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Oilers' offseason moves caught Sekera's attention

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 3:34 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- A few months ago, Andrej Sekera may not have considered the Edmonton Oilers as a possible free-agent destination. But the bounce of a lottery ball, a change in management and a new coach suddenly made Edmonton appealing to the veteran defenseman.

Sekera, 29, signed a six-year, $33 million contract with the Oilers on the first day of NHL free agency Wednesday.

"I looked at the roster and I saw the team they had, the coach and the management," Sekera said. "When I saw what kind of players they had there, it made my choice very easy. They have a lot of skill, a lot of speed and a lot of smart players. They have a good coach, a good GM and a good goalie. It was a good place for me to play with my style of hockey, so that's why I chose Edmonton."

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Blues agree to terms with defenseman Bortuzzo

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 3:24 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

StLouisBlues.com

ST. LOUIS - The Blues have agreed to terms on a new contract with defenseman Robert Bortuzzo.

Contract terms were not yet available.

Bortuzzo was traded to the Blues in a deadline day trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 2. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound defenseman played in 13 games with the Blues last season, scoring one goal and one assist.

To read more from the Blues website, CLICK HERE.

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Martin St. Louis announces retirement from NHL

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 3:11 PM / News

NHL.com

Martin St. Louis on Thursday announced his retirement from the NHL after 16 seasons.

St. Louis, who turned 40 on June 18, had 21 goals and 54 points in 74 games with the New York Rangers last season.

"I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride," St. Louis said in a statement released by the Rangers. "I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years.

"I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents."

St. Louis had 391 goals and 1,033 points in 1,134 regular-season games. Prior to spending the past season-plus with the Rangers, St. Louis played parts of 13 seasons with the Lightning (2000-2014) and 69 games with the Calgary Flames (1998-2000).

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Williams wants to help Capitals get over playoff hump

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 2:38 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

It was a month ago when Justin Williams' 6-year-old son Jaxon told him if he wasn't going to play for the Los Angeles Kings anymore he should go play with Alex Ovechkin.

Daddy listened, and granted Jaxon's wish Thursday by signing a two-year, $6.5 million contract with the Washington Capitals.

"I know my son's happy," Williams said Friday. "He woke up this morning and said, 'Daddy, where are we playing?' I told him Washington and he was all smiles. That passed the test. I'm happy about that."

Williams passed the test for the Capitals too.

Washington general manager Brian MacLellan said he thinks Williams, a three-time Stanley Cup champion and Conn Smythe Trophy winner in 2014, should be a perfect fit for the Capitals on the ice and in the dressing room.

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Canucks fire assistant GMs, player personnel director

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 1:34 PM / News

VancouverCanucks.com

Vancouver, BCVancouver Canucks President of Hockey Operations, Trevor Linden announced today that the club has relieved Vice President, Hockey Operations and Assistant General Manager, Laurence Gilman, Assistant General Manager, Lorne Henning and Director, Player Personnel, Eric Crawford of their duties.

"On behalf of our entire organization I would like to sincerely thank Laurence, Lorne and Eric for their commitment and dedication to the Vancouver Canucks," said Trevor Linden. "They have been important members of our staff for a long time and made significant contributions to the success of this team. Further still, they are great people and respected members of the hockey community."

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Sharks add Boughner, Hedberg to coaching staff

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 1:23 PM / News

SanJoseSharks.com

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson and Head Coach Peter DeBoer announced today that Bob Boughner will serve as an assistant coach on DeBoer's staff. In addition, Johan Hedberg has been named assistant coach/goaltending coach.

Boughner, 44, joins San Jose after spending the past four seasons as the head coach of the Windsor Spitfires (OHL). The native of Windsor, Ontario, re-joined the Spitfires coaching staff after a stint as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010-11, seeing Columbus post a record of 34-35-13.

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Moore aims to realize offensive potential with Devils

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 12:44 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Growing up, defenseman John Moore was always enamored with the way Scott Niedermayer could skate with the puck and generate scoring opportunities with regularity.

He modeled his game after the Hockey Hall of Fame member and after five NHL seasons is considered by many to be an offensive-type defenseman in his own right. Now, he's looking forward to playing for the New Jersey Devils, the team that drafted Niedermayer.

Devils general manager Ray Shero signed Moore to a three-year contract Wednesday worth a reported $5 million. The contract carries an annual salary-cap hit of $1.67 million.

"Scott Niedermayer's skating ability was outstanding and that's something I think I bring to the table," Moore said. "Obviously, it's pretty tough to replicate the success [Niedermayer] had, but even now you pull up old video clips and see the way he used that skating ability and his feet to an advantage to be effective defensively and offensively.

"It'll be exciting to be playing for the same organization [Niedermayer played] and look up to the rafters and see his jersey number right there."

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Flyers plan to keep Gagner, may move him to wing

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 12:28 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall wasn't very active the first day of NHL free agency Wednesday, because of salary-cap constraints and by choice.

Although help on the wings and more mobility on defense are offseason needs, the Flyers' only significant signing was backup goaltender Michal Neuvirth. Terms weren't released, but Sportsnet reported the two-year contract will pay Neuvirth $1.5 million in 2015-16 and $1.75 million in 2016-17.

The Flyers have about $5 million left under the $71.4 million NHL salary cap, according to war-on-ice.com, and that doesn't include a contract for restricted free agent defenseman Michael Del Zotto.

The only new forward is Sam Gagner, acquired from the Arizona Coyotes on June 27 in a trade for defenseman Nicklas Grossmann and the contract of defenseman Chris Pronger.

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Red Wings could retire No. 91 for Sergei Fedorov

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 12:26 PM / News

Paul Harris - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings will consider retiring the No. 91 worn by forward Sergei Fedorov, general manager Ken Holland said Thursday.

Fedorov, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2015, scored 400 of his 483 NHL goals and 954 of his 1,179 points with the Red Wings. He helped them win the Stanley Cup three times and won a Hart Trophy, Lester Pearson (now Ted Lindsay) Award and two Selke Trophies.

"At the appropriate time I'll weigh in, we'll talk about whether his number should go in the rafters or not," Holland said, mentioning input in the decision would come from owners Mike Ilitch and Marian Ilitch and senior vice president Jimmy Devellano. "But certainly, being selected to go in the Hall of Fame is an incredible accomplishment. He was a great player and a great Red Wing. Certainly worth serious consideration."

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Green, Richards give Red Wings coach more flexibility

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 12:04 PM / NHL Insider

Paul Harris - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Coach Jeff Blashill says the signings of defenseman Mike Green and center Brad Richards provide the Detroit Red Wings with more flexibility.

"I think, in a lot of ways, they give us more options," Blashill said Thursday. "We think they fit in with our team and bring some unique skills."

The Red Wings signed Green to a three-year contract and Richards to a one-year contract Wednesday, the first day of NHL free agency. Green's contract is worth $18 million, and Richards is guaranteed $3 million for the 2015-16 season but could make $4 million with bonuses, according to TSN.

Blashill is going into his first season as Red Wings coach after replacing Mike Babcock, who left Detroit after 10 seasons to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Quote of the Day

I definitely think going back down helped me, I had a lot of confidence down there, I played a lot of minutes and I think that helped me a lot. With the 37 games up here, that gave me experience as well. I know what it takes to play in the NHL and now it's time for me to show that I'm capable of being a full-time NHL player.

— Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on finishing the 2014-15 season in juniors after playing 37 games with Edmonton to begin the season