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Kapanen, Harrington add to Maple Leafs' young cadre

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 6:30 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to add youth and skill to their roster with the additions Wednesday of forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Nick Spaling and defenseman Scott Harrington from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Phil Kessel trade.

Kapanen, whose father Sami Kapanen played 831 NHL games scoring 189 goals and 458 points, is another young player the Maple Leafs hope will develop into a top-six forward.

"He's one of the youngest players that was drafted two years ago," Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said. "He came over this year and played a little bit in the [American Hockey League]. He's a talented guy; a top-six forward, we are hoping. I think he adds to another group of players that we have in our stable, that with a lot of work and a lot of patience and some development, we hope he can become a very productive Leaf at some point."

Shanahan continues shakeup of Maple Leafs' core

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 6:20 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs' new direction continued Wednesday with the trade of veteran right wing Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Kessel has led the Maple Leafs in scoring the past six seasons, but was traded along with minor-league center Tyler Biggs, defenseman Tim Erixon and a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft for forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Nick Spaling, defenseman Scott Harrington and a first- and third-round draft pick in 2016.

Having not yet hired a general manager, Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan orchestrated the trade, which he said started at the draft last week in Florida.

"I had said at the end of the season there were going to be changes," Shanahan said. "For whatever reason we had a lot of talented individuals on this team, but as a group, the core group, it hadn't worked. This is about winning. Phil is certainly a very talented player and we knew changes had to come."

Gorton named Rangers GM; Sather remains president

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 5:57 PM / News

Jeff Gorton was named general manager of the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

Gorton, who has spent eight seasons in the Rangers front office, including the past four as assistant general manager, succeeds Glen Sather, who will remain as team president.

"We're going to work together, I don't plan to work as a one-man team," Gorton told "I think we've had success as a team because of the people here. I'm going to use Glen as much as I can. He's going to be a part of it. To have somebody like Glen in our corner, and to be able to bounce things off of, and talk to what we are thinking, that's obviously a benefit to me and everybody else here."

Predators sign Ribeiro, Hodgson, Jackman

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 5:36 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Robby Stanley - Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators general manager David Poile had a clear plan heading into free agency Wednesday, but that plan hinged on whether impending free agent center Mike Ribeiro would re-sign with the Predators.

Ribeiro signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Predators a little more than an hour before free agency began. He had 15 goals and 62 points last season and finished second on the Predators in scoring behind rookie forward Filip Forsberg. Poile was thrilled to get the contract with Ribeiro done and have his first-line center back for next season.

"I met with Mike [Wednesday] morning and certainly reinforced to him the importance of his being a good citizen in the community, and Mike is certainly committed to our team and to his family," Poile said. "He really appreciates us showing confidence in him as a hockey player and as a person."

Maple Leafs add Hunwick, Parenteau, Arcobello

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 5:12 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed defenseman Matt Hunwick to a two-year contract, and forwards PA ParenteauMark Arcobello to one-year contracts Wednesday. They also re-signed forward Richard Panik to a one-year contract.

Hunwick, 30, had 11 points (two goals, nine assists) and 16 penalty minutes in 55 games for the New York Rangers last season, and was scoreless in six games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has played in 347 NHL regular-season games and has 78 points (18 goals, 60 assists) along with 132 penalty minutes. Sportsnet reported his contract is worth $2.4 million, an average annual value of $1.2 million.

Sharks fill two important needs with Martin, Jones

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 4:53 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson talked about patience and how there still was plenty of time to build a roster for next season as he left the 2015 NHL Draft on Saturday without the goaltender or defenseman he was seeking.

Four days later, he has both.

The Sharks signed 34-year-old defenseman Paul Martin to a four-year contract Wednesday. Financial terms were not released, but TSN reported the contract has an average annual value of $4.85 million.

Martin's signing came less than 24 hours after the Sharks acquired and signed 25-year-old goalie Martin Jones to be their No. 1 goalie

Coyotes sign forward Downie to one-year contract

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 4:29 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

GLENDALE, ARIZONAArizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have signed forward Steve Downie to a one-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The 28-year-old Downie totaled 14-14-28 and 238 penalty minutes (PIM) in 72 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. He also added 0-2-2 and four PIM in five postseason contests.

The 5-foot-11, 191-pound native of Newmarket, ON has recorded 73-117-190 and 1,004 PIM in 408 career NHL games with the Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Stars sign forward McKenzie to two-year contract

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 4:20 PM / News

The Dallas Stars have signed left wing Curtis McKenzie to a two-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

McKenzie, 24, made his National Hockey League debut in 2014-15, scoring four goals and posting five points with 48 penalty minutes in 36 games with Dallas. The forward also registered 21 points and 46 penalty minutes in 31 AHL regular-season games with the Texas Stars. He also appeared in three games in the Calder Cup Playoff, registering two points.

To read more from the Stars website, CLICK HERE.

Analysis: Kessel trade begins Maple Leafs' rebuild

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 4:07 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Brendan Shanahan made his first major mark on the Toronto Maple Leafs roster on Wednesday, opening the door to the long-term, sometimes painful rebuild he knows the franchise needs to go through in order to once again become relevant in the chase for the Stanley Cup.

After spending months wielding his power mostly to build Toronto's front office and coaching staff, Shanahan, the Maple Leafs president, went to work on his roster rebuild by trading forward Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In trading Kessel, Shanahan opened $6.8 million in salary-cap space for the next seven seasons. The Maple Leafs retained 15 percent ($1.2 million) of Kessel's $8 million cap charge.

Kessel was the best trade chip Shanahan could play to start his rebuild if Toronto does not want to be in a win-now frame of mind, even after bringing in Mike Babcock as coach.

Blackhawks agree to terms with forward Tikhonov

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 3:50 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Forward Viktor Tikhonov agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. Financial terms were undisclosed, but Sportsnet reported Tikhonov will receive $1.04 million.

Tikhonov, 27, had eight goals and 24 points in 49 games with SKA St. Petersburg in the Kontinental Hockey League last season. He also had three points in 10 games to help Russia win the silver medal at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.

Selected by the Arizona Coyotes with the 28th pick of the 2008 NHL Draft, Tikhonov had eight goals and 16 points as a rookie in 2008-09. He spent most of the next two seasons in the American Hockey League, and has been in the KHL since the 2011-12 season.

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Quote of the Day

It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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