4 takeaways from BioSteel Camp: Simmonds wants to turn back clock

TORONTO - Dozens of NHL players and prospects descended upon St. Michael's College School Arena this week for BioSteel Camp.

The annual late-August gathering, headlined once again by Connor McDavid and Tyler Seguin, included an emotional gesture this time around: The BioSteel Cup was renamed the Ray Emery Cup in honor of the former NHL goalie. Emery, 35, died July 15.

"He was such a special character," Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse said. "He was always the life of the party, life of the room. Always had a smile on his face."

Related - O'Reilly, Fabbri central to Blues' offensive refresh

Team Seguin won the trophy Thursday for its four-on-four tournament victory. Meanwhile, various players' media availabilities throughout the week produced plenty of news. Here are four bigger-picture takeaways from the event.

Simmonds ready to shut up critics

Wayne Simmonds, general manager Ron Hextall, and Philadelphia Flyers fans all know it: This coming season is gigantic for Simmonds. He's not young anymore, his underlying numbers have dipped, and his body is breaking down. He can sign a new contract with Philadelphia at any time, or he can wait and sign with another NHL team next July 1.

On Wednesday, Simmonds - who says his reps and the team have held "preliminary talks" about an extension - was asked if he had something to prove in 2018-19.

"To prove?" he replied, seeming bothered by the question. "I don't know, I've played 10 years in this league. I've put together some pretty good years, so I don't think I have much to prove other than just being the player that I am."

It's a fair response. If Simmonds can recapture the 30-and-30 form from his finest stretch of hockey - bookended by a 29-goal, 31-assist '13-14, and a 32-goal, 28-assist '15-16 - more power to him.

However, the likelihood of him turning back the clock is, well, slim.

For starters, he's not dealing with a single-season downturn. His worst year since '13-14 was arguably '16-17, when his five-on-five numbers started to slump.

SEASON 5v5 G/60 5v5 PTS/60 PP G/60 PP PTS/60
2013-14 0.58 1.68 3.24 5.18
2014-15 0.75 1.44 3.55 6.09
2015-16 0.87 1.92 2.66 4.29
2016-17 0.63 1.14 3.17 4.95
2017-18 0.49 1.29 2.65 4.10

(G/60 = Goals per 60 minutes; PTS/60 = Points per 60 minutes)

Rate stats may look complicated, but they're quite simple. Essentially, the table suggests Simmonds, once a highly efficient five-on-five and power-play producer, is not aging gracefully from a statistical standpoint.

The late-season development of Nolan Patrick (who scored 12 of his 30 points in his final 19 games) and the summer signing of 36-goal scorer James van Riemsdyk are boons for both the Flyers and, by extension, Simmonds. Yet they also jeopardized the former L.A. King's trademark net-front superiority.

Making matters worse, Simmonds is still rebounding from last year's absurd list of injuries - broken teeth, a broken ankle, a torn ligament in his thumb, and a torn pelvic ligament. The 30-year-old underwent surgery on his pelvis this spring and is feeling fine overall, but notes he's battling to regain game speed.

"I'm going to come in, I'm going to work hard," Simmonds said of Flyers training camp, "and you'll see what you usually see from me - which was obviously not last year, I don't think I had my best year - but I'm going to get better, I'm going to be healthy, and things are going to be good."

Unpredictability makes for great theater, and Simmonds - a fearless competitor who's been criminally underpaid for the duration of his six-year, $23.85-million contract - is clearly ready to face the challenge head-on.

Montour, Ducks' D just getting started

Brandon Montour is betting on himself.

Unable to "figure out a longer-term deal that made sense," the 24-year-old defenseman settled for a two-year, $6.775-million bridge contract with the Anaheim Ducks in late July.

"I'm still growing as a player, and both sides were happy with doing something like this and we'll move forward from it," Montour told theScore on Tuesday. "I tell people all the time - I want to be there for a long time, they want me there as well."

With Montour, Cam Fowler, Josh Manson, and no-frills anchor Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim's top four is a perfect blend of handedness (two lefties, two righties), youth (ages range from 24 to 26), mobility (they can all wheel and transport the puck), and offensive prowess (all four picked up at least 30 points last year).

"We have all the confidence in the world," Montour, who is entering his second full NHL season, said of the Ducks' defense corps. "Being from where we are, being in California, we don't get seen or watched as much, (but) the four of us are very strong players and we feed off each other. Having duos like that - me and Cam, and Hampus and Manson - it's definitely huge for us as a team, and I feel like when we're out there we dictate the play and we take pride in that."

Heading into training camp, the forward group is more uncertain. Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Ryan Kesler are 33, 33, and 34, respectively. There's speculation Kesler could sit out the entire season to rehab a hip injury. Is Montour concerned about his teammate's health?

"A little bit. He's looking to start the year," he said. "It's one of those things where we obviously didn't want the result we had in the playoffs but, for his sake and a couple of guys with key injuries, it's definitely allowed for a lot more time to rest and get prepared for the year. As far as I know, we should have a healthy team."

Strome determined to take final step

Addressing the idea that the 2017-18 Oilers lost their "hunger" after making the playoffs the year prior, Nurse said Monday that "you can't believe your own hype."

Dylan Strome, however, would be best served by doing the opposite. The third pick in the 2015 draft - sandwiched between McDavid/Jack Eichel and Mitch Marner/Noah Hanifin - needs to believe in his own pre-draft hype at this point.

In his age-20 season, Strome recorded 53 points in 50 AHL games, indicating he has outgrown the feeder system. After plenty of junior and minor-league marination and 27 NHL games, he is ready for a full-time role with an up-and-coming Arizona Coyotes squad.

"It felt like I did what I was asked to do and I felt a lot better throughout the year," Strome said Monday. "I put up some good numbers, so hopefully I can continue that next year at the NHL level."

The knock on Strome has always been his skating, even though he checks off several other scouting boxes - hockey sense, shooting ability, vision, puck protection, reach, playmaking ability.

And because the modern NHL rewards speed over anything else, he won't be able to shake off the stigma until he can display significant improvement. The 6-foot-3, 183-pounder has been working tirelessly with Coyotes skating coach Dawn Braid this summer and in past offseasons.

"I feel a lot stronger, a lot faster," Strome said, explaining that his current sessions with Braid focus on improving his posture, positioning, and first few steps. "It's hard to tell when you're not in the game, but I'm excited for the year."

Fortnite still making waves

Erik Gudbranson is right in that sweet spot. He's 26, making him a millennial who's young enough to understand video game culture. But he's not so young compared to some of his fellow players.

"The kids are too good on this game," Gudbranson said Wednesday with a hearty laugh. "I go on there, I get roasted, and you just get sick of it."

The Vancouver Canucks defenseman is referring to the "definitely addictive" Fortnite, the outrageously popular third-person survival game that has taken the hockey world (and beyond) by storm.

The hoopla began in May, when Sportsnet's Jeff Marek told a story on a podcast about a top prospect whose video game addiction was ruining a promising career. It continued in June at the NHL scouting combine, where participants were grilled about their relationship with Fortnite. And it got a third life Tuesday when TSN's Rick Westhead reported some junior teams have advised players to "scrub Fortnite references from social media accounts" to avoid presenting themselves poorly to NHL clubs.

"It's been pretty big," Jordan Subban, a 23-year-old Maple Leafs prospect, said of the video game craze. "Even when I was in California last year (playing for the AHL's Ontario Reign), with the sun all year round, a lot of guys would still go home and just play video games. I try and not play it as much, but it's hard."

A common response on social media in the wake of Westhead's report: At least these kids aren't out drinking or causing trouble. But given the attention that Fortnite continues to receive and the timing - rookie tournaments are just around the corner - don't expect this topic to die anytime soon.

John Matisz is theScore's national hockey writer. You can find him on Twitter @matiszjohn.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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Bergeron not going to China, hoping to play in season opener

Patrice Bergeron isn't going to see the Great Wall, but he's aiming to be in the lineup this fall.

