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Jets agree to terms with defenseman Ben Chiarot

Wednesday, 07.23.2014 / 11:04 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Defenseman Ben Chiarot and the Winnipeg Jets agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract worth $600,000, the team announced Wednesday.

Chiarot, 23, had six goals and 14 points in 65 games last season with the St. John's IceCaps of the American Hockey League, then scored two goals and finished with five points in 21 postseason games to help Winnipeg's top farm team reach the Calder Cup Finals.

"I felt like those high-intensity playoff games might be pretty close to what the NHL intensity is like on a day-to-day basis," Chiarot told the Winnipeg Sun. "If I can keep that intensity and fold it into next season, I think that will be really beneficial to my game."

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Booth joins Maple Leafs to 'revive my career'

Wednesday, 07.23.2014 / 8:58 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

David Booth is ready with a list of reasons he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs: He can play for an Original Six team close to home with a chance for some significant ice time.

"There's just so many things that I'm excited about," Booth said Wednesday on TSN 1050 Radio. "... Just the opportunity to, I guess, revive my career a little bit."

Booth this week signed a one-year contract with the Maple Leafs reportedly worth $1.1 million, after the forward was bought out by the Vancouver Canucks following his third disappointing season there.

Unable to play a full season since 2010-11 with the Florida Panthers, Booth finished with 51 points (26 goals) in 134 games with Vancouver.

"It's been a little bit tougher the past couple years, with some injuries, setbacks that I've had," he said on "The Bryan Hayes Show." "I've stayed positive through them all. ... I thought I was playing some good hockey there toward the end of the year ... and I've had a great summer of training, been healthy, and really excited to get a start here in Toronto."

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Major changes for Penguins, Capitals shake Metro

Wednesday, 07.23.2014 / 5:09 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The NHL's two biggest superstars play in the Metropolitan Division, and each has witnessed change all around them this offseason.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has a new coach, a new general manager and six new teammates so far. That's not even mentioning the eight players who left Pittsburgh via a trade or through free agency.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin also has a new coach, a new general manager and four new teammates so far, including three of Crosby's former teammates and two defensemen he used to battle against.

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Center upgrades add punch to loaded Central Division

Wednesday, 07.23.2014 / 5:01 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Central Division has been the center of attention in the NHL this offseason.

Nearly every team in the division has upgraded at the center position, and the two that didn't, the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild, will likely be moving one of the top young players in the League to the middle on a more permanent basis.

The result of a flurry of trades and signings has the Central looking like the toughest division in the NHL for the 2014-15 season. Though the Chicago Blackhawks still look like the leader of the group, they finished third in the division standings last season and might only have the fourth- or even fifth-best collection of centers despite the presence of all-world pivot Jonathan Toews.

Five teams made the postseason in 2013-14 and the Nashville Predators missed by three points. Any of those six teams will be confident they can be a playoff team in the coming season, and 95 points might not be out of the question for any of them.

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Bozon on comeback trail after life-threatening illness

Wednesday, 07.23.2014 / 4:37 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

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.

The Montreal Canadiens' third-round pick (No. 64) in the 2012 NHL Draft scored late in the first period to spark Kootenay's comeback from a two-goal deficit for a 4-2 win.

The next morning Bozon was rushed to a hospital and placed in a medically induced coma.

Five months removed from a bout with a severe form of meningitis, Bozon is returning to the ice with an eye on Canadiens training camp in September.

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Over the Boards: Playoffs taught Avalanche lessons

Wednesday, 07.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov still sighs and struggles to speak about the pain he felt the night of April 30, the agony he and his teammates took into the offseason after their heartbreaking exit from the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It was a nightmare for all of us, especially for me," Varlamov said.

Leading by a goal against the Minnesota Wild with less than three minutes left in regulation of Game 7 in the Western Conference First Round series, it was right there for the taking for the Avalanche. They had played at a surprisingly high level all season and needed to keep it up for a few more minutes to advance in the playoffs for the first time in six years and face the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

It didn't happen, and maybe -- as coach Patrick Roy has rationalized over and over, in public and one can only assume in private as well -- it didn't happen for a reason.

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Arizona starting to produce top-end hockey talent

Wednesday, 07.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When Sean Burke was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes in 1999, the team had been there for four years and Arizona youth hockey was just learning to crawl.

"Back then there was the odd guy coming out of this area to play in college, but the level of play wasn't high," said Burke, now the assistant to the general manager and goalie coach with the renamed Arizona Coyotes. "The coaching just wasn't there, and that was a problem.

"It came down to who wanted to take the time to volunteer. If you had any kind of background in hockey you were considered an authority and a good coach. But over the last [15 years], the level of involvement has risen and the number and talent level of the kids has taken off."

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Sabres' big defensemen set to compete for jobs

Wednesday, 07.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- If there's a position battle to keep an eye on in training camp for the Buffalo Sabres, it's defenseman.

Sabres development camp boasted a roster that featured four defensemen who played in the NHL last season, three first-round picks. Mark Pysyk, Buffalo's first-round pick in 2010, and 2013 first-round picks Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov joined 2012 second-round selection Jake McCabe as the headline players.

The four will challenge for spots in the NHL this season, but at development camp they were there to measure up against each other, and it set the table for what's to come in September.

Experienced players Tyler Myers and newly acquired Josh Gorges are likely the two sure bets to have spots in the Sabres lineup this season. After that, competition figures to be intense between the four young players at development camp, as well as established Sabres Mike Weber, Chad Ruhwedel, and free-agent signings Andrej Meszaros and Tyson Strachan.

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Flames sign center Colborne to two-year contract

Tuesday, 07.22.2014 / 11:29 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Center Joe Colborne signed a two-year contract with the Calgary Flames, the team announced, avoiding an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 1. Financial terms were not disclosed, but TSN reports it is worth $1.275 million annually.

"There's no real rush. We didn't need to force our way through it," Colborne told the Flames website. "We took our time and I think it ended up being a pretty fair deal for both sides."

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Dubas, 28, took fast track to Maple Leafs front office

Tuesday, 07.22.2014 / 6:43 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Kyle Dubas combined hard work and innovative ideas to become hockey's youngest agent and the Ontario Hockey League's second-youngest general manager. The Toronto Maple Leafs have reshaped their organization by making him the youngest member of their front office.

Hiring Dubas as assistant general manager is a bold decision by one of hockey's most storied franchises, especially considering Dubas' previous front-office experience was serving as general manager of the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound for the past three seasons.

The 28-year-old got the job Tuesday, the same day the Maple Leafs dropped vice president of hockey operations Dave Poulin and assistant GM Claude Loiselle, who combined for 1,340 NHL games played and more than two decades of coaching and front-office experience. But the Maple Leafs believe they've hired one of hockey's brightest young minds.


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