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2014 NHL Draft
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Roussel, Stars agree to four-year contract

Tuesday, 07.22.2014 / 5:34 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Forward Antoine Roussel and the Dallas Stars agreed to a four-year contract Tuesday, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing just before it was scheduled to start. The team said the deal is worth $8 million, an average annual value of $2 million.

Roussel, 24, had 14 goals and 29 points in 81 games last season and was third in the NHL with 209 penalty minutes. He had three assists and 27 penalty minutes in six Stanley Cup Playoff games.

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Booth signs one-year contract with Maple Leafs

Tuesday, 07.22.2014 / 4:05 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Forward David Booth signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team announced Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed, but James Mirtle of The Globe and Mail reports Booth will earn $1.1 million.

Booth, 29, received a compliance buyout from the Vancouver Canucks in June. He had nine goals and 19 points in 66 games last season and had one year at $4.75 million remaining on a six-year contract he signed prior to the 2009-10 season while with the Florida Panthers.

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Canucks sign forwards Archibald, DeFazio

Tuesday, 07.22.2014 / 3:51 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

The Vancouver Canucks signed forwards Darren Archibald and Brandon DeFazio, the team announced Tuesday. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Archibald, 24, had one goal and three points in 16 games last season in his NHL debut. He had 10 goals and 22 points in 59 games for the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League.

DeFazio, 25, had 17 goals, 34 points and 106 penalty minutes in 76 games with the Comets.

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Four new Oilers see great promise in Edmonton

Tuesday, 07.22.2014 / 3:31 PM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Four of the Edmonton Oilers' offseason acquisitions are getting familiar with their new playing environment.

Defensemen Keith Aulie and Mark Fayne, and forwards Benoit Pouliot and Teddy Purcell, are here this week doing some reconnaissance work.

While in town they plan on doing a little house hunting.

"We've been pretty busy. We're trying to get a feel for the city a little bit," Purcell said. "We've looked at some places, went over to the rink and got to meet some of the staff over there. We had dinner with the coaching staff [Monday] night too. It's been fun. It's been a hectic couple of days, but I think it's nice to get into the city and get a feel for it before coming in blind at training camp."

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Tide of Pacific stays tilted toward California teams

Tuesday, 07.22.2014 / 2:52 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The new-look Pacific Division broke into two tiers for the 2013-14: The California teams were on one level and the other four clubs were far off the pace.

Depending on what happens with the curious case of the San Jose Sharks' rebuilding project, it looks like those tiers could be in place again in 2014-15. The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks will expect to contend for the Stanley Cup, and the Sharks might be in the group of potential champions if their summer makeover doesn't reach extreme status.

Anaheim and San Jose were one victory away from knocking Los Angeles out of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Kings return nearly everyone and will be seeking a third NHL title in four seasons.

The other four teams are trying to return to the playoffs. Given the way teams in the Central Division have loaded up, it might be difficult for the Pacific to squeeze a fourth back into the postseason.

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Ducks re-sign defenseman Sami Vatanen

Tuesday, 07.22.2014 / 12:03 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

The Anaheim Ducks re-signed defenseman Sami Vatanen to a two-year contract, the team announced Tuesday.

No financial terms were disclosed, but Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reports the deal will pay Vatanen $1,250,000 in 2014-15 and $1,275,000 in 2015-16.

Vatanen, 23, had six goals, 21 points, 22 penalty minutes and was plus-9 in 48 games with the Ducks last season. He was tied for fifth in goals among NHL rookie defensemen and was sixth in plus/minus. Vatanen had one assist in five Stanley Cup Playoff games.

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NBC Sports Group announces 2014-15 schedule

Tuesday, 07.22.2014 / 10:54 AM / Schedule

NHL.com

The Los Angeles Kings will have a national audience watching them raise their Stanley Cup banner when they open the 2014-15 season on NBCSN against the San Jose Sharks.

The Kings-Sharks game is the second half of an opening-night doubleheader that includes the first "Wednesday Night Rivalry" game of the season, when the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Boston Bruins.

Those are two of the 103 regular-season games NBC and NBCSN will televise this season. All games will stream live on NBC Sports Live Extra.

NBCSN will have games on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, with a Sunday night game coming in January. "Wednesday Night Rivalry" returns to feature some of the biggest rivalries in the history of the game, and on 10 of the 24 WNR nights NBCSN will feature a second game between Western Conference teams.

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Panthers' Montoya hopes to expose game to Cubans

Tuesday, 07.22.2014 / 9:24 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Hockey has carried Al Montoya all over the world, but this summer it's brought him back to his roots.

Montoya signed a one-year contract July 1 with the Florida Panthers. He was born in Chicago, but his parents and grandparents were born in Cuba and immigrated to Miami in the 1960s.

"My grandfather decided it was the best decision," Montoya recently told the Panthers website. "He thought it was better for his family to be here with nothing than there with everything.

"He went from being a landowner and then going to selling strawberries on the side of the road in Miami just to make ends meet."

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Penguins' Pouliot hopes to be ready for training camp

Tuesday, 07.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Derrick Pouliot hopes to battle for a roster spot under his former coach Mike Johnston after having shoulder surgery. But first, the defenseman needs to heal.

Pouliot attended Penguins development camp last week but was unable to take the ice alongside fellow prospects. He had shoulder surgery May 21 and was expected to need 4-6 months to recover.

The 20-year-old said his recovery is coming along as expected, but he is unsure if he will be ready to compete for an opening-day roster spot.

"Obviously, I'd love to be out there right now, but just with how this has to heal, it's not really possible right now," Pouliot said. "You're kind of itching for it, but you just have to be patient. It's a slow process and it’s going to take some time."

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Deep Blue Jackets can afford to develop prospects

Tuesday, 07.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- The appearance of the Columbus Blue Jackets' three first-round picks from the 2013 NHL Draft at development camp has fans anxious to see them skating in Nationwide Arena this season.

Imagine how those players feel.

"I want to be a part of this team to be honest," said center Alexander Wennberg, the Blue Jackets' first selection (No. 14). "It's a team on the way up and only going to get better, so of course I'm going to try and stick around."

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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis