Cross Checks: Buffalo Sabres

Offseason player movement of all 30 teams

September, 19, 2014
Sep 19
1:59
PM ET
Ryan Kesler and Paul Stastny USA TODAY SportsRyan Kesler and Paul Stastny will be wearing different colors this season.
ANAHEIM DUCKS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
June 14: Acquired C Louis Leblanc from Montreal for a conditional pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
June 27: Acquired C Ryan Kesler and a 3rd-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from Vancouver for C Nick Bonino, D Luca Sbisa, and Anaheim’s 1st- and 3rd-round picks in 2014.
June 30: Acquired C Nate Thompson from Tampa Bay for Tampa Bay’s 4th- and 7th-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft.
July 1: Signed D Clayton Stoner (Minnesota) and G Jason LaBarbera (Chicago).
July 9: Signed LW Dany Heatley (Minnesota).
Offseason Departures
RW Teemu Selanne (retired); C Saku Koivu (retired); C Nick Bonino (traded to Vancouver); D Luca Sbisa (traded to Vancouver); D Stephane Robidas (unrestricted free agent, signed by Toronto); G Jonas Hiller (unrestricted free agent, signed by Calgary); C Mathieu Perreault (unrestricted free agent, signed by Winnipeg); C Daniel Winnik (unrestricted free agent, signed by Toronto); C David Steckel (unrestricted free agent); D Nolan Yonkman (unrestricted free agent).

ARIZONA COYOTES
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
June 29: Acquired C Sam Gagner and RW B.J. Crombeen from Tampa Bay for a 6th-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
July 1: Signed C Joe Vitale (Pittsburgh), G Devan Dubnyk (Montreal), G Mike McKenna (Columbus) and D Andrew Campbell (Los Angeles).
Offseason Departures
C Mike Ribeiro (unrestricted free agent, signed by Nashville); RW Radim Vrbata (unrestricted free agent, signed by Vancouver); G Thomas Greiss (unrestricted free agent, signed by Pittsburgh); C Andy Miele (unrestricted free agent, signed by Detroit); LW Tim Kennedy (unrestricted free agent, signed by Washington); LW Paul Bissonnette (unrestricted free agent); C Jeff Halpern (unrestricted free agent); D Derek Morris (unrestricted free agent); RW Brandon Yip (unrestricted free agent).

BOSTON BRUINS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
July 1: Signed D Christopher Breen (Calgary).
Offseason Departures
RW Jarome Iginla (unrestricted free agent, signed by Colorado); D Andrej Meszaros (unrestricted free agent, signed by Buffalo); LW Shawn Thornton (unrestricted free agent, signed by Florida); G Chad Johnson (unrestricted free agent, signed NY Islanders); D Corey Potter (unrestricted free agent, signed by Calgary); RW Nick Johnson (unrestricted free agent).

BUFFALO SABRES
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
July 1: Signed RW Brian Gionta (Montreal), LW Matt Moulson (Minnesota), D Andrej Meszaros (Boston) and C Cody McCormick (Minnesota).
July 1: Acquired D Josh Gorges from Montreal for a 2nd-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.
July 3: Signed D Tyson Strachan (Washington).
July 13: Signed C Zac Dalpe (Vancouver).
July 23: Signed D Andre Benoit (Colorado).
Offseason Departures
D Christian Ehrhoff (unrestricted free agent, signed by Pittsburgh); C Kevin Porter (unrestricted free agent, signed by Detroit); C Cory Conacher (unrestricted free agent, signed by NY Islanders); LW John Scott (unrestricted free agent, signed by San Jose); RW Matt D’Agostini (unrestricted free agent); C Zenon Konopka (unrestricted free agent); LW Ville Leino (unrestricted free agent); D Jamie McBain (unrestricted free agent); D Alexander Sulzer (unrestricted free agent); D Henrik Tallinder (unrestricted free agent).

CALGARY FLAMES
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
April 28: Named Brad Treliving general manager.
June 28: Acquired LW Brandon Bollig from Chicago for a 3rd-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
July 1: Signed LW Mason Raymond (Toronto), D Deryk Engelland (Pittsburgh) and G Jonas Hiller (Anaheim).
Aug. 23: Signed RW Devin Setoguchi (Winnipeg).
Sept. 5: Signed D Corey Potter (Boston).
Offseason Departures
LW Mike Cammalleri (unrestricted free agent, signed by New Jersey); C Ben Street (unrestricted free agent, signed by Colorado); G Joey MacDonald (unrestricted free agent, signed by Montreal); D Chris Butler (unrestricted free agent, signed by St. Louis); D Christopher Breen (unrestricted free agent, signed by Boston); LW T.J. Galiardi (unrestricted free agent, signed by Winnipeg); C Blair Jones (unrestricted free agent, signed by Philadelphia); D Shane O’Brien (unrestricted free agent); D Derek Smith (unrestricted free agent); RW Kevin Westgarth (unrestricted free agent).

CAROLINA HURRICANES
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
April 28: Named Ron Francis general manager.
June 19: Named Bill Peters head coach.
July 1: Signed C Brad Malone (Colorado) and G Drew MacIntyre (Toronto).
July 2: Signed C Jay McClement.
July 3: Signed D Tim Gleason.
Offseason Departures
G Justin Peters (unrestricted free agent, signed by Washington); C Manny Malhotra (unrestricted free agent, signed by Montreal); LW Brett Sutter (unrestricted free agent, signed by Minnesota); LW Drayson Bowman (unrestricted free agent); RW Radek Dvorak (unrestricted free agent); D Mike Komisarek (unrestricted free agent); C Andrei Loktionov (unrestricted free agent); RW Aaron Palushaj (unrestricted free agent).

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
July 1: Signed C Brad Richards (NY Rangers), C Cody Bass (Columbus) and LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie (Tampa Bay).
July 2: Signed D Kyle Cumiskey (Modo, Sweden).
Aug. 18: Signed G Michael Leighton (HC Donbass, KHL).
Offseason Departures
LW Brandon Bollig (traded to Calgary); G Jason LaBarbera (unrestricted free agent, signed by Anaheim); G Nikolai Khabibulin (unrestricted free agent); D Sheldon Brookbank (unrestricted free agent); C Michal Handzus (unrestricted free agent); C Brad Mills (unrestricted free agent).

COLORADO AVALANCHE
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
June 30: Acquired C Daniel Briere from Montreal for RW PA Parenteau and a 5th-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
July 1: Acquired D Brad Stuart from San Jose for a 2nd-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and a 6th-round pick in 2017.
July 1: Signed RW Jarome Iginla (Boston), D Zach Redmond (Winnipeg), D Bruno Gervais (Philadelphia), C Jesse Winchester (Florida) and C Ben Street (Calgary).
Offseason Departures
RW PA Parenteau (traded to Montreal); C Paul Stastny (unrestricted free agent, signed by St. Louis); D Andre Benoit (unrestricted free agent, signed by Buffalo); C Brad Malone (unrestricted free agent, signed by Carolina); LW David Van der Gulik (unrestricted free agent, signed by Los Angeles); D Matt Hunwick (unrestricted free agent, signed by NY Rangers); G Jean-Sebastien Giguere (retired); D Cory Sarich (unrestricted free agent).

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
June 23: Acquired LW Scott Hartnell from Philadelphia for LW R.J. Umberger and a 4th-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
July 1: Acquired RW Jerry D’Amigo and a conditional pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from Toronto for RW Matt Frattin.
July 4: Signed C Brian Gibbons (Pittsburgh).
Offseason Departures
LW R.J. Umberger (traded to Philadelphia); D Nikita Nikitin (traded to Edmonton); RW Matt Frattin (traded to Toronto); C Derek MacKenzie (unrestricted free agent, signed by Florida); RW Jack Skille (unrestricted free agent, signed by NY Islanders); D Nick Schultz (unrestricted free agent, signed by Philadelphia); LW Blake Comeau (unrestricted free agent, signed by Pittsburgh); C Cody Bass (unrestricted free agent, signed by Chicago); G Mike McKenna (unrestricted free agent, signed by Arizona).

DALLAS STARS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
July 1: Acquired C Jason Spezza and RW Ludwig Karlsson from Ottawa for RW Alex Chiasson, LW Nick Paul, LW Alex Guptill and a 2nd-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
July 1: Signed G Anders Lindback (Tampa Bay), RW Ales Hemsky (Ottawa) and RW Patrick Eaves (Nashville).
Offseason Departures
RW Alex Chiasson (traded to Ottawa); C Chris Mueller (unrestricted free agent, signed by NY Rangers); C Dustin Jeffrey (unrestricted free agent, signed by Vancouver); D Maxime Fortunus (unrestricted free agent); LW Ray Whitney (unrestricted free agent); D Aaron Rome (unrestricted free agent); G Tim Thomas (unrestricted free agent); G Cristopher Nilstorp (unrestricted free agent).

