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Tuesday's news: Thrash sign first-rounder Burmistrov @NHLdotcom
It looks like Alex Burmistrov is in line to become the third consecutive first-round pick by the Atlanta Thrashers to make the team's opening night roster.

Burmistrov, the eighth pick in the Entry Draft this past June, signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Thrashers on Tuesday.

"Alex continuously improved throughout training camp and has earned the opportunity to compete at this level," GM Rick Dudley said. "He has worked hard, has a tremendous understanding of the game and fits in well. We look forward to his continued development and contributions to our success."

First-round picks Zach Bogosian (2008) and Evander Kane (2009) made the Thrashers' opening night roster in their first season after being drafted.

Earlier in the day, the Thrashers got down to 25 players on their roster by releasing forwards Patrick Rissmiller and Fredrik Pettersson, as well as defensemen Arturs Kulda and Andrey Zubarev. All four are scheduled to be sent to the Chicago Wolves, the Thrashers' AHL affiliate.

Canucks-Predators deal
-- Nashville acquired veteran defenseman Shane O'Brien and forward Dan Gendur from Vancouver in exchange for defenseman Ryan Parent and forward Jonas Andersson.

O'Brien, 27, played in 141 regular-season games for Vancouver over the past two seasons after being acquired from Tampa Bay, recording 2 goals, 18 points and 275 penalty minutes with a plus-21 rating. In 299 career games for the Ducks, Lightning and Canucks, O'Brien, an eighth-round pick by Anaheim in the 2003 Entry Draft, has 8 goals, 55 points and 605 penalty minutes.

Gendur, a seventh-round pick of the Canucks in 2007, has spent most of the past two seasons playing in the ECHL for Victoria and Johnstown.

Parent, 23, is a former first-round draft pick of the Predators. He has been Nashville property on two occasions without playing an NHL game for the team. Originally traded to Philadelphia as part of the Peter Forsberg deal, Parent has played in 102 career games, all for the Flyers, totaling 1 goal, 7 points and 36 penalty minutes. Andersson was drafted by the Predators in the second round in 1999 and played five games for the team in 2001-02, going scoreless. Now 29, he's spent most of the past six seasons playing in Sweden and Finland.

Wings put Maltby on waivers -- Forward Kirk Maltby's future with the team he helped to four Stanley Cups is up in the air. Maltby, who has been with the Wings since 1995-96, was placed on waivers and can be claimed by any other team. If nobody picks him up by noon Wednesday, he could be sent to Detroit's minor league team in Grand Rapids.

Maltby signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Wings last month.

"We'll talk tomorrow to see if he's going to Grand Rapids," general manager Ken Holland said. "I think he had a good camp, but we made the decision that we did. We'll see what happens by noon tomorrow."

Detroit also sent goalie Joey MacDonald and defenseman Doug Janik  to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. Twelve others were sent down on Sunday.

Islanders claim Grabner, waive Hilbert
-- The New York Islanders picked up 2006 first-rounder Michael Grabner on waivers from Florida and placed veteran forward Andy Hilbert on waivers.

Grabner, Vancouver's first-round pick (No. 14) four years ago, is a speedy winger with some offensive skill. He came to Florida in a Draft Night trade in June. Hilbert, who at 29 is six years older than Grabner, played three seasons for the Isles before signing with Minnesota last summer and spending most of the season with the Wild's AHL affiliate in Houston. He could be ticketed for the Islanders' AHL farm team in Bridgeport.

Vanek set for opening night
-- Vanek and goaltender Patrick Lalime returned to practice on Tuesday and are expected to be ready for Friday's season-opener at Ottawa. Vanek said he feels ready to play after skating for the first time since sustaining a head injury in a 5-3 preseason win at Montreal last week. Lalime has been bothered by a groin injury.

Penguins waive two -- Pittsburgh waived forward Ryan Craig and defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, both of whom were signed as free agents during the summer. They are expected to be sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL if they clear waivers. Craig had 32 goals in 184 games with Tampa Bay from 2005-10. Hutchinson appeared in 135 NHL games with Nashville, Carolina, Tampa Bay and Dallas before playing for Texas of the AHL last season.

