- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy55 mins ago
Well, that trade came out of nowhere.
The Chicago Blackhawks did what they said they wouldn’t do and got rid of pending restricted free agent forward Brandon Saad. He was dealt along with defenseman Michael Paliotta and forward Alex Broadhurst to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forwards Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and a fourth-round pick in 2016.
Guess this means the Blackhawks thought Saad was going to get hit with a high-priced offer sheet and wouldn’t be able to match it. TSN’s Bob McKenzie said it could have been for six years at near $6.5 million per-year. If so, that’s absurd money – especially for a guy who has never scored 30 goals in the NHL and never made over a million dollars in the league.
Dano was a 2013 first-round draft pick and had 21 points in 35 games last season with Columbus. He’s on an entry-level deal. Anisimov has a $3.283 million salary cap hit and is entering the final year of his contract.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Tim Murray is a smart guy and the Sabres are clearly still in something of a rebuild mode. But given the moves this weekend, the end-date on that was moved up considerably.
People who would consider the Sabres “ ” headed into next season are currently using a new and interesting definition of the word, but there's no doubt at all that this is a roster which has been significantly improved in a very short period of time. And how it all came together was genius.
That, by the way, is the benefit of doing what Murray did since he took the job: Trading everything that isn't nailed down, and some stuff that is, gets you a lot of draft picks and prospects.
A few of those first-round picks, in turn, were used as big pieces in the trades for Robin Lehner and Evander Kane (Ryan O'Reilly was acquired for the No. 31). The thing people often don't understand about first-round picks is that they're essentially lottery tickets with a good chance of paying off. When you include them in packages to acquire proven NHL talent, it's like selling those tickets for actual money.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
Drew Stafford is staying in Winnipeg.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Stafford has agreed to a two-year $8.7 million contract with the Jets. Winnipeg acquired Stafford and Tyler Myers as part of a package for Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian last February.
In 26 games with the Jets, Stafford had 19 points and nine goals. He was an all-situation player for the Jets. Most importantly for Winnipeg, he was not Kane.
Via the Winnipeg Sun in late May:
Used on both wings and with a variety of different linemates before finding chemistry with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, Stafford was a staple on the top-six and his production speaks for itself.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
SUNRISE, Fla. – While Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and the Boston Bruins’ front office received the most attention at the 2015 NHL Draft, there was another annual tradition we here at Puck Daddy had our eyes on in Sunrise, Fla.:
The 2015 NHL Draft awkward rookie photographs!
We covered this bizarre ritual in 2011 and 2012 and 2013 and 2014. Alas, over time, the NHL and its photo editors have sucked much of the fun out of the posed images. Not a single one of Jack Eichel leaping through a curtain to scare us!
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
If you’re a hockey fan and you ever booed Zach Sill, you may want to take back your derisive non-cheer.
Sill, a 27-year-old forward who played parts of last season with Pittsburgh and Toronto, recently was asked by a Nova Scotia teenager to drive him and his date to the South Colchester Academy prom. And Sill obliged via Metro News:
“I was talking with Zach Sill of the Toronto Maple Leafs,” Anthony, 17, of Brookfield, explained.
“Zach stops in at Roop’s Esso where I work quite often. I asked him if he’d like to chauffer Jenna Conrad and I up to the prom. Zach said, ‘you bet – give me a date when prom night is and I’ll drive you.’ I was very pleased with Zach’s response. He is a real all-around nice guy.”
Anthony’s date didn’t believe him initially apparently.
“It seemed like Anthony might be joking. Then I realized how excited he was, and I started thinking, ‘yes, this must be true.’”
Note to the youngsters ... trust is key in any relationship.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
Dougie Hamilton, the uppity loner restricted free agent defenseman who clearly didn’t fit with the Boston Bruins for reasons that obviously had nothing to do with the Bruins, was signed by the Calgary Flames Tuesday to a reported six-year contract for $34.5 million.
I guess the Flames ignored the predictable Boston character assassinations of Hamilton after he was traded by Bruins and signed him anyway. This is probably good for Calgary, who now has a 6-foot-5, 22-year-old asset on its blueline for the next several seasons.
Said Calgary GM Brad Treliving on Hamilton via the Calgary Sun:
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy4 hrs 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 email@example.com.
• This is what it looks like when you’re told you’re going into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
• These players may have missed out in 2015, but have a great shot at making the Hall in 2016. [Grantland]
• Angela Ruggiero will be the fourth women’s player to be inducted into the Hall. [Free Press]
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
Buffalo goaltender Robin Lehner says his headaches from his concussion have “been gone for a while now.”
He wants to be the starter for the Sabres. He believes he can be the starter for them. But the former Sens backup has never been a full-time starter at the NHL level. In fact, the last two seasons he’s had a 3.06 goals against average and 3.02 GAA respectively.
The Sabres acquired Lehner and David Legwand for a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
His only prolonged regular season success as a goaltender came in 2012-13 in Binghamton of the AHL with a 2.12 goals against average and .938 save percentage in 31 games. He has never played more than 45 games in a regular season as a professional – that was combined in 2011-12 between Ottawa and Binghamton.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
Doug Wilson missed out on Cam Talbot and dealt away Antti Niemi during NHL Draft weekend, leaving the San Jose Sharks without a goaltender as free agency approached.
But on Tuesday, the Sharks general manager found his man after sending a 2016 first-round pick and unsigned prospect Sean Kuraly to the Bruins for Martin Jones, who had been dealt over the weekend from the Los Angeles Kings to Boston.
Jones is set to become a restricted free agent on Wednesday and Bruins GM Don Sweeney said on a conference call that he was exploring possibilities for the 25-year old netminder.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
On Monday night, Pierre McGuire of NBC Sports confirmed that the termination of Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards’ contract this week stemmed from an incident at a border crossing.
Which border? The Canadian border, of course! Which is why the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating that incident, according to Katie Strang of ESPN.com:
A spokesperson for the RCMP in Manitoba told ESPN that, as of Tuesday, no charges have been brought against Richards but declined to comment further. The source said that Canadian Border Services is also involved in the investigation, but a spokesperson declined comment, citing Canadian privacy laws.
A denial from the Winnipeg RCMP on Monday was reversed on Tuesday, according to TSN’s Rick Westhead, which is now saying they can’t confirm or deny he’s under investigation.