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2014 NHL Draft
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Features

Gardiner signs five-year contract with Maple Leafs

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 9:02 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Defenseman Jake Gardiner has signed a five-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team announced Tuesday.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but it is worth $20.25 million (an average annual value of $4.05 million), according to multiple media reports.

Gardiner, a restricted free agent, scored 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in the final 14 games last season to finish with 31 (10 goals, 21 assists) in 80 games. He was second in scoring among Maple Leafs defenseman behind Cody Franson's 33 points and his average ice time of 21:04 was second behind Dion Phaneuf (23:34).

"He had a great year last year," Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis told the Toronto Star. "He's clearly still improving. This isn't a player who has reached his ceiling yet. There's a lot more for Jake to give. He's already a very good player. ... We think there's a chance he could improve dramatically over the five-year period."

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Elliott 'ready to work' as Blues No. 1 goalie

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 6:51 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Brian Elliott
Goalie - STL
RECORD: 18-6-2
GAA: 1.96 | SVP: 0.922
The St. Louis Blues have said Brian Elliott is heading into this season as their No. 1 goaltender.

It seems no one has told Brian Elliott.

"I really haven't heard it from the horse's mouth, so to speak, but obviously my parents and friends and family have read stuff on the Internet," Elliott told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in an interview published Tuesday. "It's obviously good to hear those words, that they have confidence in you, but it is all up to you and how you play. There's always somebody knocking on the door."

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Vrana, Pastrnak lead Czech team at WJC camp

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 3:25 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Two players picked in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft will be part of the Czech Republic team that will take part in the Hockey Canada National Junior Team Summer Development Camp to be held Aug. 3-8 in Montreal.

The camp, which also will feature Canada and Russia, is one of the first steps in the construction of teams that will play in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be played in Toronto and Montreal.

Jakub Vrana (No. 13, Washington Capitals) and David Pastrnak (No. 25, Boston Bruins) are two of six players that will take part in the camp who helped the Czechs finish sixth at the 2014 WJC in Malmo, Sweden. Vrana had one goal and one assist in five games; Pastrnak had one goal and two assists in five games.

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Oilers' Yakupov putting rough season behind him

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 2:58 PM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

Nail Yakupov
Right Wing - EDM
GOALS: 11 | ASST: 13 | PTS: 24
SOG: 122 | +/-: -33
EDMONTON -- Nail Yakupov has moved on.

After spending the majority of the offseason in Russia, the Edmonton Oilers right wing has returned to prepare for the NHL season, having put a disappointing second season behind him.

"It might be a huge year for me and that's why I'm here, to work on some things and to be here and train," Yakupov said Tuesday during a visit to the Oilers summer hockey school. "I just want to be ready for the season. I'm going to be doing some different things this year. I feel more comfortable here than training at home. That's why I'm here and I will train with the Oilers prospects and the other NHL players that will come."

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Jets, Frolik agree to terms on one-year contract

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 2:46 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Michael Frolik
Right Wing - WPG
GOALS: 15 | ASST: 27 | PTS: 42
SOG: 189 | +/-: 8
The Winnipeg Jets and forward Michael Frolik avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms on a one-year contract Tuesday, and general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said the possibility of a long-term contract remains.

Frolik, who had 15 goals and 42 points in 81 games last season, will make $3.3 million in 2014-15. He and the Jets were scheduled to go to arbitration Thursday.

"Early in the process, we essentially discussed that this was not going to get to an arbitration," Cheveldayoff said. "It was more the fact that we wanted to make sure that Michael was under contract for us this coming year, and that's the benefit of the arbitration process"

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Hartnell excited to get started with Blue Jackets

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 2:30 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Shortly after being traded for the second time, forward Scott Hartnell asked some of his friends what he could expect as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Scott Hartnell
Left Wing - CBJ
GOALS: 20 | ASST: 32 | PTS: 52
SOG: 207 | +/-: 11
He likes what he's heard so far.

After seven seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Hartnell was traded to Columbus on June 23 for forward R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round draft pick. A fan favorite in Philadelphia, Hartnell admitted to fighting back tears when he returned to the Flyers training facility two days later to clean out his locker.

After the initial shock subsided, Hartnell approached former Flyers teammates Steve Mason and Jakub Voracek, who each started his career in Columbus. Their feedback is one reason Hartnell has a good feeling about joining an up-and-coming Blue Jackets team. He also sought advice from Jody Shelley, a former Philadelphia teammate who played for Columbus and serves as a television analyst and team ambassador.

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D'Amigo signs two-way contract with Blue Jackets

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 9:41 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Forward Jerry D'Amigo signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, the team announced. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The 23-year-old was acquired by the Blue Jackets on July 1 from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a trade for forward Matt Frattin.

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Trotz energized by new challenges with Capitals

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday during the regular season and every other Tuesday during the offseason. We talk to key figures in the game today and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz:

To say Barry Trotz is re-energized might be the understatement of the offseason.

After 15 seasons with the Nashville Predators, Trotz is in the process of closing his home in Tennessee so he can fill his new home in Arlington, Va. He lived the coach's dream, being in one city long enough that some of his kids could go from first grade through college without moving. Now he gets to start over, and that has provided him with energy and impatience this offseason.

"You're coming to a new organization and they don't know how you do things, so you have to go through the teaching mode," Trotz told NHL.com. "You want to have your stamp. You're meeting new people. There's new energy. You're forging new relationships. To me those things really motivate me to get everything in place and get going."

Trotz has been working toward that goal this summer by poring over film and stats to learn as much as he can about the players he has in Washington. He has met personally with many of them, including captain Alex Ovechkin.

Trotz's meeting with Ovechkin last month is where the following Q&A begins. It extends into questions that led to his thoughts on Washington's seemingly endless search for a second-line center and the futures of two budding stars on his new roster.

Here are Five Questions with … Barry Trotz:

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Trio of Flyers prospects patiently waiting their turn

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Scott Laughton experienced the thrill of making an NHL opening-night roster twice. Shayne Gostisbehere got his first taste of professional hockey last season, as did Robert Hagg, who made his North American pro debut in 2013-14.

All the experiences did was make three key members of the future of the Philadelphia Flyers hungry for more.

"Every day I think about it," Laughton said. "Just try to work toward it."

Laughton, the Flyers' first-round pick (No. 20) in the 2012 NHL Draft, could be the closest of the three to making the team. He already has NHL experience, playing five games with Philadelphia at the start of the 2012-13 season.

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Top prospect Bennett focused on making Flames

Tuesday, 07.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Sam Bennett isn't about to make any guarantees.

With two months until the opening of training camp, the No. 4 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft isn't feeling entitled to a spot on the Calgary Flames roster.

"I'm not going to say I'm going to make the team," Bennett said during Calgary development camp. "But that's definitely my goal and I'm just going to go out there and try my hardest to do whatever I can to make it. Whatever happens, happens.

"Definitely, I'm going to do whatever I can."

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Quote of the Day

They said, 'You're going to love the city. It's smaller than Philadelphia, but you're going to love it. You're going to love the fans. Just watching the playoffs last year, the fans seemed louder there than they did anywhere. I'm really excited about that.

— Forward Scott Hartnell on his upcoming season with the Columbus Blue Jackets