DETROIT RED WINGS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
July 1: Signed C Kevin Porter (Buffalo).
July 2: Signed C Andy Miele (Arizona).
Offseason Departures
C David Legwand (unrestricted free agent, signed by Ottawa); RW Daniel Alfredsson (unrestricted free agent); RW Todd Bertuzzi (unrestricted free agent); C Cory Emmerton (unrestricted free agent); RW Mikael Samuelsson (unrestricted free agent); RW Jordin Tootoo (unrestricted free agent).

EDMONTON OILERS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
June 25: Acquired D Nikita Nikitin from Columbus for a 5th-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
June 29: Acquired RW Teddy Purcell from Tampa Bay for C Sam Gagner.
July 1: Signed D Mark Fayne (New Jersey), LW Benoit Pouliot (NY Rangers) and D Keith Aulie (Tampa Bay).
Offseason Departures
LW Ryan Smyth (retired); C Sam Gagner (traded to Tampa Bay); D Taylor Fedun (unrestricted free agent, signed by San Jose); D Anton Belov (unrestricted free agent); LW Ben Eager (unrestricted free agent); D Mark Fraser (unrestricted free agent); D Denis Grebeshkov (unrestricted free agent); LW Ryan Jones (unrestricted free agent).

FLORIDA PANTHERS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
June 21: Named Gerard Gallant head coach.
July 1: Signed C Dave Bolland (Toronto), LW Jussi Jokinen (Pittsburgh), LW Shawn Thornton (Boston), C Derek MacKenzie (Columbus), D Willie Mitchell (Los Angeles) and G Al Montoya (Winnipeg).
Offseason Departures
D Tom Gilbert (unrestricted free agent, signed by Montreal); C Jesse Winchester (unrestricted free agent, signed by Colorado); G Scott Clemmensen (unrestricted free agent, signed by New Jersey); RW Krys Barch (unrestricted free agent); D Matt Gilroy (unrestricted free agent); C Scott Gomez (unrestricted free agent); D Ed Jovanovski (unrestricted free agent); D Ryan Whitney (unrestricted free agent); D Mike Mottau (retired).

LOS ANGELES KINGS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
July 1: Signed RW Adam Cracknell (St. Louis) and LW David Van der Gulik (Colorado).
Offseason Departures
RW Linden Vey (traded to Vancouver); D Willie Mitchell (unrestricted free agent, signed by Florida); D Andrew Campbell (unrestricted free agent, signed by Arizona); C Colin Fraser (unrestricted free agent, signed by St. Louis).

MINNESOTA WILD
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
July 1: Signed LW Thomas Vanek (Montreal), D Stu Bickel (NY Rangers) and LW Brett Sutter (Carolina).
July 11: Signed C Jordan Schroeder (Vancouver).
Aug. 1: Signed D Justin Falk (NY Rangers).
Offseason Departures
LW Matt Moulson (unrestricted free agent, signed by Buffalo); D Clayton Stoner (unrestricted free agent, signed by Anaheim); LW Dany Heatley (unrestricted free agent, signed by Anaheim); D Nate Prosser (unrestricted free agent, signed by St. Louis); C Cody McCormick (unrestricted free agent, signed by Buffalo); G Ilya Bryzgalov (unrestricted free agent); C Jake Dowell (unrestricted free agent); RW Carson McMillan (unrestricted free agent); LW Mike Rupp (unrestricted free agent).

MONTREAL CANADIENS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
June 30: Acquired RW PA Parenteau and a 5th-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from Colorado for C Daniel Briere.
July 1: Signed C Manny Malhotra (Carolina), D Tom Gilbert (Florida) and G Joey MacDonald (Calgary).
Offseason Departures
C Daniel Briere (traded to Colorado); D Josh Gorges (traded to Buffalo); C Louis Leblanc (traded to Anaheim); LW Thomas Vanek (unrestricted free agent, signed by Minnesota); RW Brian Gionta (unrestricted free agent, signed by Buffalo); G Devan Dubnyk (unrestricted free agent, signed by Arizona); RW Mike Blunden (unrestricted free agent, signed by Tampa Bay); C Ryan White (unrestricted free agent, signed by Philadelphia); D Francis Bouillon (unrestricted free agent); D Douglas Murray (unrestricted free agent); RW George Parros (unrestricted free agent); C Martin St. Pierre (unrestricted free agent).

NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
May 6: Named Peter Laviolette head coach.
June 27: Acquired LW James Neal from Pittsburgh for RW Patric Hornqvist and C Nick Spaling.
July 2: Signed C Olli Jokinen (Winnipeg).
July 7: Signed D Anton Volchenkov (New Jersey).
July 15: Signed C Mike Ribeiro (Arizona) and C Derek Roy (St. Louis).
Offseason Departures
RW Patric Hornqvist (traded to Pittsburgh); C Nick Spaling (traded to Pittsburgh); RW Patrick Eaves (unrestricted free agent, signed by Dallas); D Michael Del Zotto (unrestricted free agent, signed by Philadelphia).

NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
July 1: Signed LW Mike Cammalleri (Calgary), RW Martin Havlat (San Jose) and G Scott Clemmensen (Florida).
Offseason Departures
D Mark Fayne (unrestricted free agent, signed by Edmonton); D Anton Volchenkov (unrestricted free agent, signed by Nashville); G Martin Brodeur (unrestricted free agent); LW Ryan Carter (unrestricted free agent); LW Rostislav Olesz (unrestricted free agent).

NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
May 1: Acquired G Jaroslav Halak from Washington for a 4th-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
July 1: Signed G Chad Johnson (Boston), C Cory Conacher (Buffalo), RW Jack Skille (Columbus) and LW Harry Zolnierczyk (Pittsburgh).
July 2: Signed C Mikhail Grabovski (Washington) and LW Nikolai Kulemin (Toronto).
Offseason Departures
G Evgeni Nabokov (unrestricted free agent, signed by Tampa Bay); D Radek Martinek (unrestricted free agent).

NEW YORK RANGERS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
July 1: Signed D Dan Boyle (NY Islanders), D Mike Kostka (Tampa Bay), D Matt Hunwick (Colorado), C Chris Mueller (Dallas), LW Tanner Glass (Pittsburgh) and G Cedrick Desjardins (Tampa Bay).
July 16: Signed C Matthew Lombardi (HC Geneve-Servette, Switzerland).
July 19: Signed RW Lee Stempniak (Pittsburgh).
Sept. 11: Signed LW Ryan Malone (Tampa Bay).
Offseason Departures
RW Derek Dorsett (traded to Vancouver); C Brad Richards (unrestricted free agent, signed by Chicago); C Brian Boyle (unrestricted free agent, signed by Tampa Bay); D Anton Stralman (unrestricted free agent, signed by Tampa Bay); LW Benoit Pouliot (unrestricted free agent, signed by Edmonton); D Justin Falk (unrestricted free agent, signed by Minnesota); RW Arron Asham (unrestricted free agent); LW Daniel Carcillo (unrestricted free agent); D Raphael Diaz (unrestricted free agent); C Darroll Powe (unrestricted free agent).

OTTAWA SENATORS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
July 1: Acquired RW Alex Chiasson, LW Nick Paul, LW Alex Guptill and a 2nd-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from Dallas for C Jason Spezza and RW Ludwig Karlsson.
July 4: Signed C David Legwand (Detroit).
Offseason Departures
C Jason Spezza (traded to Dallas); RW Ales Hemsky (unrestricted free agent, signed by Dallas); D Joe Corvo (unrestricted free agent); LW Matt Kassian (unrestricted free agent).

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
May 7: Named Ron Hextall general manager.
June 23: Acquired LW R.J. Umberger and a 4th-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from Columbus for LW Scott Hartnell.
July 1: Signed C Blair Jones (Calgary).
July 2: Signed D Nick Schultz (Columbus).
Aug. 5: Signed D Michael Del Zotto (Nashville).
Aug. 7: Signed C Ryan White (Montreal)
Offseason Departures
LW Scott Hartnell (traded to Columbus); LW Tye McGinn (traded to San Jose); RW Steve Downie (unrestricted free agent, signed by Pittsburgh); C Kris Newbury (unrestricted free agent, signed by Washington); D Hal Gill (unrestricted free agent); RW Adam Hall (unrestricted free agent).

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
June 6: Named Jim Rutherford general manager.
June 25: Named Mike Johnston head coach.
June 27: Acquired RW Patric Hornqvist and C Nick Spaling from Nashville for LW James Neal.
July 1: Signed D Christian Ehrhoff (Buffalo), G Thomas Greiss (Arizona) and LW Blake Comeau (Columbus).
July 2: Signed RW Steve Downie (Philadelphia).
Offseason Departures
LW James Neal (traded to Nashville); D Matt Niskanen (unrestricted free agent, signed by Washington); D Brooks Orpik (unrestricted free agent, signed by Washington); C Joe Vitale (unrestricted free agent, signed by Arizona); D Deryk Engelland (unrestricted free agent, signed by Pittsburgh); C Brian Gibbons (unrestricted free agent, signed by Columbus); LW Jussi Jokinen (unrestricted free agent, signed by Florida); LW Harry Zolnierczyk (unrestricted free agent, signed by NY Islanders); LW Tanner Glass (unrestricted free agent, signed by NY Rangers); RW Lee Stempniak (unrestricted free agent, signed by NY Rangers); RW Chris Conner (unrestricted free agent, signed by Washington); G Tomas Vokoun (unrestricted free agent); RW Chuck Kobasew (unrestricted free agent); LW Taylor Pyatt (unrestricted free agent).

SAN JOSE SHARKS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
July 1: Signed LW John Scott (Buffalo) and D Taylor Fedun (Edmonton).
July 2: Acquired LW Tye McGinn from Philadelphia for a 3rd-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Offseason Departures
D Brad Stuart (traded to Colorado); D Dan Boyle (traded to NY Islanders); RW Martin Havlat (unrestricted free agent, signed by New Jersey); LW John McCarthy (unrestricted free agent, signed by St. Louis); LW Bracken Kearns (unrestricted free agent); RW Matt Pelech (unrestricted free agent).

ST. LOUIS BLUES
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
June 28: Acquired D Carl Gunnarsson and a 4th-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft from Toronto for D Roman Polak.
July 1: Signed C Paul Stastny (Colorado) and C Jori Lehtera (Sibir Novosibirsk, KHL).
July 4: Signed LW John McCarthy (San Jose).
July 16: Signed D Chris Butler (Calgary) and RW Benn Ferriero (Vancouver).
July 21: Signed C Jeremy Welsh (Vancouver).
July 22: Signed D Nate Prosser (Minnesota).
July 29: Signed C Peter Mueller (Kloten, Switzerland).
Sept. 5: Signed C Colin Fraser (Los Angeles).
Offseason Departures
D Roman Polak (traded to Toronto); C Derek Roy (unrestricted free agent, signed by Nashville); LW Brenden Morrow (unrestricted free agent, signed by Tampa Bay); RW Adam Cracknell (unrestricted free agent, signed by Los Angeles); G Ryan Miller (unrestricted free agent, signed by Vancouver); LW Vladimir Sobotka (restricted free agent, signed by KHL Avangard Omsk); C Keith Aucoin (unrestricted free agent); D Carlo Colaiacovo (unrestricted free agent).

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
June 27: Acquired D Jason Garrison, LW Jeff Costello and a 7th-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from Vancouver for a 2nd-round pick in 2014.
July 1: Signed D Anton Stralman (NY Rangers), C Brian Boyle (NY Rangers), G Evgeni Nabokov (NY Islanders) and RW Mike Blunden (Montreal).
July 11: Signed LW Brenden Morrow (St. Louis).
Offseason Departures
C Nate Thompson (traded to Anaheim); RW B.J. Crombeen (traded to Arizona); RW Teddy Purcell (traded to Edmonton); G Anders Lindback (unrestricted free agent, signed by Dallas); D Keith Aulie (unrestricted free agent, signed by Edmonton); D Mike Kostka (unrestricted free agent, signed by NY Rangers); G Cedrick Desjardins (unrestricted free agent, signed by NY Rangers); LW Ryan Malone (unrestricted free agent, signed by NY Rangers); LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie (unrestricted free agent, signed by Chicago); C Tom Pyatt (unrestricted free agent); D Sami Salo (unrestricted free agent).

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
June 28: Acquired D Roman Polak from St. Louis for D Carl Gunnarsson and a 4th-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
July 1: Acquired RW Matt Frattin from Columbus for RW Jerry D’Amigo and a conditional pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
July 1: Signed D Stephane Robidas (Anaheim) and C Leo Komarov (Dynamo Moscow, KHL).
July 3: Signed C Mike Santorelli (Vancouver) and C Petri Kontiola (Traktor Chelyabinsk, KHL).
July 22: Signed LW David Booth (Vancouver).
July 28: Signed C Daniel Winnik (Anaheim).
Offseason Departures
D Carl Gunnarsson (traded to St. Louis); RW Jerry D’Amigo (traded to Columbus); LW Mason Raymond (unrestricted free agent, signed by Calgary); G Drew MacIntyre (unrestricted free agent, signed by Carolina); C Jay McClement (unrestricted free agent, signed by Carolina); D Tim Gleason (unrestricted free agent, signed by Carolina); C Dave Bolland (unrestricted free agent, signed by Florida); LW Nikolai Kulemin (unrestricted free agent, signed by NY Islanders); D Paul Ranger (unrestricted free agent); C Jarred Smithson (unrestricted free agent).

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
May 21: Named Jim Benning general manager.
June 23: Named Willie Desjardins head coach.
June 27: Acquired C Nick Bonino, D Luca Sbisa and Anaheim’s 1st- and 3rd-round picks in the 2014 NHL Draft from Anaheim for C Ryan Kesler and a 3rd-round pick in 2015.
June 27: Acquired RW Derek Dorsett from NY Rangers for a 3rd-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
June 28: Acquired RW Linden Vey from Los Angeles for a 2nd-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
July 1: Signed G Ryan Miller (St. Louis).
July 2: Signed C Dustin Jeffrey (Dallas).
July 3: Signed RW Radim Vrbata (Arizona).
Offseason Departures
C Ryan Kesler (traded to Anaheim); D Jason Garrison (traded to Tampa Bay); LW David Booth (unrestricted free agent, signed by Toronto); C Mike Santorelli (unrestricted free agent, signed by Toronto); C Zac Dalpe (unrestricted free agent, signed by Buffalo); C Jordan Schroeder (unrestricted free agent, signed by Minnesota); RW Benn Ferriero (unrestricted free agent, signed by St. Louis); C Jeremy Welsh (unrestricted free agent, signed by St. Louis); D Andrew Alberts (unrestricted free agent); LW Pascal Pelletier (unrestricted free agent); D Yann Sauve (unrestricted free agent).

WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
May 26: Named Brian MacLellan general manager and Barry Trotz head coach.
July 1: Signed G Justin Peters (Carolina), D Brooks Orpik (Pittsburgh), D Matt Niskanen (Pittsburgh) and RW Chris Conner (Pittsburgh).
July 3: Signed LW Tim Kennedy (Arizona).
July 4: Signed C Kris Newbury (Philadelphia).
Offseason Departures
G Jaroslav Halak (traded to NY Islanders); C Mikhail Grabovski (unrestricted free agent, signed by NY Islanders); D Tyson Strachan (unrestricted free agent, signed by Buffalo); D Julien Brouillette (unrestricted free agent, signed by Winnipeg); RW Dustin Penner (unrestricted free agent); C Nicolas Deschamps (unrestricted free agent); C Peter LeBlanc (unrestricted free agent); C Ryan Stoa (unrestricted free agent).

WINNIPEG JETS
Offseason Acquisitions (w/ previous rights)
July 1: Signed C Mathieu Perreault (Anaheim).
Aug. 1: Signed LW T.J. Galiardi (Calgary).
Aug. 8: Signed D Julien Brouillette (Washington).
Offseason Departures
D Zach Redmond (unrestricted free agent, signed by Colorado); G Al Montoya (unrestricted free agent, signed by Florida); C Olli Jokinen (unrestricted free agent, signed by Nashville); RW Devin Setoguchi (unrestricted free agent, signed by Calgary); C James Wright (unrestricted free agent).
The expectation back in June was that the NHL and NHL Players’ Association would have some kind of World Cup announcement by the end of summer, but that’s going to wait a bit longer.

Both sides have an understanding that they will wait to get more concrete details in order, including being able to commit firmly to a regular interval for the tournament, which hasn’t been held since 2004 when Canada beat Finland in the final at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

In other words, while the NHL and NHLPA could have easily announced by now that the event is returning in September 2016, they want to have much more to give than that.

What we know at this point: The World Cup is scheduled to return in September 2016, primarily anchored in Toronto, but there may also be some games in Montreal. That’s still in discussion.

[+] EnlargeTeam Canada at 2004 World Cup
Dave Sandford/Getty ImagesThe World Cup hasn't been held since 2004 when Canada beat Finland in the final at Air Canada Centre.
There likely will be eight countries in the tournament, which is the same as 2004 and 1996. There are six countries fixed: Olympic champion Canada, Russia, the United States, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic. The additional two teams and the manner in which they will be selected hasn’t been nailed down yet. It might be a pure invitational situation where two countries are handed entries, or there could be a play-in tournament for those last two spots. My vote is for the latter, although without question that comes with more logistical challenges. My guess is the play-in part would be overseas for obvious reasons.

What possibly could also be part of a World Cup announcement -- although it depends on the timing of it over the next few months -- is the return of the Premiere Games. The NHL hopes to have regular-season games back across the pond next season, but no firm details are finalized on that front.

Meanwhile, is an Olympic decision tied directly to a World Cup announcement? Not necessarily, and one source even suggested, "probably not." They don’t need to be tied to each other. The NHL and NHLPA can announce World Cup plans for the next few years without having to know exactly what they’re doing on the Olympic front.

I think the NHL and NHLPA would like to make a decision as quickly as possible about whether NHL players will continue to play in the Olympics. But part of the issue is that they’re not sure where the IOC stands with respect to whether the same types of accommodations would be available to NHL players in South Korea in 2018. The standard was set really high in Sochi last February. NHL players who participated raved about the venues, the logistics, the lodging, well, pretty much everything. (The lone exception would be the handling by the IOC of the Nicklas Backstrom doping controversy.) No offense to the Vancouver Games in 2010, but it was the best NHL player experience ever.

Now, I’m not sure that even if the IOC guaranteed the exact same high-level setup in South Korea that NHL owners and commissioner Gary Bettman would vote yes. That’s to be determined. But the NHLPA would almost surely be a yes if the players were guaranteed the same standard as Sochi.

However, where both the NHL and NHLPA are on the same page right now is that they need to at least find out if the IOC can deliver those goods for South Korea, and right now that answer hasn’t been delivered.

There is still much to be determined on the international front; the only thing that's basically assured at this point is that there will be World Cup hockey in two years.

JOHANSEN UPDATE
It’s been a long time since there were actual talks between Ryan Johansen's camp and the Columbus Blue Jackets, but that’s expected to change any day.

Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen and agent Kurt Overhardt each confirmed via text to ESPN.com on Friday that they plan to meet sometime this weekend while both are in Traverse City, Michigan, for the rookie tournament.

It’s believed both sides are about $3 million apart per year on a new two-year deal for the restricted free agent.

NEUVIRTH REFRESHED
The most frustrating season of Michal Neuvirth's career is behind him, and he’s refreshed, re-energized and ready for the challenge in Buffalo this season.

"Super-excited," Neuvirth told ESPN.com this week.

That’s about the exact opposite he was feeling last season. Once seen as the future No. 1 goalie in Washington -- appearing in 48 games with the Caps in 2010-11 and 38 games in 2011-12 -- Neuvirth lost the net to Braden Holtby. But what was obviously tough to swallow last season is that, while Holtby struggled, Neuvirth felt he didn’t get much of a chance to get back in. He appeared in only 13 games with the Caps, and agent Patrik Stefan was working with Caps management behind the scenes to try to get Neuvirth dealt. All the while, his lack of playing time is likely what cost him a chance at an Olympic roster spot for his native Czech Republic.

All in all, a season to forget.

"It was frustrating, but you got to take it for what it is, and I think it made me stronger," Neuvirth said. "You got to go through tough times in your career sometimes. I feel it’s going to make me better and stronger for the long run. I’m just focused now on the opportunity I have here in Buffalo and [will] play the best I can for the Sabres."

The Caps dealt Neuvirth to the Sabres at the trade deadline, where he'll compete in goal this season with Jhonas Enroth, who as the incumbent likely would start the season with just a bit of an edge. But they’re both 26, both eager to prove much, and the sense is both will get a fair chance.

"The net is up for grabs," Neuvirth said. "Right now we’ve got two No. 1s. Jhonas is a great goaltender and I like him as a person, I respect him as a goalie. It’s going to be a good competition. We’re going to push each other every day to get better, and I think we’re going to be a good tandem."

In the meantime, Neuvirth goes to camp next week as ready as he’s ever been.

"I’ve been working hard in the offseason, focusing on my core, on my groin and hips, they feel like never before," he said. "I feel a lot stronger and my goal is to play as many games as I can."

As for the last-place Sabres, there’s a sense of renewal all-around after a busy offseason.

"We had some great signings here," Neuvirth said over the phone from Buffalo. "We have good leadership. It’s going to be a hardworking team that plays as a group, a team that never gives up on a loose puck. I think that we’re going to surprise some people this year."

NHL players who have been charged with serious crimes

September, 12, 2014
Sep 12
12:36
PM ET
With the Ray Rice incident in the news, here is a list of NHL players who have been charged with crimes related to murder, homicide and/or manslaughter.

October 2007 – Rob Ramage
Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Rob Ramage was found guilty of being criminally responsible for causing the death of his friend in a horrific car crash. Ramage was guilty of five charges, including impaired and dangerous driving, in the death of former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Keith Magnuson. Magnuson died instantly from head and chest injuries when a rental car Ramage was driving crashed head-on into a Nissan Pathfinder on Dec. 15, 2003. Ramage was also found guilty of impaired and dangerous driving in causing injuries to Michelle Pacheco, the driver of the Pathfinder. Ramage was sentenced to 4 years in prison, but was granted parole in May 2011.

February 2005 – Dany Heatley
Dany Heatley pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor charges in exchange for prosecutors dropping charges of first-degree vehicular homicide and reckless driving, which could have meant up to 15 years in prison. Heatley was also ordered to make 50 speeches a year for three years about the perils of speeding. His car was also required to have a mechanism to prevent it from exceeding 70 miles an hour. Heatley had been charged with vehicular homicide in the death of Dan Snyder, his Atlanta Thrashers teammate and friend, following a crash in September 2003.

December 1987 – Brian Spencer
Brian Spencer, an NHL player from 1969 to 1979, was indicted for murder and kidnapping. He stood trial in Palm Beach County, Fla., and was acquitted.

May 1984 – Craig MacTavish
Craig MacTavish was convicted of vehicular homicide in May 1984 while a member of the Boston Bruins. While drunk, he rear-ended a car, causing it to skid into a parking lot, where it hit two more cars and overturned. The other driver died days later and MacTavish served a year in prison. MacTavish would return to the NHL, winning four Stanley Cup titles and currently serves as the general manager of the Edmonton Oilers.
NEW YORK -- A legion of hockey folks are predicting another train wreck of a season for the Buffalo Sabres.

Brian Gionta knows that.

He could care less.

Further, he thinks his new squad is going to surprise a lot of folks this season.

“My expectation is to make the playoffs. I didn’t go there to sit around and watch the playoffs on TV,” Gionta told ESPN.com on Monday. "The expectation is to make the playoffs and continue to grow and build. I think that’s the first step. I think it’s a realistic step to try to get in there in the playoffs."

But, that’ll hurt the Sabres chances of winning the Connor McDavid lottery at next June’s draft, wouldn’t it?

“That’s alright,” Gionta said with a grin.



While it might have seemed from the outside an odd choice for the veteran winger to sign on with a Sabres team that finished dead last in the NHL last season with just 52 points, a whopping 41 points in arrears of the eighth-place Detroit Red Wings, there is something kind of symmetrical about Gionta’s decision to ink a three-year deal with Buffalo.

“For myself, it’s a childhood team I grew up watching and following them and the prospect of being a part of something pretty special, a turnaround and being a piece of that was very intriguing to me,” Gionta said.

The 35-year-old native of Rochester, New York, is also embracing the idea of moving close to home.

“It’s been weird. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there, college, pro; I’ve been away from home for a long time, so it still feels weird," Gionta said. "We moved into our house and we’re about an hour from our summer residence. We’ve already gone back and forth a couple of times. Family’s come up, grandparents come up to see the kids. It’s pretty special that everyone can be a part of it. At the age [I'm at], towards the end of my career, it’s nice for all those people to really enjoy it and kind of see it through and see the process of it.”

He’s been in the Buffalo area only a short time, but he’s started to work out with his new teammates, including top-end prospects like Nikita Zadorov and Sam Reinhart. Coming from a Montreal team that advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, Gionta will be tasked with preventing a losing mentality in the locker room.

“The biggest thing is how you prepare day in and day out, whether it’s practice or a game. Going to the rink, being energetic to be there no matter what’s going on,” Gionta said.

“Every team does it, they go through highs and lows throughout the year. So you’ve got to manage those highs and lows. Part of that is how you prepare, always preparing the same way. Always prepping the same way. Hard work all the time. Whether it’s studying film or being ready for your opponent. Those things come into play. Not accepting losing. There’s no other way to say it -- it’s not being happy with losing games. I think that’s how you create that culture of winning is not accepting that.”
Often a team plagued by losing seasons, front-office upheaval and the departure of the club’s cornerstone player would be pretty low on the list of desirable landing spots for free agents.

That hasn’t been the case, however, with the Buffalo Sabres.

Despite the team’s abysmal 21-51-10 record and last-place finish this past season, the Sabres were able to attract high-caliber talent on the open market as the club continues to revamp its personnel in hopes of turning things around.

[+] EnlargeMartin Biron
Dave Sandford/Getty ImagesMartin Biron played for the Sabres from 1995-96 until the 2006-07 season.
The Sabres, with first-year general manager Tim Murray at the helm, landed former Montreal Canadiens captain (and Rochester, New York native) Brian Gionta, as well as skilled winger Matt Moulson (who returned to Buffalo after being flipped to Minnesota at the trade deadline).

Even the acquisition of Josh Gorges via trade with the Habs took a pitch -- Gorges called former Habs teammate Gionta to consult whether to waive his no-trade clause this summer.

Not bad for a team that floundered at the bottom of the league standings for virtually the entire year before finishing 30th.

And the influx of new talent, new management and new coaching staff (Ted Nolan was hired in November before receiving an extension this summer, while assistants Arturs Irbe, Bryan Trottier, Danny Flynn and Tom Coolen recently joined the staff) brings a culture change.

“The thing is, it started over a year ago,” said former Sabres goaltender Martin Biron, who still resides in the area with his family. “They traded three captains -- Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek, Steve Ott, with Ryan Miller also traded -- so that’s four guys gone in a 12-month span. They retooled, rebuilt, brought in some picks, some young players and prospects to try and build from the ground up.”

According to Biron, who retired last season while playing for the New York Rangers, that push toward progress likely started at the behest of team owner Terry Pegula.

“From being in this area, and living here, that change of direction probably came from the top, from Terry and Kim [Pegula] on down. They did a lot of studying and crunching numbers on success and where it comes from. It comes from the draft and developing players,” Biron told ESPN.com in a telephone conversation.

That change of direction likely winnowed the list of GM candidates that ultimately led then-president of hockey operations Pat LaFontaine to select Murray as the guy to lead the team (LaFontaine curiously resigned a few months later, less than four months after taking the job). Murray had experience in drafting and developing players from serving as the GM of the AHL’s Binghamton Senators and as the assistant GM of the Ottawa Senators.

“When they switched things up [following the dismissal of former GM Darcy Regier], that was a hot topic on the table. How will you be able to accomplish this?” Biron said of the development aspect. “I think the biggest part of his hiring was knowing [Murray] was going to be on board with that.”

Though they have seen some of the team’s biggest names and most beloved players leave, the Sabres boast some well-respected veterans as well as some burgeoning young leaders such as Drew Stafford. Add in some prospects who are challenging for a spot and a bevvy of draft picks in the future and the Sabres are all of the sudden an interesting team to watch.

One thing that could prove to be an Achilles' heel, however, is their goaltending. After trading Miller to the St. Louis Blues last season, the Sabres are left with Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth, neither of whom are considered bonafide starters.

“Obviously, that is a bit of a question mark moving forward,” Biron said. "For many years people in Buffalo have been lucky to have top goaltenders, [Dominik] Hasek, [Ryan] Miller, now they’re going into a bit of an unknown with Enroth or Neuvirth."

But Biron insists that the Sabres are well-stocked between the pipes with an abundance of quality goaltending prospects.

Nathan Lieuwen gained some NHL experience with seven games last season. They also have Calvin Petersen, Russian netminder Andrey Makarov and a pair of Swedes: Jonas Johansson and Linus Ullmark, the latter of whom caught Biron’s eye at a recent development camp.

Biron probably will be keeping tabs on those prospects given his new position as director of goaltending at the HARBORCENTER Academy of Hockey, which will open in October.

Between that and regular television work as an analyst for TSN, NHL Network and French-language RDS, Biron won’t be sitting back and taking it easy during retirement.

Already this summer he’s barely had a spare moment bouncing between his son’s baseball and football schedule and his daughters’ horse shows.

“It’s better that way,” Biron said. “I can’t sit around.”

Hair bands and hockey hair: a marriage made in heaven. We're dropping the needle on 30 songs that say something about each of the 30 teams, using nothing but cheesy videos from the 1980s. The Eastern Conference list is below -- feel free to mullet over. (Western Conference is here.)



BOSTON BRUINS: "Don't You (Forget About Me)," Simple Minds

Everyone's all caught up in the West Coast domination thing, but you can't discount the Bruins, the hardest team in the East. They changed very little in the offseason, have been good for many seasons and have had their core together for many seasons. Replacing Jarome Iginla's 30 goals will not be easy, but somehow these guys always find a way to win, no matter how many goals leave. And if they can find a way to beat the Canadiens ...

Slow change may pull us apart
When the light gets into your heart, baby
Don't you forget about me
Don't don't don't don't
Don't you forget about me



BUFFALO SABRES: "Road To Nowhere," Talking Heads

This was as close as we could get to "We're On The Road To Finishing Last, So We Have a Better Chance of Getting Connor McDavid Or We'd Even Take Jack Eichel, As Far As That Goes."

They can tell you what to do
But they'll make a fool of you
And it's all right, baby, it's all right
We're on a road to nowhere



CAROLINA HURRICANES: "Mad World," Tears For Fears

No offense to Tim Gleason, but there's not much new happening here. Which, as you might expect, is how a team that finished so low in the Eastern Conference and failed to make the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season should operate. Sarcasm. No wonder Jim Rutherford left.

All around me are familiar faces
Worn-out places
Worn-out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere
Going nowhere



COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: "Here I Go Again," Whitesnake

So, you're Scott Hartnell, playing fairly well on one of the league's most desirable teams. Then, poof, you're suddenly dealt to Columbus, with little indication as to why. It's enough to make your hair stand on end. More, that is.

I don't know where I'm going
But I sure know where I've been
Hanging on the promises
In songs of yesterday
And I've made up my mind,
I ain't wasting no more time
But here I go again
Here I go again



DETROIT RED WINGS: "Broken Wings," Mr. Mister

Who are we to stand in the way of obvious symbolism? Man, the Red Wings really miss Nicklas Lidstrom.

So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again, learn to live so free



FLORIDA PANTHERS: "Money For Nothing," Dire Straits

Dave Bolland is a good player, but five years at $5.5 million per? The Panthers must feel his intangibles are off the charts, because his tangibles -- which were never great, as he has never scored 20 goals in a season -- are declining to disappearing.

That ain't workin'
That's the way you do it



MONTREAL CANADIENS: "Under Pressure," Queen and David Bowie

Getting to the final four is a great selling point for every team in the league -- except if you're the Canadiens, whose fans consider anything short of a parade to be a failure. Can Carey Price rebound from his playoff injury? Can P.K. Subban continue to light it up without causing a brush fire in the dressing room? Will the Habs get back to the conference finals? And so on.

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you, no man ask for
Under pressure that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets



NEW JERSEY DEVILS: "Don't Worry, Be Happy," Bobby McFerrin

If there was a state of denial, it's New Jersey. It's not enough that Martin Brodeur, the greatest goalie not named Patrick Roy, is unceremoniously being pushed out -- the team's scoring woes are to be addressed by a frequently injured Martin Havlat and a decent-but-declining Michael Cammalleri. Whether it's on the ice or off, this franchise is not what it used to be, but no one in Newark seems all that concerned.

Ain't got no cash, ain't got no style
Ain't got no girl to make you smile
But don't worry, be happy
'Cause when you worry
Your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down



NEW YORK ISLANDERS: "Is There Something I Should Know?" Duran Duran

Even with a new building on the horizon, the Islanders are still considered a team to stay away from. Heck, it's so bad, they aren't even on national TV this season. And their offseason signings -- Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin, Cory Conacher and Jack Skille -- show only the downtrodden or desperate decide to head to the Isle. Somewhere, a frustrated Clark Gillies is throwing boulders at a Sasquatch.

Maybe next year, maybe no go
I know you're watching me every minute of the day yeah
I've seen the signs and the looks and the pictures that give your game away yeah
There's a dream that strings the road a broken glass for us to hold
And I cut so far before I had to say
Please, please tell me now, is there something I should know
Is there something I should say that'll make you come my way



NEW YORK RANGERS: "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)," Cinderella

The Rangers will always have King Henrik. But their chances of returning to the Cup finals are looking as arid as the setting in this video, after losing Anton Stralman, Brian Boyle, Benoit Pouliot and Brad Richards and replacing them with Dan Boyle, Lee Stempniak and ... Tanner Glass? Zoinks.

Don't know what you got till it's gone
Don't know what it is I did so wrong
Now I know what I got
It's just this song
And it ain't easy to get back
Takes so long



OTTAWA SENATORS: "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)," Glass Tiger

Jason Spezza is now a Dallas Star. Weird, huh? First longtime captain Daniel Alfredsson moves on, then Spezza bails. Sounds like some woe is living in O-town.

Oh can this be true
If you could see what I have seen
Broken hearts and broken dreams
Then I wake up and you're not there
Pain finds me everywhere



PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: "I Don't Care Anymore," Phil Collins

Are they even trying to be good? Something just doesn't feel right about this team.