The Boston Bruins star center will not travel with the club to China for a pair of preseason games against the Calgary Flames, he told reporters including NHL.com's Amalie Benjamin on Friday.

Bergeron will stay back to continue his rehab following offseason surgery and is hoping to be ready for the team's season opener.

The four-time Selke Trophy winner underwent a groin procedure in June and was expected to be back at full strength by early August.

For what it's worth, he did take part in practice Friday.

The Bruins will face the Flames in China on Sept. 15 in Shenzhen, and on Sept. 19 in Beijing. Boston begins its regular-season schedule Oct. 3 on the road against the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.

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Fantasy: 10-team NHL mock draft with analysis

theScore staff took part in a 10-team, 16-round mock to provide a glimpse at what your drafts could look like, and provide analysis on the picks that were made.

Related: theScore's 2018-19 Fantasy Hockey Draft Kit

This is a standard scoring, head-to-head league made up of the following categories:

Skater Goalie
Goals Wins
Assists Goals-against average
Plus/Minus Save percentage
Penalty Minutes Shutouts
Power play points
Shots on goal

The roster positions are as follows: C, C, LW, LW, RW, RW, D, D, D, D, G, G, BN, BN, BN, BN, IR, IR

Draft participants: Craig Hagerman, Josh Gold-Smith, Esten McLaren, Austin Owens, John Matisz, Eric Patterson, Josh Wegman, Alan Wong, Patrick Allen, Jason Wilson.

Round 1

Pick Player Owner
1 C Connor McDavid (EDM) Hagerman
2 RW Nikita Kucherov (TB) Gold-Smith
3 C Steven Stamkos (TB) McLaren
4 C Sidney Crosby (PIT) Owens
5 C Evgeni Malkin (PIT) Matisz
6 C Nathan MacKinnon (COL) Patterson
7 LW Brad Marchand (BOS) Wegman
8 LW Alex Ovechkin (WSH) Wong
9 C Auston Matthews (TOR) Allen
10 RW Patrik Laine (WPG) Wilson

The first round came and went with no outlandish surprises. Ovechkin probably slipped further than he should have, providing nice value for Team Wong. I went with Marchand instead, who finished fourth in points per game last year and accumulates more PIMs than most first-round players. Team McLaren is banking on improvement from Stamkos after an 86-point campaign. If he plateaus, this will turn out to be a bad third overall pick.

Round 2

Pick Player Owner
11 C John Tavares (TOR) Wilson
12 RW David Pastrnak (BOS) Allen
13 RW Patrick Kane (CHI) Wong
14 C/RW Tyler Seguin (DAL) Wegman
15 LW Taylor Hall (NJ) Patterson
16 C/RW Blake Wheeler (WPG) Matisz
17 D Erik Karlsson (OTT) Owens
18 C Evgeny Kuznetsov (WSH) McLaren
19 C/LW Claude Giroux (PHI) Gold-Smith
20 C Mark Scheifele (WPG) Hagerman

Team Owens takes Karlsson as the first D off the board. His ceiling will be enhanced further if he's dealt to a cup-contending team. If Giroux has another season like his 102-point campaign from a year ago, Team Gold-Smith has a steal on his hands. Pastrnak is full of upside and plays on the league's best line, but this may have been a slight reach from Team Allen.

Round 3

Pick Player Owner
21 G Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB) Hagerman
22 LW Artemi Panarin (CLB) Gold-Smith
23 RW Vladimir Tarasenko (STL) McLaren
24 G Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) Owens
25 LW Jamie Benn (DAL) Matisz
26 LW Johnny Gaudreau (CGY) Patterson
27 D Victor Hedman (TB) Wegman
28 D Brent Burns (SJ) Wong
29 RW Phil Kessel (PIT) Allen
30 D Dustin Byfuglien (WPG) Wilson

Vasilevskiy is the first goalie off the board. It's not necessary to take a netminder this early in a 10-team league, but Team Hagerman knows he doesn't choose again for another 18 picks. Don't be surprised if Tarasenko has a career year. He was quite unlucky in 2017-18 and his supporting cast has improved drastically.

