- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy30 mins ago
BUFFALO, NY – The Buffalo Sabres’ draft weekend opened with news that forward Evander Kane was under investigation for two criminal complaints for alleged ‘physical harassment' of two women at the Buffalo bar Bottoms Up. The news was reported by WIVB, which quoted Buffalo police as saying the investigation was in its “preliminary stages.”
It was the second time in the span of seven months that Kane was under investigation. In December 2015, Kane was investigated by police for an alleged 'sex offense' at a local hotel. He was later cleared of all wrongdoing by the police.
Sabres GM Tim Murray was asked about the latest controversy involving Kane.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
BUFFALO, NY – The NHL expansion draft process continues to gain some clarity, but there’s still much that’s unknown about next summer’s seeding of the Las Vegas franchise’s roster.
For example, we now know there will likely be a window of opportunity for the Las Vegas team to make trades before the draft, in theory around June 1, 2017.
The purpose? To dramatically reduce the number of ‘handshake’ deals between the expansion team and the rest of the NHL, i.e. those agreements to compensate Vegas down the line for bypassing a player in the expansion draft.
“One of the reasons we want a player transaction window in advance is that those deals are legitimate deals. Clubs are getting value for making those commitments, but those commitments will be transparent and there will be bonafide player transactions as opposed to handshakes before they’re able to do those,” said deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
So that’s illuminating. Less illuminating? The NHL expansion rules on young players and what constitutes “professional experience.”
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
BUFFALO, N.Y. – New York Rangers’ third-round draft pick Sean Day crowed about the strides he’s made in his conditioning and overall hockey abilities.
For Day it was important to point out that he does indeed have a high-level of talent and isn’t someone who dropped to the 81st overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft because of any issues with his dedication to the game.
“I’ve improved from last year to even now. I’m down to 12 percent body fat from 19 last year,” the defenseman said. “I can tell my skating’s improving and I’m still a big guy, so hopefully I can fit into their style of play I guess and bring something new that hopefully (the Rangers) don’t have.”
The decision to select Day with the 81st overall pick could be either a steal for New York, or it could be a pick that yields nothing in return. Both options wouldn’t be surprising.
Day received exceptional-player status by Hockey Canada in order to play in the OHL as a 15-year-old. This is the same level that was bestowed upon John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad and Connor McDavid.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
The Florida Panthers acquired Mark Pysyk plus pick No. 38 and No. 89 in this year's draft from the Buffalo Sabres for Dmitry Kulikov and pick No. 33.
Prior to the start of the draft, the Sabres were rumored to be in the hunt for defenseman. They got one in the left-handed shooting Kulikov at a hefty cap hit of $4.33-million. After this coming season, he'll be an unrestricted free agent. Should GM Tim Murray resign both restricted free agents Jake McCabe and Rasmus Ristolainen, the Sabres defensive group will have the always desirable three left-handed and three right-handed shots.
Kulikov was a first round pick of the Panthers in 2009 at 14th overall. This past season, he played 74 games for the Panthers; scoring 1 goal and 16 assists. Per Corsica, his score adjusted 5-on-5 Corsi-for was 47.89%
With pick No. 33, the Sabres selected center Rasmus Asplund of Farjestad (Sweden).
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The 2016 NHL Draft featured only two 50-goal scorers from this past season. One was Kieffer Bellows, who was selected 19th overall by the New York Islanders.
The other was one of the smallest players in the draft: 5’7, 165 lbs. Alex DeBrincat from the Erie Otters of the OHL, who landed with the Chicago Blackhawks at No. 39.
DeBrincat’s 51-50-111 season with the Otters was his third straight 50-50-100-plus campaign. In 2014-15, he posted 51-53-104 in his first year in Erie. Before he entered junior, he scored 54-57-111 at Lake Forest Academy, which is about 45 minutes from Chicago.
Going to school just outside Chicago did allow DeBrincat to attend some Blackhawks games. But there was one issue. Growing up in Michigan made him a fan of the Detroit Red Wings. That allegiance is obviously severed now.
