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McDavid skates at Oilers' home arena for first time

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 8:40 PM / News

Derek Van Diest - Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Connor McDavid stepped onto the ice at Rexall Place for the first time Wednesday, taking part in opening day of Edmonton Oilers development camp.

The No. 1 pick at the 2015 NHL Draft went through the fitness portion of the six-day camp before he participated in a skating session.

"Today was a lot of fun," McDavid said. "The fitness test wasn't a whole lot of fun, but it was cool to throw on the Oilers gear, the gear that I want to play the rest of my life in. It was very special put it on and to step onto Rexall with all that history. It was a lot of fun."

Red Wings sign Green for three years, add Richards

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 8:15 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Paul Harris - Correspondent

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings got the right-handed shooting defenseman with offensive ability they have been seeking for so long, plus a skilled veteran center with two Stanley Cup championships, on Wednesday.

Detroit signed free agent defenseman Mike Green to a three-year, $18 million contract and center Brad Richards to a one-year contract guaranteed for $3 million but that could be worth $4 million with bonuses, according to TSN.

"Both players have high hockey IQ's, great stick skills, and can play the give-and-go type of game that that we like to play," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Wednesday. "We're excited to have both Brad and Mike with our organization."

Kassian aims for fresh start with Canadiens

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 8:06 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

The Vancouver Canucks ran out of patience with Zack Kassian. The Montreal Canadiens hope to benefit from that lack of patience.

The Canucks traded Kassian, the 13th player taken in the 2009 NHL Draft, and a fifth-round pick in 2016 to the Canadiens on Wednesday for forward Brandon Prust, ending a tumultuous four seasons in Vancouver for the hulking right wing.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning explained that he wanted to add toughness and consistency to his lineup by replacing Kassian with Prust, who is seven years older and carries a salary-cap charge that is $750,000 more than Kassian's.

Wild re-sign Granlund, Prosser, Carter, add Reilly

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 8:06 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

The Minnesota Wild re-signed center Mikael Granlund and defenseman Nate Prosser each to a two-year contract on Wednesday, and center Ryan Carter to a one-year contract. The Wild also signed defenseman Mike Reilly to a two-year entry-level contract after he reportedly decided to sign last week.

Granlund's contract is worth $6 million, according to Sportsnet. Carter's contract is worth $625,000, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. No monetary value was reported on Prosser's contract.

Hamilton, Frolik acquisitions raise bar for Flames

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 7:25 PM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- General manager Brad Treliving knows the Calgary Flames' on-ice success last season, when they qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009 and advanced beyond the first round for the first time since 2004, will increase expectations on them next season.

So, too, he predicts, will his recent acquisitions.

The Flames signed free agent forward Michael Frolik on Wednesday, five days after adding defenseman Dougie Hamilton in a trade with the Boston Bruins then signing him. Calgary also retained goalie Karri Ramo, re-signing him before he hit the free agent market.

"We told our team this, at the locker clean-out I said, 'We all have to be better, and it starts with me,'" Treliving said. "What we accomplished last year was nice, but ultimately it's just a step. The fact we had the season we had is going to raise expectations. That's just human nature, and we can't shy away from those. If we all want to be good, this is what happens. There's more expected. There's more pressure. We've got to start living like a team that wants to be good.

"I think those expectations are a good thing. That means you've added good people. The people you do have have had some success, so there should be expectations."

Flyers sign goaltender Neuvirth to two-year contract

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 7:05 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers signed goaltender Michal Neuvirth to a two-year contract Wednesday.

Neuvirth, who likely will serve as the backup to Steve Mason, will be paid $1.5 million in 2015-16 and $1.75 million in 2016-17, according to Sportsnet.

"We're excited about it," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. "We think he's a proven goalie. He's a good goalie. One of the attractive things for us with [Neuvirth] is … if something happens to [Mason] he'd have to carry the load and he's done that in the past. We think we brought in a real good goalie that's going to give us a real solid backup. I'm sure he's going to play more than the typical backup."

Oilers' facelift continues with Sekera, Letestu

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 7:04 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Derek Van Diest - Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli checked off two more items on his list during the first day of NHL free agency.

On Wednesday, Chiarelli signed veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera to a six-year, $33 million contract and center Mark Letestu to a three-year, $5.4 million contract.

"At the start of the shopping period, we had [Sekera] on our list and began talks with his agent," Chiarelli said. "It was at that point that there was interest and there was a little bit of recruitment from that period and dialog. He's a really versatile [defenseman] and really strong. He can play on our top pair if need be. We'd like to spread it out a bit so he can kind of be the linchpin of that second pair. He plays both sides. He played most of the year on the left, but when he was traded [to the Los Angeles Kings] he moved to the right."

Campbell signs two-year contract with Blue Jackets

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 6:55 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Gregory Campbell to a two-year contract, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Campbell, 31, has registered 68 goals and 108 assists for 176 points and 618 penalty minutes in 721 career NHL games with the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers. He has also added 4-9-13 and 19 penalty minutes in 59 career playoff games, winning a Stanley Cup championship with the Bruins in 2011 and advancing to the finals in 2013.

Penguins excited to add Kessel's skill on the wing

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 6:35 PM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford did what he said he would.

Rutherford declared after Pittsburgh was eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in five games that he would bring in at least one top-six wing. He did just that Wednesday, when the Penguins acquired forward Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"I'm very excited about what happened today," Rutherford said. "We've worked on this deal with Toronto for a month, or over a month. It got a little bit of legs on draft day, but it really heated up last night, and we were able to complete the deal today.

"We set out this offseason to bring in more skill on the wing and some more speed. I certainly think we covered that by adding Phil Kessel. We also liked to get some consistency of wingers for [Evgeni Malkin] and [Sidney Crosby]."

Kapanen, Harrington add to Maple Leafs' young cadre

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 6:30 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to add youth and skill to their roster with the additions Wednesday of forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Nick Spaling and defenseman Scott Harrington from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Phil Kessel trade.

Kapanen, whose father Sami Kapanen played 831 NHL games scoring 189 goals and 458 points, is another young player the Maple Leafs hope will develop into a top-six forward.

"He's one of the youngest players that was drafted two years ago," Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said. "He came over this year and played a little bit in the [American Hockey League]. He's a talented guy; a top-six forward, we are hoping. I think he adds to another group of players that we have in our stable, that with a lot of work and a lot of patience and some development, we hope he can become a very productive Leaf at some point."

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Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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