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Lehner trade difficult but necessary for Senators GM

Friday, 06.26.2015 / 3:50 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray was convinced he would not be satisfied once he traded away one of his goaltenders.

He was right, in a way.

The Senators traded Robin Lehner and center David Legwand to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday for the No. 21 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Though Murray was happy with the return and being able to shed Legwand's $3.5 million salary for the 2015-16 season, he did not like the idea of handing a promising, young goaltender to an Atlantic Division rival. But in order to get the return he wanted, that was the compromise Murray had to make.

Coveted defenseman Reilly chooses Wild: report

Friday, 06.26.2015 / 3:40 PM / News

Defenseman Mike Reilly is expected to sign with the Minnesota Wild, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Friday.

Reilly, who played at the University of Minnesota, was chosen in the fourth round (No. 98) by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2011 NHL Draft. He elected not to sign with the Blue Jackets and became an unrestricted free agent June 15 but cannot sign a contract until July 1.

"I've got to try to earn a spot," Reilly told Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune. "There will be learning curves and mistakes, but I'm ready to learn from the older guys."

Predators sign center Fisher to two-year contract

Friday, 06.26.2015 / 1:52 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Robby Stanley - Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Veteran center Mike Fisher's plan all along was to re-sign with the Nashville Predators. It was just a matter of putting together a contract that worked for both sides.

Fisher signed a two-year, $8.8 million contract with the Predators on Friday, five days before he was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. He will make $4.8 million next season and $4 million in 2016-17, the Predators said.

Fisher finished the 2014-15 season with 19 goals and 39 points in 59 games.

"I'm happy to be here," Fisher said. "I'm thrilled that I'm going to be part of this great organization for a couple more years. No better place to be than here for me. I'm excited."

Kings, forward Toffoli agree on two-year contract

Friday, 06.26.2015 / 1:44 PM / News

The Los Angeles Kings and forward Tyler Toffoli reached agreement Friday on a two-year contract.

It's worth $6.5 million, according to Toffoli will make $2.6 million next season and $3.9 million in 2016-17.

Toffoli, 23, had NHL career highs of 23 goals and 49 points this season in 76 games. He has 37 goals and 83 points in 148 regular-season games with the Kings, who selected him in the second round (No. 47) of the 2010 NHL Draft.

Avalanche sign Soderberg to five-year contract

Friday, 06.26.2015 / 12:12 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

The Colorado Avalanche signed forward Carl Soderberg to a five-year contract on Friday, one day after acquiring the pending unrestricted free agent in a trade with the Boston Bruins.

The contract is worth $23.75 million; it includes a full no-trade clause for the first two years and a limited no-trade clause afterward, reported.

"We are pleased to have Carl signed to a long-term deal," Avalanche president and general manager Joe Sakic said. "He is a solid two-way forward who is big and strong on the puck. He is versatile, can play center or wing, and his addition will also benefit our power play."

Senators trade Lehner, Legwand to Sabres for pick

Friday, 06.26.2015 / 10:28 AM / News

The Ottawa Senators on Friday traded goaltender Robin Lehner and forward David Legwand to the Buffalo Sabres for the No. 21 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Lehner, who turns 24 in July, was 9-12-3 with a 3.02 goals-against average and .905 save percentage for the Senators in 2014-15. He did not play after sustaining a concussion Feb. 16, but general manager Brian Murray said after the season that Lehner had recovered from the injury. Lehner has two years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $2.25 million, according to WAR on Ice.

Legwand, who turns 35 in August, had nine goals and 27 points in 80 games with the Senators last season. He has one season remaining on his contract and will cost $3 million against the NHL salary cap.

College hockey's impact on NHL continues to grow

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 8:27 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- There's an underlying theme to college hockey players becoming a more attractive option in recent years for NHL scouts and general managers.

New Jersey Devils forward Mike Cammalleri, who played three seasons at the University of Michigan, isn't surprised by the fact that 30 percent of NHL players developed in the NCAA, or that all 30 NHL teams had at least one prospect enrolled in college during the 2014-15 season, with the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks' 13 leading the way.

"College hockey not only allows for a readiness on the ice in terms of skill, but there's a social and outside-the-classroom aspect to developing a personality and comfort within your own skin enabling players to enter the NHL and be successful," Cammalleri said. "I think that's an important development stage for an adolescent person regardless of athletics and why some players are able to come in and do well out of college."

There's a chance college hockey will break new ground at the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on Friday, when Boston University center Jack Eichel, Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin and University of Michigan defenseman Zachary Werenski each might be selected in the top 10. No draft has ever had three top-10 picks from the college ranks.

Rantanen, top prospects anxious for draft night

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 7:23 PM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Mikko Rantanen, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top European skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, said Thursday it won't be easy to fall asleep knowing the biggest moment of his life will occur in less than 24 hours.

"It's pretty weird knowing that [Friday] we'll know what team you will play for and begin work," Rantanen said. "I know this is just the first step. We'll have to keep working to be an NHL player. But I'll be pretty nervous tomorrow. They say it'll be hard to get sleep because it's such a big day. It's once in a lifetime, so I'm excited."

Rantanen, who was an alternate captain for TPS in Finland in 2014-15, was one of 10 top prospects in the spotlight at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in the last pre-draft media availability before NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announces the Edmonton Oilers are on the clock with the No. 1 pick at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

Bruins trade Soderberg to Avalanche for 2016 pick

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 5:00 PM / News

The Boston Bruins traded forward Carl Soderberg to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday for a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Blue Jackets looking to trade up from No. 8 pick

Thursday, 06.25.2015 / 4:54 PM / News

The Columbus Blue Jackets have the No. 8 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, but general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said he is interested in picking sooner Friday night.

"I've talked to every other team ahead of us to see if there's a chance [of a trade], what the chance might be, and what it would take," Kekalainen said Thursday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., according to the Blue Jackets website. "I think we're in a good situation with what we have. We have a lot of forwards on our reserve list right now too. It's an exciting time for us."

The first round of the draft will be held at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports); rounds 2-7 will be Saturday (10 a.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports).

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