All posts by Josh Wegman

11-year NHL veteran Chris Stewart retires

Chris Stewart is retiring after 11 seasons in the NHL, he announced Sunday.

The journeyman forward played for seven teams across 668 career NHL games. His most productive seasons came early in his career with the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues when he notched back-to-back 28-goal campaigns in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

Stewart also had stints with the Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, and Calgary Flames before finishing with the Philadelphia Flyers. He wraps up his career with 160 goals and 162 assists.

The Avalanche drafted Stewart in the first round in 2006.

He's the brother of former NHL player and current Hockey Night in Canada analyst Anthony Stewart. Chris is also a member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance.

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Stars’ Hintz out for Game 5 after crashing into boards

Dallas Stars forward Roope Hintz is unfit to play in Saturday's Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, head coach Rick Bowness told NHL.com's Tom Gulitti.

Hintz took a hard tumble into the boards in Friday's Game 4 after tripping over Tyler Johnson's stick. He left the game and did not return.

No penalty was called on the play.

Hintz tallied 19 goals and 14 assists in 60 games during the regular season and has added 13 points in 25 playoff contests. Justin Dowling will draw into the lineup in Hintz's absence.

The Stars will also continue to be without forwards Blake Comeau and Radek Faksa for the die-or-die tilt. Additionally, goaltender Ben Bishop remains unfit to play, so Anton Khudobin is starting on back-to-back nights.

Dallas trails 3-1 in the series and needs a victory Saturday to keep its Stanley Cup hopes alive.

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Canadiens lock up Petry with 4-year, $25M extension

The Montreal Canadiens signed defenseman Jeff Petry to a four-year extension carrying an annual cap hit of $6.25 million, the team announced Friday.

Petry's current contract, which carried a $5.5-million cap hit, was set to expire after next season. His new deal begins in 2021-22 and runs through the 2024-25 campaign.

The 32-year-old is coming off his three most productive seasons. He tallied 11 goals and 40 points in 71 contests this past campaign. Petry also added two goals - including an overtime winner - and one assist in 10 playoff games.

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Sharks name Boughner head coach, remove interim title

The San Jose Sharks have named Bob Boughner as the ninth head coach in franchise history.

Boughner was promoted from assistant coach to interim bench boss during the 2019-20 season after Peter DeBoer was relieved of his duties.

The 49-year-old guided the Sharks to a 14-20-3 record. The team dealt with some key injuries during his time behind the bench, with Erik Karlsson, Logan Couture, and Tomas Hertl all missing significant time.

Boughner previously served as the head coach of the Florida Panthers, accumulating an 80-62-22 record across two seasons.

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Jets’ Hellebuyck claims Vezina Trophy

Winnipeg Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck was awarded the 2019-20 Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goalie, the league announced Monday.

Hellebuyck edged out Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Here's how the three finalists stacked up statistically:

Stat Hellebuyck Vasilevskiy Rask
GP 58 52 41
GAA 2.57 2.56 2.12
SV% .922 .917 .929
GSAA 22.40 12.13 22.51
SO 6 3 5

Hellebuyck's season was especially impressive considering Winnipeg's overhaul on defense. Of the club's top-five minutes leaders on the back end in 2018-19, Josh Morrissey was the only returning member this past season.

To put into perspective how bad the Jets were defensively, they ranked 29th in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes at five-on-five, per Natural Stat Trick. In actual goals against per 60 minutes, they ranked 10th, primarily due to Hellebuyck's heroics.

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Avs’ Makar edges out Hughes for Calder Trophy

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie, the league announced Monday.

Makar edged out Vancouver Canucks phenom Quinn Hughes and Chicago Blackhawks forward Dominik Kubalik.

The 21-year-old racked up 50 points in 57 games for the Avs while averaging 21 minutes per contest. He was chosen fourth overall at the 2017 NHL Draft.

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5 realistic free-agent landing spots for Pietrangelo

Following Friday's report that the St. Louis Blues broke off contract talks with Alex Pietrangelo and advised their captain to pursue free agency, we look at five sensible landing spots for the star defenseman.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Andrew Francis Wallace / Toronto Star / Getty

Can a star player hailing from the Greater Toronto Area hit free agency and not be linked to the Maple Leafs? We can hear the groans from non-Leafs fans, but this list wouldn't feel complete without at least mentioning a potential Leafs pursuit of the native of King City, Ontario.

With just over $6 million in cap space, the Leafs have the least amount of flexibility of any team to crack this list. However, they may also be more desperate for an impact right-handed defenseman than any club in the league. The addition of a bona fide No. 1 blue-liner like Pietrangelo would turn Toronto's defense from a weakness to a strength.

LD RD
Morgan Rielly Alex Pietrangelo
Jake Muzzin Justin Holl
Travis Dermott Mikko Lehtonen
Rasmus Sandin

In order to afford Pietrangelo, who will likely command at least $8 million per season, Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas will have to make changes throughout the lineup. He wouldn't necessarily need to move someone as important as William Nylander, but fellow forwards Alexander Kerfoot ($3.5 million) and Andreas Johnsson ($3.4 million) would have to be traded and replaced with players making less than $1 million. He'd also have to deal goaltender Frederik Andersen ($5 million) and pursue a cheaper option.

It would really thin out Toronto's bottom-six forward group and create some uncertainty between the pipes, but Pietrangelo could be accommodated if the Leafs are that desperate. It also remains to be seen whether Dubas would want to make a significant long-term commitment to a 30-year-old after signing John Tavares two years ago.

Boston Bruins

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

A right-handed defenseman isn't an area of need for the Bruins, who have Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Connor Clifton in the fold. However, the team's Stanley Cup window is closing quickly, and Pietrangelo would better position Boston to contend with the Tampa Bay Lightning and make another deep playoff run.

Even after re-signing RFAs Jake DeBrusk and Matt Grzelcyk, the Bruins will likely have nearly $9 million to offer. Remember, Torey Krug is a UFA and Zdeno Chara could retire, so there's some money to go around on Boston's blue line. If GM Don Sweeney were to sign Pietrangelo, he could easily trade Carlo or Clifton for a left-handed defenseman or some help up front to relieve the logjam on the right side.

LD RD
Matt Grzelcyk Alex Pietrangelo
Jeremy Lauzon Charlie McAvoy
John Moore Carlo/Clifton
Urho Vaakanainen

Taylor Hall would seem to be a more logical fit for the Bruins, but don't rule out the possibility of the Bruins making a splash for Pietrangelo.

Colorado Avalanche

Dave Sandford / National Hockey League / Getty

The Avalanche are consistently linked to big-name free agents thanks to their cap flexibility and legitimate Stanley Cup aspirations. Colorado has over $22 million in projected cap space, albeit with RFAs Valeri Nichushkin, Tyson Jost, Andre Burakovsky, Nikita Zadorov, and Ryan Graves all in need of new contracts.

General Manager Joe Sakic could easily trade Ian Cole, who's entering the last year of his deal, and Erik Johnson, who can submit a list of 19 teams he'll accept a trade to. Moving both blue-liners would allow Sakic to not only afford Pietrangelo but put the GM in a position to comfortably re-sign Cale Makar and Gabriel Landeskog next offseason.

Adding Pietrangelo would give Colorado one of the best blue lines in the league even before the arrival of 2019 No. 4 pick Bowen Byram.

LD RD
Samuel Girard Alex Pietrangelo
Ryan Graves Cale Makar
Nikita Zadorov Conor Timmins

Issues would arise at the 2021 expansion draft, where the Avs would risk losing Graves if they opt to use the 7-3-1 format. But those same risks exist if they keep Johnson in the fold, who has expansion protection with a no-movement clause.

Calgary Flames

NHL Images / National Hockey League / Getty

Calgary isn't typically the most desirable destination for premier free agents, and the club often has to overpay on the open market. However, GM Brad Treliving is in a great position to make a run at Pietrangelo. His team is in need of some sort of shake-up, and with five pending UFA D-men, there are openings on the blue line and significant cap space to burn.

The Flames have nearly $17 million in projected cap space, and RFAs Andrew Mangiapane, Mark Jankowski, and Oliver Kylington won't break the bank. The team could allow UFAs T.J. Brodie, Travis Hamonic, Erik Gustafsson, Derek Forbort, and Michael Stone to walk. Adding Pietrangelo is a viable option thanks to the organization's youthful depth on D.

LD RD
Mark Giordano Alex Pietrangelo
Noah Hanifin Rasmus Andersson
Juuso Valimaki Oliver Kylington

Assuming Giordano still has another year or two left of quality play, this would be one of the best blue lines in the league.

Edmonton Oilers

Dave Sandford / National Hockey League / Getty

Edmonton has also struggled to lure marquee free agents, but an opportunity to play on a team with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl could be awfully tantalizing for Pietrangelo.

The Oilers have $10.5 million in projected cap space this offseason. The contracts of RFAs Ethan Bear and Andreas Athanasiou will eat into that, and GM Ken Holland has to sign a backup goalie, too. This means a contract - or maybe two - would need to be moved.

Adam Larsson would make sense as the odd man out. He's entering the final year of his deal that carries a $4.16-million cap hit, and there would be no shortage of suitors. Pietrangelo would then take his spot in the lineup.

LD RD
Oscar Klefbom Alex Pietrangelo
Darnell Nurse Ethan Bear
Caleb Jones Kris Russell

Signing Pietrangelo would likely require Edmonton to protect four defensemen - eight total players - at the expansion draft instead of protecting seven forwards and three rearguards. However, the Oilers are pretty top-heavy up front, so they're one of the few teams that could manage it.

Having a horse like Pietrangelo to complement Edmonton's star forwards would vastly increase the team's Stanley Cup hopes.

(Salary source: CapFriendly)

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Penguins re-sign McCann to 2-year deal with $2.94M AAV

The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed restricted free-agent forward Jared McCann to a two-year contract carrying an annual cap hit of $2.94 million, the team announced Friday.

McCann tallied 14 goals and 35 points in 55 games this season while averaging 15:15 per night. The 24-year-old has been used as both a center and a winger since arriving in Pittsburgh in 2019. He's proven to be a strong defensive player, too.

The Florida Panthers dealt McCann to the Pens prior to the 2019 trade deadline along with Nick Bjugstad in exchange for Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, a second-round pick, and two fourth-round picks. Bjugstad was traded to the Minnesota Wild last week for a conditional pick.

McCann was chosen 24th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Vancouver Canucks.

The Penguins now have $75.4 million committed to 11 forwards, eight defensemen, and one goalie for next season, according to CapFriendly.

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Senators announce return to old ‘2D’ logo

What's old is new again.

The Ottawa Senators are going back to their roots and returning to their old '2D' logo, as the club announced Friday.

The only difference between the above logo and the new one is the gold trimming on the cape instead of red, as seen below:

"The fans of this great franchise have high expectations," said owner Eugene Melnyk. "We have heard from our fans, our partners and our players, and we have listened. It is time to return to our heritage but in a bold, new manner. The Senators have a rich history in our community, and we are ready for the next chapter to begin."

The club will unveil a new set of home and away uniforms on Oct. 6 at the NHL Entry Draft.

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