Round 4

Pick Player Owner
31 LW Filip Forsberg (NSH) Wilson
32 C Jack Eichel (BUF) Allen
33 C Anze Kopitar (LA) Wong
34 C Aleksander Barkov (FLA) Wegman
35 RW Mitch Marner (TOR) Patterson
36 D P.K. Subban (NSH) Matisz
37 D Drew Doughty (LA) Owens
38 D John Klingberg (DAL) McLaren
39 D Roman Josi (NSH) Gold-Smith
40 G Pekka Rinne (NSH) Hagerman

Team Matisz seemed to start a run on defensemen, but all three players that followed were worthy selections. Eichel may have slipped further than anticipated, given his sky-high ceiling. Marner could have a breakout season skating alongside Tavares.

Round 5

Pick Player Owner
41 C Patrice Bergeron (BOS) Hagerman
42 G Sergei Bobrovsky (CLB) Gold-Smith
43 C/RW Leon Draisaitl (EDM) McLaren
44 RW Mikko Rantanen (COL) Owens
45 G Frederik Andersen (TOR) Matisz
46 C/RW Joe Pavelski (SJ) Patterson
47 LW Evander Kane (SJ) Wegman
48 C Mathew Barzal (NYI) Wong
49 G Braden Holtby (WSH) Allen
50 C Sean Couturier (PHI) Wilson

Bergeron is certainly worthy of going in this slot, but Team Hagerman now has three centers without winger eligibility. In a standard league set up without a UTIL spot, he'll have to bench one of his top three skaters on busy game nights. I took a slight risk taking the oft-injured Kane here, but if he can stay healthy, he'll flourish in San Jose.

Round 6

Pick Player Owner
51 G Tuukka Rask (BOS) Wilson
52 D Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) Allen
53 G Jonathan Quick (LA) Wong
54 G John Gibson (ANA) Wegman
55 RW Brock Boeser (VAN) Patterson
56 RW Jakub Voracek (PHI) Matisz
57 C Nicklas Backstrom (WSH) Owens
58 RW Cam Atkinson (CLB) McLaren
59 C/LW Sebastian Aho (CAR) Gold-Smith
60 D John Carlson (WSH) Hagerman

Team Hagerman redeems himself by stealing Carlson at the end of Round 6. The Caps blue-liner led all NHL defenseman in points last year and will be among the league leaders again after re-upping in Washington. Team Allen also gets good value on a D-man with Gostisbehere, who racked up 65 points last season. Team Owens reached on Backstrom, considering center is by far the deepest position in fantasy, and his upside is capped playing away from Ovechkin.

Round 7

Pick Player Owner
61 D Alex Pietrangelo (STL) Hagerman
62 D Seth Jones (CLB) Gold-Smith
63 G Matt Murray (PIT) McLaren
64 RW Alexander Radulov (DAL) Owens
65 C/LW Jonathan Marchessault (VGK) Matisz
66 G Carey Price (MTL) Patterson
67 D Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI) Wegman
68 C/LW William Karlsson (VGK) Wong
69 C/RW William Nylander (TOR) Allen
70 G Martin Jones (SJ) Wilson

Team Gold-Smith gets excellent value with Seth Jones this late. Much has been made about William Karlsson's high shooting percentage contributing to his 43-goal season, but in Round 7 it's a calculated risk by Team Wong. In hindsight, I definitely could've waited on Ekman-Larsson, a perennial green jacket candidate (worst plus-minus).

Round 8

Pick Player Owner
71 LW/RW Nikolaj Ehlers (WPG) Wilson
72 LW/RW Rickard Rakell (ANA) Allen
73 C Brayden Point (TB) Wong
74 D Dougie Hamilton (CAR) Wegman
75 D Torey Krug (BOS) Patterson
76 C Vincent Trocheck (FLA) Matisz
77 C Sean Monahan (CGY) Owens
78 LW Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA) McLaren
79 LW/RW Clayton Keller (ARI) Gold-Smith
80 D Kris Letang (PIT) Hagerman

Trocheck finished sixth in the NHL in shots last year, will play on one of the league's better second lines, and won't face the toughest matchups with Barkov ahead of him on the depth chart. This is an astute pick by Team Matisz at this point in the draft. Rakell and Ehlers could also outproduce their draft slots.

