Hab at Heart: William deVry

A veteran of the American daytime soap opera circuit, William deVry starred in Port Charles, All My Children and The Bold and the Beautiful before joining the cast of General Hospital in 2013 and remaining a fixture on the medical drama ever since while portraying the role of Julian Jerome. A Montreal native, deVry fell in love with the CH long before making the move to Hollywood to pursue his acting career, watching the likes of Guy Lafleur and Larry Robinson don the bleu-blanc-rouge at the Forum. We caught up with the Canadian television actor and soap opera mainstay to learn more about his love for the CH.

Continue reading Hab at Heart: William deVry

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Working away

BROSSARD – If anyone understands the inevitable risks and rewards that come with the opening of the unrestricted free agent market on July 1, it’s general manager Marc Bergevin.

Continue reading Working away

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Sensible July 1 deals; free agent fallout; ‘Moose’ heads to San Jose (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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com .   Two of the newest jerseys in the @NHL Store here in NYC. @BlueJacketsNHL @LAKings #Saad #Lucic . pic.twitter.com/vSe2H6Nu4M — Steve Mears (@MearsyNHL) July 1, 2015 • That’s a nice shiny, brand new Brandon Saad Blue Jackets jersey. Better act now before the unsigned restricted free agent gets offer-sheeted by another NHL team. [ @MearsyNHL ] • “I don’t want to say Saad got bad advice, because he’s going to get at least a 500% raise and make more money than we’ll ever dream of to play hockey. But I guess you can say that if Saad genuinely wanted to stay and would have taken less money to do it and his agent got him punted to Ohio.” [ The Committed Indian ] • The opening of free agency saw a lot of sensible deals. What gives? Are GMs getting smarter? [ Sporting News ] • “Kessel cared, but he cared in his own weird Kessel way. He wanted to win, but he wasn’t the kind of player who could bleed on the ice in an obvious lost cause – like the end of last season – night after night.” [ Globe and Mail ]  • The Islanders were pretty quiet on Day 1 of free agency. Do they have some trades brewing? [ Isles Beat ] • What’s the fantasy spin of Matt Beleskey landing in Boston? [ Dobber Hockey ] • Is Beleskey worth it for the Bruins? [ Today’s Slap Shot ] • There are plenty of questions about the Vancouver Canucks’ moves so far, but GM Jim Benning deserves patience. [ Province ] • Really great first-person read about Rich Clune and his battle with sobriety. [ The Players’ Tribune ] • Good read on painkillers and culture in the NHL. [ Pension Plan Puppets ] • “NBCSN pulled in just 252,000 viewers for the first day of the draft Friday night, the smallest audience since 2012’s 207,000 and a 25 per cent drop from last year’s 337,000.” [ Awful Announcing ] • Examing the numbers of new Washington Capital Justin Williams. [ Japers’ Rink ] • Remembering the good times that Williams helped deliver in Los Angeles. [ Jewels From the Crown ] • The Dallas Stars made changes up front and in goal. So what’s up with the defense? [ Dallas Morning News ] • Bob Boughner joins the San Jose Sharks as assistant coach, while Johan Hedberg is the team’s new goaltending coach. [ Sharks ] • Scott Clemmensen has called it quits and is joining the New Jersey Devils as their goalie development coach. [ NJ.com ] • Interesting in-depth look at the LA Kings and their draft process. [ Mayor’s Manor ] • Breaking down the Zack Kassian addition for the Montreal Canadiens. [ Rabid Habs ] • The Detroit Red Wings made some good signings on Wednesday that should help keep their playoff streak alive. [ Bleacher Report ]  • But more moves are needed, says Ken Holland. [ Winging It In Motown ]  • This is not a good look for a national hockey columnist. [ Litter Box Cats ] • There were a number of gamble picks during the CHL Import Draft, and there are a number of general managers hoping they pay off. [ Buzzing the Net ]  • Finally, here’s Connor McDavid talking after taking the ice for the first time with the Edmonton Oilers:

Continue reading Sensible July 1 deals; free agent fallout; ‘Moose’ heads to San Jose (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)

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Longtime Sharks executive Wayne Thomas retires (The Associated Press)

Longtime San Jose Sharks executive Wayne Thomas is retiring after 22 years in the organization. The 67-year-old Thomas announced his decision to step down as vice president and assistant general manager on Thursday. Thomas spent 45 years in hockey as a player, coach, scout and executive.

