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Islanders' Okposo could be on trading block: report

Saturday, 06.20.2015 / 7:19 PM / News

New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo may be a trade chip for general manager Garth Snow at the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla., next week, Newsday reported Saturday.

Okposo, who is entering the final season of his five-year, $14 million contract, missed 22 games this season after having emergency surgery in January to repair a detached retina. He finished the season with 18 goals and 33 assists in 60 games. Okposo had two goals and one assist during the Islanders' seven-game first-round loss against the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Two sources told Newsday that nothing is imminent.

Flames sign forward Backlund to multiyear contract

Saturday, 06.20.2015 / 5:42 PM / News

Center Mikael Backlund signed a multiyear contract with the Calgary Flames, the Flames announced Saturday.

Terms were not disclosed, but TSN reported it is for three years and $10.725 million.

"I just wanted to get a good deal for a few years in Calgary," Backlund said in comments tweeted by the Calgary Sun.

Comcast founder, cable pioneer Roberts dies at 95

Saturday, 06.20.2015 / 4:14 PM / News

Ralph Roberts, founder of Comcast, died Saturday at the age of 95.

Comcast Spectator, a subsidiary of Comcast and a Philadelphia-based sports entertainment company, owns the Philadelphia Flyers.

"Ralph Roberts was an innovator, a visionary who revolutionized the cable industry and the patriarch of an outstanding family," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "Founder of Comcast and chairman emeritus, Ralph was a devoted partner and friend of the National Hockey League. We send deepest condolences to Ralph's family and his countless friends. He will be dearly missed."

Wild GM Fletcher to meet with Dubnyk: report

Saturday, 06.20.2015 / 1:54 PM / News

Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is scheduled to meet face-to-face with pending unrestricted free agent goalie Devan Dubnyk in Las Vegas next week, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Dubnyk will be attending the 2015 NHL Awards on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN). He is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, given to the League's top goaltender, and the Masterton Award, given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Fletcher will also be in Las Vegas for League meetings before flying to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the 2015 NHL Draft, where he will meet with Dubnyk's agent, Mike Liut, with hopes of re-signing the goaltender.

Kylington among top Swedish defensemen for draft

Saturday, 06.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Sweden has emerged as a hotbed for producing top NHL talent on defense in recent years.

The percentage of European-born and -trained players selected at the 2014 NHL Draft was the highest it has been in more than a decade. Leading the way was a heavy dose of Swedish standouts; 27 of the 66 European players picked last year were Swedes, and of that group 12 were defensemen.

When the 2015 NHL Draft is held June 26-27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., three more names will be added to that list, and likely in the early portions: Gabriel Carlsson of Linkoping's junior team; Jacob Larsson of Frolunda's junior team; and Oliver Kylington of AIK in the Swedish Hockey League.

They're the top three defensemen on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of European skaters, and rank in the top six among all European skaters.

First-round hopefuls have bond spanning the ages

Saturday, 06.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Lawson Crouse says he isn't a big talker on the ice; when he does say something it tends to be on the sarcastic side. It's a trait he's had since his earliest days in skates.

Now a highly regarded power forward for the Kingston Frontenacs and a top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft, Crouse said one of the earliest examples came as a 6-year-old trying out for the Brantford (Ontario) Regional Selects spring team. He said between sessions he was watching other players when one skated over and asked him why he wasn't on the ice.

"He asked me if I made the team because I wasn't trying out and I just said, 'Mind your own beeswax,' " Crouse said.

Sharks GM won't rule out bringing back Niemi

Friday, 06.19.2015 / 7:04 PM / News

Eric Gilmore - Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks are cutting ties with three players but could bring back starting goaltender Antti Niemi, general manager Doug Wilson said Friday.

Wilson said he's already told 36-year-old defenseman Scott Hannan and fourth-line forward John Scott they won't be re-signed. The Sharks also waived 32-year-old forward Adam Burish on Friday and will buy out the final season of his four-year contract, which will cost them $1,233,333. Burish was waived Nov. 23, cleared waivers and was reassigned to Worcester of the American Hockey League.

Niemi and defenseman Matt Irwin will become unrestricted free agents on July 1, but Wilson said he has talked to the players' agents and left open the possibility of re-signing one or both.

"They would like to be here, but unrestricted free agency is a two-way street," Wilson said. "It has to be a match for us. But would they like to be here? I think they've answered those questions publicly. It's just whether it fits for us and them and what the alternatives are for all parties involved."

Sharks GM will listen to offers for ninth pick in draft

Friday, 06.19.2015 / 6:30 PM / News

Eric Gilmore - Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson is ready to listen to any and all offers for the ninth pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, especially once the draft gets underway on June 26 in Sunrise, Fla.

The Sharks have gone eight straight years without selecting a player in the top 10, but they are scheduled to pick ninth this year after finishing 22nd in the overall standings in 2014-15.

However, after shedding older players and stockpiling draft picks during the past two seasons, Wilson said Friday he is leaving open the possibility of a trade.

"When you get to that point and sit on the draft floor, sometimes things get offered out of left field," he said. "Sometimes people move up a spot, move down a spot. Our history speaks to we've done all those things. You listen in this business.

Stars will not re-sign forward Horcoff: report

Friday, 06.19.2015 / 5:22 PM / News

The Dallas Stars will not re-sign forward Shawn Horcoff, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, general manager Jim Nill said Friday, according to Stars Inside Edge.

Dallas' depth up front and a surplus of young forwards would have reduced Horcoff's role, and that's something the 36-year-old isn’t ready for yet, Nill said. Horcoff, acquired from Edmonton in July 2013, had 18 goals and 49 points in 153 games during two seasons with the Stars, including 11 goals and 29 points in 2014-15.

Flyers will retain assistant coaches

Friday, 06.19.2015 / 5:08 PM / News

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall announced that the club will retain assistant coaches Gord Murphy, Ian Laperriere and Joe Mullen, who will join new coach Dave Hakstol.

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