- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy20 mins ago
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Moments after the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Auston Matthews with the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, the Montreal Canadiens added to the excitement by making a pair of deals.
Along with acquiring Andrew Shaw from the Chicago Blackhawks, GM Marc Bergevin dealt away Lars Eller to the Washington Capitals for second-round picks in 2017 and 2018.
Eller is signed for the next two seasons and carries a $3.5 million cap hit.
Capitals GM Brian MacLellan has now delivered yet again on an off-season promise. Two years ago he wanted to improve his defense so he went out and signed Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen. Last summer, he wanted to upgrade at right wing so he picked up T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy31 mins ago
BUFFALO, NY – The cap purge continues for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Forward Andrew Shaw, a pending restricted free agent, was traded in the first moments of the NHL Draft on Friday night to the Montreal Canadiens, who traded two second-round picks in 2016 (including one that was owned by the Minnesota Wild previously). They’re Nos. 39 and 45 overall.
Shaw, 24, played 322 games for the Blackhawks and scored 137 points, playing a vital role on their 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup teams. His physical play and presence around the net will be missed.
But in the grand tradition of Blackhawks postseason purges, his ask proved too rich for them. Shaw was looking for around $4.5 million against the cap. To pay him would be to say goodbye to Marcus Kruger, according to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Hawks seemingly didn’t want to do that.
So Shaw is now Canadiens property, and the Blackhawks get some cap breathing room. Question is, for what?
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
There is little drama surrounding the top three picks as the NHL Draft opens up Friday with Round 1. Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi are expected to go to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blues Jackets, respectively, to kick things off.
After that? Your guess is as good as ours.
While you're keeping up with the action, your friends at Puck Daddy are back with another drinking game to improve your NHL Draft experience.
Here's what you should look for today and tomorrow to help increase your beverage-to-hand ratio.
• Each time a team thanks the city of Buffalo for their hospitality.
• Each time a team congratulates the Pittsburgh Penguins for winning the Stanley Cup.
• Each time a team gives a shout out to their fans "back home at our Draft party".
• When the bloodlines of a draftee are brought up. (And it will happen a lot this weekend.)
• A conversation between two general managers is shown, upping the speculation.
• A player hugs or kisses one of his parents after being selected.
• Any team, GM or player is booed.
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
The future is now for the NHL’s top prospects, as the 2016 NHL Draft has arrived. And with it, of course, two days of crazy trade rumors and innuendo.
The Puck Daddy NHL Draft Chatterbox is your place for insight and news-breaking from the top insiders in the NHL media.
Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski, Sean Leahy, Josh Cooper and Ryan Lambert are on-site for the one-the-ground news and views from the draft floor.
Check here throughout the night for the best news feed you’ll find on NHL Draft night!
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
Sandwiches. Sweet, wonderful sandwiches.
What you put on your sandwich tells us a lot about you. It’s a window into your soul, through your mouth.
So what have we learned about some of the top prospects in the NHL Draft now that we’ve heard what, in fact, they like on their sandwiches? Of those prospects who like sandwiches, that is.
Here are Patrik Laine, Matthew Tkachuk,Olli Juolevi, Logan Brown and Jakob Chychrun what would be on their signature sandwiches. Interviews were conducted in Buffalo at the NHL Draft.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
The Minnesota Wild have bought out the contract of Thomas Vanek, which should open up a large amount of salary cap space for the team.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo first reported the news of the Wild’s decision.
According to General Fanager, Vanek’s buyout salary cap hit for next season comes to $1.5 million, which gives the team $5 million in savings over the next year from Vanek’s $6.5 million contract.
The following year, Vanek’s buyout cap hit will escalate to $2.5 million.
“It was a dream of mine to come back to the State of Hockey and I got to fulfill that, but obviously not the way I hoped," Vanek told Russo. "I think I can score 25, 30 goals in the right situation. As disappointing as it is ... the focus is to find the right fit."
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
BUFFALO, NY – One of the more important games in Toronto Maple Leafs history, as far as myth-building goes, didn’t actually involve the Maple Leafs.
Or maybe it did. Auston Matthews honestly can’t remember.
Matthews was maybe two or three years old the first time he went to a Phoenix Coyotes game, likely in the 1999-2000 season. “I don't really remember much,” the presumptive No. 1 pick said on the Buffalo waterfront, on the eve of the NHL Draft. “I was so young. I just remember it being extremely loud. I don't really remember who they were playing or what the score was, but I just found it very intriguing, just watching it. I started playing a couple years later and just fell in love with it.”
The rest, of course, we know. He dominated the sport basically everywhere he played, such was his work ethic and overwhelming talent. But growing up in Scottsdale, Ariz., one can easily understand that there wasn't exactly a lot of opportunity to play against his peers. So he played pickup games against just about anyone he could, including players a few years older than him, just to get the ice time.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Logan Brown believes it’s unfair to criticize him for not being overly physical or a big, bruising power forward type despite his 6’6, 220 lbs. frame.
“I take a little bit of offense to that. I’m 6’6 and a half, I’m not going to throw on a lot of muscle,” Brown said. “I might not have the legs that the little 5’9 waterbugs have, they’re flying around out there. They don’t get tired. I’m a big guy. It’s just going to take a little bit of time for me to get my legs under me.”
Brown hit the gym more during the second half of this past season with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. The extra time there worked as the centerman ended the year second in scoring on the team with 21 goals and 74 points. The workouts have extended in the off-season after he hooked up with Ottawa Senators strength coach Chris Schwarz.
“I really realized the effect that it has on my game and the way that it helps me,” he said.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
Keith Yandle had planned to go to July 1 and see where he stacked up in the unrestricted free agent market. It was going to be tough for the salary cap strapped New York Rangers to re-sign him and Yandle was curious to find out which teams wanted his services.
Then at the beginning of this week the Florida Panthers swooped in and acquired his negotiating rightsand Yandle’s outlook changed.
On Friday the team announced it had signed Yandle four seven years at $44.5 million. This came to a salary cap hit of around $6.35 million per-year. The hope is Yandle adds a puck-moving element to the team’s blueline and helps its power play.
Yandle’s prior contract was for $26.25 million over the span of five years.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Jakob Chychrun is at peace with the fact that he may not be taken where he believes he should go in this weekend’s NHL Draft.
A projected first-round pick, the 6-2, 205 lbs. defenseman slipped from the No. 2 to No. 4 North American skater in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings. A knock like that used to bother Chychrun, but not any more.
After undergoing shoulder surgery at the end of his first OHL season in 2014-15, Chychrun bounced back with 11 goals and 49 points in 62 games, helping the Sarnia Sting to a division title.
Chychrun enters this year’s NHL Draft with a hockey pedigree. His dad, Jeff, played 262 games in the league. His uncle, Luke Richardson, racked up 1,417 games in The Show. His best friend’s father, Jeff Brown, suited up 747 times with seven NHL teams.
It’s safe to say Chychrun is fully prepared to make this transition from junior hockey to pro with all the resources he’s been surrounded with. It also helps that his dad was a fellow bruising defenseman back in his day.