Continue reading Longtime Sharks executive Wayne Thomas retires (The Associated Press)

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Fresh start

MONTREAL – Zack Kassian is looking to make the most of a fresh start in Montreal.

After struggling to find his spot in the Canucks lineup during his time in Vancouver, Dale Weise arrived in Montreal in February 2014 ready for a new beginning. The change of scenery helped the then-25-year-old forward rekindle his offensive spark, helping him post career-highs across the board in his first full season as a Hab a year later. Zack Kassian is hoping for the same.

Continue reading Fresh start

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Canadiens agree to terms on a one-year contract with forward Christian Thomas

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Thursday that forward Christian Thomas has agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with the Club (2015-16).

Continue reading Canadiens agree to terms on a one-year contract with forward Christian Thomas

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Kessel trade to Penguins highlights start of NHL free agency (The Associated Press)

On the first day of NHL free agency, a blockbuster trade stole the spotlight. The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired high-scoring winger Phil Kessel from Toronto on Wednesday in the biggest move of the day, while a handful of prominent defenseman found new homes in free agency. Mike Green signed a multiyear deal with Detroit, Andrej Sekera signed a $33 million, six-year contract with Edmonton, Paul Martin inked a $19.4 million, four-year deal with San Jose and Francois Beauchemin got a three-year deal with Colorado.

Continue reading Kessel trade to Penguins highlights start of NHL free agency (The Associated Press)

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Canucks trade Kassian for Prust, re-sign Weber amid off-season of transition (The Canadian Press)

The Vancouver Canucks are in transition and kept the changes coming on the first day of free agency. Vancouver traded right-winger Zack Kassian and a fifth-round pick in 2016 to the Montreal Canadiens for left-winger Brandon Prust. The Canucks also brought back defenceman Yannick Weber on a US$1.5-million, one-year deal, signed goaltender Richard Bachman for two years and defencemen Taylor Fedun and Matt Bartkowski for one year apiece.

Continue reading Canucks trade Kassian for Prust, re-sign Weber amid off-season of transition (The Canadian Press)

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Canadian teams busy on free-agency day as Leafs trade Kessel to Penguins (The Canadian Press)

The Toronto Maple Leafs made by far the biggest splash Wednesday, dealing Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a six-player, three-pick blockbuster. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford called Kessel his “top target,” but Saad going to Columbus may have been the final domino to fall.

Continue reading Canadian teams busy on free-agency day as Leafs trade Kessel to Penguins (The Canadian Press)

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Canadian teams busy on free-agency day as Leafs trade Kessel to Penguins (The Canadian Press)

The Toronto Maple Leafs made by far the biggest splash Wednesday, dealing Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a six-player, three-pick blockbuster. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford called Kessel his “top target,” but Saad going to Columbus may have been the final domino to fall.

Continue reading Canadian teams busy on free-agency day as Leafs trade Kessel to Penguins (The Canadian Press)

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Pens add high-scoring Kessel in trade with Leafs (Reuters)

(Reuters) – The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired high-scoring forward Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a deal involving six players and three draft picks on Wednesday. Kessel, along with forward Tyler Biggs, defenseman Tim Erixon and a 2016 second-round draft pick, went to Pittsburgh for defenseman Scott Harrington, forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Nick Spaling and first and third-round draft picks in 2016.

Continue reading Pens add high-scoring Kessel in trade with Leafs (Reuters)

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One-year, two-way contract for George “Bud” Holloway

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Wednesday that the team has agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract (2015-16) with free agent forward George “Bud” Holloway.

Continue reading One-year, two-way contract for George “Bud” Holloway

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One-year, two-way contract for free agent defenseman Mark Barberio

MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Wednesday that the team has agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract (2015-16) with free agent defenseman Mark Barberio.

Continue reading One-year, two-way contract for free agent defenseman Mark Barberio

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Hurricanes buy out Semin's contract, sign Riley Nash (The Associated Press)

The Carolina Hurricanes have officially bought out Alexander Semin’s contract. Carolina waived him Tuesday with the intent of buying out his deal. Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, Semin is owed $14 million – two-thirds of the amount remaining on his contract – over six years.

Continue reading Hurricanes buy out Semin's contract, sign Riley Nash (The Associated Press)

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Hurricanes buy out Semin's contract, sign Riley Nash (The Associated Press)

The Carolina Hurricanes have officially bought out Alexander Semin’s contract. Carolina waived him Tuesday with the intent of buying out his deal. Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, Semin is owed $14 million – two-thirds of the amount remaining on his contract – over six years.

