Lindros wishes Nylander luck wearing No. 88 with Maple Leafs

Eric Lindros is all-in on Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander's decision to change his jersey number to 88 next season.

Lindros wore No. 88 throughout his 13-year Hall of Fame career and played 33 games with the Leafs during the 2005-06 season. The Philadelphia Flyers retired the No. 88 in honor of Lindros in January 2018.

Nylander has worn No. 29 for the last three seasons with the Leafs, but took to social media Monday to announce the switch. He even implored fans to have their Nylander jerseys recrested and offered to cover the costs.

The 23-year-old is looking for a bounceback year after recording career lows with seven goals and 27 points in 54 games last season.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Report: Avalanche, Compher avoid arbitration with 4-year, $14M deal

The Colorado Avalanche have signed forward J.T. Compher to a four-year contract with an average annual value of $3.5 million, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reports.

Compher was scheduled to have a salary arbitration hearing July 31.

The 24-year-old, who was a restricted free agent, produced 16 goals and 32 points in 66 regular-season games with the Avalanche this past season. He added four markers and a pair of assists in 12 playoff contests.

Compher has spent all three of his NHL seasons with Colorado. He was a second-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2013 and was shipped to the Avalanche when Colorado dealt Ryan O'Reilly to Buffalo in 2015.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Spooner signs 1-year deal with Switzerland’s HC Lugano

Ryan Spooner is headed overseas.

The 27-year-old center inked a one-year deal with HC Lugano of the Swiss National League, the club announced on Wednesday.

Spooner bounced around the NHL last season, as he began the year with the New York Rangers before he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in November and dealt again to the Vancouver Canucks in February. The Canucks bought him out after just 11 games.

Selected by the Boston Bruins with the 45th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Draft, Spooner recorded 48 goals and 167 points in 325 NHL contests.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Report: Seattle close to naming Ron Francis GM

The NHL's Seattle expansion franchise is close to naming Ron Francis the team's inaugural general manager, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

Francis would become the first major front-office hire owners David Bonderman, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Tod Leiweke have made.

Francis is largely responsible for building the Carolina Hurricanes team that made it to the Eastern Conference Final in 2018. He joined the club's front office prior to the 2006-07 season before being named director of hockey operations in 2011, and then general manager and executive vice president of hockey operations in 2014. His contract was terminated on April 30, 2018 - shortly after the arrival of new owner Tom Dundon.

Francis didn't make many major trades during his time in charge of the Hurricanes, and his two biggest moves led to a home run and a strikeout.

In 2016, he took on Bryan Bickell's contract to land Teuvo Teravainen from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a second-rounder and a third-rounder. Teravainen has become a core player for Carolina, and the 24-year-old is coming off a career-high 76-point season.

Francis' worst move was also a trade with the Blackhawks. Needing to find a solution in goal, Francis surrendered a third-rounder for Scott Darling, and then handed the netminder a four-year, $16.6-million contract. Darling struggled mightily with the Hurricanes, and he was traded to the Florida Panthers this summer then bought out.

Francis has often prioritized drafting and developing young players as a GM. In 2015, he made one of the best draft picks in Hurricanes history, landing franchise cornerstone Sebastian Aho in the second round (35th overall).

Seattle is scheduled to begin play in the 2021-22 season.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

U.S. senators pushing for Willie O’Ree to receive Congressional Gold Medal

A pair of United States senators are urging their peers to sign legislation that would give Willie O'Ree, the NHL's first black player, the Congressional Gold Medal.

The medal is the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress.

"Please join us in honoring Willie O'Ree for his extraordinary contributions to sport, service, and society by cosponsoring the Willie O'Ree Congressional Gold Medal Act," Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan wrote in "Dear Colleague" letters, according to NHL.com's William Douglas.

"Mr. O'Ree is best known as the 'Jackie Robinson of ice hockey' after he became the first black player to compete in the National Hockey League as a member of the Boston Bruins. Through his groundbreaking contributions and commitment to professional hockey, Mr. O'Ree has had a profound impact on the sport for the past 60 years."

O'Ree, now 83, made his NHL debut with the Bruins in 1958. He played 43 games in the NHL before a lengthy career in the WHL.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018. The league also introduced the Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award, recognizing an individual who's worked to make a positive impact on their community through hockey.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Remember, we are all Canucks!