National Hockey League
NHL News Wire
  • NHL notebook: Avalanche name Bednar head coach
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 25, 2016

    The Colorado Avalanche on Thursday named Jared Bednar as the team's new head coach.

    • Bednar will succeed Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy, who unexpectedly resigned as Colorado's coach and vice president of hockey operations two weeks ago.

      The 44-year-old Bednar is coming off a successful second season as the coach of the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, guiding the affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Calder Cup championship.

      "... I believe that Jared Bednar is the best person to lead this team behind the bench," Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said in a statement released by the team. "Jared's track record of success as a head coach in the American Hockey League speaks for itself and he is considered to be one of the top up-and-coming coaches in our business."

      Bednar has 14 seasons of coaching experience, posting a 251-158-42 record in six years as a head coach in the AHL and ECHL.

      "My family and I are thrilled to be heading to Denver to begin this new challenge," said Bednar, who spent nine seasons in the minors as a player. "This is a great sports market with a passionate fan base and I can't wait to get to work."

      The Avalanche went 130-92-24 in three seasons under Roy, winning the NHL Central Division title in his first campaign in 2013-14.

      --The Arizona Coyotes acquired center Dave Bolland and forward Lawson Crouse from the Florida Panthers for two conditional draft picks.

      Florida has been trying to move Bolland's contract -- he's owed $16.5 million over the next three seasons -- and had to include the promising 19-year-old Crouse to get the deal done.

      Crouse, who was selected 11th overall in the 2015 NHL draft, has 23 goals and 62 points for Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League last season.

      "We are very pleased to acquire Lawson," Coyotes general manager John Chayka said in a statement. "He's a big, physical, power forward who is a strong skater with good hands. Players of his caliber and profile are extremely hard to find."

      The Panthers received second-round and third-round picks in the deal. The second-round pick stands if Crouse is traded by Arizona this season and it changes to a third-round selection if Crouse doesn't play for the Coyotes this season.

      Bolland, 30, had one goal and five points in 25 games for Florida last season and was sent to the minors in December. He has 85 career goals and 208 points in 433 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Panthers.

      Bolland is currently rehabbing an undisclosed lower-body injury.

      --Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby will serve as Team Canada's captain at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.

      Crosby, 29, was Team Canada's captain when it won the gold medal in 2014 at the Sochi Winter Olympics. He also held the title when Team Canada won the world hockey championships last year.

      Crosby has also been the captain for two Stanley Cup championship teams with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The star forward has 338 goals and 938 points in 707 career NHL games.

      Team Canada also named Chicago forward Jonathan Toews and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber as alternate captains.

      Toews, 28, has been Chicago's captain for three Stanley Cup title squads. He has 251 goals and 564 points in 645 career NHL games.

      Weber, 31, was a captain of the Nashville Predators for six seasons prior to joining Montreal. He has recorded 166 goals and 443 points in 763 career NHL games.

      In addition to Team Canada, the other teams participating in the World Cup of Hockey are Team USA, Team Czech Republic, Team Europe, Team Finland, Team North American, Team Russia and Team Sweden.

      The event will be held in Toronto and is scheduled to conclude on Oct. 1.

      --The St. Louis Blues named defenseman Alex Pietrangelo team captain.

      Pietrangelo, who will be entering his seventh season with St. Louis, is the 21st captain in franchise history.

      The 26-year-old Pietrangelo replaces veteran forward David Backes, who served as the Blues' captain since 2011 before signing a five-year, $30 million contract with Boston on July 1.

      "Watching him perform when the game is on the line, he doesn't seem to get rattled," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement released by the team.

      Pietrangelo has collected 51 goals and 204 assists in 459 career games since being selected by St. Louis with the fourth overall pick of the 2008 NHL draft.

      Pietrangelo is fresh off a strong season in 2015-16, scoring seven goals and setting up 30 others in 73 games to fuel the Blues to a Western Conference final appearance.

  • D Pietrangelo named captain by Blues
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 25, 2016

    The St. Louis Blues named defenseman Alex Pietrangelo team captain on Thursday.

    • Pietrangelo, who will be entering his seventh season with St. Louis, is the 21st captain in franchise history.

      The 26-year-old Pietrangelo replaces veteran forward David Backes, who served as the Blues' captain since 2011 before signing a five-year, $30 million contract with Boston on July 1.

      "Watching him perform when the game is on the line, he doesn't seem to get rattled," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement released by the team.

      Pietrangelo has collected 51 goals and 204 assists in 459 career games since being selected by St. Louis with the fourth overall pick of the 2008 NHL draft.

      Pietrangelo is fresh off a strong season in 2015-16, scoring seven goals and setting up 30 others in 73 games to fuel the Blues to a Western Conference final appearance.

  • Avalanche hire Bednar as new coach
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 25, 2016

    The Colorado Avalanche on Thursday named Jared Bednar as the team's new head coach.

    • Bednar will succeed Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy, who unexpectedly resigned as Colorado's coach and vice president of hockey operations two weeks ago.

      The 44-year-old Bednar is coming off a successful second season as the coach of the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, guiding the affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Calder Cup championship.

      "... I believe that Jared Bednar is the best person to lead this team behind the bench," Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said in a statement released by the team. "Jared's track record of success as a head coach in the American Hockey League speaks for itself and he is considered to be one of the top up-and-coming coaches in our business."

      Bednar has 14 seasons of coaching experience, posting a 251-158-42 record in six years as a head coach in the AHL and ECHL.

      "My family and I are thrilled to be heading to Denver to begin this new challenge," said Bednar, who spent nine seasons in the minors as a player. "This is a great sports market with a passionate fan base and I can't wait to get to work."

      The Avalanche went 130-92-24 in three seasons under Roy, winning the NHL Central Division title in his first campaign in 2013-14.

  • Coyotes acquired Bolland, Crouse from Panthers
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 25, 2016

    The Arizona Coyotes acquired center Dave Bolland and forward Lawson Crouse from the Florida Panthers for two conditional draft picks on Thursday.

    • Florida has been trying to move Bolland's contract -- he's owed $16.5 million over the next three seasons -- and had to include the promising 19-year-old Crouse to get the deal done.

      Crouse, who was selected 11th overall in the 2015 NHL draft, has 23 goals and 62 points for Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League last season.

      "We are very pleased to acquire Lawson," Coyotes general manager John Chayka said in a statement. "He's a big, physical, power forward who is a strong skater with good hands. Players of his caliber and profile are extremely hard to find."

      The Panthers received second-round and third-round picks in the deal. The second-round pick stands if Crouse is traded by Arizona this season and it changes to a third-round selection if Crouse doesn't play for the Coyotes this season.

      Bolland, 30, had one goal and five points in 25 games for Florida last season and was sent to the minors in December. He has 85 career goals and 208 points in 433 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Panthers.

      Bolland is currently rehabbing an undisclosed lower-body injury.

  • Crosby named captain of Team Canada
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 25, 2016

    Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby will serve as Team Canada's captain at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.

    • Crosby, 29, was Team Canada's captain when it won the gold medal in 2014 at the Sochi Winter Olympics. He also held the title when Team Canada won the world hockey championships last year.

      Crosby has also been the captain for two Stanley Cup championship teams with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The star forward has 338 goals and 938 points in 707 career NHL games.

      Team Canada also named Chicago forward Jonathan Toews and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber as alternate captains.

      Toews, 28, has been Chicago's captain for three Stanley Cup title squads. He has 251 goals and 564 points in 645 career NHL games.

      Weber, 31, was a captain of the Nashville Predators for six seasons prior to joining Montreal. He has recorded 166 goals and 443 points in 763 career NHL games.

