After a picturesque trip through Slovenia with Kings star Anze Kopitar and two days of travels through Massachusetts with head athletic trainer Chris Kingsley, pro scout Steve Greeley and co-director of amateur scouting Mark Yannetti, the Stanley Cup found itself in the province of Quebec on Thursday as it spent the day with Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
The morning after the Kings received an award for "best upset" at the annual ESPYs, Bernier received the Cup in the city of Laval, a large suburban area just north of the island of Montreal that is also the hometown of NHL greats like Martin Brodeur, Mike Bossy, and Maurice Richard.
Bachman, 24, posted an 8-5-1 record with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in 18 games with Dallas last season. Bachman earned a win in his NHL debut on Dec. 10, 2011 at Los Angeles, and recorded his first career NHL shutout on Dec. 12, 2011 against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder became the first rookie goaltender in Dallas Stars history to win his first three NHL starts, and the first to start seven consecutive games.
Bachman, who avoided an arbitration hearing by signing this deal, represented the United States for the first time in his career at the 2012 IIHF World Championships, stopping 17 of 19 shots en route to a win over Kazakhstan in his only appearance at the tournament.
Originally selected in the fourth round (No. 120) by Dallas in the 2006 NHL Draft, Bachman spent two seasons at Colorado College before making his professional debut with ECHL Idaho during the 2009-10 season. Bachman was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team in 2009-10 and finished as runner-up for the ECHL Goaltender of the Year award.
Bachman spent two partial seasons and one full season (2010-11) with the Texas Stars, Dallas' affiliate in the American Hockey League. In 78 career games with Texas, Bachman posted a 39-29-6 record with a 2.37 GAA and nine shutouts.
Sceviour, 23, has spent the past three seasons with Texas and appeared in one NHL game with Dallas during the 2010-11 season. Last season with Texas, Sceviour finished third on the team with 53 points (21 goals, 32 assists) in 75 games played.
In just one month since the Los Angeles Kings captured the franchise's first championship, the Stanley Cup has already traveled hundreds of miles through four different countries. The grand trophy even graced the red carpet, alongside Kings captain Dustin Brown, at the Hollywood premiere of "The Amazing Spider-Man."
But perhaps nothing captures the incredible travels of the Cup quite like the map created by Kings Insider Rich Hammond.
A beat reporter for the Kings' website, Hammond has created a Cup tracker on Google Maps, which he has updated regularly since the Kings captured the Cup at Staples Center on June 11. In the month he's been tracking the comings and goings of the most legendary trophy in sports, Hammond has marked spots on the customized map for events like Brown's appearance on "The Tonight Show," the team's visit to Dodger Stadium, a stop at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, and days with Slava Voynov and Andrei Loktionov in Russia.
Links to the tracker are available at LAKingsInsider.com and the map is updated regularly by Hammond.
The Montreal Canadiens on Thursday signed restricted free-agent forward Aaron Palushaj to a one-year, two-way contract. Financial terms of the deal were not released.
Palushaj, 22, had a goal and four assists in 38 games with the Canadiens last season, and 15 goals and 20 assists in 35 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Canadiens' American Hockey League affiliate.
The offensive production was his first in the NHL after going without a point in three games in 2010-11.
The Florida Panthers on Thursday signed 24-year-old free-agent center Peter Mueller, who was not given a qualifying offer by the Colorado Avalanche, to a one-year contract. RDS reports the deal is worth $1.725 million.
Mueller had seven goals and 16 points in 32 games with the Avs last season, missing 50 games due to a groin problem as well as post-concussion issues. He sat out all of the 2010-11 season due to a concussion. In 254 regular-season games for Phoenix and Colorado, he has 55 goals and 88 assists for 133 points.
Florida general manager Dale Tallon hopes Mueller, a right-handed shot, can stay healthy and provide offensive depth -- the Panthers struggled to score beyond the big first line that usually featured Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg and Stephen Weiss.
“Peter is a young and talented forward who is a former first-round draft choice,” Tallon said in a statement. “He is a skilled player with an offensive upside who will help our power play.”
The Phoenix Coyotes chose Mueller with the eighth pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, and he scored 22 goals and 54 points as a rookie in 2007-08. He dropped to 13 goals and 36 points in 2008-09 and managed only four goals and 17 points in 54 games the following season before being dealt to the Avs at the trade deadline.
Mueller was an immediate hit with his new team, scoring nine goals and 20 points in 15 games, before missing the rest of the season with a concussion. Despite the injury, he was given a two-year contract by Colorado -- only to suffer another concussion during training camp that forced him to sit out the entire 2010-11 season.
The Ottawa Senators announced Thursday the club had signed forward Chris Neil to a three-year contract extension.
Financial terms of the deal were not released, but the Ottawa Sun reported the contract is worth $5.75 million, broken down as follows: $2 million in 2013-14, $2 million in 2014-15, and $1.75 million in 2015-16.
Neil will make $2 million next season on his existing contract. He would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2013.
"This is where I was drafted. This is where I want to be," Neil told the team's website.
"To finally get something done -- we've been talking for a little bit now -- it's a great feeling. It worked out for both sides, the team and myself, and I'm really excited about it. I like the direction the team is going and I want to be a part of it."
Neil, 33, had 13 goals, 15 assists and 178 penalty minutes for the Senators in 2011-12.
In 731 NHL games, all with Ottawa, he has 90 goals, 100 assists and 1,861 PIM.
"To be a part of an organization and to be a part of it for your whole career ... there's something to be said about that," Neil said. "There's loyalty from the player and the team. Ottawa has been unbelievable to me. They gave me an opportunity to play (in the NHL) and I try to go out and play as hard as a I can, game in and game out, and try to do my best to help the team win. That's what they appreciate about me and I look forward to doing more of the same."
The Senators announced Tuesday that defenseman Tyler Eckford has signed a two-year, two-way contract.
Eckford, 26, spent last season with the Portland Pirates in the American Hockey League.
Exelby’s contract is worth $600,000 at the NHL level and $130,000 at the AHL level. MacDermid’s contract is worth $600,000 at the NHL level and $70,000 at the AHL level.
Exelby spent the 2011-12 season with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League after signing with the Detroit Red Wings as an unrestricted free agent on July 5, 2011. In 75 games, he had seven goals, 14 assists and 177 penalty minutes with a plus-8 rating.
The 30-year-old has played 408 career NHL games with the Atlanta Thrashers and Toronto Maple Leafs. He has seven goals and 43 assists with 584 PIMs.
MacDermid appeared in five games with Boston during the 2011-12 season. The 22-year-old also played for the AHL Providence Bruins, where he had four goals, 12 assists and 121 PIMs in 69 games.
Thursday the team announced it had signed defenseman Matt Bartkowski to a one-year, two-way contract worth $600,000 at the NHL level and $62,500 at the AHL level.
Bartkowski, 24, played the first three games of last season with the Burins before being sent to Providence, where he had 22 points in 50 games.
There's not much to say. We played like [garbage]. I think every guy in the room should be completely embarrassed about how they played tonight. Every single person. To start a road trip, one of the biggest road trips and have a division rival chasing you down and have a ton on the line, it's ridiculous how we played tonight.
— Anaheim forward Andrew Cogliano after the Ducks' 7-2 loss to the Flames on Wednesday