Round 9

Pick Player Owner
81 RW Mark Stone (OTT) Hagerman
82 LW James van Riemsdyk (PHI) Gold-Smith
83 G Devan Dubnyk (MIN) McLaren
84 RW Viiktor Arvidsson (NSH) Owens
85 LW Jeff Skinner (BUF) Matisz
86 C Ryan Getzlaf (ANA) Patterson
87 G Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK) Wegman
88 D Tyson Barrie (COL) Wong
89 D Rasmus Dahlin (BUF) Allen
90 LW/RW Ilya Kovalchuk (LA) Wilson

Dahlin is the first rookie off the board. He should have an outstanding career, but only two 18-year-old defensemen have ever cracked the 40-point plateau: Bobby Orr and Phil Housley. Even if Dahlin miraculously joins them, there are plenty of 50-point blue-liners still available, making this a massive reach in a non-keeper league. Team Wilson also took a risk with Kovalchuk, but as long as he sticks alongside Kopitar, 30 goals are in the cards.

Round 10

Pick Player Owner
91 RW Wayne Simmonds (PHI) Wilson
92 G Ben Bishop (DAL) Allen
93 G Corey Crawford (CHI) Wong
94 D Zach Werenski (CLB) Wegman
95 G Cam Talbot (EDM) Patterson
96 G Henrik Lundqvist (NYR) Matisz
97 C/RW Mikael Granlund (MIN) Owens
98 D Mikhail Sergachev (TB) McLaren
99 G Antti Raanta (ARI) Gold-Smith
100 LW/RW Mike Hoffman (FLA) Hagerman

Team Wong takes a bit of a gamble by selecting Crawford, who still isn't 100 percent healthy after missing most of last season with reported vertigo-like symptoms. Team Owens gets a steal with Granlund this late. He's quietly averaged 68 points per year in the last two seasons. A dual-position, high-volume shooter in Hoffman is a good value pick this late as well.

Round 11

Pick Player Owner
101 D Charlie McAvoy (BOS) Hagerman
102 C Ryan O'Reilly (STL) Gold-Smith
103 C/LW Logan Couture (SJ) McLaren
104 D Ryan Ellis (NSH) Owens
105 D Morgan Rielly (TOR) Matisz
106 LW Jake Guentzel (PIT) Patterson
107 LW Matthew Tkachuk (CGY) Wegman
108 LW Jaden Schwartz (STL) Wong
109 LW Gabriel Landeskog (COL) Allen
110 D Aaron Ekblad (FLA) Wilson

Make it back-to-back rounds Team Owens gets outstanding mid-round value in Ellis, who played at a 60-point pace upon his return from injury. With winger eligibility, Couture is a very shrewd pick this late in the draft. He had a career-high 34 goals last season. Team Hagerman is banking on McAvoy making big strides offensively in his second season.

Round 12

Pick Player Owner
111 D Mark Giordano (CGY) Wilson
112 LW Max Pacioretty (MTL) Allen
113 D Matt Dumba (MIN) Wong
114 C Brayden Schenn (STL) Wegman
115 RW Patric Hornqvist (PIT) Patterson
116 LW Kyle Connor (WPG) Matisz
117 D Jake Gardiner (TOR) Owens
118 D Ryan Suter (MIN) McLaren
119 C Dylan Larkin (DET) Gold-Smith
120 C Nazem Kadri (TOR) Hagerman

Schenn was much more valuable when he had winger eligibility, but there's no reason he can't repeat his 70-point season playing with Tarasenko. Minnesota's top two defensemen go off the board in this round, and in the correct order. Dumba should only continue to grow, while Suter is coming off a serious ankle injury, though he should be good to start the season.