      In addition to Team Canada, the other teams participating in the World Cup of Hockey are Team USA, Team Czech Republic, Team Europe, Team Finland, Team North American, Team Russia and Team Sweden.

      The event will be held in Toronto and is scheduled to conclude on Oct. 1.

  • Coyotes hire NHL's 1st full-time female assistant coach
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 24, 2016

    The Arizona Coyotes announced three coaching hires Wednesday, but one stands out in the crowd.

    • The Coyotes announced that Mike Van Ryn (development coach), Steve Potvin (skills coach) and Dawn Braid (skating coach) would be added to the full-time staff.

      The hiring of Braid in a full-time capacity is noteworthy because she is the first full-time female coach in the NHL.

      "I'm very excited about this opportunity with the Coyotes," Braid told the Coyotes' website. "I'm looking forward to working with Dave Tippett and his coaching staff and all the great players in the organization.

      "It's something that I've wanted to see happen. The fact that they respect what I do enough to name me as a full-time coach, or to name me as the first female coach in the NHL, I take a ton of pride in that. I've worked very hard for this opportunity. It's been going on for years, and I just look forward to going even further with it."

      Braid worked part-time for the Coyotes last year and served as a skating consultant with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames in her career.

      She also spent seven years with the Athletes Training Center as its director of skating development, where she instructed a variety of skaters, including New York Islanders center John Tavares.

      "Dawn has wanted to (make me) a more powerful and efficient skater," Tavares told NHL.com in 2012. "Dawn always says, 'If you didn't train properly and do the certain things you need to do, you're not going to be strong enough to do the things I want you to do.'"

      Braid joins Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs, Nancy Lieberman of the Sacramento Kings and Kathryn Smith of the Buffalo Bills as the only full-time female coaches in major league sports.

      "We feel Dawn can provide a real competitive advantage for our team," Coyotes general manager John Chayka said. "The game is getting faster and it is all about skating. A lot of times, when you are drafting a young player, skating is the area they need to improve upon. Now we have someone who can help with that.

      "Dawn is someone who we feel is at the top of her field so we thought it was imperative to hire her. She's got a great personality, and the players work hard for her and respect her knowledge. The bottom line is she gets results, and that's the key thing. Dawn is someone who Tip (Tippett) and I respect and we feel she is someone who is going to be a very important asset for us."

  • Blues expected to name Pietrangelo as captain
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 24, 2016

    Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo will be named the 21st captain of the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, according to a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    • The Blues have scheduled a press conference at Scottrade Center on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET to "make a major announcement." General manager Doug Armstrong and coach Ken Hitchcock are expected to be in attendance.

      Pietrangelo will replace veteran forward David Backes, who served as the Blues' captain since 2011 before signing a five-year, $30 million contract with Boston on July 1.

      The 26-year-old Pietrangelo has collected 51 goals and 204 assists in 459 career games since being selected by St. Louis with the fourth overall pick of the 2008 NHL draft.

      Pietrangelo is fresh off a strong season in 2015-16, scoring seven goals and setting up 30 others in 73 games to fuel the Blues to a Western Conference final appearance.

  • Stars sign veteran F Hudler to one-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 24, 2016

    The Dallas Stars signed unrestricted free agent right wing Jiri Hudler to a one-year, $2 million contract on Wednesday.

    • Hudler, 32, split the 2015-16 season with Calgary and Florida, combining for 46 points (16 points, 30 assists) in 72 games.

      Beginning the season with the Flames, he posted 10 goals and 25 assists in 53 games. Acquired by Florida on Feb. 27, Hudler went on to add six goals and five assists in 19 regular-season contests. He added one assist in six postseason games for the Panthers.

      "Jiri brings a combination of detail, discipline and skill," Stars general manager Jim Nill said. "He has a championship pedigree and adding him to our group of forwards solidifies our depth up front, giving our coaching staff a number of options and versatility."

      Hudler, who has played in parts of 11 NHL seasons, has appeared in 676 career regular-season games for Detroit, Calgary and Florida, recording 417 points (161 goals, 256 assists). He totaled a career-high 76 points during the 2014-15 season with Calgary and was awarded the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, given to the player who "exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."

      Hudler's career shooting percentage of 15.1 is the third-highest amongst active NHL players.

      In 83 career postseason contests, he has recorded 42 points (16 goals, 26 assists) and four game-winning goals. Hudler has made two Stanley Cup Final appearances (2008, 2009) with Detroit, winning the championship in 2008.

      Hudler has represented the Czech Republic at the World Championship three times (2003, 2013, 2014) and at the World Junior Championship three times (2002, 2003, 2004).

      The 5-foot-10, 183-pound native of Olomouc, Czech Republic was originally selected by Detroit in the second round (58th overall) of the 2002 NHL Draft.

  • Senators re-sign Ceci for two years, $5.6M
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    Restricted free agent defenseman Cody Ceci will continue to play for his hometown team.

    • Ceci and the Ottawa Senators agreed to a two-year deal worth $5.6 million on Tuesday. The 22-year-old will receive $2.25 million for the upcoming season and $3.35 million in 2017-18.

      "With Cody, we just felt two years is something we've done with young players in the past, coming out of entry-level deals," Senators general manager Pierre Dorion told the Ottawa Sun.

      "We really like what he has shown us. There have been some good times and some not so good times."

      Ceci collected career highs in goals (10) and points (26) last season, with 10 points coming in the 28 games during which he was paired with veteran defenseman Dion Phaneuf.

      The 15th overall pick of the 2012 draft by Ottawa, Ceci has scored 18 goals and set up 38 others in 205 career contests.

  • Sharks F Couture replaces Benn on Team Canada
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture has been added to Team Canada to replace injured Jamie Benn, Hockey Canada announced Tuesday.

    • Benn, a forward with the Dallas Stars, underwent core muscle surgery last month and is still recuperating. He won't be ready for the World Cup of Hockey, which beings on Sept. 17.

      Couture had a terrific postseason to help San Jose reach last season's Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history. He had 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) in 20 postseason contests.

      Couture, 27, had just 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in 52 regular-season games. He has 154 goals and 324 points in 431 career NHL games.

      In addition to Team Canada, the other teams participating in the World Cup of Hockey are Team USA, Team Czech Republic, Team Europe, Team Finland, Team North American, Team Russia and Team Sweden.

      The event will be held in Toronto and is scheduled to conclude on Oct. 1.

  • Maple Leafs sign G Enroth
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, August 22, 2016

    The Toronto Maple Leafs signed free agent goaltender Jhonas Enroth to a one-year deal on Monday and promoted Mark Hunter to assistant general manager.

    • The contract is worth $750,000 for Enroth, who is expected to serve as the backup to Frederik Andersen.

      Enroth recorded a 7-5-1 mark with two shutouts, a 2.17 goals-against average and a career-best .922 save percentage in 16 games with Los Angeles last season.

      The 28-year-old Swede has posted a 50-66-15 career record with seven shutouts, a 2.80 goals-against average in 147 games with Buffalo, Dallas and the Kings.

      Enroth was selected by the Sabres in the second round of the 2006 draft.

      Hunter, who first joined the Maple Leafs as director of player personnel in October 2014, will share the role along with current assistant GM Kyle Dubas.

      "Mark's new title is essentially a formality as these are duties he's already been performing," Toronto general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a statement. "(Team president Brendan Shanahan) and I have been discussing this change of title since last season - as it's a more appropriate recognition of Mark's role with the organization since joining the Maple Leafs. There are no changes to Mark or Kyle's duties, or to that of Brandon Pridham, assistant to the general manager."

      Hunter will continue to oversee the Maple Leafs' pro scouting, amateur scouting and player evaluation departments. Dubas will continue as GM of the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies, overseeing all prospects within the club's system, while also leading the Maple Leafs' player development and hockey research and development departments.

