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Roster changes, draft have Sabres focused on future

Monday, 06.30.2014 / 4:29 PM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres' busy weekend at the 2014 NHL Draft signaled the unofficial start of the organization's rebuild.

The Sabres made nine picks at the draft highlighted by the selection of Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart with the No. 2 pick in the first round and Barrie Colts left wing Brendan Lemieux, the first pick of the second round. Those picks, as well as trades last season that subtracted Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, Ryan Miller, and Steve Ott from the roster and the compliance buyouts used on forward Ville Leino and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff means the team is being built virtually from the ground up.

"Last year was a tough year," Sabres general manager Tim Murray said. "Quite frankly, if you want me to sit here and go through player by player what I thought, it can't be pretty, right? The team was not very good. That's gone for me. This is a new beginning. This is my first full year. This is Teddy's [Nolan, coach] first full year.

"There was so much change last year. This is where we start off and try to lay down the right lessons. Are we going to be way better? I'm not saying that at all, but things will be way better. Expectations, how you play the game, how you carry yourself as a pro; those things have to get better."

Flames place defenseman O'Brien on waivers

Monday, 06.30.2014 / 3:52 PM / News

NHL.com

The Calgary Flames placed defenseman Shane O'Brien on waivers Monday with the intent of using their first compliance buyout on the remaining year of his contract.

O'Brien, 30, is due to make $2.2 million as part of a three-year, $6 million contract he signed with the Colorado Avalanche prior to the 2012-13 season. His cap hit for this season would be $2 million.

O'Brien had three assists and 58 penalty minutes in 45 games for the Flames last season. An eighth-round pick (No. 250) of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2003 NHL Draft, he has career totals of 13 goals, 91 points and 911 penalty minutes in 528 games with the Ducks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Nashville Predators, Avalanche and Flames.

Gorges not expecting to return to Canadiens

Monday, 06.30.2014 / 3:46 PM / News

NHL.com

Defenseman Josh Gorges told reporters Monday he does not expect to return to the Montreal Canadiens for the 2014-15 season, with a trade the most likely outcome.

"It's out of my hands whether I'll be back or not," Gorges told La Presse. "But it's my understanding it's not going to be the case."

He told the Montreal Gazette, "I want people to know that I never wanted to leave Montreal. In no way has this been my decision."

Gorges has four seasons left on his contract, which has an average annual value of $3.9 million.

The Gazette reported the Canadiens had a trade worked out that would have sent Gorges to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the Leafs are one of the teams Gorges listed in his contract that he could not be traded to without his permission.

NHL Network-U.S. to broadcast 2014 NHL Free Agency with full-day coverage on July 1

NHL Network-U.S., NHL.com to stream Sportsnet's live full-day coverage

Monday, 06.30.2014 / 3:45 PM / NHL Network

NHL.com

NEW YORK – NHL Network-U.S. will deliver seven hours of analysis of the opening of free agency on Tuesday, July 1 (12:00 p.m. ET), with streaming live coverage of Sportsnet's HOCKEY CENTRAL Signing Season, starting at 11:00 a.m. ET. This marks the first time Sportsnet's coverage will be available to viewers in the U.S., following the landmark Canadian rights deal between the National Hockey League and Rogers.

NHL Network-U.S. and Sportsnet 360 will chronicle the free-agency frenzy with HOCKEY CENTRAL Signing Season hosted by Daren Millard, Jeff Marek and Christine Simpson and featuring panelists and hockey insiders Nick Kypreos, Damien Cox, Elliotte Friedman, Doug MacLean, John Shannon, Scott Morrison, Chris Johnston, Greg Millen, Darren Pang and Billy Jaffe. The show will bring viewers the most up-to-date information on signings and trades as well as analysis of all 30 NHL® teams.

Ducks sign goalie Igor Bobkov to one-year contract

Monday, 06.30.2014 / 3:27 PM / News

NHL.com

Goaltender Igor Bobkov signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks on Monday. Financial terms of the contract were not released. He could have become a restricted free agent Tuesday.

Bobkov, 23, split the season between the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League and Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. In 29 AHL games he went 17-8-4 with a 2.04 goals-against average, .921 save percentage and two shutouts.

Devils' Volchenkov to get compliance buyout: report

Monday, 06.30.2014 / 12:43 PM / News

NHL.com

The New Jersey Devils placed defenseman Anton Volchenkov on waivers Monday with the intent of using their second compliance buyout on the remaining two years on his contract, according to multiple media reports.

Volchenkov, 32, is owed $4.25 million each of the next two seasons as part of a six-year contract he signed with the Devils prior to the 2010-11 season.

He had eight assists in 56 games last season. He led the Devils with 129 hits and was second with 91 blocked shots.

NHL announces 2014-15 schedule updates

Monday, 06.30.2014 / 12:42 PM / Schedule

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League today announced the following adjustments to the 2014-15 regular-season schedule:

Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning moves from April 7 to Monday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers moves from Oct. 17 to Thursday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. ET.

Maple Leafs prepare to buy out Gleason: reports

Monday, 06.30.2014 / 12:37 PM / News

NHL.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Tim Gleason on waivers Monday with the intent to buy out the remaining two years on his contract, according to multiple media reports.

Gleason, 31, has two more years remaining at an average annual value of $4 million on a four-year contract he signed with the Carolina Hurricanes.

This is not a compliance buyout; Toronto already used the two allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement on defenseman Mike Komisarek and forward Mikhail Grabovski following the 2012-13 season.

Jets, defenseman Pardy agree to one-year deal

Monday, 06.30.2014 / 12:12 PM / News

NHL.com

The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to terms with defenseman Adam Pardy on a one-year contract worth $700,000.

Pardy, 30, had six assists in 60 games last season for the Jets.

Mitchell, Salo among remaining UFA defensemen

Monday, 06.30.2014 / 10:00 AM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The market for defensemen eligible to become unrestricted free agents July 1 has looked thin on paper since the end of the season, and became even thinner when Andrei Markov was taken off the board earlier this week with a new three-year contract from the Montreal Canadiens.

However, teams shopping for defensemen should still be able to find a few gems, a couple of first-time UFAs still on the right side of 30 and several veterans who could fill in depth roles and play valuable minutes next season.

Matt Niskanen headlines the gems and likely will get a big payday based on how he played last season for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Anton Stralman could rival Niskanen for value if he continues to play the way he did for the New York Rangers this season.

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The old saying in hockey is 'weather the storm.' I put the notion in their heads that we don't want to weather the storm, we want to push just as hard and matched their work ethic. I thought our guys exceeded that in the first period.

— Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins after their loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday
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