Round 13

Pick Player Owner
121 LW Anders Lee (NYI) Hagerman
122 D Rasmus Ristolainen (BUF) Gold-Smith
123 RW Eeli Tolvanen (NSH) McLaren
124 G Jake Allen (STL) Owens
125 C/RW Yanni Gourde (TB) Matisz
126 C Ryan Johansen (NSH) Patterson
127 LW/RW Jason Zucker (MIN) Wegman
128 LW/RW Evgenii Dadonov (FLA) Wong
129 C Nico Hischier (NJ) Allen
130 RW T.J. Oshie (WSH) Wilson

Allen is coming off a bad year, but there's virtually no competition in the Blues' crease this season. If St. Louis is going to make some noise, Allen could rack up 35-plus wins. Tolvanen was possibly the best teenager the KHL had ever seen a year ago, but he'll have to work his way into Nashville's top six in order to return value at this draft slot. He's more than capable, though.

Round 14

Pick Player Owner
131 C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM) Wilson
132 D Keith Yandle (FLA) Allen
133 C Jeff Carter (LA) Wong
134 RW Andrei Svechnikov (CAR) Wegman
135 D Ivan Provorov (PHI) Patterson
136 D Josh Morrissey (WPG) Matisz
137 D Will Butcher (NJ) Owens
138 D Colton Parayko (STL) McLaren
139 LW/RW Teuvo Teravainen (CAR) Gold-Smith
140 RW Josh Bailey (NYI) Hagerman

Team Wilson could have the steal of the draft in Nugent-Hopkins, who flourished on McDavid's line in the second half of the season, and is projected to start there to begin 2018-19. It likely won't take him to long to gain winger eligibility either. Morrissey is a great two-way D, but even this late, Team Matisz easily could've found a blue-liner with more offensive upside than one who doesn't see power-play time.

Round 15

Pick Player Owner
141 LW/RW Alex DeBrincat (CHI) Hagerman
142 D Kevin Shattenkirk (NYR) Gold-Smith
143 C Matt Duchene (OTT) McLaren
144 C/RW J.T. Miller (TB) Owens
145 D Nate Schmidt (VGK) Matisz
146 D Jake Muzzin (LA) Patterson
147 RW Tom Wilson (WSH) Wegman
148 C Jonathan Toews (CHI) Wong
149 C Casey Mittelstadt (BUF) Allen
150 D Shea Weber (MTL) Wilson

If Team Matisz was seeking a Golden Knights blue-liner, either Colin Miller or Shea Theodore would've made for a better choice than Schmidt. I opted to go with Wilson, who will single-handedly win PIMs some weeks and won't bring down my offense a whole lot. Weber likely won't return until at least December, but he's worth an IR stash in the draft's second-last round. Look for Miller to have a career year playing alongside Kucherov and Stamkos.

Round 16

Pick Player Owner
151 G Juuse Saros (NSH) Wilson
152 D Mike Green (DET) Allen
153 D Duncan Keith (CHI) Wong
154 D Ryan Pulock (NYI) Wegman
155 D Mattias Ekholm (NSH) Patterson
156 C Elias Pettersson (VAN) Matisz
157 LW/RW Travis Konecny (PHI) Owens
158 C Nolan Patrick (PHI) McLaren
159 C/LW Pierre-Luc Dubois (CLB) Gold-Smith
160 RW James Neal (CGY) Hagerman

A lot of high-upside picks here, which is the right idea in the draft's final round. Konecny was dynamic in the second half of last year, and Team Owens is hopeful he carries that over into the start of this season. Pettersson is a blue-chip prospect who set numerous Swedish Hockey League records a year ago. Team Hagerman goes the high-floor route, securing a minimum 25-goal scorer in Neal.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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Report: Rangers are Panarin’s preferred destination

Artemi Panarin apparently has his eyes set on the Big Apple.

The Russian forward reportedly told the Columbus Blue Jackets in June that he wasn't ready to negotiate a contract extension, forcing the club to begin testing the market for its leading point producer. Now, sources have told The Athletic's Aaron Portzline that the New York Rangers are Panarin's first choice.

