.
And that doesn’t include all the players who were complianced and then never saw another second in the NHL. Of the 28 who were bought out, only 15 received contracts for the next season (and that number can obviously go up, because just four of the 11 this year have gotten new deals to this point).
What’s interesting, though, is that just four that played on one-year deals — out of the eight who signed them — were then able to get a second contract. Those players are the two aforementioned “useful but misvalued” Gilbert and Grabovski, as well as Scott Gomez and Jeff Schultz.
Schultz didn’t play a second in the regular season, but was apparently good enough down in the American league to get two years and seven playoff games out of Los Angeles. Gilbert and Grabovski both got significant raises, and Gomez got a slight raise from 2013 this past season, but is now out of a contract again.
There remain a few outliers in this bunch, of course. Richards, Grabovski and Christian Ehrhoff can certainly be considered “worth it” right out of the gate on their new short-term deals, and others are a bit more “wait and see.” Of the 19 bought-out skaters who played in the NHL in 2013-14 , only nine had positive possession numbers relative to their teams, and most of those either got soft zone starts, easy competition, or both. Only Gilbert, Grabovski, and Anton Volchenkov fit the bill and were anywhere near getting tougher minutes. Only one complianced goaltender out of three (Ilya Bryzgalov) played, and given his overall numbers for a pro-rated $2 million, it’s tough to say Edmonton and Minnesota didn’t at least get what they were paying for.
It’s best to use caution here, however. For every Gilbert and Grabovski who provide actual value to your team, there’s several more who will drag their employers down, and these things have to be accounted for. David Booth, for instance, is currently without a contract but can help a team if used correctly. Someone who wants to shore up their bottom six should take a run at him.
It’s also buyer beware, especially if the player is into his early 30s or beyond. Lecavalier and Daniel Briere were signed to the two richest post-buyout contracts by far, at multiple years north of $4 million per. The latter has already been traded after being a disaster in Montreal, and if Philly had any compliance buyouts left, it would have used one on him for sure.
Overall, it does seem that the market is more or less correct, which is interesting: Teams only start valuing players properly when other teams say they have such little value that they’d rather pay them not to play. Most guys who wash out of the league in this way deserve to have done so, probably long before the buyout came. Others can be valued more marginally and therefore correctly, because most bought-out contracts were massive overpays to begin with.
It does say something about this league, though. It shouldn’t take so drastic a correction for players regardless of background — from star center to backup goalie and everywhere in between — to be valued reasonably. Unfortunately for a lot of teams in the league, they’re not going to get another crack at compliancing their bad contracts for seven more years at least.
What We Learned
Anaheim Ducks : The Ducks made relatively quick work of one of their less notable but potentially interesting transactions of the summer, signing former Habs first-rounder Louis Leblanc to a one-year deal after getting him for a conditional fifth in mid-June. It’s a two-way, though, and at 23 he might not have much time left to figure things out.
Arizona Coyotes : Just hours after he signed a deal with a Swiss club, David Moss also signed a new one-year deal with the Coyotes . Which probably means he’s not going to Switzerland after all, or he’s going to be really tired a lot.
Boston Bruins : Everyone was delighted with this year’s first-round pick David Pastrnak at Bruins development camp this week. Mainly because he’s really good and fun to watch, but also because he’s funny and lost his passport.
Buffalo Sabres : Start planning the parade: Ken Campbell thinks the Sabres will win the Cup in 2020 . They have a lot of good prospects because of how long they’ve been bad, you see. I don’t know if you knew that about the Sabres but it’s true. Maybe someone might mention that someday.
Calgary Flames : Morgan Klimchuk and Sam Bennett were already real-life friends even before the Flames drafted them both in the first round in successive seasons. Aww.
Carolina Hurricanes : Chad LaRose wants to come back to the NHL ! Boy is that a great idea just kidding.
Chicago Blackhawks : The Blackhawks have pretty effectively set up a big roadblock for all their prospects because of how good the NHL team is overall. Now they know how the Red Wings felt in like 2008, but let’s hope for their sake they don’t also marry themselves to the idea that leaving all their prospects in the AHL until they’re 24 is a “good thing.” Because it’s not.
Colorado Avalanche : Seems like the buzzards are already circling Ryan O’Reilly , and for good reason.
Columbus Blue Jackets : Brandon Dubinsky is happy to have this new contract because he can finally buy a house . Before this his roughly $22 million in career earnings meant he could not buy a house.
Dallas Stars : Dallas avoided arbitration with Cameron Gaunce, giving him a one-year deal . You know he wasn’t feeling great about his chances when he took a two-way deal that only pays him an extra $30,000 in the AHL, with no raise from the big club.
Detroit Red Wings : Come for Tomas Jurco doing crazy puck-flipping tricks, stay for the super slo-mo version of “Happy.”

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Categories: Habs.

NHL fighting and a common sense reduction of it (Puck Daddy)

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Hab at heart: Alexandre Bilodeau

MONTREAL – Since making his freestyle skiing debut, Alexandre Bilodeau hasn’t stopped climbing the ranks, capturing a few World Championships, and reaching the pinnacle of his sport by claiming back-to-back gold medals at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Sochi. While he spent much of his time navigating the twists and turns of snow-covered courses the world over at warp speed in recent years, he always made time to watch the Canadiens play when he returned home. The canadiens.com crew met up with the young retiree to learn more about his love for all things bleu-blanc-rouge.
How long have you been a Canadiens fan?

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Categories: News.

National Hockey League roundup (Reuters)

(The Sports Xchange) – The Columbus Blue Jackets signed center Brandon Dubinsky to a six-year contract extension on Friday. Dubinsky still has one year remaining on a four-year contract he signed with the New York Rangers that pays him $4.65 million for this season. The Tampa Bay Lightning signed free agent forward Brenden Morrow to a one-year contract. Tampa Bay also re-signed forward Richard Panik and signed forward Philippe Paradis.

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NHL-National Hockey League roundup (Reuters)

The Columbus Blue Jackets signed center Brandon Dubinsky to a six-year contract extension on Friday. Dubinsky still has one year remaining on a four-year contract he signed with the New York Rangers that pays him $4.65 million for this season. – - – The Tampa Bay Lightning signed free agent forward Brenden Morrow to a one-year contract. Tampa Bay also re-signed forward Richard Panik and signed forward Philippe Paradis.

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Categories: Habs.

NHL-National Hockey League roundup (Reuters)

The Columbus Blue Jackets signed center Brandon Dubinsky to a six-year contract extension on Friday. Dubinsky still has one year remaining on a four-year contract he signed with the New York Rangers that pays him $4.65 million for this season. – - – The Tampa Bay Lightning signed free agent forward Brenden Morrow to a one-year contract. Tampa Bay also re-signed forward Richard Panik and signed forward Philippe Paradis.

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