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Blue Jackets' Savard signs five-year contract

Tuesday, 09.08.2015 / 10:02 AM / News

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman David Savard to a five-year contract extension that begins in 2016-17 and continues through the 2020-21 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Savard, 24, set career highs and led Blue Jackets defensemen in goals and ranked second in points with 11 goals and 25 assists for 36 points with 71 penalty minutes and an "even" plus/minus rating in 82 games during the 2014-15 season.

Wild's Reilly traveled world, then elected to stay home

Tuesday, 09.08.2015 / 9:22 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

Minnesota Wild defenseman Mike Reilly was not heavily recruited out of high school.

He was smaller then, and only three schools showed an interest: the University of Minnesota, Colorado College and the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Without much of a competition to retain his services, Reilly chose to stay close to his Chanhassen, Minn., home and went to play at the University of Minnesota.

"I know I was really small and hit a growth spurt right around my junior year [of high school], I grew about five or six inches," Reilly said last week at the NHL Players' Association Rookie Showcase. "In ninth grade in high school I was maybe 5 feet, 100 pounds. I was just kind of immature physically and growing up I was always the smaller guy and just had to find my way around the ice."

Overlooked veterans to target in fantasy leagues

Eric Goodman - Fantasy Staff Writer

Regardless the size of your league, there usually are a number of fantasy-relevant veterans who slip to the late rounds on draft day. Sometimes a player drops due to a significant injury the previous season, or owners simply forget about an aging veteran who has put up consistent statistics throughout his career.

These five players should be available as buy-low candidates and may provide a great return on your investment:

Stars' Lehtonen welcomes competition with Niemi

Monday, 09.07.2015 / 4:50 PM / News

Goalie Kari Lehtonen is accustomed to a heavy workload for the Dallas Stars, but after starting 64 and 65 games the past two seasons, Lehtonen will be sharing the crease with veteran Antti Niemi this season.

Lehtonen, 31, is looking forward to some friendly competition.

"It's going to be exciting," Lehtonen told Stars Inside Edge for an article published Monday. "From my point of view, it's a big change to have Antti here. I am excited to see what we can do together."

Rangers' McDonagh endorses using tennis to exercise

Monday, 09.07.2015 / 11:52 AM / NHL Insider

David Satriano - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- A few weeks before NHL training camps open, New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh was at the U.S. Open on Monday for a youth tennis exhibition, where he discussed the importance of participating in multiple sports as a kid to stay healthy and active.

As a child, McDonagh played hockey, football and baseball.

"It's refreshing as a young kid to be able to put the baseball bat away and get the cleats out for football, and get the hockey gear out when the winter comes around," McDonagh said.

McDonagh has also become a tennis fan over the years.

"It's not a sport I played as a kid, but as I get older, you want to experience new sports and get a workout in if you can, and tennis is a great way to do that," McDonagh said. gives 2015-16 schedule advice for fantasy

David Satriano - Staff Writer

Though much about fantasy hockey is unpredictable -- who will be this season's Devan Dubnyk, and who will come out of nowhere to score 30 goals? -- it's always good to know as much as possible about each team's schedule before drafting.

For example, knowing how many back-to-back sets a team has is key when drafting a goalie. So is knowing a skater’s home and road splits so you know who to draft and which weeks to start them.

And you can't forget to look at game loads the final two weeks of the NHL regular season, usually reserved for fantasy championships. How many games your players have over those two weeks is critical to your chances of winning your league.

Here are five schedule-related notes to keep in mind when drafting:

Larkin sees opportunity to make Red Wings as teen

Monday, 09.07.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Detroit Red Wings are known for taking their time and developing their prospects in the minors.

But that didn't discourage center Dylan Larkin, 19, from leaving the University of Michigan after one season to sign with the Red Wings on May 21.

Rather, Larkin looked at the Red Wings roster and thought, with a coaching change from Mike Babcock to Jeff Blashill, there might be a chance he could crack the roster as a teenager.

"That is one of the reasons I decided to sign and leave college," Larkin said. "There is a new coach and there seems to be some older players who might be on their way out. I think it is a great opportunity for me to learn from them. Growing up in Detroit you hear so much about those guys. I have watched Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk my whole life, so to be in the same room as them would be an incredible experience."

Brian Burke, Flames march in Calgary Pride Parade

Sunday, 09.06.2015 / 7:30 PM / News

Sean McCullen - Staff Writer

Brian Burke, Calgary Flames president of hockey operations, served as grand marshal of the 25th annual Calgary Pride Parade on Sunday.

"This is your chance if you live in Calgary to say that this community is important to Calgary," Burke told the Herald before the 12-block parade celebrating Calgary's LGBTQ community began. "It's an important part of what we do, and I think we'll get a great turnout and it will be an enthusiastic response -- it always is."

Burke was joined in the parade, the largest in the event's 25-year history, by three Flames -- captain Mark Giordano, center Matt Stajan and forward Mason Raymond.

Blackhawks' Darling throws first pitch at Cubs game

Sunday, 09.06.2015 / 5:23 PM / News

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Chicago Cubs played the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field on Sunday.

A Cubs fan growing up in the Chicago suburb of Lemont, Ill., Darling made his second trip to Wrigley Field since Chicago won the Stanley Cup for the third time in six seasons. One day after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games, Darling and the Blackhawks brought the Cup to Wrigley, where captain Jonathan Toews threw out the first pitch.

Babcock scared, excited to coach Maple Leafs

Sunday, 09.06.2015 / 4:47 PM / 2015-2016 Season Preview

Mike Babcock admits leaving the Detroit Red Wings following a successful 10-season run was a frightening proposition, but the challenge of coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs, who finished 15th in the Eastern Conference (30-44-8) last season and haven't won the Stanley Cup since 1967, is one he's thrilled to accept.

"New is exciting," Babcock said in an article in the Toronto Sun on Sunday. "It scares the crap out of you, to be honest with you. And so, that gets you on your toes and gets you dialed in."

Babcock agreed to a reported eight-year, $50 million contract May 20 to coach the Maple Leafs. He led the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his 10 seasons, winning the Stanley Cup in 2008 and losing the Stanley Cup Final to the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games the next year.

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