  • Vesey chooses to sign with Rangers
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, August 19, 2016

    The New York Rangers won the competition for the services of free agent forward Jimmy Vesey, who made his much-anticipated decision on Friday.

    • The 23-year-old Vesey was a third-round draft pick of the Nashville Predators in 2012, but chose not to sign with them, making him a free agent when his college eligibility expired. Vesey, whose rights were acquired by Buffalo from Nashville, had a number of offers on the table, including from his hometown Boston Bruins, but chose the Rangers because of the fit. Because he signed an entry-level deal, and assuming the Rangers offered the max, Vesey will make $925,000 plus bonuses for the next two seasons.

      The 6-foot-3, 203-pound Vesey played in 33 games with Harvard University this past season, registering 24 goals and 22 assists along with a plus-11 rating and six penalty minutes. He won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in collegiate hockey in 2015-16. Vesey ranked fourth in the NCAA in goals per game (0.73), tied for seventh in goals, and ranked eighth in points per game (1.39) in 2015-16.

      In 128 career collegiate games over four seasons at Harvard, Vesey had 80 goals and 64 assists with a plus-17 rating and 66 penalty minutes.

  • Flames ink Monahan to seven-year, $44M deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, August 19, 2016

    The Calgary Flames signed center Sean Monahan to a seven-year contract extension Friday.

    • The deal is worth about $44 million, according to Sportsnet. Monahan became a restricted free agent on July 1.

      Monahan, 21, will be entering his fourth season in the NHL with the Flames after posting three consecutive seasons of 20-plus goals to start his career.

      The 6-foot-3, 195-pound native of Brampton, Ontario, scored 27 goals with career-highs in points (63) and assists (36) in 81 games last season. He has recorded 159 career points (80 goals, 79 assists).

      Monahan, the sixth-overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft, will represent Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey next month.

  • Penguins sign F DiPauli to entry-level deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, August 19, 2016

    The Pittsburgh Penguins signed forward Thomas DiPauli to a two-year, entry-level contract Friday.

    • DiPauli was originally drafted by the Washington Capitals in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL draft. He became a college free agent on Tuesday when the team did not sign him.

      DiPauli, 22, played in all 37 games of the 2015-16 season with Notre Dame, scoring a career-high 14 goals and 18 assists for a career-high 32 points. He was voted the team's offensive MVP following the season.

      The 5-foot-11, 197-pound, left-handed shooter finished his four-year career at Notre Dame with 78 points (30 goals, 48 assists).

      DiPauli, who was born in Caldaro, Italy, and moved with his family to Downers Grove, Ill., when he was 12, was selected to the 2014 U.S. World Junior National Team, recording three assists in five games. He played for the United States National Team Development Program for two years (2010-12). He helped the Americans win the gold medal at the Under-18 World Junior Championships in 2012, with an assist in six games. He was a member of the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge team that won silver in 2010.

  • Rangers agree to terms with D Gilmour
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 18, 2016

    The New York Rangers agreed to contract terms with free agent defenseman John Gilmour on Thursday.

    • Gilmour, 23, had 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 34 games for Providence College last season. He ranked fifth among NCAA defensemen with 16 power-play points.

      Gilmour tallied 65 points (22 goals, 43 assists) in 141 career games for Providence. He helped lead the Friars to the 2015 NCAA championship.

      Gilmour was originally a seventh-round pick by Calgary in the 2013 NHL draft.

  • Penguins re-sign Cullen for one-year, $1M
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 17, 2016

    The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed forward Matt Cullen to a one-year, $1 million contract on Wednesday.

    • The 39-year-old veteran played an integral role in Penguins' Stanley Cup championship last season, both on and off the ice. It was the second championship of his career. Cullen also won a title with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006.

      The 6-foot-1, 200-pound center recorded 16 goals and 16 assists in 82 regular-season games last season. He was one of just three Penguins to play all 82 games.

      A native of Virginia, Minn., Cullen produced five goals and five assists over the final 11 regular-season games before adding four goals and two assists while playing mostly on the fourth line in 24 playoff games.

      Cullen scored the game-winning goal in two of Pittsburgh's four wins against the New York Rangers in the opening round of the playoffs after notching four game-winners during the regular season, his highest total in 10 years. He was also a key member of the NHL's fifth-best penalty killing unit, and the Penguins' most-reliable faceoff man with a regular-season success rate of 55.7 percent.

      Originally selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round in 1996 draft, Cullen has 235 goals and 423 assists in 1,294 regular-season games with Anaheim, the Florida Panthers, Carolina, the New York Rangers, the Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh. He also has 16 goals and 31 assists in 98 career NHL playoff games.

  • NHL notebook: Islanders G Gibson agrees to terms
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, August 15, 2016

    The New York Islanders and goaltender Christopher Gibson agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract Monday.

    • Gibson, 23, made his NHL debut with the Islanders last season, appearing in four games during his first year with the organization. His first NHL win came on April 5 at Washington, clinching the Islanders' playoff berth.

      Gibson, a native of Karkklia, Finland, appeared in 44 games with the Islanders' American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He led the team goalies in games played and wins (19), while posting a 2.70 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.

      The Islanders acquired Gibson from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sept. 17, 2015. The Los Angeles Kings selected Gibson in the second round (49th overall) of the 2011 draft.

      -- The Calgary Flames signed defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon to a one-year, two-way contract.

      Wotherspoon, the Flames' second-round pick (57th overall) in the 2011 draft, finished his third season with the organization. He played 11 games with the Flames in 2015-16, picking up one assist. He has five assists and four penalty minutes in 26 career games.

      Wotherspoon, 23, also recorded two goals, eight assists and 16 penalty minutes in 53 games with the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League last season.

      -- The Winnipeg Jets agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with forward J.C. Lipon.

      The club noted that Lipon will receive an average annual value of $650,000 should the 23-year-old remain in the NHL.

      Lipon notched one assist and five penalty minutes in nine games with Winnipeg last season. He also scored 13 goals and set up 17 others in 45 contests with Manitoba of the American Hockey League in 2015-16.

  • Flames ink D Wotherspoon to two-way contract
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, August 15, 2016

    The Calgary Flames signed defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon to a one-year, two-way contract Monday.

    • Wotherspoon, the Flames' second-round pick (57th overall) in the 2011 draft, finished his third season with the organization. He played 11 games with the Flames in 2015-16, picking up one assist. He has five assists and four penalty minutes in 26 career games.

      Wotherspoon, 23, also recorded two goals, eight assists and 16 penalty minutes in 53 games with the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League last season.

  • Islanders G Gibson agrees to terms on two-way pact
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, August 15, 2016

    The New York Islanders and goaltender Christopher Gibson agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract Monday.

    • Gibson, 23, made his NHL debut with the Islanders last season, appearing in four games during his first year with the organization. His first NHL win came on April 5 at Washington, clinching the Islanders' playoff berth.

      Gibson, a native of Karkklia, Finland, appeared in 44 games with the Islanders' American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He led the team goalies in games played and wins (19), while posting a 2.70 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.

      The Islanders acquired Gibson from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sept. 17, 2015. The Los Angeles Kings selected Gibson in the second round (49th overall) of the 2011 draft.

  • Jets sign F Lipon
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, August 15, 2016

    The Winnipeg Jets agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with forward J.C. Lipon on Monday.

    • The club noted that Lipon will receive an average annual value of $650,000 should the 23-year-old remain in the NHL.

      Lipon notched one assist and five penalty minutes in nine games with Winnipeg last season. He also scored 13 goals and set up 17 others in 45 contests with Manitoba of the American Hockey League in 2015-16.

      A third-round selection of the 2013 draft by the Jets, Lipon has collected 27 goals and 70 assists in 192 career contests with St. John's and Manitoba in the AHL.

  • Odd timing made Roy's departure from Avs surprising
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 11, 2016

    Patrick Roy's abrupt resignation Thursday as the Colorado Avalanche head coach and vice president of hockey operations comes as a shock, but only because of the timing.

    • There always seemed to be a little disconnect between Roy's vision and that of the rest of the front office, and that apparently came to an impasse 40 days before the Avalanche are scheduled to open training camp.

      Roy wanted more input on personnel decisions, and he said in a statement announcing his resignation that wasn't happening. So he is gone.

      Why the rift? And why now?

      There were grumblings as the Avalanche wrapped up a disappointing 2015-16 season that there was some professional tension between Roy and the Colorado front office. Roy said he was returning when he was asked if he was coming back and cited a good relationship with executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic.

      He also thought the Avalanche needed to make bold roster moves in the offseason. Roy often pointed out the dearth of prospects in the minor-league system, which was a reason for bringing him on after years of bad drafts. It was also a reason to find talent in other franchises.

      But this summer Colorado did nothing more than lock up talented center Nathan MacKinnon and defenseman Tyson Barrie. No big trades, no big signings, so Roy was headed into his fourth season as the coach with essentially the same team that had underachieved the past two seasons.

      A big factor in staying out of the free-agency market is the salary cap. Colorado is $1 million under the $73 million figure, so any big moves would have required trading a core player.

      Making a trade might have been Roy's preference but apparently that was not the case for the rest of the front office, so he left, and at least publicly it's an amicable parting.

      "I am grateful to the Colorado Avalanche organization, with which I remain in good terms, for letting me lead this great team," Roy said in a written statement. "I thank all the players I have had the pleasure of coaching and the fans for their unwavering, unconditional support.

      "I remain forever loyal to the Avalanche with which I played 478 games, coached another 253, and won two Stanley Cups."

      He is not exactly burning bridges, but the timing is curious because it comes a little more than a month before training camp. Surely Roy met with the front office months ago and a plan was laid out for the offseason. If Colorado wasn't going to listen to Roy then why did he wait another two or three months to leave? Why not walk away then?

      The guess here is he kept pushing his agenda but it fell on deaf ears. Once he realized his ideas were not part of the bigger picture, he resigned.

      It is a sad ending to what was a happy marriage when Roy took over three years ago. He was courted by Sakic and president Josh Kroenke, who felt he was the best choice to lead one of the youngest rosters in the NHL despite Roy having only coached at the Major Junior level.

      But the fact that he was a Hall of Fame goaltender -- one many consider the best ever -- and an Avalanche icon made his hiring a splash for a franchise that failed to make the playoffs in five of the seven previous seasons.

      And then he went out and led a surprising turnaround. Colorado won 52 games in 2013-14, he won the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL coach of the year and the Avalanche landed the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. But Colorado's Game 7 home loss to Minnesota in overtime -- a game they led in the final three minutes -- in the first round was devastating, and the team still hasn't recovered.

      Roy's leaving puts the Avalanche in a difficult position. The three assistant coaches, Tim Army, David Farrish and newly hired Nolan Pratt, have no NHL head coaching experience. The only name coach on the market is Bob Hartley, who led the Avalanche to the 2001 Stanley Cup before being fired 18 months later.

      It is not exactly an ideal picture this close to the start of the season, but it's what Colorado is facing.

      The solution? The Avalanche made a splash by reaching into past glory to hire Roy three years ago, so they may go to the well again with Hartley.

      That might be their only option now.

  • Roy resigns as Avalanche coach, VP
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 11, 2016

    Patrick Roy resigned as coach and vice president of the hockey operations of the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, citing a lack of a voice within the team's decision-making process.

