Blue Jackets farmhand ‘alert and conscious’ after reportedly collapsing on bench

A Columbus Blue Jackets minor leaguer was taken to hospital after reportedly collapsing on the bench Friday night.

Brett Gallant of the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters was "alert and conscious," the team announced Friday night.

He was taken off the bench on a stretcher during the Monsters' game against the Toronto Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.

Monsters play-by-play broadcaster Tony Brown described the scene:

Gallant appeared in 47 games for the Blue Jackets' affiliate this season, after five campaigns with the New York Islanders' farm club, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

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Vesey says there’s no favorite to sign him, father insists Leafs job won’t impact choice

Jimmy Vesey says no NHL team has the inside track to signing him, and his father doesn't expect his employment as a scout to affect his son's choice.

The 22-year-old forward and his father, Jim Vesey, Sr., spoke to the media Friday for the first time since informing the Nashville Predators of his decision to enter free agency.

The Veseys told Kevin Paul Dupont of The Boston Globe that they have no favorite when it comes to Jimmy's NHL destination, and he hasn't made up his mind about whether to sign with the Boston Bruins.

"There are 29 teams I can look at, and I'll find the best fit for me," Jimmy said.

The elder Vesey told Dupont that he'd suggest his son not sign with the Bruins because of the pressure that comes with playing in his home state, but said it's his son's choice to make.

''My advice, personally, (is that) I'd like to see him start somewhere (other than Boston) ... as a dad," Jim said.

Jimmy was born in Massachusetts and spent four seasons at Harvard. He was named the recipient of the Hobey Baker Award as the top NCAA men's hockey player Friday.

Jim works as a scout with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but says that won't impact his son's decision.

The Nashville Predators selected Jimmy in the third round of the 2012 draft, but he opted to return for his senior season at Harvard rather than signing with them last spring, then informed the club last month that he planned to test free agency instead of signing with Nashville before the Aug. 15 deadline.

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Devils sign Boston College’s Santini to 3-year deal

The New Jersey Devils signed defenseman Steven Santini to a three-year entry-level contract Friday.

The deal begins this season, and Santini will report to the Devils on Saturday.

The 21-year-old collected 19 points in 41 games in his junior season with the Eagles, who were eliminated from the Frozen Four tournament Thursday.

New Jersey selected him 42nd overall in 2013.

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Jimmy Vesey wins Hobey Baker Award

Jimmy Vesey has been named the winner of the 2016 Hobey Baker Award, beating out Michigan forward Kyle Connor and goaltender Thatcher Demko of Boston College.

The 22-year-old forward is the first ECAC player to win the national honor since 1989. He's a two-time ECAC Player of the Year.

The Hobey Baker Award is given out annually to the nation's top NCAA men's hockey player.

Vesey notched 24 goals and 22 assists in 33 games during his senior season at Harvard, boasting the seventh-best points-per-game mark in the country.

He was part of the Hobey Hat Trick - the final three nominees - for the second consecutive season, after losing out to Jack Eichel in 2015.

Last month, Vesey informed the Nashville Predators that he didn't plan to sign with them prior to the Aug. 15 deadline, opting to become an NHL free agent.

He returned to the Crimson for his senior campaign after turning down a deal with the Predators last spring.

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Sabres GM won’t attend draft lottery

A man can only handle so much heartbreak.

Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray said Friday he isn't going to the draft lottery later this month.

"They can save the paper and the call inviting me. I will not be there," Murray said on Buffalo radio station WGR 550. "I'm not saying somebody from the organization won't go and represent, but it won't be me."

Murray was present for the last two draft lotteries, during which the Sabres failed to land the first overall pick despite having the NHL's worst record both times.

"(The lottery is) going to happen whether I'm there or not, so it's a waste of time," Murray said. "Whatever they do (when) the balls come out, nothing's going to change whether I'm there or not."

Buffalo missed out on Aaron Ekblad in 2014 and Connor McDavid in 2015, settling for second overall picks Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel, respectively.

The much-improved Sabres have the league's eighth-worst record and only a six percent chance of securing the top selection this time around, according to TSN.

The 2016 draft lottery takes place April 30. The new format will involve three separate lotteries to determine each of the top three picks.

- With h/t to John Vogl

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