Continue reading Hurricanes buy out Semin's contract, sign Riley Nash (The Associated Press)

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Canucks trade Kassian to Canadiens for Prust (The Associated Press)

The Vancouver Canucks have traded Zack Kassian and a 2016 fifth-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for Brandon Prust on Wednesday. Kassian, 24, has a year left on his contract at a cap hit of $1.75 million. Kassian has 35 goals and 31 assists in 198 games with the Canucks and Buffalo Sabres.

Continue reading Canucks trade Kassian to Canadiens for Prust (The Associated Press)

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Canadiens acquire Zack Kassian and a fifth round pick from the Canucks for Brandon Prust

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL (July 1, 2015) – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the acquisition of forward Zack Kassian and a fifth round pick in 2016 from the Vancouver Canucks, in return for forward Brandon Prust.

Kassian, 24, played 42 games with the Canucks in 2014-15 recording 16 points (10 goals and 6 assists). One of his tallies came on the powerplay while three others were game winners. The 6’3” and 214 lbs forward also delivered 88 hits and served 81 penalty minutes with an average of 12:37 time on ice per game.

Continue reading Canadiens acquire Zack Kassian and a fifth round pick from the Canucks for Brandon Prust

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Mike Richards: From NHL star to unwanted veteran (CBC)

It was a fun time to be Mike Richards. Fresh off an illustrious junior career with the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers, he headed to Philadelphia to help the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate in Round 2 of the Calder Cup playoffs with the NHL shut down for the 2004-05 season. The 24th overall pick in the 2003 NHL draft, Richards helped the Phantoms to a four-game sweep of Chicago in the final, scoring seven goals and 15 points in 14 playoff games.

Continue reading Mike Richards: From NHL star to unwanted veteran (CBC)

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Canadiens agree to two-year deal with checking forward Brian Flynn (The Canadian Press)

Forward Brian Flynn agreed to a US$1.9-million, two-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. Flynn, 26, was acquired by Montreal from the Buffalo Sabres on March 2 for a fifth round draft pick. “A fast, versatile and reliable player, Brian bought into the team’s philosophy from the very first day,” general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement.

Continue reading Canadiens agree to two-year deal with checking forward Brian Flynn (The Canadian Press)

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The 10 most awkward 2015 NHL Draft rookie photographs (Gallery) (Puck Daddy)

SUNRISE, Fla. – While Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and the Boston Bruins’ front office received the most attention at the 2015 NHL Draft, there was another annual tradition we here at Puck Daddy had our eyes on in Sunrise, Fla.:  The 2015 NHL Draft awkward rookie photographs! We covered this bizarre ritual in 2011  and 2012 and 2013 and 2014 . Alas, over time, the NHL and its photo editors have sucked much of the fun out of the posed images. Not a single one of Jack Eichel leaping through a curtain to scare us! Luckily, there’s still plenty of awkward to go around. Join us, won’t you, in celebrating moments like Mitchell Marner attempting to fend off a sentient and carnivorous Toronto Maple Leafs jersey? And here … we … go. 10. Nicholas Merkley, No. 30 overall, Arizona Coyotes

Continue reading The 10 most awkward 2015 NHL Draft rookie photographs (Gallery) (Puck Daddy)

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Canadiens agree to terms on a two-year contract with forward Brian Flynn

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced on Tuesday that the team has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with forward Brian Flynn (2015-16 and 2016-17).

Continue reading Canadiens agree to terms on a two-year contract with forward Brian Flynn

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AP source: Sabres place forward Cody Hodgson on waivers (The Associated Press)

Once heralded as a key part of the Buffalo Sabres future, Cody Hodgson’s career in Western New York will soon be over. A person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press on Monday that the Sabres have placed Hodgson on unconditional waivers with the intention of buying out his contract. Hodgson signed a six-year, $25.5 million contract with the team in 2013 in one of the last significant deals under former general manager Darcy Regier.

Continue reading AP source: Sabres place forward Cody Hodgson on waivers (The Associated Press)

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Better with age

MONTREAL – A 32-year-old NHL vet, Tom Gilbert continued to bolster his skillset in 2014-15.

Since initially being named to the NHL’s All-Rookie team during his first full season with the Oilers in 2008, the Bloomington, MN native has earned a reputation as a strong puck-moving defenseman with a playmaking first-pass.

Continue reading Better with age

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Kings terminate Richards' contract, Habs complete buyout of Parenteau (The Canadian Press)

The Los Angeles Kings have terminated the contract of forward Mike Richards, while the Montreal Canadiens finished the buyout of P.A. Parenteau. The Canadiens bought out Parenteau after he cleared waivers. “I would like to thank the Montreal Canadiens, my teammates and especially the fans for their support while I fulfilled a lifelong dream of playing for my hometown team,” Parenteau said in a statement.

Continue reading Kings terminate Richards' contract, Habs complete buyout of Parenteau (The Canadian Press)

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P.A. Parenteau bought out by Canadiens (CBC)

The Montreal Canadiens have bought out the contract of forward P.A. Parenteau, the team announced Monday. Montreal placed Parenteau, 32, on waivers Sunday with the intention of buying out the final year of his deal. Parenteau was due $4 million US in 2015-16, but will now count only $1.33 million against the Canadiens’ salary cap in each of the next two seasons.

Continue reading P.A. Parenteau bought out by Canadiens (CBC)

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Canadiens buy out the contract of forward Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau

PRESS RELEASE
MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced on Monday that the team has bought out the contract of Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau. The 32-year-old forward was under contract with the Club until the end of the 2015-16 season.

Continue reading Canadiens buy out the contract of forward Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau

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What We Learned: NHL Draft report cards (and Boston’s near failure) (Puck Daddy)

