Sean Leahy

  • Niklas Backstrom's uncertain future and its affect on the Wild's cap

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 11 hrs ago

    When the Minnesota Wild made the Devan Dubnyk six-year extension official on Monday, it finally cemented — for now, at least — their goaltening, which has been a game of musical chairs for the past couple of seasons.

    Before Dubnyk, Niklas Backstrom was the rock in the Wild net, starting at least 45 games between 2007-08 and 2011-12. But injuries have kept him off the ice over the last few seasons, opening the door for a handful of contenders for the No. 1 job. 

    The latest injury for the 37-year old Backstrom has affected his right elbow, which caused nerve damage leaving him unable to use his right hand to help do simple everyday things like drive a car or use a phone.

    In an interview with MTV 3’s Timo Kunnari of Finland, Backstrom revealed he initially injured his arm during preseason and aggravated it in the spring.

    Here's part of the interview translated by Juha Hiitela and posted on the Star Tribune:

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  • Mikkel Boedker, Coyotes avoid arbitration, agree on 1-year, $3.75 million deal

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago

    Mikkel Boedker was one of 23 NHL players to file for arbitration on Sunday. And like many instances of a planned arbitration hearing, the forward and the Arizona Coyotes won’t need to sit down in a Toronto conference room to have a third-party decide on his new contract.

    On Tuesday, Boedker, who was a restricted free agent, and the Coyotes agreed to a one-year, $3.75 million deal, per the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan

    "We are pleased to sign Mikkel," said Coyotes GM Don Maloney in a statement. "He is an important player for us and we look forward to having him back next season.”

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  • NHL expansion process opens to sort out dreamers from serious applicants

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 16 hrs ago

    The NHL opened its expansion process on Monday, with interested parties able to submit bids to potentially become the league’s 31st and/or 32nd team. 

    Some of the markets we know will be submitting bids: Las Vegas, Quebec City, Seattle (which may possibly send in two bids), and Southern Ontario — at least, that’s what representatives have said on the record. 

    Not jumping into the expansion pool, as we discussed on Monday, is Kansas City, which has a shiny building, but no one willing to step up and help bring a team there at the moment.

    To get started in the bid process, there is $1 million application fee, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli. Only some of that is refundable. What won’t be refundable is the expansion fee which will likely start at $500 million should you be awarded a franchise. (That sound you heard was Bill Foley opening his check book for Las Vegas.)

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  • Stepan's future; moneypuck in Toronto; Jamaica hits the ice (Puck Headlines)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com.

    • Eichel Mania has begun in Buffalo. [Sabres]

    • RIP the bridge deal for young NHL stars. You will be missed. [Globe and Mail]

    • Ryan O’Reilly’s rich new deal with the Buffalo Sabres puts the New York Rangers in a tough spot with Derek Stepan. [NY Post

    • In a move that will likely earn them a future asset at the trade deadline, the Toronto Maple Leafs have inked Shawn Matthias to a one-year, $2.3 million deal. [Maple Leafs

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  • Ryan O'Reilly inks creative 7-year, $52.5 million extension with Sabres

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 4 days ago

    Ryan O’Reilly and the Buffalo Sabres have agreed to a seven-year, $52.5 million extension for the 24-year old forward. 

    The cap hit comes in at $7.5 million per year.

    O’Reilly, who spent the first six seasons of his NHL with the Colorado Avalanche, is another young piece acquired by Sabres GM Tim Murray. He’ll join 23-year old Evander Kane, who they traded for in February, 18-year old No. 2 overall pick Jack Eichel and 25-year old Tyler Ennis, who was extended last summer. 

    The makeup of the extension is interesting. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, all seven years come with a $1 million salary and the rest coming via signing bonuses. So O’Reilly protects himself from escrow and with all the bonus money, a buyout, sort of like what we saw with David Clarkson’s deal with the Maple Leafs.

    That sound you just heard was Steven Stamkos laughing as he envisions the giant pile of money he’ll receive once he signs his extension.

  • Blues re-sign Jake Allen, stick with 1A-1B tandem in goal

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 4 days ago

    The St. Louis Blues have solidfied their net for next season, inking goaltender Jake Allen to a two-year, $4.7 million extension on Friday,according to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch.