Pittsburgh, which opens the new Consol Energy Center by hosting Philadelphia on Thursday, also sent forward Dustin Jaffray to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Sharks drop Lilja -- San Jose decided not to sign veteran defenseman Andreas Lilja, who had been in camp on a pro tryout. The Swedish defenseman traveled with the Sharks to Stockholm, where San Jose faces Columbus this weekend in their Compuware NHL Premiere series, but didn't practice with the team.

"He came in and had a very good camp," said coach Todd McLellan, who was an assistant in Detroit when Lilja played with the Wings. "He did everything he could to make the hockey club, but a couple of our younger players stepped up and played really well throughout training camp."

Ersberg is odd man out in L.A. -- Los Angeles opted not to go with three goaltenders and sent Erik Ersberg to Manchester of the AHL. That leaves starter Jonathan Quick and rookie Jonathan Bernier, the Kings' first-round pick in 2006, as the two goaltenders in L.A.

Ersberg was 4-3-2 in 11 appearances with the Kings last season. The 28-year-old Swede is 18-19-10 with a 2.55 goals-against average in 53 NHL games.

The Kings also sent forward Rich Clune to Manchester and signed 2009 seventh-rounder Jordan Nolan, a center, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Lightning add Ritola, drop four -- Tampa Bay dropped four players on Tuesday and claimed center Mattias Ritola from the Detroit Red Wings.

Ritola, a fourth-round pick by the Wings in 2005, will be rejoining Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, who left the Wings during the summer. Ritola played five games with Detroit last season and has made seven NHL appearances in all, earning an assist. He had 42 points in 73 games with AHL Grand Rapids last season.

The Lightning assigned forwards Chris Durno and Johan Harju, as well as goaltender Cedrick Desjardins to the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL. They released veteran forward Eric Perrin from his tryout contract.

Rangers waive White and Kennedy -- The Rangers got down to 25 players by placing centers Todd White and Tim Kennedy on waivers. GM Glen Sather said it was a strategic move in case the Rangers decided to pursue another player before opening night.

Both players will remain with the team if they're not claimed by noon ET on Wednesday, and either or both could still be with the Rangers when they open the season Saturday night in Buffalo.

Jackets put two on IR -- Columbus placed forwards Andrew Murray and Tomas Kana on injured reserve. Murray, who was injured Oct. 1 at Washington, will miss 2-3 weeks with a lower body injury. Kana, who was injured during practice on Sept. 19, will miss a week or two with a hand injury. Both players were placed on injured reserve retroactive to the dates they were injured.

Flames welcome Morrison, demote trio -- Calgary welcomes its newest arrival, veteran center Brendan Morrison, who signed on Monday.

"It feels good to come here," Morrison told media following his first practice as a Flame. "They've all been great to be on the first day. It's very exciting. (to be on the second line) I enjoy playing with guys who can shoot the puck. I can finish as well but have the tendency to pass first and it's always nice to play with guys that can score."

Calgary sent Cam Canning, Staffan Kronwall and Matt Pelech to the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League.

Avs' Hedjuk hopeful -- Veteran Milan Hedjuk returned to the ice and went through the majority of practice with the rest of his Avs. Hejduk, who had been kept off the ice in recent days due to a back injury, wore an orange non-contact jersey this morning.

When the 34-year-old forward spoke to the media after practice, he said that he's "feeling pretty good" and is optimistic about being in the lineup for Thursday's season opener against Chicago despite his recent back troubles.

Pietrangelo makes Blues -- Alex Pietrangelo and Tyson Strachan met with GM Doug Armstrong and coach Davis Payne and found out they'll be on the opening night roster. The decision ends arguably the most interesting aspect of training camp: the race for the final spots on the blue line.

Pietrangelo and Strachan battled with Ian Cole and Nathan Oystrick, but Oystrick was assigned to AHL Peoria on Monday and Cole was send down a day later.

"It's a relief (to know I'm staying), but it's only the start," said Pietrangelo, the fourth player chosen in the 2008 Entry Draft. "You have to keep going forward because you know there are guys trying to take your spot. I just have to keep playing good hockey and try to help the team win."

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