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Ducks coach pleased with 'great deal' for Kesler

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 8:17 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on Tuesday raved about the trade that landed Ryan Kesler from the Vancouver Canucks last month.

"Obviously, as a coach, you're sitting there saying, 'That's a great deal,'" Boudreau told the Ducks website at development camp.

The Ducks acquired Kesler and a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft on June 27, sending center Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa and a first-round and third-round pick in the 2014 draft to the Canucks.

"I loved Nick Bonino and [Sbisa], but you're getting a top-flight guy that can give [Ryan Getzlaf] a rest every now and then," Boudreau said. "It gives you strength down the middle. I've never coached a team in the NHL that's had a second-line center that you're going to have with Ryan Kesler. It's a great [acquisition], and it gets you excited."

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Stars intrigued by Honka's offensive potential

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 6:41 PM / NHL Insider

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

FRISCO, Texas -- When the Dallas Stars chose defenseman Julius Honka with the 14th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, they did so knowing the 18-year-old's strengths are on offense.

That makes sense considering Honka had some impressive numbers in 62 games with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League last season: 56 points (16 goals, 40 assists) in his first year playing in North America.

It's not surprising to hear him say he models himself after NHL defensemen known for playing a similar game: Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings and Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators.

"Offensive game [is what I bring], absolutely," Honka said at Stars development camp. "I want to be a big part of that game. I like to play on the power play and a lot of offensive game. That's my style of hockey."

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Canadiens' Beaulieu aims to build on playoff success

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 5:53 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

Nathan Beaulieu gave the Montreal Canadiens great bang for their buck during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It might have been a glimpse of what kind of value he can provide in 2014-15.

Beaulieu played a shade over 75 minutes in the playoffs, but it could be argued those minutes were a big reason the Canadiens reached the Eastern Conference Final.

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Ehlers aims to be Jets' next first-round success story

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 4:40 PM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and his scouting staff have excelled in the first round of the NHL Draft even as on-ice success has eluded the team since its arrival from Atlanta in 2011.

Two weeks after being hired by the Jets, Cheveldayoff selected center Mark Scheifele with the seventh pick in the first round the 2011 draft. The following year Cheveldayoff picked defenseman Jacob Trouba with the ninth pick, and the Jets continued to rebuild their blue line with Joshua Morrissey as the 13th pick in 2013.

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Bitetto signs one-year contract with Predators

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 4:34 PM / News

NHL.com

Restricted free agent defenseman Anthony Bitetto accepted his qualifying offer and signed a one-year, two-way contract Tuesday with the Nashville Predators worth $650,000 at the NHL level and $60,000 at the American Hockey League level.

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Wennberg back in Columbus, plans to stay

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 4:14 PM / NHL Insider

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- This time, center Alexander Wennberg is hoping to stick with the Columbus Blue Jackets when the NHL season begins.

The smooth center was their first pick (No. 14) in the 2013 NHL Draft and a year ago this week attended development camp at the OhioHealth Ice Haus.

Wennberg was wide-eyed, nervous, curious about the surroundings, and smaller. Neither management nor the Nacka, Sweden native had any expectations he would play in North America during the 2013-14 season.

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Blues sign Wannstrom, two others to contracts

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 4:07 PM / News

NHL.com

Sebastian Wannstrom, a 2010 second-round pick of the St. Louis Blues, was one of three forwards signed to a one-year, two-way contract Tuesday.

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Blue Jackets re-sign Collins to two-way contract

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 3:56 PM / News

NHL.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday re-signed center Sean Collins to a one-year, two-way contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Zanon, Olson sign two-way contracts with Panthers

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 3:48 PM / News

NHL.com

Defenseman Greg Zanon and center Brett Olson each signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

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Callahan helped recruit Stralman, Boyle to Lightning

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 3:35 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan is getting credit this week for doing his part to help general manager Steve Yzerman reel in two unrestricted free agents last week.

Defenseman Anton Stralman and center Brian Boyle confirmed in separate interviews that Callahan, their former captain with the New York Rangers, influenced their decisions to sign with the Lightning shortly after the free-agent signing period got under way last Tuesday.

Stralman signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract; Boyle signed a three-year, $6 million contract. Yzerman said after signing them that he spoke with Callahan, as did the players.

"I just kind of wanted to hear his thoughts, so he obviously had an impact on my decision," Stralman said Tuesday. "I already had a good idea about Tampa, and just wanted to confirm everything."

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I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic