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Blackhawks GM expects to extend Toews, Kane

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 1:26 PM / News

NHL.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said he has no doubt he will be able to re-sign forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to long-term contract extensions. He's just not sure when all the details will be hammered out and their signatures go on the legal documents.

Kane and Toews are entering the final year of their respective contracts and are eligible to sign extensions starting July 1. They each reportedly are seeking an eight-year contract worth $12 million per season.

"The discussions are ongoing and I don't want to get into that, but we're definitely going to get them re-signed," Bowman said Friday from the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. "It's a process you go through and it's been a great process. I've got a lot of respect for Pat Brisson, he's a top agent in the game, and we're working on it."

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Home cooking a theme for several first-round picks

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 11:13 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Dylan Larkin is going home.

A product of the United States National Team Development Program Under-18 in the United States Hockey League was born in Waterford, Mich., less than an hour away from Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound center was as surprised as anyone when the Red Wings opted to select him No. 15 in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center on Friday.

Larkin was one of several top prospects to be selected by a team with some sort of local tie.

"It's awesome to be picked by Detroit," Larkin said. "I grew up just north of Detroit and all my friends and family were Wings' fans. It's a great organization and I'm excited to now be a part of the team."

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Brodeur, Vokoun, Thomas among UFA goalies

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Ryan Miller and Jonas Hiller no doubt want to sign long-term, lucrative contracts, but history suggests they might have to settle for less than what they want.

The free-agent market hasn't been kind to goaltenders in recent years because there are so few openings and even fewer teams willing to commit significant dollars to the position when they might be in a rebuilding phase.

Jaroslav Halak is the exception because he got what he was looking for in a four-year contract with the New York Islanders last month. The Islanders, though, were one of maybe three teams that closed the 2013-14 season without a goalie under contract who has either proven to be a No. 1 or has been advertised as one.

The Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabres are the other two, but both are in the early stages of rebuilding programs and at least have goalies that are cheap, serviceable and potentially could turn into strong No. 1s in Karri Ramo (Flames), Michal Neuvirth (Sabres) and Jhonas Enroth (Sabres). There's no reason for either to dole out big contracts to iron out the position now.

Barring a trade, the Vancouver Canucks might be willing to give out a significant multi-year contract to a goalie. Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom are inexpensive, but also young and inexperienced. If the objective is to get back into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Canucks might decide to address the position.

Miller and Hiller could be options.

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Senators still looking to trade Jason Spezza

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 12:33 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

PHILADELPHIA – The first round of the 2014 NHL Draft came and went Friday with Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray unable to find a trade partner for captain Jason Spezza.

One of the components Murray was seeking in a deal for Spezza was a first-round draft pick. With that window now closed, the parameters of an acceptable deal will have to change, potentially making it more difficult to accommodate the request by his top center to be traded.

Murray said there was an initial group of four or five teams who expressed interest in acquiring Spezza, three of which he considered to be serious. But interest appeared to dry up rapidly on Friday.

"A couple of the teams that I was talking to didn't come with a presentation [Friday], for the most part," Murray said at the conclusion of the first round of the draft. "I talked to a number of general managers that initially called and talked, and it just didn't go anywhere."

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Forwards dominate first round of 2014 NHL Draft

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 12:32 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup playing an attacking offensive style, and that came after a regular season when the top seven teams in the NHL standings finished in the top seven in scoring.

The rest of the League appears to be playing catch-up. Friday, in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft, 11 of the first 13 players picked were highly skilled forwards.

Twenty-five forwards were taken in the 30-pick first round, the most in League history, surpassing the 23 drafted in 2003.

The forwards ranged from big and strong to small and skilled, but all are offensive-minded players who look to score goals and create offensive chances.

"I think it's where it's going," Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray said. "The day they took the red line out it was inevitable it has to go that way. ... I think you've seen it the last couple years, high-scoring forwards or offensive forwards have been a priority early in the draft."

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First-round picks in 2014 NHL Draft

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 12:14 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Here is a look at the first-round selections in the 2014 NHL Draft, picked Friday at Wells Fargo Center.

1. FLA  Aaron Ekblad, D, Barrie Colts (OHL)

The defenseman of the year in the OHL finished with 36 goals, 91 points and 118 penalty minutes in his third season with the Colts. The 6-foot-3, 216-pound right shot will join a strong young group of blueliners, including Mike Matheson, Ian McCoshen and Alex Petrovic. Ekblad was the first defenseman drafted No. 1 in eight years.

2. FLA  Sam Reinhart, C, Kootenay Ice (WHL)

From a family of a hockey-playing father and three brothers, the youngest finished fourth in the Western Hockey League with 105 points (36 goals, 69 assists) in 60 regular-season games. He has 101 goals, 254 points and a plus-52 rating in 203 regular-season games spanning three seasons.

3. FLA  Leon Draisaitl, C, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

Projected as a Jaromir Jagr-type performer, the 6-foot-1, 204 pound left shot had 38 goals, 105 points in 64 games. The Oilers needed to add a workhorse forward to skate alongside Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov.

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Penguins add Hornqvist, Spaling in trade for Neal

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 12:13 AM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Jim Rutherford has been talking about creating balance in the Pittsburgh Penguins' forward group since taking over as general manager earlier this month. The general manager thinks he took a long step toward accomplishing his goal Friday night.

Rutherford traded former 40-goal scorer James Neal to the Nashville Predators in exchange for forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling during the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center.

"I probably talked to about 15 teams; those calls were mostly initiated by them," Rutherford said. "I had a few offers. We like Hornqvist; he's an all-around player. We like Spaling; he can play all three positions."

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Sanheim pick continues Flyers' focus on defense

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 12:05 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Sean McCullen - NHL.com Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Travis Sanheim got his first taste of how loud Philadelphia Flyers fans can be Friday night, and he liked what he heard.

After the "Let's go Flyers!" chants had subsided, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall called Sanheim's name as the No. 17 pick at the 2014 NHL Draft, held at Wells Fargo Center for the first time.


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Analysis: Decisive GM good sign for Canucks

Friday, 06.27.2014 / 10:36 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning reshaped their roster and possibly the direction of the franchise in a span of a few hours with a series of trades Friday afternoon.

He did it for the benefit of the team, not to send any messages about what his tenure will be like.

"That didn't really come into my thinking," Benning said of any potential message sending.

The message was sent nonetheless. Before the 2014 NHL Draft began at Wells Fargo Center, Benning showed he will be in control and he will be decisive.

Benning made the biggest splash of the day when he traded center Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks and defenseman Jason Garrison to the Tampa Bay Lightning, bringing back center Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa and right wing Derek Dorsett. Perhaps as important, Benning acquired the 24th and 50th picks in the draft and freed up approximately $4 million in salary-cap space.

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Hat trick of firsts highlights opening round of draft

Friday, 06.27.2014 / 10:24 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- A hat trick of firsts took place in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center on Friday.

It began when Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon ended months of speculation by taking Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League, the first defenseman selected No. 1 at the draft in eight years. The Buffalo Sabres then made center Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice in the Western Hockey League the highest-drafted Reinhart in family history with the No. 2 choice.

The Edmonton Oilers kept the theme of firsts going when GM Craig MacTavish made center Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) the highest German-trained player selected at the draft with the No. 3 choice.


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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic