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Hurricanes agree to terms with defenseman Jordan

Thursday, 06.18.2015 / 11:43 AM / News

RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Michal Jordan on a one-year contract. The deal will pay Jordan $625,000 for the 2015-16 season.

"Michal took great strides last season, and continued that progress when he represented his home country as it hosted the World Championship," said Francis. "He's still a young defenseman, and we expect him to continue to improve going forward."

Jordan, 24, established NHL career highs in games played (38), goals (2), assists (4) and points (6) during the 2014-15 season with Carolina. The Zlin, Czech Republic native ranked sixth on the team with 61 blocked shots in just 38 games. He also appeared in 30 games on the American Hockey League (AHL) level with Charlotte, totaling 11 points.

To read more from the Hurricanes website, CLICK HERE.

Penguins hire Sullivan as AHL coach

Thursday, 06.18.2015 / 10:18 AM / News

Mike Sullivan has been named coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, it was announced today by associate general manager Jason Botterill.

Sullivan, 47, has 13 years of coaching experience at the National Hockey League (NHL), American Hockey League (AHL) and international levels. He served two seasons as the Boston Bruins head coach from 2003-06. Sullivan also spent 11 years as an NHL player with four different clubs from 1991-2002, appearing in over 700 games.

"We are thrilled to welcome Mike to the Penguins' organization," said Botterill. "Mike adds a wealth of experience thanks to his many successful years coaching in the NHL and AHL, and with USA Hockey. We believe he will do a great job developing our prospects to prepare them for the jump to the NHL."

Jets agree to terms with defenseman Chiarot

Thursday, 06.18.2015 / 10:04 AM / News

The Winnipeg Jets are pleased to announce they have agreed to terms with restricted free agent defenseman Ben Chiarot on a new two-year contract worth an AAV of $850,000.

Chiarot, 24, played 40 games last season after being recalled from St. John’s on Dec. 3, 2014. Chiarot recorded his first NHL point on Dec. 5, 2014 against Colorado and his first NHL goal on Jan. 3, 2015 against Toronto. He finished the season with two goals and six assists. The Hamilton, ON native spent 16 games on injured reserve with before returning to the lineup for the team’s last four regular season games.

Chiarot was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the fourth round, 120th overall at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

To read more from the Winnipeg Jets website, CLICK HERE.

Juulsen's late-season play earned scouts' attention

Thursday, 06.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Joe Yerdon - Correspondent

Thanks in part to strong late-season play, defenseman Noah Juulsen of the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League could be a first-round pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, which will be held June 26-27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

In the NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings Juulsen was No. 38 among North American skaters. In the final rankings he jumped 16 spots to No. 22. That climb up the charts was an attention-grabber, as was the strong late-season play that got him that recognition.

"He had a year where he creeped up and got better as the year went on and made us put him in our first round with the second half that he had," NHL Central Scouting's David Gregory said. "That kind of trending is a nice thing as well. You want someone that has games that were important, and these were important games for draft-eligible kids all year-round. He didn't let that put pressure on him and affect his game the wrong way; it actually helped his game and made him a better player."

Hanifin, Werenski among top defensemen for '15 draft

Thursday, 06.18.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

For the first time in 24 years, two college defensemen could be drafted among the top 10 picks of the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft on June 26 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

The probable candidates are Noah Hanifin of Boston College and Zachary Werenski of the University of Michigan. The previous time it happened was 1991, when Boston University's Scott Lachance went No. 4 to the New York Islanders and the University of Michigan's Aaron Ward went one pick later to the Winnipeg Jets.

The last time as many as two college defensemen were selected at any point in the first round was 2002, when Boston University's Ryan Whitney went No. 5 to the Pittsburgh Penguins and the University of Minnesota's Keith Ballard went No. 11 to the Buffalo Sabres.

Hanifin (6-foot-3, 203 pounds), No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 draft, has been projected as the best defenseman on the board since the start of the season. Werenski (6-2, 206), No. 9 on Central Scouting's final ranking, was named to the All-Big Ten Hockey First Team, and the All-Big Ten Freshman Team.