The first thing you have to say about what the Bruins have done this offseason is that it’s all an overreaction. Were they an elite team to the level they had been from, say, 2010-2014? No, obviously not. Many of the bad habits they picked up during that time — trading very useful or even great players, overpaying depth, believing that their “identity” was what made them effective, etc. — festered and eventually infected the organizational brain. But luck was certainly a factor in what has driven more or less every decision in this bizarre summer. Last season, they went 4-10 in the shootout. That’s a luck problem, because you’re supposed to go about .500, because you’re supposed to shoot about 30-33 percent; the Bruins shot 15 percent, second-worst in the league behind only — you guessed it — unlucky Los Angeles. Tuukka Rask also posted the worst save percentage he’s seen in four seasons. And while .922 is still in the upper echelon of the league (and you really can’t legitimately ask for better than .922 from anyone), that also played a role. The Bruins missed the playoffs by two points, and also suffered at the hands of an unsustainable run from Ottawa, over which they didn’t have much control. Did they look punchless down the stretch? Yes and no. From March 15 through the end of the season, they went 5-4-4, which isn’t a run that a Bruins team at the height of its powers would go on when it was pushing for something. Even this season, in fact, wringing just 12 points from a 13-game stretch would be very unlikely. But they played the last 10 games of the season without Dougie Hamilton, which is a major problem because as has been discussed before , Dougie Hamilton is already a clear No. 1 defenseman. That hurts, especially because of how bad the Bruins blue line is beyond Hamilton and Zdeno Chara. Or, rather, was. On Friday afternoon in what will likely prove a legendary fleecing from Brad Treliving, the Bruins traded Hamilton to Calgary for three picks, only one of which was in the first round, because he wanted more money than they were prepared to give him and indeed could give him based upon their cap constraints. Some reports had that money in the $5.5 million to $6.5 million range — a number that certainly doesn’t strike a reasonable person as untoward given that, again, we’re talking about a top-20 or so defenseman in the entire league already who’s also about two months older than Exciting Young Player and new teammate Johnny Gaudreau. It also doesn’t seem untoward based on what the Bruins currently pay a lot of the defensemen on their roster. For instance, if Dennis Seidenberg is worth $4 million until he’s 36, are Hamilton’s age-23 through, say, age-28 seasons not worth 40-60 percent more than that? Certainly, the extension given to Adam McQuaid (four years at $2.75 million per) indicates that old willingness to overpay for toughness — sorry, “identity” — while shunning high-level talent and trading it away for pennies on the dollar. Hamilton is worth at least two McQuaids, and probably more. There’s Boston precedent here, but it’s not a good one to follow. Peter Chiarelli — fired at the start of the offseason for doing precisely this kind of thing with regularity — dug into the couch cushions to give Torey Krug $3.4 million but his successor, having learned the value of, what, fiscal responsibility or something, wouldn’t let 28-year-old bottom-pairing defenseman McQuaid walk to squeeze just a bit more out of the cap situation. And instead gave him a fat raise. The Bruins’ fourth and fifth from last season (Torey Krug and McQuaid) now cost more than $6 million, but they didn’t want to pay Hamilton for some reason. You can quibble about Hamilton’s value vis a vis his asking price (and you’d be wrong, but you can do it) but his on-ice value to the Bruins cannot be questioned. Without him — and with the acknowledgement that Sweeney knows more about his own plans than any of us do — the Bruins currently have one (1) top-four defenseman signed for next season: 126-year-old Zdeno Chara. Seidenberg has the reputation of still being valuable, but he is not. Krug can only be used in low-danger situations because he has an incomplete game. Putting McQuaid out against decent competition is done at your peril. Kevan Miller is barely an NHLer. Who knows what Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman, and newly acquired Colin Miller are at this level? But you’d certainly want one of them trying to replace the minutes vacated by a departing McQuaid instead of a long-gone 22-year-old cornerstone defenseman. (Also of note: Sweeney turned down a slightly better deal from Edmonton than it got from Calgary for the Hamilton trade. Why? Because they tried to make Peter Chiarelli throw in Darnell Nurse, just because he’s Peter Chiarelli and he just got fired. Spite shouldn’t enter into this stuff but here we are, I guess. It was nothing if not predictable.) There’s not a lot of work left for Don Sweeney to do this summer beyond extend a few RFAs. But there are still so many questions about the Bruins’ defense situation —they have six defensemen signed with $7.2 million in open cap space, plus Marc Savard’s injury replacement money —  but again, they’re almost certainly going to slot in low-cost youth to fill out many of those holes. Morrow, Trotman, and Miller will probably compete for at least one of those D spots, and maybe a cheapish UFA acquisition gets into the mix. Extensions for Ryan Spooner and Brett Connolly bump up the Bruins forward corps to 12, plus another possible UFA maybe. And that, of course, is necessitated by the Milan Lucic trade, which Boston should have made three years ago. Back then, Lucic was 24 and coming off seasons in which he scored 30 and then 26 goals in just 160 games total. Over the last three, he’s got just 59 in 207. This is basically the definition of selling low, but the haul Sweeney pulled out of what can only be described as a Los Angeles club desperate to replace the departing Justin Williams. He’ll probably be a good running buddy for Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar, and might even threaten to kill someone on the Ducks. So the Bruins got LA’s first-round pick, sought-after goalie Martin Jones (who was traded because he deserves a bigger runout and must therefore be thrilled to go from backing up Jonathan Quick to backing up Rask), and the aforementioned Colin Miller, an AHL defenseman who seems ready to take the next step. So Jones is now Rask’s backup, and he’s likely to be a little pricier than Malcolm Subban. One wonders, though, if this is a test for trying to find someone who wants to take on the Rask contract instead if Jones can indeed play at a high level with more minutes. If so, maybe he, and not the 28-year-old former Vezina winner (signed until he’s 33 at a $7 million cap hit) is the Bruins’ goalie of the future. But it’s important to keep in mind that the Bruins continue to