The Blackhawks have never been shy about believing in smaller players. It’s worked out for Patrick Kane, Andrew Shaw and others. With the likes of those two, along with Tyler Johnson, Mats Zuccarello and Cam Atkinson, among others, helping shed the stigma that smaller players can’t succeed in the NHL, DeBrincat is thankful for the opportunity.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
BUFFALO, NY – Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning recently said he’d like to add P.K. Subban or Steven Stamkos to his team this summer.
Since both are under contract to the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning respectively, the NHL is expected to let Benning and the Vancouver Canucks know what they’re going to lose for this chatter – a load of cash at a minimum, draft picks if the damage was seen to be severe.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Saturday that there have been multiple complaints from teams after Benning told TSN 1040 that on Thursday that he had called the Canadiens to work on a trade for Subban and that he intended to call Stamkos after the NHL Draft.
The Subban tampering violation is cut-and-dry – you can’t discuss another team’s player like that while that player is under contract. The Stamkos one is a little murkier, as the negotiating window for unrestricted free agents opened after the first night of the Draft on June 25. But Benning’s comments were made on June 23.
“I’ve had a discussion both with Jim and with Trevor Linden. They understand where we are on this situation. We talked about announcing something early next week,” said Daly.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Dallas Stars had an ongoing goaltending controversy throughout last year.
While neither Antti Niemi nor Kari Lehtonen could seize the starting job, it was largely thought that while the struggles were real this year, there was at least the idea that Goalie Of The Future Jack Campbell ™ could be there to take over from them one day soon.
Now, not so much.
Campbell, a pending RFA who hasn't played in the NHL since a single game in 2013-14, went to the Los Angeles Kings for defenseman Nick Ebert early in the fourth round, though no picks were exchanged.
Ebert, 22, projects as a low-scoring defender, having compiled just 10 goals and 26 points across two partial AHL seasons. He was a Kings seventh-round pick in 2012.
Meanwhile, this trade could serve to highlight just how far Campbell's prospects have fallen. The former No. 11 overall pick (2010) not only has just one NHL appearance since his draft year, he has also been rather poor even in the lower levels. His 2014-15 AHL save percentage was .907 in 35 games, and it plummeted to .884 in 19 last season. He actually had more appearances in the ECHL — and hey! he dominated to the tune of .944.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Many of the trades being made at the draft this year were less about hockey and more about cap flexibility. Such is the nature of a flat-cap league.
To that end, Pittsburgh, the league's most capped-out team by a fair margin (they entered the day with some $74.4 million in cap obligations), loosened its concerns at least a little going forward by sending Beau Bennett, a pending RFA, to division rival New Jersey for the No. 77 overall pick.
While Bennett doesn't actually have a contract for next year yet, it's at least one fewer deal to sign for a team already dealing with negative cap space before July 1.
Bennett, who will be 25 at the end of November, would likely have been due a marginal raise from his one-year, $800K deal. He struggled with injuries this year and tallied 6-6-12 in just 33 games for the Cup champions. He only got into one playoff game.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
BUFFALO, NY – With the 10th pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, the Colorado Avalanche selected Tyson Jost, a center with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL.
The scene that followed was unforgettable.
Jost embraced his grandfather, who sobbed heavily as he hugged the draftee. It had been a long journey for both of them, as Jost's grandparents made a huge change in their own lives to help their grandson live out his hockey dream.
In his early teens, Jost had a chance to attend the Pursuit of Excellence school in Kelowna, B.C. His mother had raised him herself, with the help of other family members. But he would have to leaver her and his home to attend the school.
Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News explained how his grandparents stepped up to help jis hockey career:
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
On Day 1 of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, we saw some stunning picks and mildly surprising trades. On Day 2, we hope to see some mildly surprising picks and stunning trades.
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 on-the-ground news and views from the draft floor.
Check here throughout Saturday for the best news feed you’ll find on NHL Draft night!