There are differences between the two college standouts.

Timonen likely to work for Flyers after retiring: report

Wednesday, 06.17.2015 / 8:24 PM / News

Kimmo Timonen said he would like to work for the Philadelphia Flyers after winning the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in his final season.

"That might be something," Timonen told CSN Philly on Wednesday. "Obviously, I'm going to move back to Philly and stay there for a couple of more years, at least. Obviously, the Flyers have a special place in my heart. I had a great eight years there, and they have a really great organization.

"So if we can find something that can benefit both sides, obviously, I would be interested. I'll talk to [Flyers general manager Ron Hextall] when I get home and see what happens. I have no plans, really. I'm going to take my time. It's been a crazy 25, 30 years, so I want to take my time and really see what my next move [is]."

Lightning look ahead after painful loss in Cup Final

Wednesday, 06.17.2015 / 8:04 PM / News

Corey Long - Correspondent

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning's season ended with a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. But it was a 2-1, Game 1 loss, when the Lightning couldn't hold the lead late in the third period, that bothers them the most.

"I keep going back to the first game and how we lost that lead late," defenseman Anton Stralman said Wednesday, when the Lightning cleaned out their lockers at Amalie Arena. "We played a good game and then we kind of sat back and let them take over. That one stunned us."

The Game 1 loss, which the Lightning led 1-0 with less than seven minutes left before the Blackhawks scored twice in a span of 1:58, was also a point of frustration for forward Brian Boyle at the time. But he said Wednesday the Lightning shouldn't have any regrets about their effort in the Cup Final.

Blackhawks GM Bowman confident Saad will re-sign

Wednesday, 06.17.2015 / 7:09 PM / News

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Brandon Saad wants to stay with the Chicago Blackhawks, and general manager Stan Bowman is intent on making it happen.

Saad, who can become a restricted free agent July 1, did nothing but reinforce his standing as an integral part of the Blackhawks' success throughout the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The 22-year-old forward scored eight goals, including two in the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and was strong defensively playing on the top two lines.

"He's grown as a player," Bowman said Wednesday. "We want him to continue to grow and take a bigger role next year. We've seen him emerge over the last couple of seasons. He's just starting to grow into a big role on our team, and that's going to continue for many years to come. We'll work that out."

Sharp among candidates to be moved by Blackhawks

Wednesday, 06.17.2015 / 6:31 PM / News

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Forward Patrick Sharp is trying not to think about whether he'll be back to help the Chicago Blackhawks defend their Stanley Cup championship.

Sharp, 33, has a $5.9 million NHL salary-cap charge in 2015-16 and could be the biggest name moved by Chicago during the offseason to create space under the payroll limit. He said Wednesday he's trying to avoid that talk for as long as possible.

"I haven't really put much thought into it," said Sharp, who's been with the Blackhawks since December 2005 and was a member of all three of their Stanley Cup championship teams during the past six seasons. "It's been a whirlwind couple days. To win a third Stanley Cup in this city is something that I'll always remember. It's pretty special. It's a huge accomplishment and these last couple days have been crazy. I'm sure the next few days, when things wind down a little bit, that will be more of a topic of conversation."

Other possible candidates to be moved are forwards Bryan Bickell ($4 million cap charge) and Kris Versteeg, whose $4.4 million cap charge is being split evenly between the Blackhawks and Florida Panthers ($2.2 million each).

Stamkos contract is Lightning's top offseason priority

Wednesday, 06.17.2015 / 6:20 PM / News

Corey Long - Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said Wednesday his top priority during the offseason will be to sign captain Steven Stamkos to a contract extension.

Stamkos, 25, was the first pick of the 2008 NHL Draft and has been the face of the Lightning since forward Martin St. Louis was traded to the New York Rangers last season.

The 2015-16 season will be the final one of Stamkos' contract, and if unsigned he would become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2016. The soonest the sides can discuss a contract is July 1.

"He is our No. 1 priority," Yzerman said. "We've got some other restricted free agents and other contracts we have to do, but that's the No. 1 priority."

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