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Koekkoek eager to show Lightning what he can do

Friday, 07.04.2014 / 12:00 AM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Defenseman Slater Koekkoek was soaking up some of the spotlight this week at Tampa Bay Lightning prospect camp. That says a lot, considering some of the talent in attendance and the adversity Koekkoek has encountered since being taken with the 10th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.

The camp roster included forward Jonathan Drouin, the third player taken in the 2013 draft, who finished as the leading scorer during the 2014 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs. Also on hand was Andrei Vasilevskiy, one of the world's top goaltending prospects, who was taken nine picks after Koekkoek in 2012.

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Oilers coach Eakins eager to see improved defense

Thursday, 07.03.2014 / 11:00 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The Edmonton Oilers will have a lot of new pieces when they head to training camp in September. Coach Dallas Eakins is excited about the newcomers and what they can bring to a franchise that's trying to avoid a ninth straight season without making the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We think it has been a good few days getting the free agents in the boat. It was important," Eakins told the Oilers website Thursday, the first day of orientation camp. "We've added size, we've added depth, and we've added some people who can make plays. Those are all things that we need in our lineup, especially in our division."

Through trades and free-agent signings, the Oilers brought in defensemen Mark Fayne and Nikita Nikitin, and forwards Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot. They also added a big, talented center by taking Leon Draisaitl with the third pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

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Calgary Flames re-sign forward Paul Byron

Thursday, 07.03.2014 / 7:15 PM / News

The Calgary Flames on Thursday re-signed forward Paul Byron to a one year contract. No financial terms were disclosed.

Byron (5-foot-7, 175 pounds) had career-highs with seven goals and 21 points in 47 games with the Flames last season. The 25-year-old has 11 goals and 29 points in 81 NHL games with the Flames and Buffalo Sabres, who took him in the sixth round (No. 179) in the 2007 NHL Draft and traded him to Calgary in June 2011.


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Toronto adds Kontiola, Santorelli, re-signs Bodie

Thursday, 07.03.2014 / 6:16 PM / News

NHL.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday agreed to terms on one-year contracts with forwards Petri Kontiola, Mike Santorelli and Troy Bodie.

No financial terms were disclosed, but TSN's Darren Dreger reports Santorelli's contract is for $1.5 million and Sportsnet says Kontiola's contract is worth $1.1 million.

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Canucks sign Vrbata to play with Sedin twins

Thursday, 07.03.2014 / 5:56 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Radim Vrbata wasn't the Vancouver Canucks' first choice to cure their scoring woes in free agency. That's OK; the feeling was mutual.

After failing to lure Jarome Iginla, who instead went to the Colorado Avalanche on the opening day of NHL free agency Tuesday, the Canucks signed free-agent forward Vrbata to two-year, $10 million contract Wednesday night.

Before agreeing, Vrbata checked back in with the Arizona Coyotes, who were willing to offer a longer contract but not the no-trade clause he wanted. He also turned down a four-year offer from another team.

"I am not going to lie, it wasn't easy," Vrbata said Thursday of leaving Arizona. "We have been there six years and always really liked it. I liked it from a hockey standpoint and we liked it off the ice, so it was a tough decision."

The Canucks made the choice easier by telling Vrbata he will get a chance to play with Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin on the top line and on a first power-play unit that struggled last season.

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Gleason signs one-year contract with Hurricanes

Thursday, 07.03.2014 / 4:35 PM / News

Unrestricted free agent defenseman Tim Gleason agreed to terms with the Carolina Hurricanes on a one-year, $1.2 million contract Thursday.

The Hurricanes also agreed to terms with defensemen Jared Staal and Michal Jordan on one-year, two-way contracts.

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Hornqvist sees great opportunity with Penguins

Thursday, 07.03.2014 / 4:20 PM / News

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Patric Hornqvist said he thought he was dreaming after being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. Reality has set in less than a week later.

Hornqvist, along with forward Nick Spaling, was traded from the Nashville Predators to Pittsburgh for forward James Neal during the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft. The 6-foot, 190-pound Swedish wing was in bed when he was informed of the trade and said he was pleased with the idea of playing for the Penguins.

He is excited to have a change of scenery, but does not expect much else to be different, despite playing with two of the NHL's premier players, forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

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Coyotes hire Regier as assistant general manager

Thursday, 07.03.2014 / 4:08 PM / News

NHL.com

The Arizona Coyotes on Thursday hired former Buffalo Sabres general manager Darcy Regier to serve as senior vice president and assistant general manager.

"We are very pleased Darcy has decided to join us in Arizona," Coyotes GM Don Maloney said. "Darcy adds intelligence and experience to our management team. The wealth of knowledge he has garnered as a long-time general manager in the National Hockey League is invaluable to us. He is a great addition to our staff."

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Rangers sign forward Tarnasky

Thursday, 07.03.2014 / 3:56 PM / News

NHL.com

The New York Rangers on Thursday signed unrestricted free agent forward Nick Tarnasky. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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Strachan signs one-year contract with Sabres

Thursday, 07.03.2014 / 3:51 PM / News

NHL.com

The Buffalo Sabres on Thursday signed defenseman Tyson Strachan to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Strachan, 29, had two assists in 18 games last season with the Washington Capitals. He spent most of the season with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, where he had four goals and 19 points in 60 games.

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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