Well, you can tell everyone I'm a down disgrace
Drag my name all over the place
I don't care anymore
You can tell everybody about the state I'm in
You won't catch me crying 'cause I just can't win
I don't care anymore, I don't care anymore



PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: "Say You, Say Me," Lionel Richie

Sidney Crosby, you're good, you're special and, doggone it, people like you. You're great, you're really, really great. A shining star, truly. But, dude, you have one Stanley Cup. So, now you've got a new coach -- a new friend, of a sort -- who can show you how to win. And, if you somehow lead your team to the big prize, people will be dancing on the ceiling.

As we go down life's lonesome highway
Seems the hardest thing to do is to find a friend or two
A helping hand, someone who understands
That when you feel you've lost your way
You've got some one there to say I'll show you



TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: "Sledgehammer," Peter Gabriel

Get ready, Bolts fans. This could be your year. GM Steve Yzerman has made some savvy moves in his relatively short tenure, stacking up on good defensemen in the offseason and re-signing Ryan Callahan. That, coupled with the return to health of super sniper Steven Stamkos and stonewall Ben Bishop mean these aren't your Chris Gratton-variety Lightning.

I've kicked the habit
Shed my skin
This is the new stuff
I go dancing in, we go dancing in
Oh won't you show for me
And I will show for you
Show for me, I will show for you



TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: "Land Of Confusion," Genesis

Dave Nonis decries the use of advanced stats in the NHL. Then, after new sheriff Brendan Shanahan rides into town, the Leafs hire a noted advanced-stats guru as the assistant GM. Who's in charge here again? How long will Nonis have a job? Is the captain staying or going? Is James Reimer the backup? So confusing.

There's too many men
Too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can't you see
This is a land of confusion



WASHINGTON CAPITALS: "Turn Me Loose," Loverboy

Alex Ovechkin's summertime heartache aside, you know he wants to be turned loose by whomever his coach happens to be, and this season he's got Barry Trotz behind the bench. Will it happen? Will he be given the green light by yet another coach? And, if so, will he actually try while backchecking?

I was born to run
I was born to dream
The craziest boy you ever seen
I gotta do it my way
Or no way at all


PHILADELPHIA -- As usual, there were lots of familial connections between the draft class of 2014 and former NHL stars.

Ted Donato's son Ryan was selected by the Boston Bruins in the second round on Saturday, providing some nice symmetry to the proceedings. Ted Donato was drafted by the Bruins in the fifth round of the 1987 draft.

A few picks earlier, Al MacInnis' son was picked by the Arizona Coyotes.

[+] EnlargeBrendan Lemieux
Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesBrendan Lemieux, son of Claude Lemieux, was drafted 31st overall by the Sabres.
And to kick off the second round, Buffalo made Brendan Lemieux, son of longtime playoff hero Claude Lemieux, a Sabre.

Claude Lemieux was as usual a treat to talk to as he suggested his former team the New Jersey Devils, who had the final pick in the first round, might have made a mistake in passing on his son.

But the Devils’ mistake was Buffalo’s good fortune, said Lemieux, who won four Stanley Cups.

He thinks his fiery son will be a good addition to a Buffalo team essentially rebuilding from the ground up.

"He’s not quiet. He’s definitely not quiet," Lemieux said. "He’s a leader and he’s a winner. He loves to win and he plays the game the right way, so I’m sure the fans will identify.

“He’s the kind of player you need when you’re in a rebuilding mode. You want to have these character players. It’s a like a recipe, you need a little bit of everything, you can’t just have potatoes in your beef stew. You’ve got to have a little bit of spice, and he’ll bring that.”

Lemieux joked that there might be big shoes to fill if his son is going to generate the kind of hatred on the part of opposing teams that he (Claude) managed to do.

“I was pretty hated,” Lemieux admitted.

It’s clear that Brendan Lemieux was hoping to be a first-round pick, but a good night’s sleep might have helped soften that view.

“I think that’s a blessing as well," Claude Lemieux said. "There’s a pressure on a first-round pick. I didn’t have that pressure. My brother dealt with that pressure being eighth overall in St. Louis and he talked about that with Brendan this morning that it was tough to live up to."

Brendan Lemieux played for Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League and was third in scoring with 53 points but first in penalty minutes.

“He’s going there with absolutely no pressure, you know, go surprise everybody and earn a spot," Lemieux said. "When that’s going to happen is whenever Buffalo sees that he’s ready."

NEW YORK -- It has been speculated for a while now, but Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray confirmed for the first time Wednesday that his star center Jason Spezza has asked out.

And Murray’s phone has been ringing.

"There are a few teams that have asked me about him, what the cost is," Murray said after the GMs meeting Wednesday. "I suggested at least we'll have discussions. I don't want to trade the guy, really, and I know I won't get the value, in all likelihood that I should get for him. But I think that Jason feels maybe there's a change that he would like to have happen, and if that's the case we'll try to do what we can."

The asking price won’t only include futures in return.

"Obviously I'd like to win a hockey game next year, so getting a player back that can play in the league, that has played in the league, would be important," Murray said.

Murray said Wednesday’s GMs meeting is not really much of an opportunity to get a lot done in terms of trade discussions.

"It's such a short time together," he said. "You get a chance to talk to two guys, but not widespread by any means. We're all kicking tires right now. It'll probably be another few weeks, at least, before anything comes down that might be a worthwhile trade talking about."

PANTHERS COACHING LIST
[+] EnlargeDan Blysma
Chuck Myers/Getty ImagesDan Bylsma interviewed for the Florida Panthers' head coach position on Tuesday.
Florida GM Dale Tallon said his exhaustive coaching search is down to six candidates: Dan Bylsma, Ron Wilson, Gerard Gallant, Marc Crawford, Bill Peters and Tom Renney.

Tallon also told my TSN colleague Darren Dreger that Bylsma had a strong interview on Tuesday.

PITTSBURGH CHANGES COMING
Had a chance to chat with new Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford and he’s got his hands full with a team that has seven forwards, three defenseman and a goalie all headed to unrestricted free agency on July 1.

Are more changes afoot in Pittsburgh after GM Ray Shero and head coach Bylsma were let go? You bet.

"Well there’s going to be changes because we have so many UFAs. And we don’t have a lot of cap space," Rutherford told a small group of reporters.

"Are you asking me are there going to be major trades? I don’t know. Talked to some people, some people came after me today and there’s ideas out there. I haven’t been throwing any ideas out but I’ll listen. But obviously there’s going to be some new players there because just the position we’re in with the cap."

It’s believed the team will move on without veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik and there’s a possibility the Pens could move scoring winger James Neal to get younger up front and to free up cap space.

One player Rutherford is intrigued by is defenseman Matt Niskanen, who had a breakout year for the Penguins and is slated for free agency but would like to stay in Pittsburgh.

“He had a good year," Rutherford said. "And trying to figure that out. It’s not going to easy but certainly with the year he had we’d like to take a look at him."

The longtime Carolina GM has not yet talked with captain Sidney Crosby.

“Maybe at some point. Right now we got the coach and the draft and free agency," Rutherford said. "Been calling trying to say hello to players and half of them are wrong numbers and they’re off on vacation somewhere. I’m trying to get as much done as I can in a short period of time."

He would like to have a coach in place before free agency starts July 1.

KANE/TOEWS UPDATE
Confirming what we quoted agent Pat Brisson as saying last week, the Chicago Blackhawks are in talks to extend the contracts of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and would like to get it done by July 1.

"I've had discussions with Pat, I'll continue that," Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said after the GMs meeting. "I'm very optimistic about that. We've been very consistent with we're going to make it happen. I know [from] talking to Pat they certainly want to be in Chicago. It's a negotiation. I would say nothing has changed my thoughts all along, which is we'll get it done. It's still June 11 or 12th, and we've still got a few more weeks before we do anything."

As per the collective bargaining agreement, July 1 is the earliest players could be signed to extensions, one year out from the expiry of their current deals. But it’s clearly important to Bowman to get it done by July 1 because that allows him to plan out the rest of his offseason moves.

"Very eager," Bowman said of getting it done by July 1. "That's been our No. 1 objective all along and I'm expecting to meet that."

Trying to keep his team together and keeping an eye on the salary cap remains as always a challenge for the Hawks, who spend to the max.

"I always have concerns. I wouldn't be, that's part of my job looking forward," Bowman said. "You can't look year to year, you have to look two or three years out and obviously you know a year from now there should be a kind of bump with the new TV deal, but you still don't want to assume anything. You have to be planning your moves two and three years ahead, which we're doing. We have ideas what that entails. We're not going to share that. We've been doing this long enough that we know what has to happen. Then if the cap goes up more than you expect, that's great. We're not assuming anything. We realize it's a puzzle to put together and we'll make it work."

WEBER STAYING PUT
For whatever reason, every once in a while another Shea Weber trade rumor pops up.

It befuddles veteran Nashville Predators GM David Poile because he remains adamant he’s not moving his star blueliner.

"We’re keeping him, we’re building our franchise around him," Poile said after the GMs meeting. "I think we’ve got one of the best young defenses in the league. I think he’s got an excellent chance of winning the Norris Trophy in 11 or 12 days from now. Why wouldn’t we build our team around him? That’s exactly what we’re doing. We just need one or two forwards and when we get that, you’ll be saying, 'Imagine that someone ever thought they would trade Shea Weber?' No, we are not trading Shea Weber."

SABRES CHATTER
Sabres GM Tim Murray says he’d like to pick up another first-round draft pick to add to the second overall pick he already has.

"I can’t imagine I would trade the second overall pick," Murray said. "I’d like to get a couple of more first-round picks and I have those three third-rounders to us. I certainly know you can’t trade a second for a first, but you might take some money back in a deal to do that and I do have to get to the [cap] floor. There are different ways to get to the floor so I’m exploring all that."

ESPN.com's Scott Burnside contributed to this report

Avalanche threatening to bury the Blues

April, 11, 2014
Apr 11
10:00
AM ET
Avalanche 4, Canucks 2
* Paul Stastny (COL): 2 goals (25); 3rd multi-goal game of season.
* Stastny: 25 goals are most since rookie season (28).
* Avalanche: Tied with Blues atop Central Division (own tiebreaker, 47-43 in regulation wins).

Kings 3, Oilers 0
* Marian Gaborik (LA): 2 goals (11); 1st multi-goal game this season (42nd career).
* Martin Jones (LA): 17 saves in 4th shutout this season.
* Kings: 13th shutout this season (leads NHL).

Wild 4, Blues 2
* Blues: Lost season-high 4 straight games.
* Wild: Remain locked into first Wild Card spot in Western Conference.
* Kyle Brodziak (MIN): 2 goals, first multi-goal game this season.
* Ryan Miller (STL): Allowed 4 goals on 13 shots; .813 save pct over past 3 games (12 goals on 64 shots).

Predators 2, Coyotes 0
* Predators: 4-0-1 in last 5 games (have already been eliminated from playoffs).
* Coyotes: Winless in last 6 games.

Lightning 4, Flyers 2
* Lightning: 3-0-0 versus Flyers this season; won 6 straight home games versus Flyers.
* Lightning: 97 points, third-most in a season in franchise history and most since 2010-11 (103 points).

Rangers 2, Sabres 1
* Rangers: Won 9 of last 12 games after losing 6 of previous 9 (2 points behind Lightning for 4th place in East).
* Rick Nash (NYR): Scored game-winning goal with 1:42 left (team-leading 26th goal of season).
* Mats Zuccarello (NYR): 4G, 5A during 6-game point streak.

The postseason just got a little Wild

April, 9, 2014
Apr 9
10:11
AM ET
Wild 4, Bruins 3 (SO)
* Wild: 5-0-1 in last six games, clinch playoff berth with win.
* Jason Pominville (MIN): Two goals (third multi-goal game this season); no goals in previous seven games.
* Bruins: 114 points (most in NHL).

Stars 3, Predators 2 (SO)
* Tyler Seguin: Game-deciding goal in fourth round of SO; second SO goal this season (2-7).
* Stars: 89 points, hold second Western Conference Wild Card (two points ahead of Coyotes).
* Jamie Benn (DAL): Goal (34); third straight game with a goal.
* Predators: Rliminated from playoffs with loss.

Blue Jackets 4, Coyotes 3 (OT)
* Ryan Johansen (CBJ): Second GW OT goal this season (Mar. 29 vs CAR).
* Blue Jackets: 89 points, hold second Eastern Conference Wild Card; 4-1-1 in last 6 games.
* Coyotes: 0-2-3 in last five games.

Red Wings 4, Sabres 2
* Red Wings: 90 points, hold first of two Eastern Conference Wild Card spots.
* Red Wings: 4-0 vs Sabres this season.
* Red Wings: Three goals in third period.
* Mike Babcock (DET): 414th win with team; most in franchise history.

Flyers 5, Panthers 2
* Flyers: Clinch playoff berth with win (17th appearance in last 19 seasons).
* Flyers: Outscored FLA 4-0 in second period (entered with minus-12 goal differential in second period this season).
* Claude Giroux (PHI): Two goals (had two in previous 15 games).
* Vincent Lecavalier (PHI): Goal, assist; reaches 20-goal mark for 13th time in 15-year career.

Rangers 4, Hurricanes 1
* Rangers: Won 11 of last 12 games versus Hurricanes.
* Rangers: 8-2-1 in last 11 games overall.
* Brad Richards (NYR): Two PPG; reaches 20-goal mark for 10th time in 13 NHL seasons.
* Martin St. Louis (NYR): Three assists; first three-point game as member of Rangers.

Capitals 4, Blues 1
* Capitals: First win in regulation since March 18.
* Alex Ovechkin (WSH): Goal, two assists; fifth season with 50+ goals (most among active players, t-6th all-time)
* Nicklas Backstrom (WSH): Two goals, second multi-goal game this season and first since Nov. 1.
* Blues: Lost 3 straight for first time all season

Most 50-Goal Seasons in First 9 Seasons - NHL History

Mike Bossy 9
Wayne Gretzky 8
Guy Lafleur 6
Alex Ovechkin 5
Brett Hull 5

The Central race just keeps getting tighter

April, 7, 2014
Apr 7
9:58
AM ET
Blackhawks 4, Blues 2
* Jeremy Morin (CHI): Goal (3), assist; has goals in each of past two games (scored one goal in his first 20 games of season).
* Blackhawks: Won three straight games; currently two points behind Avalanche (107-105) for second in Central Division.
* Blues: Lost past 2 games (outscored 8-2); lead over Avalanche in Central Division down to four points (111-107); trail Bruins by two points in President's Trophy race (best regular-season record).

Penguins 3, Avalanche 2 (SO) (PIT wins shootout, 1-0)
* Brandon Sutter (PIT): Two goals (13); sixth career multi-goal game.
* Patrick Bordeleau (COL): Game-tying goal (5) with 3:13 left in regulation; first goal since Dec. 10 (had gone 48 games without a goal).

Oilers 4, Ducks 2
* Ducks: Secon straight loss (both in regulation) after going 5-0-1 in previous six games.
* Ducks: Lead in Pacific Division over second-place Sharks remains one point (108-107); Ducks have four games left, Sharks have three.

Flyers 5, Sabres 2
* Brayden Schenn (PHI): Two goals (20); first career 20-goal season.
* Flyers: First win in past five games.

Blue Jackets 4, Islanders 0
* Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ): 31 saves (fifth shutout of season, ninth of career).

Panthers 3, Stars 2
* SSean Bergenheim (FLA): Go-ahead goal (16) with 4:31 left in third period.
* Stars: Lost two of past three games following a three-game winning streak; remain one point ahead of Coyotes for second wild card berth in Western Conference (both teams have four games left to play, meet in regular-season finale).

Pavelski is quite a tricky player this season

March, 26, 2014
Mar 26
9:49
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Sharks 5, Oilers 2
* Joe Pavelski (SJ): Third hat trick of the season; Pavelski and the Stars' Tyler Seguin are the only players with three this season.
* Sharks: At least one point in 12 of last 13 games.
* Sharks: Four-point lead over Ducks in Pacific Division (SJ has played 3 more games than ANA).

Avalanche 5, Predators 4 (COL wins SO, 2-1)
* Gabriel Landeskog (COL): Two goals and game-winning shootout goal; 23 goals on season are career-high.
* Avalanche: Win ends 3-game losing streak (0-2-1).
* Matt Cullen, Roman Josi (NSH): Two goals each.

Blackhawks 4, Stars 2
* Blackhawks: 1-2 on power play; 1-17 on power play previous four games.
* Patrick Sharp (CHI): Two assists; four goals, six assists in four games against Stars this season.
* Tyler Seguin (DAL): Assist; nine-game point streak (seven goals, 10 assists during streak).
* Ryan Garbutt (DAL): Two goals (13, 14); second multi-goal game of season and career (108th career game).
* Stars: Loss clinches playoff spot for Ducks (idle).

Canadiens 2, Sabres 0
* Canadiens: 4-0 vs Sabres this season (only three goals allowed).
* Canadiens: Won five straight versus Sabres; won three straight games overall.
* Max Pacioretty (MTL): 32nd goal of season, one shy of career high (33 in 2011-12).
* Carey Price: 24 saves, fifth shutout of season (second career 30-win season; 38 wins in 2010-11).

FROM ELIAS: Carey Price made 24 saves as he led the Canadiens to a 2–0 win against the Sabres in Montreal. It was Price’s fifth shutout of the season and his 20th clean sheet for the Canadiens over the last four seasons. (He had eight in 2010–11, three in 2011–12 and four in 2012–13.) Price is the first Montreal goaltender to register at least 20 shutouts over a four-season span since Ken Dryden did so over the final four seasons of his NHL career (28 from 1975–76 through 1978–79).

