Report: Flames re-sign Gillies to 2-year deal

Jon Gillies has agreed to a new two-year deal with the Calgary Flames, reports Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports.

The agreement is a two-way deal for the first year, which becomes a one-way contract in 2019-20.

Gillies appeared in 11 games with the Flames last season, posting a 3-5-1 record with a .896 save percentage.

The 24-year-old will compete for the Flames' backup position this season with fellow netminder David Rittich, a restricted free agent who has filed for salary arbitration.

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Predators ink Saros to 3-year deal

The Nashville Predators have signed goaltender Juuse Saros to a three-year, $4.5-million contract, the team announced Monday.

The 23-year-old netminder was named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team last season after posting an 11-5-7 record. Saros recorded a 2.44 goals against average and a .925 save percentage, the third-best percentage in Predators' history.

The Forssa, Finland, native was a fourth-round pick by the Predators in 2013. He's appeared in 48 career NHL games and holds a career 21-14-10 record with the blue and gold.

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Rangers sign Gilmour to 1-year deal; 4 others accept qualifying offers

The New York Rangers have agreed to terms with defenseman John Gilmour on a one-year deal, the club announced Monday.

Gilmour appeared in 28 games with New York last season, where he scored two goals and added three assists, including the first-ever overtime winner by a Rangers rookie defender.

The 6-foot, 195-pound blue-liner skated in 120 AHL games over two seasons with Hartford, where he recorded 51 points. Before his professional career, Gilmour played four seasons for Providence College, where he helped the Friars to their first NCAA Championship title in 2015.

In addition to the Gilmour signing, restricted free agents Chris Bigras, Steven Fogarty, Boo Nieves, and Rob O'Gara all accepted qualifying offers from the Rangers.

Bigras was acquired by the Rangers in exchange for Ryan Graves in 2018. The 23-year-old defenseman played 46 games with the Colorado Avalanche over two seasons, recording four points.

Fogarty, a third-round draft pick of the Rangers in 2011, has appeared in 132 AHL games with Hartford over three seasons. The center has tallied 41 points, and last season set career highs in goals, shorthanded goals, and game-winning goals.

Nieves, a Rangers second-rounder from 2012, split last season between the NHL and AHL. In 28 games with the Rangers, the center netted nine points and posted a plus-six rating.

O'Gara was acquired from the Boston Bruins in 2018. The 25-year-old defender appeared in 30 NHL games last season, tallied three assists, and was tied for third on the team in blocked shots per game.

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Ducks sign Henrique to 5-year extension worth reported $29.125M

The Anaheim Ducks signed forward Adam Henrique to a five-year contract extension on Monday, the team announced.

The deal carries an average value of $5.825 million per season for a total of $29.125 million, a source told The Athletic's Josh Cooper.

Henrique joined the Ducks following a trade in late November that saw Sami Vatanen dealt to the New Jersey Devils. With Monday's signing, the Devils will now receive the Ducks' 2019 third-round pick as part of the condition in the trade, according to CapFriendly.

In 81 games split between the Ducks and Devils, Henrique put up a combined 24 goals and 50 points, reaching the half-century mark for the third time in his seven-year career.

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Flames lock up Lindholm with 6-year, $29.1M contract

The Calgary Flames re-signed forward Elias Lindholm to a six-year contract worth $4.85 million annually, the team announced Monday.

Lindholm and Noah Hanifin were acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes following last month's NHL draft in a blockbuster trade that sent Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and Adam Fox the other way.

The 23-year-old Lindholm was chosen fifth overall by the Hurricanes in 2013, but his development has taken slightly longer than expected. He's played in five NHL seasons, and compiled 16 goals and 44 points during 2017-18, both one shy of his career highs.

The Swede is capable of playing both center and on the wing, so head coach Bill Peters (who coached Lindholm in Carolina) can use him in a variety of ways. However, a spot alongside Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau on Calgary's top line could be the quickest formula for Lindholm to find his untapped potential.

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Predators, Hartman sign 1-year, $875K contract

The Nashville Predators signed restricted free-agent forward Ryan Hartman to a one-year, $875,000 contract on Monday, the team announced.

The 23-year-old was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks ahead of last season's trade deadline along with a fifth-round pick. In exchange, the Predators shipped out a first- and fourth-round selection, as well as prospect Victor Ejdsell.

In 79 games split between the Blackhawks and Predators, Hartman tallied 11 goals and matched his career high with 31 points.

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‘No contract progress’ in talks between Panarin, Blue Jackets, says agent

Despite a meeting in Nice, France, on Monday between Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and forward Artemi Panarin, it appears the sides are no closer to a contract extension.

While Kekalainen declined to comment following the meeting, Panarin's agent, Dan Milstein, said it was a "good conversation," but that there was "no contract progress at this time," according to The Athletic's Aaron Portzline.

It was reported back in June that Panarin wasn't ready to consider signing a contract extension with the Blue Jackets, and that Kekalainen was therefore testing the market for him.

The 26-year-old Panarin has one year left on his current two-year, $12-million contract, after which he'll become an unrestricted free agent.

He's coming off his first season with Columbus following a trade that sent Brandon Saad to the Chicago Blackhawks in return. Panarin finished 2017-18 with 27 goals and a career-high 82 points in 81 games.

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4 fantasy hockey breakout candidates

Players available in the middle of a fantasy hockey draft who will greatly exceed expectations are just as important as the valuable sleepers in the later rounds.

Targeting players who are on the radar of most managers in your league by picking them a round or two ahead of where their career production dictates is a major key to fantasy success.

Here's a look at four players who could have breakout campaigns in 2018-19 and should be available at reasonable draft slots.

C/LW Alex Galchenyuk, Coyotes

The No. 3 pick from the 2012 NHL Draft was finally granted his freedom from the Montreal Canadiens after a trade, and he should instantly play a massive role for the Arizona Coyotes.

The 24-year-old Galchenyuk enjoyed a solid season in 2015-16 with 30 goals and 56 points. But he hasn't even hit the 20-goal mark in either of the two seasons since, and his shooting percentage dipped to a career-low 8.9 in 2017-18. Galchenyuk has never averaged more than 16:30 of ice time per game over a full campaign, and he's constantly been switched between the wing and center.

He'll battle with Derek Stepan during the preseason for the first-line center role in Arizona. The recent addition of winger Vinnie Hinostroza through a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks provides the Coyotes with sorely needed depth on the outside.

Galchenyuk ranked second among Canadiens' forwards with 240:01 of power-play time last season, totalling a team-best 24 points. Both of those figures exceed those of Stepan, and should provide the new addition with further fantasy opportunities.

LW/RW Pavel Buchnevich, Rangers

Buchnevich took a tremendous step forward in his sophomore season, playing in nearly twice as many games and more than doubling his rookie-year point total. His shooting percentage dipped to a more reasonable 10.3, but seeing just shy of an extra two minutes of ice time allowed him to register an additional shot on goal every two games.

The Rangers' thin forward depth should give Buchnevich an inside track to play on the top line beside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. He'll either be the focus of the second power-play unit or work the point on the top squad.

Losing J.T. Miller, Rick Nash, and David Desharnais since the trade deadline leaves 342 shots on goal from last season to replace. There will be plenty of chances for Buchnevich entering the third and final season of his rookie deal.

D Darnell Nurse, Oilers

Nurse has steadily progressed since being the seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft.

The 6-foot-4, 221-pound defender showed some signs of offensive upside during the 2017-18 season, registering 194 shots on goal. He ranked second among Oilers skaters while averaging 22:15 of ice time per game, and only Connor McDavid and Oscar Klefbom fired more shots on target.

Had he been able to match his 5.9 percent shooting rate from the previous season, Nurse would've tallied 11 goals last year. He did, however, record 20 assists, largely as a result of playing with McDavid at even strength. Increased time with the man advantage, and some team success after the Oilers ranked just 20th in goals last season, should allow Nurse to approach the 40-point threshold.

C/LW Pierre-Luc Dubois, Blue Jackets

Dubois' ceiling is strongly tied to the whereabouts of Artemi Panarin in 2018-19. Panarin has been included in trade rumors following a report that he's not ready to sign an extension with the Blue Jackets.

Dubois finished third in team scoring as a rookie last season, behind Panarin and defenseman Seth Jones, despite trailing the two by averages of 3.5 and eight minutes of ice time per game. He's projected to serve as the top center this year with Panarin and Cam Atkinson filing in beside him.

If Panarin is traded for nothing more than draft picks and prospects, Dubois should be able to greatly improve on his rookie success. He'd likely be asked to take on a large share of replacing the 228 shots on goal left behind by Panarin, and push for a 30-goal season while riding his reasonably sustainable 12.1 shooting percentage in 2017-18.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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