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2015 NHL Draft
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After injuries, Murray poised to boost Blue Jackets

Wednesday, 07.29.2015 / 10:59 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

When the Columbus Blue Jackets selected defenseman Ryan Murray with the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, they envisioned a player who could quickly become a fixture along their blue line.

Injuries have kept Murray from reaching his potential; he played 12 games last season after sustaining a knee injury, after having knee surgery in the summer of 2014. He would miss five additional weeks with a high ankle sprain he sustained in November.

But the 21-year-old appears primed to turn things around this season.

"I've been on the ice for almost two months now," Murray told the Blue Jackets website. "I've done some things differently this summer, changed it up a bit; the workouts have been less weight-based and more body and movement-focused things.

"I spent part of the summer at home in Saskatchewan, hanging out with my friends and family, relaxing, playing golf, and it was great. It was good to go home and recharge, and now I'm back here and ready to work."

Bernier, Maple Leafs $2.21M apart in arbitration: report

Wednesday, 07.29.2015 / 9:48 AM / NHL Free Agency 2015

NHL.com

Goaltender Jonathan Bernier, a restricted free agent who is scheduled for an arbitration hearing Friday, has submitted a request for $5.1 million for one year, with the Toronto Maple Leafs offering a one-year, $2.89 million contract, according to Sportsnet.

TSN reports the Maple Leafs' offer is the minimum allowed.

Bernier, 26, went 21-28-7 with a 2.87 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 58 games for the Maple Leafs last season, when he made $3.4 million, according to TSN.

Ryan Smyth considers housing McDavid: report

Tuesday, 07.28.2015 / 10:46 PM / News

NHL.com

Former NHL forward Ryan Smyth said he hasn't been asked but has considered letting Edmonton Oilers prospect Connor McDavid live with his family this season.

"Haven't been contacted at all (about McDavid) … it's all rumors," Smyth told the Edmonton Journal on Monday. "I haven't put my name forward. It's not that I haven't thought about it though."

Smyth, who played for the Oilers for 15 seasons and retired in 2014, lived with Kelly Buchberger and his wife Carla when he started his NHL career in 1995, the Journal said.

"Three or four months I lived with them," Smyth said. "I babysat for them and they fed me."

Flyers sign forward Couturier to multiyear contract

Tuesday, 07.28.2015 / 10:12 PM / News

NHL.com

Center Sean Couturier signed a multiyear contract with the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. Terms were not released, but Sportsnet reported it's for six years and $26 million, an average annual value of $4.33 million.

Couturier, the eighth pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, could have become a restricted free agent after this season.

"It's a great organization, they believe in me," Couturier told CSNPhilly.com. "I'm really happy to be there for the next six years. I love the organization, the city. I think the future is bright in Philly. Hopefully we can do some good things during those six years."

Predators sign forward Wilson to four-year contract

Tuesday, 07.28.2015 / 9:18 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

NHL.com

Forward Colin Wilson signed a four-year, $15.75 million contract with the Nashville Predators on Monday to avoid arbitration. Wilson will be paid $3.75 million in 2015-16, and $4 million in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 for an average annual value of $3.9375 million, according to the Predators.

Wilson's hearing was scheduled for Tuesday in Toronto. The Predators also avoided arbitration with Craig Smith when the forward signed a five-year, $21.25 million contract on July 20.

"Certainly we were hopeful based on the [Smith] signing that [it] gave us a pretty clear position we felt where Colin could fit," Predators general manager David Poile told the Tennessean. "We did make the trip up here to Toronto. We met [Sunday] night with our lawyers to go over the brief and what have you, so we were ready to go to arbitration, but a couple of calls [Sunday] night and one [Monday] morning sort of solidified that we were both in the same place."

Penguins add to forward depth with Bonino, Fehr

Tuesday, 07.28.2015 / 8:42 PM / News

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins bolstered their bottom-six forward group Tuesday by signing free agent Eric Fehr and acquiring Nick Bonino from the Vancouver Canucks along with defenseman Adam Clendening and a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft for center Brandon Sutter and a 2016 third-round pick.

Fehr received a three-year contract with an average annual value of $2 million.

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said he had discussed a possible trade with Vancouver since about a month before the 2015 NHL Draft.

"The two deals went hand-in-hand so we can add more depth," Rutherford said. "We have enough good players now that guys are going to have to compete for those spots [in training camp] and compete for them all year. If a guy falls off, there's a guy waiting to jump right in there.

"I like the fact that we have enough guys that each guy can push each other."

Capitals defenseman Orpik has wrist surgery

Tuesday, 07.28.2015 / 8:28 PM / News

NHL.com

Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik had surgery on his wrist Tuesday.

"Based on the nature of this procedure, we anticipate Brooks returning to full hockey activities in time for the Capitals' regular-season opener," the Capitals said in a statement. "Brooks will resume full workout activities in approximately two weeks."

Canadiens' Subban surprises youth group in Toronto

Tuesday, 07.28.2015 / 4:52 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban has always taken pride in helping others, even long before he reached the NHL in 2010.

"When he was younger, a kid, he always gave away his lunch," his mother, Maria Subban, said Tuesday. "He would say, 'Mom, they don't have anything to eat.' He was always looking out for other kids."

A group of 110 children from Toronto's Jane and Finch area recently competed against a group of Americans, organized and supported by performer Pharrell Williams, in "Jeopardy" trivia. The Canadians won the event, and Subban and his family felt they should be rewarded.

So he gathered the victors, who are attending a summer camp called Success Beyond Limits (SBL) at York University and, along with some assistance from Gatorade, gave them prizes.

"I'm from Toronto, so whenever I can give back to communities here, I do," Subban said. "I know I play in Montreal and obviously I give back to Quebec and the city of Montreal a lot, but every now and then you have to remember this is my hometown. Even though I didn't grow up in Jane and Finch, I had a lot of friends and family members who lived in this area."

Oilers' Talbot excited for chance to be No. 1 goalie

Tuesday, 07.28.2015 / 4:06 PM / News

NHL.com

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot spent the past two seasons with the New York Rangers backing up Henrik Lundqvist, knowing full well starts would probably be few and far between.

But with the Rangers up against the NHL salary cap, Talbot was traded to the Oilers on June 27 for the 57th, 79th and 184th picks at the 2015 NHL Draft. Talbot played more last season after Lundqvist sustained a vascular injury.

"Getting to play behind a guy like [Henrik], you learn a lot and you get to see what it takes to be a No. 1 [goalie] in this League," Talbot said Tuesday at the Oilers Hockey School. "I took away a lot from watching him and being able to work with [Rangers goalie coach] Benoit Allaire in New York.

"It's going to be a great opportunity for me here, to be able to come in and work with a good young group of guys and obviously a group that's headed in the right direction. I'm happy to be a part of it."

United States to host '18 World Junior Championship

Tuesday, 07.28.2015 / 3:16 PM / News

NHL.com

The IIHF World Junior Championship will return to the United States for the first time in seven years in 2018.

USA Hockey revealed Tuesday the five cities being considered to host the event: Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay.

The annual tournament, which features 10 countries and many of the NHL's future stars, is traditionally held in late December and early January each year. This year's tournament will be held Dec. 26, 2015, through Jan. 5, 2016, in Helsinki, Finland. The 2017 WJC will be held in Montreal and Toronto.

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Quote of the Day

He is, in my opinion, one of the best defensemen in the NHL and continuing to grow. I think his game, from an offensive standpoint, he continues to drive our offense... I think there's still tremendous upside for Oliver.

— Coyotes GM Don Maloney on defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson