All posts by Brandon Maron

Domi looking forward to ‘bouncing back’ with Blue Jackets

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Max Domi is excited to get things going with his new club and aims to return to being one of the league's top players.

"Great chapter in my life for sure (playing in Montreal), but this next one up here is super exciting for me too," Domi said during "Tim and Sid" on Friday. "You're going to a team that is ready to win, it's a heck of a hockey team. I know first hand how hard it is to play against them - well-coached, a lot of depth. And obviously going into a place where you're wanted and you got a big role, so I'm looking forward to the challenge and I can't wait to get down to Columbus and be a part of the Blue Jackets."

The Blue Jackets acquired the 25-year-old and a third-round draft pick earlier in October from the Montreal Canadiens for Josh Anderson.

After a career-best season in his first year with the Canadiens, during which he posted 28 goals and 72 points, Domi endured the worst statistical campaign of his career during 2019-20. He managed 17 goals and 27 assists in 71 games and was often relegated to a bottom-six role.

However, Domi is looking ahead and betting on himself to have a big comeback season with the Blue Jackets.

"Even Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky, those guys had tough games, tough years," Domi said. "So it's how it goes and you just gotta bounce back. So I'm looking forward to the challenge of bouncing back now and having a huge year this year with Columbus and helping them try to win a Stanley Cup."

Domi, who was a restricted free agent at the time of the trade, inked a two-year, $10.6-million contract with Columbus in the days following the trade.

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Report: Some GMs calling for changes to NHL draft lottery

A number of the NHL's general managers are calling for the league to once again tweak its draft lottery format.

During a virtual meeting Friday, multiple executives around the league argued to increase the odds for the teams that finish lowest in the standings, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

The NHL first introduced a weighted lottery system in 1995, which differed slightly from the system used today. All teams were able to win the lottery, but teams were able to move up a maximum of four positions in the draft. This meant the No. 1 selection could be won by only a bottom-five team; the Los Angeles Kings won the lottery in 1995 and were awarded the No. 3 pick.

However, in an effort to discourage tanking, the league changed its system in 2015. It spread the odds for all non-playoff teams and gave every club a chance at the top pick.

The lottery was altered once again in 2016, putting the top three picks in play for the lottery rather than just the first. That ensured the last-place team is guaranteed a top-four selection rather than the second overall pick if it lost the lottery.

The Detroit Red Wings were "incredibly upset" this year after dropping to the fourth pick despite having the best odds for the No. 1 selection. Detroit has support for its position but the league asked for specific proposals, Friedman adds.

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Pietrangelo: ‘It’ll be emotional every time’ returning to St. Louis

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is prepared for the emotions he'll experience when he faces the St. Louis Blues in future years.

"It'll be emotional for sure, it always is when you get into those situations, it definitely won't be easy," Pietrangelo told NHL Network on Thursday. "Look, I met my wife here, she's from here, we got family here, there's so many things that attach us to this city. At the end of the day, I still have a job to do when I do come and play. It's gonna be emotional for a long time, not just the first time I play. It's gonna be emotional every time I come here."

The 30-year-old has spent his entire NHL career with the Blues since they drafted him fourth overall in 2008. He became team captain in 2016 and helped guide the club to a Stanley Cup victory in 2019.

He signed a seven-year, $61.6-million contract with the Golden Knights as a free agent this offseason.

Pietrangelo knows, however, that once the puck drops, it'll be all business against his former team.

"I grew up here, I grew up as a player, I grew up as a person. I still got family and friends here, I'm sure they're going to be at the games, too," Pietrangelo said. "So all that comes into play but I'm sure once the game gets going, these guys don't let me get off easy and it'll be a wakeup call for me."

He appeared in 758 games with the Blues, racking up 109 goals and 341 assists. Since his rookie season in 2010, Pietrangelo ranks seventh among all defensemen in points.

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Devils sign Kulikov to 1-year, $1.15M contract

The New Jersey Devils signed defenseman Dmitry Kulikov to a one-year contract with a value of $1.15 million, the team announced Thursday.

The veteran blue-liner spent the last three seasons with the Winnipeg Jets. He appeared in 51 games during the 2019-20 campaign, recording two goals and eight assists while averaging 20:01 of ice time per contest.

"Kulikov is an experienced, physical left-shot defenseman who skates well," general manager Tom Fitzgerald said. "His ability to play both the right and left side brings value to our defense corps."

The 29-year-old was selected 14th overall in the 2009 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers. He's skated in 677 career games, tallying 35 goals and 135 assists.

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Oilers sign Kris Russell to 1-year extension

The Edmonton Oilers inked defenseman Kris Russell to a one-year, $1.25M contract extension through the 2021-22 season, the club announced Wednesday.

The 33-year-old appeared in 55 games with the Oilers last season, recording nine assists and averaging 16:47 of ice time per game.

Russell joined the Oilers ahead of the 2016-17 season. He's skated in 846 career games, tallying 46 goals and 190 assists.

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Todd Bertuzzi apologizes to media: ‘Sorry if I was a douche’

Todd Bertuzzi apologized for the way he acted with the media for a portion of his career on Tuesday's edition of Sportsnet 650's "Starting Lineup."

"I was too hard, I told you guys, 'Sorry if I was a douche, man,'" Bertuzzi said. "It's true, I wasn't very co-operative at times because I wasn't ready for that stuff. I didn't want to speak every day. I was paid to go play hockey and entertain fans not to have stuff written in the paper. I could care less what was written in the paper, the stories that you guys needed. I just wanted to go play hockey and entertain fans, that's all I wanted to do."

The 45-year-old was known as a bruising power forward throughout his career. In an infamous 2004 incident while with the Vancouver Canucks, Bertuzzi sucker-punched Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore and fractured multiple vertebrae in his neck, ending his NHL career.

The event resulted in criminal charges against Bertuzzi and a civil lawsuit, which brought an intense media spotlight on him for several months.

"Getting older and understanding that a lot more comes with it, I'm sure things would have been less abrasive after 2004, but at the same time what's done is done and we all learn," Bertuzzi said. "If people want to hate me or have an opinion on me because of that then that's OK I'm fine with that.

"Vancouver, you know what, looking at it now, they were great, they really were. I was just at that point annoyed with having to answer the same set of questions, I was not prepared for what I needed to do."

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Leafs sign Mikheyev to 2-year, $3.29M contract

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed forward Ilya Mikheyev to a two-year contract extension with an average annual value of $1.645 million, the team announced Tuesday.

The two sides were set to have an arbitration hearing on Wednesday. Mikheyev filed for a one-year contract with a value of $2.7 million and the team filed for two years at an average annual value of $1 million, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

Mikheyev appeared in 39 regular-season games during his rookie campaign, registering eight goals and 15 assists. He was cut by a skate on his wrist in December but was able to return for the playoffs.

Prior to joining the Maple Leafs, Mikheyev spent four seasons in the KHL, in which he racked up 62 goals and 60 assists in 224 games.

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Report: NHL tentatively grants 7 non-playoff teams longer training camps

The seven teams excluded from the NHL's return-to-play postseason over the summer will get to hit the ice sooner to get back into the groove of things.

The NHL and NHLPA have tentatively agreed to allow the Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, and San Jose Sharks to get extra training time before regular training camps resume for all teams, TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported on Tuesday's edition of "Insider Trading."

The clubs' general managers reportedly requested the extra training camp time in August. While the extension's details are still unknown, their proposal has reportedly requested a minimum of two additional weeks of camp.

The NHL paused its season on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic. After the league agreed on a 24-team format to finish the campaign, it eliminated the bottom-seven clubs. Players that participated in the return-to-play had the opportunity to join voluntary workouts and condensed training camps before games resumed.

With the NHL aiming to begin the 2020-21 season on Jan. 1, it could be nearly a full year between games for the teams that did not participate in the return-to-play.

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2021 world juniors to begin Christmas Day

The upcoming 2021 World Junior Championship will kick off on Christmas Day for the first time since 2005.

The tournament, which will take place in a bubble in Edmonton and use only Rogers Place to play games, will run from Dec. 25 to Jan. 5.

Here's the schedule:

Teams Date Time (ET)
Switzerland vs. Slovakia Friday Dec. 25 2 p.m.
Germany vs. Finland Friday Dec. 25 6 p.m.
Russia vs. United States Friday Dec. 25 9:30 p.m.
Sweden vs. Czech Republic Saturday Dec. 26 2 p.m.
Germany vs. Canada Saturday Dec. 26 6 p.m.
United States vs. Austria Saturday Dec. 26 9:30 p.m.
Finland vs. Switzerland Sunday Dec. 27 2 p.m.
Slovakia vs. Canada Sunday Dec. 27 6 p.m.
Czech Republic vs. Russia Sunday Dec. 27 9:30 p.m.
Austria vs. Sweden Monday Dec. 28 6 p.m.
Slovakia vs. Germany Monday Dec. 28 9:30 p.m.
United States vs. Czech Republic Tuesday Dec. 29 2 p.m.
Canada vs. Switzerland Tuesday Dec. 29 6 p.m.
Austria vs. Russia Tuesday Dec. 29 9:30 p.m.
Finland vs. Slovakia Wednesday Dec. 30 2 p.m.
Switzerland vs. Germany Wednesday Dec. 30 6 p.m.
Russia vs. Sweden Wednesday Dec. 30 9:30 p.m.
Czech Republic vs. Austria Thursday Dec. 31 2 p.m.
Canada vs. Finland Thursday Dec. 31 6 p.m.
Sweden vs. United States Thursday Dec. 31 9:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals Saturday Jan. 2 12 p.m.
Quarterfinals Saturday Jan. 2 3:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals Saturday Jan. 2 7 p.m.
Quarterfinals Saturday Jan. 2 10:30 p.m.
Semifinals Sunday Jan. 3 6 p.m.
Semifinals Sunday Jan. 3 9:30 p.m.
Bronze Tuesday Jan. 5 5:30 p.m.
Gold Tuesday Jan. 5 9:30 p.m.

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Dadonov ready to mentor young Senators players

Evgenii Dadonov has only a handful of NHL seasons under his belt, but he's set to find himself in a veteran role with the youthful Ottawa Senators.

"They told me I would have a good role on the team because there's not a lot of veterans on the team," Dadonov said, according to Sportsnet's Wayne Scanlan. "It's time for me to step up, as one of the most experienced guys on the team. I'm ready for that."

The 31-year-old inked a three-year pact with the Senators as a free agent. He's set to join a club undergoing a massive overhaul, with seven forwards who are 25 years old or younger.

Dadonov went overseas to play in the KHL for five seasons from 2012 to 2017 before rejoining the Panthers ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.

Over the past three seasons, Dadonov scored 25, 28, and 28 goals, respectively. He'll bring a much-needed goal-scoring presence to the budding Senators lineup, and he hopes the team will compete for the Stanley Cup while he's there.

"I'm really excited to play for this team," Dadonov said. "It wasn't a decision made because of the contract - I hope this team is going to have success and be in the race for the Cup for the next few years."

Dadonov also expressed his confidence in franchise cornerstones Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot, saying they "have a chance to be superstars in the league."

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