claim they want to compete for a playoff spot next year. If so, these moves are uniformly curious, because they both make the Bruins immediately worse than they were last season and don’t really do much to yank the team out of cap hell (given that they retained $2.75 million of Lucic’s $6 million cap hit). The idea that Jones might — and again, we can’t know Sweeney’s future plans here — split time with Rask more evenly than Rask did with Niklas Svedberg or Jones did with Quick should be damaging to those postseason aspirations. Remember, Rask had a down year at .922; Jones’s career save percentage is .923 in just 34 games. This doesn’t even get into the idea that Sweeney, using the Nos. 13, 14, and 15 picks got guys often projected to go around Nos. 15, 28, and 40. While it’s all well and good to pick three times in the first round and “get your guys,” going off the board that hard in a draft this deep strikes one as worrisome. Even the broadcasters on the draft, who try to be diplomatic at the very least, had a hard time spinning those picks in anything resembling Sweeney’s favor. If you’re worried about paying Hamilton because of the cap constraints, fine. But with the Lucic trade, even considering the retained salary, there was immediately more than enough room to sign him at whatever his allegedly unreasonable (but probably not, in a sane world) number was. Maybe the Lucic trade doesn’t happen without the Hamilton trade, but that seems unlikely. They appear wholly independent. And that’s what’s most troubling here, especially because Sweeney — clearly being picked on by more veteran GMs — wasn’t given the ability to move up even with all those mid-first-round picks. Would he have liked Noah Hanifin? Clearly. Probably would’ve settled for Ivan Provorov or Zach Werenski. But he was forced to use three straight choices and while he got “his guys,” there are wholly reasonable doubts “his guys,” even three years down the line, begin to scratch the surface of what a Hamilton provides to this team now, three years from now, and 10 years from now. The Bruins’ window to be truly Cup-competitive was closing, no doubt about it. Sweeney slammed it shut on Friday. And that he still hasn’t opened up shop and put price tags on guys like Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, David Krejci, Rask, and so on as well — all of whom will be at least 28 by the time next season begins but still hold significant value suggests he has little idea of how to proceed from here. Boston is worse today than it was last week, even ignoring the necessary Carl Soderberg swap (because you gotta pay Chris Kelly and Reilly Smith, right?). That means the clearly unlucky playoff miss last season — which got Sweeney the job in the first place — is now more likely to happen again. While looking for upgrades wasn’t going to work given the cap issues, standing pat as best as possible would have been wise. But this, whatever this is, shows a lack of direction and, perhaps, understanding. What We Learned (Draft grades edition) Anaheim Ducks : Carl Hagelin will make a great addition to the Getzlaf/Perry line, and Anton Khudobin is a bargain pickup. But thinning out the blue line by shipping James Wisniewski probably wasn’t the brightest idea but you gotta give to get, as they say, and goaltending was a bigger concern. I’m wait-and-see on the Palmieri trade but I don’t think it was particularly wise since they got so little back. C+ Arizona Coyotes : They got Dylan Strome, which isn’t a bad start, and then did a thing that was good — for them, not the league — in taking on the Chris Pronger contract to get closer to the cap floor without actually having to shell out the money for the cap hit. I mean, it’s revolting that teams are able and/or allowed to do this, but that’s the CBA and as the budget-est of budget teams, this is what Arizona is always going to try to do. Their new jersey isn’t as good as their old one though. B Boston Bruins : Here’s Fluto Shinzawa expertly going in on the team’s horrible weekend , which only got away from a failing grade by getting a decent return for Lucic and because at least one of those three first-round picks kind of has to turn into a legit NHL player, right? I mean, you’d hope so. And that Chiarelli tax was beyond stupid. D- Buffalo Sabres : Add Jack Eichel, check. Add Ryan O’Reilly, check. Add Robin Lehner, check. Add some umm grit and leadership, check. You don’t often see draft weekends that go this well . Tim Murray didn’t put his foot down in the wrong place once, and improved his team both now and in the future. A+ Calgary Flames : Except you almost saw it happen twice in one weekend. The Flames got a franchise defenseman (which now gives them three, by the way) for a song, then got D prospects Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington late, which is effectively found money on two guys who were projected to go much higher than they did. The Flames went into this weekend with no real defensive depth in their system , and now this. It was a great couple of days for Brad Treliving. A Carolina Hurricanes : Ron Francis did a good job of upgrading both the current on-ice product (I like both Lack and Wisniewski as NHL contributors) and got a steal in Noah Hanifin at No. 5. But I’m a little dubious of Carolina’s clear intention to usher Hanifin into the bigs at 18 — he won’t be 19 until January — because so few guys are able to do that. Odds that two rookie defensemen can in a two-year period seem low. B- Chicago : They seem to really like the guy they got at 54, but when that’s your first pick of the draft it’s hard to get excited about anything. And that Rannta-for-Haggerty deal? It was fine I guess. C Colorado Avalanche : Didn’t really have much of a choice but to trade O’Reilly — and also overpay Carl Soderberg ? — but the return they got back was solid (for me, Grigorenko got a raw deal and Zadorov is a strong defensive prospect), and they also got Mikko Rantanen as a very nice future. Losing O’Reilly hurts, though. B- Columbus Blue Jackets : The acknowledgement is they needed blue line help , and while it’s not as immediate as they probably would have liked, the two defensemen they got in the first round look pretty solid. Zach Werenski especially. But again, he’s probably not NHL-ready or anything right now, so Jarmo Kekalainen probably has more work to do this week. B Dallas Stars : If Denis Gurianov can be as exciting as Valeri Nichushkin, you take that. I don’t get the Antti Niemi trade at all, though. Why pay your goalies a combined $10-plus million, even if you’re that worried last season wasn’t a fluke for Kari Lehtonen? Doesn’t make sense. C- Detroit Red Wings : Well, the Wings finally got a right-shot defenseman . And they drafted a few Europeans so everyone could ooo and ahh over how brilliant they are. Wait and see? Nah, they drafted Pavel Datsyuk in the seventh round one time! They have this stuff figured out. B

