Kasperi Kapanen dazzles Penguins' brass
Kasperi Kapanen | PIT
(July 19, 2014 10:26 PM EDT)
Kasperi Kapanen, a teenaged forward chosen 22nd overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, has a legitimate chance at making the Pittsburgh Penguins next season, according to the club's assistant general manager, Bill Guerin.
"He's even better than I thought he would be," Guerin said after watching Kapanen at the Pens' recent development camp. "So I was very happy with him. He's just high-end talent, high-end speed. He's a very, very mature kid for his age. Obviously, having his father [Sami Kapanen] playing so many years in the NHL and playing with him and bringing him up that way, he's already a pro. So he’s ahead of the game in that department, but you just got a little screenshot of what's to come and he's not even 18 yet." Kapanen (6 feet, 181 pounds) showed his knack for driving to the front of the net throughout the week. That asset could be valuable to the Pens, who lost prominent forwards James Neal and Jussi Jokinen during the early stages of the offseason.
Michael Del Zotto out to prove doubters wrong
Michael Del Zotto |
(July 19, 2014 7:12 PM EDT)
Free agent defenseman Michael Del Zotto is determined to find an NHL club to sign him as soon as possible.
"I'm just waiting for the right opportunity to prove myself again, and prove everyone who's doubted me wrong," said Del Zotto, who finished last season with the Nashville Predators after being traded by the New York Rangers. In Nashville, he was scratched from four of the final five games and finished with one goal and four assists in 25 games. His total of 16 points was well off his career-high 41 of two seasons back. "The whole season overall wasn't how I wanted it to be," Del Zotto said. "It was unfortunate losing your confidence early. It's a confidence game, so I'm just trying to get it back this summer. I know what I can do and can provide a team. I've done it in the past; I'm just trying to get there again." Nashville did not extend a qualifying offer to Del Zotto, making the five-season veteran an unrestricted free agent. He said clubs have expressed an interest, but he remains unsigned almost a month into free agency.
Lee Stempniak's new contract worth $900,000
Lee Stempniak | NYR
(July 19, 2014 7:06 PM EDT)
The New York Rangers have confirmed that they've signed veteran forward Lee Stempniak to a contract and reports suggest it's worth $900,000 for one year.
Stempniak, 31, played 73 games last season with the Calgary Flames and Pittsburgh Penguins. He had 12 goals, 22 assists and 32 penalty minutes.
Are Jets eyeing David Booth, Daniel Winnick?
David Booth |
(July 19, 2014 10:58 AM EDT)
Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has gone on record saying he’d like to add another forward in the off-season.
Sources say he had been pursuing veteran Lee Stempniak, who has signed with the New York Rangers, according to reports. He may now be going after David Booth and/or Daniel Winnik, unrestricted free agents who could fit the Jets' bill on short-term contracts. Booth wasn't able to establish himself as a top-six forward with Vancouver and was placed on waivers after last season. Winnik had six goals and 24 assists with in 76 games for the Anaheim Ducks last season.
Winnipeg Sun
Derek Roy joins Gary Roberts' fitness program
Derek Roy | NAS
(July 19, 2014 10:37 AM EDT)
After three sub-par years, Derek Roy knew his training needed to change and he knew he needed to work on his nutrition.
So this summer the veteran center, who signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Predators last Tuesday, enrolled in Gary Roberts' fitness program in Toronto. Roberts, a former NHL forward, is renowned these days for his intense fitness regimen. He has mentored many NHL players, most notably Tampa Bay Lightning All-Star Steven Stamkos. Roy hopes being in better shape will help him avoid some of the injuries that slowed him down in recent seasons. "I wanted to come in the best shape I could possibly coming into the season, and that's why I sought out Gary and his workout program," Roy, 31, said. "I'm feeling great right now and hopefully at the end of the summer I'll be feeling better and not focusing on injuries. From a nutrition standpoint and working with some of the best athletes around has been good. It has been good for my health." Roy had only 37 points in 75 games with St. Louis last season.
Wings not close to re-signing two key players
Dan DeKeyser | DET
(July 19, 2014 10:25 AM EDT)
Restricted free agents Dan DeKeyser and Tomas Tatar, both important players with the Red Wings, are not close to re-signing with the club.
"We’ve talked and continue to talk, but nothing close," Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. Holland said he made Tatar an offer recently that is being mulled over. "Tats is overseas, and I’m waiting to hear back. On the DeKeyser front, we met them in early June. We talked briefly at the draft, and we haven’t really talked much in July. I’ve made what I think are pretty good offers. They haven’t really countered. We’re just in the waiting process." DeKeyser, 24, scored four goals and 19 assists for 23 points in 65 games last season, his first full one in the NHL. He had no points in five playoff games. Tatar, 23, has 24 goals and 23 assists for 47 points in 100 career NHL games. In his first full season with the Wings last season, he scored 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points in 73 games.
Detroit Free Press
Not worried about money yet: Brandon Saad
Brandon Saad | CHI
(July 19, 2014 10:15 AM EDT)
Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad will be a restricted free agent after next season and is due for a huge raise to the $764,167 he’s making on his entry-level contract.
Saad said there have been no talks about an extension yet. ‘‘If it happens, great,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s always nice to have that security and feel comfortable that you’ve re-signed. But I’m more focused on having a good year and contributing to the team. All that stuff will take care of itself.’’ General manager Stan Bowman said that ‘‘it’s been a busy time for us’’ and that Saad’s situation will be addressed eventually. ‘‘The exciting thing for all of us is that he just keeps getting better,’’ Bowman said. ‘‘We certainly haven’t seen the best of Brandon Saad yet.’’ Saad had 19 goals and 28 assists in 78 games for Chicago last season.
Chicago Sun-Times
Johnny Oduya broke foot in Western Final
Johnny Oduya | CHI
(July 19, 2014 10:11 AM EDT)
It turns out that Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya broke his right foot blocking a shot from the point late in the third period of Game 7 of the Western Conference final against the Los Angeles Kings.
He kept playing in overtime anyway, logging three shifts. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said Oduya might not have been able to play if his team had beaten the Kings and moved on to the Stanley Cup championship series.
Chicago Sun-Times
Curtis Glencross eyeing contract with Flames
Curtis Glencross | CAL
(July 19, 2014 9:53 AM EDT)
Discussions for a new Curtis Glencross deal in Calgary will take place in the next few weeks.
"I’ve talked to Brad [Treliving, new Flames GM] a few times now and my agent has also been in touch with him numerous times," Glencross said. "The plan is they want to get the ball rolling after the [Aug 1.] arbitration thing with [Joe] Colborne, and get to talking. Hopefully we can get something done sooner rather than later, and not have to worry about a contract during the season." Glencross, 31, put up good offensive numbers through an injury-plagued 2013-14 season, with 12 goals and 24 points in 38 games. From 2010-12, Glencross averaged 25 goals and 45 points a season. Glencross said he took a hometown discount on his current deal (four years at $10.2 million, which expires next July) and isn’t really interested in doing it again. "It’ll be a little bit different this time around," Glencross said, explaining that the next contract likely will be his final one in the NHL.
Linden Vey likely to be Canucks No. 3 center
Linden Vey | VAN
(July 19, 2014 9:42 AM EDT)
Linden Vey, acquired at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft from the Los Angeles Kings for the 50th pick the Canucks got for defenseman Jason Garrison, should be Vancouver's No. 3 centre next season.
The Canucks have signed the restricted free agent to a one-year contract. Canucks general manager Jim Benning said he knew plenty about Vey from his time living in Boston while the 22-year-old played for the AHL's Manchester Monarchs. Vey also played for new coach Willie Desjardins with the WHL's Medicine Hat Tigers. "There's a familiarity with Linden," Benning said. "He's a puck-possession guy, he's strong, he's a good two-way player, he plays a 200-foot game. He's ready to play in the NHL now." Vey only has 18 games of NHL experience due in part to the Stanley Cup-champion Kings' depth of young forwards. Benning said he'll get more opportunity in Vancouver.