Blue Jackets 4, Red Wings 2
* Blue Jackets: Two power play goals; were 0-for-35 on power play in previous nine games.
* Ryan Johansen (CBJ): Two goals (29); sixth career multi-goal game (fourth this season).
* Red Wings: 4+ goals allowed in seven of past 12 games.

Kings 5, Capitals 4 (LA wins SO, 2-0)
* Alex Ovechkin (WSH): Two goals (48), assist; ninth multi-goal game this season (only second such game the Capitals have lost).
* Kings: 12-3-0 in past 15 games; won seven straight road games overall.
* Kings: Trailed 3-1 entering third period.
* Capitals: Second loss in past six games (both came in shootouts).

Blues 5, Maple Leafs 3
* David Backes (STL): Second career hat trick, first of season; fourth multi-goal game of season.
* Blues: 40-2-5 (.861 win pct) when scoring first; ranks second in NHL.
* Jonathan Bernier (TOR): 44 saves; third loss with at least 44 saves this season, tied for most in NHL.
* Maple Leafs: Lost six straight, allowing 21 goals during stretch; have scored three goals or less in each.

Coyotes 3, Penguins 2
* Coyotes: 2-0-0 versus Penguins this season.
* Coyotes: 8-3-1 in past 12 games.
* Sidney Crosby (PIT): Assist; three goals, four assists in past five games.
* Evgeni Malkin (PIT): DNP due to sprained foot.

The Sharks had Penguin for dinner

March, 7, 2014
Mar 7
10:06
AM ET
Sharks 5, Penguins 3
* Sharks: Outscored Penguins 4-1 in third period.
* Sharks: At least one point in six of last seven games.
* Brent Burns (SJ): Two goals; three goals in last two games following 19-game drought.
* Olli Maatta (PIT): First career two-goal game; has four goals in last five games.

Avalanche 3, Red Wings 2 (F/OT)
* Avalanche: Won four straight; 14-5-0 in last 19 games.
* Andre Benoit (COL): First career OT goal.
* Nathan MacKinnon (COL): Assist on winning goal; 13-game point streak (breaks Wayne Gretzky's record for longest by 18-year-old).
* Red Wings: Ninth home loss this season in OT or shootout (11-11-9 at home).

Coyotes 5, Canadiens 2
* Coyotes: Snap a 14-game winless streak (0-9-5) against the Habs; hadn't beaten Montreal since Dec. 9, 1998.
* Radim Vrbata (PHX): Two goals; third multi-goal game of season.
* Coyotes: Most goals since 6-0 win over Flames on Jan. 7; had scored two or fewer in seven straight.
* P.K. Subban (MTL): Two assists; Two goals, four assists during four-game point streak.

Sabres 3, Lightning 1
* Sabres: Won four of five games since Olympic break.
* Tyler Myers (BUF): Goal, assist; three goals, three assists in last four games.
* Steven Stamkos (TB): No points, 5 shots in 21:03 of ice time; returned after missing 45 games with broken leg.
* Ryan Callahan (TB): No points, 4 shots in 16:33 of ice time in Lightning debut.

Bruins 3, Capitals 0
* Bruins: Won three in a row; improve to 30-5-1 when scoring first.
* Tuukka Rask (BOS): Sixth shutout of season (leads NHL).
* Gregory Campbell (BOS): Goal (7); Four goals in past four games after none in previous 12.
* Capitals: Three-game winless (two losses, tie) streak after winning previous four in a row.
The St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota Wild tallied the most mentions in an unscientific poll of NHL general managers who were asked which clubs impressed them the most with their trade deadline moves.

The Blues were the most cited among responses from 10 GMs on Thursday, their blockbuster acquisition of netminder Ryan Miller and gritty forward Steve Ott solidifying St. Louis as a Cup contender. Blues GM Doug Armstrong got lots of kudos from his peers in our little survey Thursday.

"[Armstrong] gave up a lot, but he got the goalie he needed," said a Western Conference GM. "He’s got conviction. He went for it. I admire him for that."

Added an Eastern Conference GM: "St. Louis for sure got better. Ott is a bit overrated, but [coach Ken Hitchcock] has had him before and will get the best out of him. Miller obviously is the key guy there, a huge upgrade in goal."

The Habs and Wild were tied for the second-most mentions after Montreal nabbed Thomas Vanek and Minnesota got busy over a 48-hour period, adding goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and scorer Matt Moulson.

[+] EnlargeThomas Vanek
Paul Bereswill/Getty ImagesGetting Thomas Vanek for a bargain price earned praise for Marc Bergevin.
Montreal GM Marc Bergevin got high marks from his peers for getting Vanek at a discount rate from the New York Islanders, while Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher got praise for his industrious few days.

"Bergevin did a really good job on Vanek," said a Western Conference GM in a comment that was repeated by many.

The two Florida teams also got a few mentions and for the purpose of this survey would rank tied for third.

Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman had only one team to deal with in meeting the trade demand of his captain, Martin St. Louis, but Yzerman still got a decent deal out of it from the New York Rangers.

"I thought Steve did an excellent job managing that situation. He got a nice return," said a Western Conference GM.

Said another Western Conference GM via email: "To me, Steve Yzerman did the best job. He was dealt a bad hand. And nobody could have played that hand any better. Plus he did it with class (as always)."

Panthers GM Dale Tallon also got some attention for stunningly getting Roberto Luongo out of Vancouver. "Dale Tallon had the best deadline of all," said one Eastern Conference GM.

The Penguins were mentioned by one Western Conference GM, with Pittsburgh adding forward Marcel Goc and Lee Stempniak. "Pitt was strong with quality, under-the-radar players," a GM said via email.

Buffalo Sabres rookie GM Tim Murray has been busy over the past week, beginning a rebuild and getting a vote from one Western Conference GM for his efforts.

"Tim Murray certainly added a lot of long-term assets," said the GM.

The Anaheim Ducks struck out on Canucks center Ryan Kesler but did add veteran blueliner Stephane Robidas. Ducks GM Bob Murray got a vote from a fellow Western Conference GM.

"[Murray] always sees the big picture. He is two steps ahead of what is in front of him," said the GM. "No one has come close to doing the job he has done the last five years. He inherited a very difficult situation and executed flawlessly."

Other post-deadline notes and thoughts:

• Interesting to find out from a source Wednesday night that Toronto was among the teams that inquired about Vanek. Imagine the Leafs’ reaction when rival Montreal got him, especially given the modest price the Canadiens paid.

• Needless to say, the Canadiens were never going to get Vanek if the Islanders’ asking price continued to include a first-round pick, which it did for quite some time. Once the first-round pick was eliminated from the equation, the Habs jumped in with both feet.

• Vanek is on record saying he’s going to the free-agent market on July 1, and at this point there's no reason to think that won't happen. Still, in the back of my mind I wonder whether this is a repeat of the Alexei Kovalev situation, with a presumed rental player ending up staying around because he falls in love with the electric market that is Montreal. Food for thought ...

• The Penguins made an effort on Kesler and also had a line in the water on Ales Hemsky, the Edmonton Oilers forward who went to Ottawa instead. I thought Hemsky would have been a nice fit in Pittsburgh, but Goc and Stempniak are solid additions. Goc is versatile and provides depth at center while Stempniak could surprise some people after being given a fresh start, like Jussi Jokinen has done since joining the Pens at last year’s trade deadline.

And this, from our friends at Bovada:



So much for it being hard to move goaltenders at the trade deadline.

Counting Ryan Miller's move to St. Louis late last week, no fewer than six NHL netminders have changed jerseys in the past few days. And who knows where that number will go by Wednesday's trade deadline?

Miller led the pack both in terms of his résumé and the timing of his move when he was dealt Friday night from the Sabres to the Blues in a deal that also included netminder Jaroslav Halak moving to Buffalo.

Tuesday the goalie carousel picked up speed in earnest with Ilya Bryzgalov moving from Edmonton to Minnesota, where the loquacious netminder will back up rookie Darcy Kuemper for a Wild team that has virtually locked up one of the wild-card spots in the West.

The Oilers, having signed Ben Scrivens to a new two-year deal Tuesday, then acquired Viktor Fasth from Anaheim to shore up their goaltending depth.

And finally the whopper of the day saw Roberto Luongo making his long-awaited departure from Vancouver in a trade back to Florida that also saw the former future heir to the Panthers' goaltending job, Jacob Markstrom, go to Vancouver.

One would imagine that the market for guys like Martin Brodeur, Halak and either Justin Peters or Cam Ward in Carolina (the Canes inked Anton Khudobin to a two-year extension) might have dried up with all the goings-on Tuesday. But then again, it was supposed to be difficult to move goaltenders in general at the trade deadline, so anything is possible.

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