    The 24-year old Allen, a two-time NHL All-Rookie Team netminder, was a restricted free agent as of Wednesday and sees a nice raise from the $850,000 he made in 2014-15.

    This now means that both Allen and 1B goaltender Brian Elliott are on two-year deals. 

    Allen played well down the stretch for the Blues, allowing two goals or less in 12 of the final 13 regular season games, but couldn’t help lead them past the Minnesota Wild in the first round. GM Doug Armstrong obviously feels confident in the 1A/1B setup, hoping both can continue pushing one another and find success. But the two-year term also allows some flexibility if the plan falls apart.

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  • Jonathan Toews gets ultimate honor of having beer named after him

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 4 days ago

    He has three Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals, one Conn Smythe Trophy, alake named after him and, of course, one Mark Messier Leadership Award. But one achievement Jonathan Toews had yet to earn? Having a beer named after him.

    Enter Tinley Park, Il.-based Hailstorm Brewing Company who earlier this week introduced a brew in honor of the Chicago Blackhawks captain. 

    Welcome, Captain Serious #19 Pale Ale:

    According to I Heart Beer, the brew is “a dry, hoppy, west coast style pale ale brewed with Simcoe, Mosaic, and Galaxy hops. It’s 45 IBU and 5.6% ABV.”

    That all sounds pretty great for the captain, who enjoyed himself a beer or a few during the Blackhawks’ previous two Cups of this era.

    Hailstorm is hoping that this will help lure Toews to the brewery with a special guest, the Stanley Cup, tagging along.

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  • Antoine Vermette makes 'easy adjustment' in return to Coyotes

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 5 days ago

    After the Arizona Coyotes’ 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins back on Feb. 28, Antoine Vermette held an emotional post-game scrum. The NHL trade deadline was less than 48 hours away and the pending unrestricted free agent knew he would be traded. 

    Not long before the Coyotes boarded the team plane that night, Vermette was on his way to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a first-round pick and prospect Klas Dahlback. A little over two months later, he was a Stanley Cup champion. 

    But the fit in Arizona was too good to say goodbye to forever, and on the opening day of free agency, Vermette inked a two-year, $7.5 million deal to return to the Coyotes. 

    “I was leaving without any expectations. All along through that process, right to the end, I didn’t want to put any kind of pressure on that side,” Vermette said about the March trade. “Right away I didn’t know [whether he'd return]. I knew I was leaving. I knew I could potentially not come back. I wasn’t really thinking about it.”

    Vermette, who spent parts of four seasons in Arizona before the trade to Chicago, returns a champion, a big attribute Maloney is excited about.

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  • Sensible July 1 deals; free agent fallout; 'Moose' heads to San Jose (Puck Headlines)

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 5 days ago

    Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com.  

    Two of the newest jerseys in the @NHL Store here in NYC. @BlueJacketsNHL @LAKings #Saad #Lucic. pic.twitter.com/vSe2H6Nu4M

    • That’s a nice shiny, brand new Brandon Saad Blue Jackets jersey. Better act now before the unsigned restricted free agent gets offer-sheeted by another NHL team. [@MearsyNHL]

    • The opening of free agency saw a lot of sensible deals. What gives? Are GMs getting smarter? [Sporting News]

  • Panthers acquire Reilly Smith, contract of Marc Savard from Bruins for Jimmy Hayes

    Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy 6 days ago

    Chris Pronger isn’t the only inactive NHL player to be switching teams this summer. Marc Savard, or more accurately, Marc Savard’s contract has been dealt to the Florida Panthers along with Reilly Smith from the Boston Bruins in exchange for current restricted free agent Jimmy Hayes.

    Florida had been in on the discussion for Pronger’s $4,941,429 cap hit during the NHL Draft, but instead they’ll add Savard’s $4,027,143 number to help keep them well beyond the salary cap floor. The key for the Panthers is that Savard is only owed $575,000 in salary in each of the next two seasons. 

    Savard suffered two concussions nine months apart and has not played in the NHL since February of 2011.

    "We have a lot of cap space. It made sense,” said Panthers GM Dale Tallon. “They probably wouldn't have done the deal otherwise."

    The move was a precursor to the Bruins signing forward Matt Beleskey to a reasonable five-year, $19 million deal. 

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