Continue reading What We Learned: NHL Draft report cards (and Boston’s near failure) (Puck Daddy)

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Kings' Richards, Canadiens' Parenteau on waivers to be bought out (The Canadian Press)

Mike Richards of the Kings, P.A. Parenteau of the Canadiens and Mark Fistric of the Ducks are the latest players on the verge of being bought out. All three were placed on unconditional waivers Sunday for the purpose of buying them out. Los Angeles sheds the final five years of Richards and his US$5.75 million salary-cap hit.

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Jean Beliveau's star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto cracked (The Canadian Press)

Cold Canadian winters and wear and tear have taken a toll on the star of the late hockey legend Jean Beliveau. A large, jagged crack has separated the bottom left corner of Beliveau’s star on Canada’s Walk of Fame from the rest of the red granite stone plaque in Toronto’s theatre district. “We would certainly hope the Jean Beliveau’s star would be repaired,” said Canadiens spokeman Donald Beauchamp in an interview with The Canadian Press.

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Chuck Fletcher on Devan Dubnyk contract talks: ‘I think we made progress’ (Puck Daddy)

SUNRISE, Fla. – So this week we saw a lot of Devan Dubnyk at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas and asked him about his contract . There were still some questions lingering into the NHL Draft, where GM Chuck Fletcher was going to talk to Dubnyk’s agent Mike Liut.  And it appears there is some movement towards a new deal with Minnesota and the 2014-15 Masterton Trophy winner.  “I think we made progress. We’re still cautiously optimistic we’ll get it done shortly,” Fletcher said.  We’ve had good talks the last couple of days. Both sides are working hard and hopefully we can conclude something shortly.” The sounds like a man who thinks he’s going to lock up his No. 1 goaltender pretty darn soon. There was this report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Friday morning. I’m told they’re not far off money-wise. Wild has gotten up to the low $4 million range. Dubnyk is willing to come into the high 4s. I do think term is the biggest issue. Dubnyk is asking for bigtime security (many years, maybe the max eight, I hear) and the Wild likely doesn’t want to go more than four years and probably prefers three.   Yeesh, eight years? That sounds like a lot for a guy who was traded for spare parts by Nashville to Montreal a year ago. Remember that time Devan Dubnyk was in the Montreal Canadiens organization? Though he did go 27-9-2 with Minnesota last season and rescued the team from not making the playoffs. Is Dubnyk taking advantage of the free agent interview period? Perhaps, but Fletcher hasn’t been paying much attention to that. He seems mostly concerned with what the Wild can control in these negotiations with their goaltender/saver of the 2014-15 season. Ha, get it? Saver of the season? Goaltender? “They’ve been negotiating in good faith I guess and we’ve been exchanging ideas so clearly they’re working hard to get a deal done with us and we’re working hard with them, so again I think it’s a good fit for both sides so I’m optimistic,” he said. Why in the world did Fletcher not lock up Dubnyk like right after the Wild’s playoff run ended against the Chicago Blackhawks in the second-round of the postseason? The Wild didn’t have a salary cap number – something that was announced Tuesday at $71.4 million for next year. “Until we had the cap number there wasn’t a sense of urgency to sprint into it from our standpoint,” Fletcher said. “I think they wanted to wait and get the shopping period as well.” Oh negotiations. So much fun. – – – – – – – Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY  

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Welcome aboard, Noah!

SUNRISE – The Habs bolstered the blue-line with their first pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Heading into the draft, Marc Bergevin left the door open to the idea of trading his first round pick on Friday night to try to add a few more to the board in subsequent rounds. But when he saw Noah Juulsen still sitting in the stands when the 26th overall selection rolled around, he had every intention of fitting him for a Habs jersey.

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Montreal Canadiens unveil new 2015-16 jersey

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens unveiled Friday their new jersey design for the 2015-16 season. The jersey debuted on stage at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft held in Sunrise, FL, when it was presented to the team’s first-round selection, Everett Silvertips defenseman Noah Juulsen. The changes to the jersey are the first since 2007 and the most extensive made to the iconic sweater in more than 40 years.

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