The 26-year-old has one year left on his deal which carries a $6-million cap hit. He doesn't have a no-trade clause, and any interested team would likely have plans to sign him to a long-term extension.

The Rangers, New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Dallas Stars were all on Panarin's list of preferred destinations at the draft, Portzline notes.

The Jackets have fielded offers for Panarin, but most packages have contained high draft picks and prospects - neither of which would help the team's chances of returning to the playoffs.

Acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks last summer in a deal involving Brandon Saad, Panarin went on to post a career-high 82 points during his first season in Columbus.

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Subban upset about broken promise to bring Stanley Cup to Montreal

More than two years after being traded to the Nashville Predators in one of the most shocking trades of the past decade, P.K. Subban is still reminded about a promise he made on his draft day.

While speaking to reporters in Montreal at his annual gala for the P.K. Subban Foundation on Thursday, the 29-year-old admitted he's still upset about not winning the Stanley Cup during his time with the Montreal Canadiens.

"What I'm upset about, and at the time what I was upset about, is I made a promise to the city when I was drafted to bring a Stanley Cup back and never once did I remove myself from that statement or back away from it," Subban said. "The frustrating thing is I thought we had the right core to do that, it just seemed like we were never able to put the best team on the ice and it never happened for us."

Subban added that he's enjoying his time in Nashville. He's come closer to a championship with the Predators than he did during his six seasons with the Canadiens, reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2017.

He's now keen on bringing the Stanley Cup to his new home.

"Montreal is a great place to win in if you can win here and I felt I wanted to do that. But at the same token I got put into a really good position with an amazing city that I love so much, amazing teammates I wouldn't trade any of them for anyone, they're great guys, and I believe we have a real chance to win there and bring the first Stanley Cup back to Nashville," Subban said.

The Predators are coming off a strong 2017-18 season that saw the club capture its first-ever Presidents' Trophy. Subban posted a career-high 16 goals and 59 points while playing in all 82 games.

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Report: Flames, Hanifin nearing contract extension

The Calgary Flames and defenseman Noah Hanifin are putting the final touches on a contract extension, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

Hanifin, a restricted free agent, said last week that he's "super close" to a deal with the club, and now an extension appears imminent.

The 21-year-old blue-liner was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes this summer along with Elias Lindholm in exchange for Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and Adam Fox.

Lindholm, who was also an RFA at the time of the trade, later agreed to a six-year deal with the Flames averaging $4.85 million annually.

Hanifin, the fifth overall pick in 2015, recorded new career single-season highs with 10 goals and 32 points last season.

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Bettman to be inducted into Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is set to be inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame as part of the 2018 class.

Bettman joins a list of 11 professionals to be enshrined in December, which will also feature Jim Nantz, Bob Costas, and Dick Vitale, among others.

Over his time as commissioner, Bettman has orchestrated multi-billion dollar deals with NBC Sports and Rogers Communications and helped create the NHL Network.

Bettman was also named as an inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame in June.

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Monahan feels ‘like a new man’ after offseason surgeries

Following wrist, groin, and two hernia surgeries this offseason, Calgary Flames pivot Sean Monahan is feeling good as the NHL season inches closer.

"I feel like a new man right now," Monahan told Aaron Vickers of NHL.com. "I'm more flexible, more mobile, meaner and stronger, so I think it's a good feeling to be healthy."

With the Flames out of the playoff picture late last season, Monahan was shut down after 74 games to get an early start on his recovery. Despite limited appearances, the 23-year-old matched his career best with 31 goals and set a new personal points benchmark in 2017-18.

Monahan's health will be paramount to the new-look Flames as they seek a return to the postseason in 2018-19. Over the offseason, Calgary brought in Bill Peters as its new head coach, orchestrated a blockbuster that sent out Dougie Hamilton for Noah Hanifin, and signed perennial 20-goal sniper James Neal, who could find his way onto Monahan's line alongside Johnny Gaudreau.

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