    • Colorado executive vice president/general manager Joe Sakic confirmed the move and noted that the club will begin a search for a new coach immediately.

      "For the past three years, I have carried out my duties as head coach and vice president of hockey operations for the Colorado Avalanche with energy, passion and determination," the 50-year-old Roy said in the statement.

      "I have thought long and hard over the course of the summer about how I might improve this team to give it the depth it needs and bring it to a higher level. To achieve this, the vision of the coach and VP-hockey operations needs to be perfectly aligned with that of the organization. He must also have a say in the decisions that impact the team's performance. These conditions are not currently met."

      Sakic, who hired Roy on May 23, 2013, thanked Roy for his contributions to the team.

      "Patrick informed me of his decision today," Sakic said. "We appreciate all he has done for our organization and wish him the best of luck in the future."

      Roy was named the Jack Adams Award winner as the league's best coach during his rookie season with the Avalanche in 2013-14. He guided the club to 112 points and a first-place finish in the Central Division, but Colorado was upset by Minnesota in the first round of the playoffs and has missed the postseason in each of the last two years.

      The Avalanche posted a 39-39-4 mark in 2015-16 and fell five points shy of the Wild for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

      A Hall of Fame goaltender, Roy won four Stanley Cups -- two apiece with the Montreal Canadiens and the Avalanche.

  • Devils sign F Boucher to one-year, two-way deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 10, 2016

    The New Jersey Devils signed restricted free-agent forward Reid Boucher to a one-year, two-way contract on Wednesday.

    • Boucher, who will receive $715,000 at the NHL level, recorded career highs in goals (eight), assists (11) and points (19) in 39 games last season with New Jersey. The 22-year-old has scored 11 goals and set up 16 others in 73 career contests since being selected by the Devils in the fourth round of the 2011 draft.

      Boucher was also productive with Albany of the American Hockey League, collecting 19 goals and 13 assists in 34 games in 2015-16. He continued to provide a spark in the postseason with four goals and six assists in 11 contests.

      Boucher was the last of five restricted free agents left unsigned by New Jersey.

  • Flyers promote Pryor to assistant GM
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 10, 2016

    The Philadelphia Flyers promoted Chris Pryor to assistant general manager/director of player personnel, general manager Ron Hextall announced Wednesday.

    • Pryor is entering his 17th season with the Flyers. He served the previous three seasons as director of scouting, overseeing all Flyers scouting activities at the professional and amateur levels, both in North America and overseas.

      Pryor joined the Flyers in 1999 as a U.S. amateur scout and served in that capacity until being promoted to the position of director of hockey operations in November 2006. He was named director of scouting in July 2013.

      Prior to joining the Flyers, Pryor worked for the New York Islanders from 1992-1999 in various capacities, including minor league coach (1992-94), scout (1994-99) and director of player development (1994-98).

      Pryor played parts of six seasons in the NHL with the Minnesota North Stars and New York Islanders (1984-90). He also played for Salt Lake (IHL) during the 1983-84 season and Capital District (AHL) from 1990-92, where he won a Calder Cup in 1990. Prior to his professional playing career, Pryor played four seasons at the University of New Hampshire.

  • Coyotes extend contract of associate coach Playfair
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 9, 2016

    The Arizona Coyotes signed associate coach Jim Playfair to a multi-year contract extension on Tuesday.

    • Terms of the deal were not released by the club, which also signed longtime video coach Steve Peters to a contract extension.

      Playfair will be entering his sixth season with the Coyotes and has been credited with the development of defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Connor Murphy and Michael Stone.

      Ekman-Larsson, 25, has blossomed under the tutelage of Playfair, leading Arizona in scoring last season with a career-high 55 points on 21 goals and 34 assists.

      "Jim has done an outstanding job developing our young defensemen and he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our bench," Arizona general manager John Chayka said in a statement. "We are thrilled to have him back for several more seasons."

      Peters will be returning for his 20th season with the Coyotes.