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2010 Offseason News

Lightning name Griggs as Chief Operating Officer

Tuesday, 08.31.2010 / 12:28 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Steve Griggs was named Tuesday as chief operating officer of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the club's home, the St. Pete Times Forum.

Griggs joins the Lightning from the NBA's Orlando Magic, where he had served as executive vice president of sales and marketing since October 2007. When he starts with the Lightning in November, he will become the club's day-to-day operations leader, with an emphasis on revenue generation and brand management.
"Steve is one of the rising stars in the sports industry," Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke said in a statement. "His experience in the NHL, and most recently with the NBA's Orlando Magic and the new Amway Center, will serve us well as we work to transform the Lightning and the Times Forum under the leadership of owner Jeff Vinik."

Blackhawks sign Pirri

Tuesday, 08.31.2010 / 9:25 AM / 2010 Offseason News

The Chicago Blackhawks signed center Brandon Pirri to a three-year, entry-level contract Tuesday.

Pirri, 19, was a 2009 second-round pick (No. 59). Last season, he led all rookie scorers in the ECAC with 43 points (11 goals, 32 assists) in 39 games as a freshman at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute. A Toronto native, Pirri's 32 assists paced the Engineers while he ranked third in goals and second in scoring on the club. He was named to the ECAC All-Rookie Team at the conclusion of his freshman season.

Chelios expected to retire, join Wings on Tuesday

Monday, 08.30.2010 / 5:20 PM / 2010 Offseason News

The Detroit Red Wings will hold a press conference Tuesday where it is expected they will announce Chris Chelios has retired and joined the front office in a player-development capacity.

Chelios spent 10 of his 26 NHL seasons on the Wings' blue line, winning a pair of Stanley Cups. He had 152 points in 578 games, plus another 28 points in 103 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

While the Wings did not reveal the details of Tuesday's announcement, Chelios and Wings GM Ken Holland have said this would be happening earlier this summer.

"It looks like I'm going to stay in Detroit and take a job with the Red Wings," Chelios said during an appearance at Chicago's Wrigley Field.

Kings' Mitchell out to prove he's healthy

Monday, 08.30.2010 / 3:41 PM / 2010 Offseason News
Willie Mitchell suddenly, and unfortunately, had plenty of spare time.

Forced out of action in January by a concussion, Mitchell spent parts of his days in a hyperbaric chamber, receiving oxygen therapy in a tube that left him with few entertainment. options beyond watching DVDs or listening to music.

One day, Mitchell grabbed a motivational speaker’s CD that had been collecting dust in his house, one titled "The Maverick Mindset." Mitchell listened, and the timing couldn’t have been better, as it provided a framework for his eventual return to the NHL.

Briere lighter and happier heading into season

Monday, 08.30.2010 / 12:32 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

"I had some personal issues to deal with during the first half of the season last year and I lost a lot of weight. I was able to gain a little bit more going down the stretch, but I'm still about 10 pounds lighter than I have been the last three training camps. After the way things went in the playoffs last year I decided it worked out well at this weight and I wanted to stay at this weight."
-- Danny Briere

The ups and downs of the Philadelphia Flyers' 2009-10 season were personified by Danny Briere. As he gets ready for the 2010-11 season, he's hoping the on- and off-ice issues that troubled him last season are things of the past.

Briere, a native of Gatineau, Que., recently returned to the Philadelphia area to prepare for training camp, which opens Sept. 17. He's tipping the scales at 170 pounds, down a bit from his listed playing weight of 179. But Briere says carrying less weight -- literally and figuratively -- is making him feel a lot better.

Post-concussion syndrome sidelines Kariya

Saturday, 08.28.2010 / 11:41 AM / 2010 Offseason News

It's unknown if Paul Kariya will play another game in the NHL, but what's certain is it won't be this coming season.

Kariya's agent, Don Baizley, released a statement Friday that Kariya will not play during the 2010-11 season due to post-concussion syndrome. Kariya made the decision after being examined by concussion specialist Dr. Mark Lovell.

Concussion issues have plagued the 35-year-old forward in the past. He missed six games with the St. Louis Blues this past season due to one, and another kept him from participating in the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Report: Ducks' Lupul to miss start of season

Tuesday, 08.24.2010 / 11:55 AM / 2010 Offseason News

Anaheim Ducks forward Joffrey Lupul, who missed a significant portion of last season due to back surgery and a subsequent infection, is not expected to be ready for the start of this season, according to a TSN report.

The 26-year-old Lupul has been sidelined by a reoccurrence of a blood infection in his back. The discomfort has caused him to stop training for the time being.

"It's really frustrating," Lupul told the Orange County Register. "I haven't played hockey in a long time. I was hoping to be ready on day one of camp. But now my focus has changed. I want to get rid of this. I'm very confident I can get back playing and playing well."

Aaron Ward announces retirement

Tuesday, 08.24.2010 / 11:54 AM / 2010 Offseason News

Aaron Ward, a veteran defenseman of more than 13 NHL seasons, 17 seasons in professional hockey, and a three-time Stanley Cup winner, announced his retirement, the NHLPA announced Tuesday.

Ward underwent a third surgery on his knee after last season, and it was recently determined that he would not be ready for the start of the 2010-11 season.

The 37-year-old played in 839 career NHL games and recorded 44 goals, 107 assists and 151 points to go along with 736 penalty minutes. He spent the first five seasons of his career with the Detroit Red Wings (1996-2001), played in five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes over two stints (2001-2006, 2009-10) and played in three seasons with the Boston Bruins (2006-2009), as well as played in one season for both the New York Rangers (2006-07) and the Anaheim Ducks (2009-10). Ward was also part of three Stanley Cup teams, winning two championships in Detroit (1997, 1998) and one in Carolina (2006).

Thrashers sign 2005 Draft pick Zubarev

Tuesday, 08.24.2010 / 10:35 AM / 2010 Offseason News

The Atlanta Thrashers have signed defenseman Andrey Zubarev, the team's sixth-round selection (187th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, to a multiple-year contract, according to General Manager Rick Dudley.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Zubarev, 27, posted 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 55 games with HK Atlant of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in Russia last season.  He led team defensemen in goals, while ranking third in points and assists.  The 6-1, 205-pound defenseman also appeared in four post-season games with Atlanta.

Daly discusses Kovalchuk situation

Monday, 08.23.2010 / 11:50 PM / 2010 Offseason News

TORONTO -- Monday night at the Molson World Hockey Summit, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly admitted that League officials met that day with a contingent from the New Jersey Devils to discuss the Ilya Kovalchuk situation.

Despite reports to the contrary, no new contract was submitted to the League.
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