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Stars sign defenseman Oduya to two-year contract

Wednesday, 07.15.2015 / 1:52 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The Dallas Stars signed defenseman Johnny Oduya to a two-year contract Wednesday. The average annual value is $3.75 million, according to

Oduya said the Stars appealed to him because of their up-tempo style of play. He likened it to the style of his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks, and said it should help him find his comfort quickly.

"I think it's a very, very fast team, a team that wants to play hockey, a similar style I think as Chicago; wants to have the puck, create things," Oduya said. "I think the speed is the thing that stands out the most. It's a new challenge, a new chapter. It's going to be a lot of fun for me. I think I'm pretty comfortable with the role that I play and the things I can bring. It's not really going to change a whole lot for me, and that's something that I like."

ESPN honors 'You Can Play' with Stuart Scott award

Wednesday, 07.15.2015 / 1:34 PM / News

The You Can Play Project has been named an inaugural winner of the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award, part of ESPN's first Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards.

The You Can Play Project is an advocacy organization that combats homophobia in sports. The NHL and NHL Players' Association are partners.

Sabres' Eichel will not attend U.S. junior camp

Wednesday, 07.15.2015 / 11:49 AM / News

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Jack Eichel, who was selected No. 2 in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, will not attend United States National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., from Aug. 1-8.

Eichel was one of 11 players invited to camp who represented the U.S. at the 2015 WJC in Montreal and Toronto. Eichel had one goal and four points in five games as captain of the team, which lost to Russia in the quarterfinals. He signed an entry-level contract with the Sabres on July 1.

"I think in the end we're looking at the best interest of the player and I'm sure Jack has a lot going on with Buffalo in terms of development camp and preparing for the NHL season," U.S. national junior team general manager Jim Johannson told "We're also realistically looking ahead, for our team. The odds are we probably wouldn't have him even if he were invited."

Rangers, defenseman McIlrath agree to terms

Wednesday, 07.15.2015 / 10:13 AM / NHL Free Agency 2015

The New York Rangers agreed to terms Wednesday with defenseman Dylan McIlrath. Details were not disclosed, but the Daily News reported it's a one-year, one-way contract worth $600,000.

McIlrath, the 10th pick of the 2010 NHL Draft, was a restricted free agent. He made his NHL debut on Nov. 3, 2014, in a 4-3 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues.

Panthers agree to terms with top pick Crouse

Wednesday, 07.15.2015 / 9:34 AM / News

Florida Panthers Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has agreed to terms with F Lawson Crouse on a three-year, entry-level contract.

"We are very pleased to have signed Lawson to an entry-level contract," said Tallon. "Lawson is a strong, skilled and physically mature forward with good hands, who will provide us with a prominent forechecking presence each night. He was one of our best players in development camp and we are confident he can make an immediate impact on our roster, playing on one of our top lines."

Crouse, who was selected by the Florida Panthers in the first round (11th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft, led the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in goals (29) and points (51), while playing in 56 games during the 2014-15 season. In 119 OHL games, the 18-year-old forward recorded 78 points (44-34—78), a +20 rating and 134 PIM.

Sought-after Reilly feeling right at home with Wild

Wednesday, 07.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Dan Myers - Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Taking the ice about 30 minutes from his hometown, Minnesota Wild defenseman Mike Reilly is in a whole new world.

Born in Chicago but raised in Chanhassen, Minn., a Minneapolis suburb on the southwest end of the Twin Cities, stepping inside Xcel Energy Center is nothing new for Reilly. His dad, also named Mike, is a minority investor with the Wild, and Reilly and his brothers have been coming to games here nearly his entire life.

But stepping on the ice for the Wild, which Reilly did last week for the first time during development camp, is something that's difficult for him to believe is true.

"It's starting to sink in a little more now skating with the jersey on," Reilly said. "It's a great feeling to wear that jersey."

Hurricanes prospect Hanifin mature beyond his years

Wednesday, 07.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent

RALEIGH -- Noah Hanifin sat at his locker stall, still catching his breath from a rigorous on-ice workout at Carolina Hurricanes development camp.

When asked what left an impression on him during the busy week, he sounded like a young man who made the most of his freshman year at Boston College.

"We had a really good seminar on leadership this morning, which I got a lot out of," Hanifin said, noting that a local college professor conducted the class. "It was about how important leadership and character is, especially in the sport of hockey. She showed us some movie clips and examples of that, which is pretty cool. I got to write down some notes."

By the end of the July 6-11 camp, Carolina's first pick (No. 5) at the 2015 NHL Draft had signed a three-year, entry-level contract to begin his professional career.

When Hanifin steps on the ice for Carolina's training camp in September, he will be 18 years old. Conventional wisdom suggests that defensemen have a steeper learning curve than forwards, but making the jump from the amateur ranks to the NHL is not impossible for teenage defensemen.

Lightning goalie Wilcox ready for life after college

Wednesday, 07.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Corey Long - Correspondent

BRANDON, Fla. -- After three years with the University of Minnesota, it appears Tampa Bay Lightning goalie prospect Adam Wilcox will take the next step.

With his fifth development camp under his belt, Wilcox will stay within the professional ranks and likely split time with Kristers Gudlevskis for the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League this season.

Wilcox got a quick initiation to pro life shortly after leading Minnesota to the Big Ten Tournament championship. A sixth-round pick (No. 178) of the Lightning at the 2011 NHL Draft, he signed a two-year, two-way contract with Tampa Bay in April and headed to Syracuse, where he played in two regular-season games (3.18 goals-against-average, .875 save percentage) and one Calder Cup Playoff game (1.86 GAA, .933 save percentage).

Senators prospect thrives after move from Sweden

Wednesday, 07.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Tobias Lindberg had to make some adjustments after he left Sweden to play for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League last season.

"I was a rookie, but I was still 19 years old. It was a bit of a learning situation there. Should I pack the bus; should I not pack the bus?" Lindberg said of the junior hockey tradition of having rookies move the equipment bags on and off the bus.

So did he?

"A couple of times in the beginning to show I was a good teammate," the Ottawa Senators forward prospect said, "but in the end they said, 'No, you don't have to do that. We have 16-year-olds to do that.'"

Then there was the language barrier.

Stars, Sabres, Blue Jackets pursuing Oduya: report

Tuesday, 07.14.2015 / 11:27 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

The Dallas Stars, Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets are among the teams attempting to sign unrestricted free agent defenseman Johnny Oduya, the Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday.

Oduya, 33, played the past three-plus seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, winning the Stanley Cup twice. He had two goals, eight assists and a plus-5 rating in 76 regular-season games last season as part of Chicago's top-four defense group.

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