Panthers agree to 3-year, $7.59M extension with Vatrano

The Florida Panthers have agreed to a three-year contract extension with forward Frank Vatrano worth $2.53 million per season, general manager Dale Tallon confirmed to George Richards of The Athletic.

Vatrano was acquired by the Panthers from the Boston Bruins last season and is currently playing out a one-year deal worth $925,000.

The 24-year-old is having the most productive season of his four-year career with 20 goals and 33 points through 58 games while averaging 14:32 per contest.

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Stars land Zuccarello from Rangers

The Dallas Stars have acquired forward Mats Zuccarello from the New York Rangers in exchange for a conditional second-round pick in 2019 and a conditional third-round pick in 2020, the teams announced.

The 2019 second-rounder will become a first if the Stars win two playoff rounds and Zuccarello plays in at least 50 percent of the team's cumulative games during those series, and the 2020 third-rounder will become a first if Dallas re-signs the nine-year veteran.

The Rangers have also agreed to retain 30 percent of the forward's salary, according to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun. Zuccarello is in the final year of his current deal with an annual cap hit of $4.5 million and is scheduled to become a UFA on July 1.

The 31-year-old's speed and playmaking ability will provide an offensive boost for a Dallas team that currently ranks 29th in league scoring with 2.51 goals per game.

In the 2014 postseason, Zuccarello helped the Rangers reach the Stanley Cup Final, chipping in 13 points over 25 games. The Norwegian winger has recorded 113 goals and 352 points in 509 career games, all for the Rangers.

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Sens trade Dzingel to Blue Jackets for Duclair, picks

The Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets have struck another deal.

Ottawa has traded forward Ryan Dzingel and a seventh-round pick to Columbus for Anthony Duclair and two second-rounders, the teams announced Saturday.

The picks headed Ottawa's way are for 2020 and 2021, while Columbus' pick is for this year.

It's the second trade between the two clubs in as many days, with the Senators sending center Matt Duchene to the Blue Jackets on Friday for a first-round pick and a pair of prospects.

Dzingel had been held out of the Senators' last two games as a healthy scratch. As an unrestricted free agent this summer, the 26-year-old was one of the top names on the rental market, and his move to Columbus does not include a contract extension, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

Dzingel is in the midst of a career season and has already set a new personal best with 44 points in 57 games. His cap hit for the rest of the year stands at $1.8 million, per Cap Friendly.

The Blue Jackets jumped into third spot in the Metropolitan Division with back-to-back wins over the weekend to put them at 73 points.

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McDavid didn’t expect suspension before hearing

Connor McDavid didn't think he would be forced to sit out any games for his high hit on Nick Leddy before discussing it with the league.

The Edmonton Oilers superstar said he was surprised by the NHL's reaction to his check from Thursday's game that drew a two-game ban Friday.

"I kind of expected to be suspended (after talking to the Department of Player Safety, but) I have to be honest, I didn't think (I) was going to be suspended at all going into the hearing," McDavid told reporters Saturday. "But after hearing their tone of voice and whatnot, I had a little bit of a sense that it was going to go that way."

McDavid appeared to criticize the process, which resulted in the first suspension of his NHL career.

"I think a lot of times, they go in and they already have their mind made up," he said. "They don't really care what you have to say. So ultimately, the hearing went as good as you'd expect."

McDavid hasn't decided whether to appeal but has 48 hours from the time of the decision to do so.

Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson said Saturday that the organization is "really disappointed" with the ruling, echoing his statement from Friday in which he said the team strongly disagreed with McDavid's suspension.

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Sabres’ Skinner returns after leaving game with apparent leg injury

The Buffalo Sabres appeared to lose their top goal scorer in gruesome fashion Saturday, but he made a seemingly miraculous recovery.

Jeff Skinner was back on the ice to start the third period after leaving the Sabres' afternoon tilt against the Washington Capitals early in the second frame.

He was unable to put weight on his left leg after being tripped by Capitals forward Carl Hagelin and had to be assisted off the ice.

The 26-year-old winger was immediately helped to the dressing room and Hagelin was assessed a two-minute minor for tripping.

Skinner entered Saturday's action tied for third in the NHL with 36 goals. Buffalo acquired him from the Carolina Hurricanes for prospect Cliff Pu and three draft picks this past summer.

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Report: Bruins, Blue Jackets among teams chasing Dzingel

A pair of Eastern Conference clubs appear to have Ryan Dzingel on their respective radars.

The Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets are among the suitors for the Ottawa Senators forward, TSN's Darren Dreger reported Saturday.

Ottawa reportedly made Dzingel and fellow pending unrestricted free agent Mark Stone available for trade Thursday. Both players have been withheld from the Senators' lineup in each of the past two games as the Feb. 25 trade deadline approaches.

Following the Friday trade that sent Matt Duchene to the Blue Jackets, Dzingel now ranks second among Senators players with 22 goals this season.

The 26-year-old winger's expiring contract carries a cap hit of $1.8 million, according to CapFriendly.

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Rangers scratch Hayes, Zuccarello, McQuaid as deadline looms

The New York Rangers aren't taking any chances ahead of Monday's trade deadline.

Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello, and Adam McQuaid were all scratched from Saturday's matinee against the New Jersey Devils.

All three players are pending unrestricted free agents and are widely expected to be traded by the rebuilding Rangers.

Hayes ranks third on the club in both goals (14) and points (42) through 51 games. He carries a $5.175-million cap hit, according to CapFriendly.

Zuccarello, who's posted 37 points in 46 contests, is on the books for $4.5 million.

McQuaid's deal carries a cap hit of $2.75 million. New York acquired 32-year-old defenseman from the Boston Bruins in September.

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Red Wings summon top prospect Zadina from AHL

Filip Zadina is about to get his first taste of NHL action.

The Detroit Red Wings have recalled the 19-year-old winger from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, the team announced Saturday.

Zadina posted 15 goals and 31 points in 45 games with the Griffins this season.

The Red Wings selected him sixth overall in last June's draft after he racked up 44 goals and 82 points in 57 contests with the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads in 2017-18.

Detroit hosts the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

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