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  • Wild give up draft picks to get Hanzal, White from Coyotes
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, February 26, 2017

    The Western Conference-leading Minnesota Wild got stronger down the middle, but it came at a steep cost.

    • Multiple outlets reported Sunday night that the Wild acquired 6-foot-6, 226-pound center Martin Hanzal and 6-foot, 200-pound center Ryan White from the Arizona Coyotes for a haul of draft picks.

      The Wild, who also received Arizona's fourth-round pick in this year's draft, sent a first rounder this year, a second rounder next year, a conditional pick in 2019, and minor leaguer Grayson Downing to the Coyotes.

      If the Wild win one playoff round this year, the conditional pick becomes a third rounder. If they win two rounds, it becomes a second rounder.

      "It's been a good 10 years, but I'm really looking forward to being in the playoffs and stepping on the ice to help Minnesota," Hanzal told The Sports Xchange's Craig Morgan in a phone interview.

      Hanzal, a pending free agent, said he has been expecting a trade for "the last two weeks" because the sides had not engaged in contract talks since the summer.

      Arizona will also retain 50 percent of the prorated remainder of Hanzal's $3.1 million salary for the season.

      Hanzal has 16 goals and 10 assist this season after scoring 13 goals and a career-high 41 points in 64 games with the club last season. He spent his entire NHL career with the Coyotes franchise since being drafted 17th overall in 2005. He noted it is hard to say goodbye to longtime teammates Shane Doan and Czech countryman Radim Vrbata.

      "He was like a second father to me," Hanzal said of Doan. "He's been helping me since Day 1."

      White has seven goals and six assists in 46 games this season.

  • Kings get G Bishop from Lightning
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, February 26, 2017

    The Los Angeles Kings addressed their goaltending situation on Sunday by acquiring Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    • Bishop, a Vezina finalist last season and a pending unrestricted free agent, will back up Jonathan Quick, who returned Saturday from a 59-game absence to lead the Kings to win over Anaheim thanks to a 32-save performance.

      Quick was also a Vezina finalist last season.

      Los Angeles also received a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft for goaltender Peter Budaj and defense prospect Erik Cernak. To complete the deal, the Lightning picked up both a seventh-round and a conditional pick in the 2017 draft.

      Tampa Bay will retain 20 percent of the prorated remainder of Bishop's $5.95 million salary, according to the Kings' official team site.

      Bishop recorded a 16-12-3 mark with one shutout, a 2.55 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage this season. The 30-year-old pending unrestricted free agent has posted a 146-77-23 career mark with 19 shutouts, a 2.32 GAA and .919 save percentage in 263 contests with the St. Louis Blues, Ottawa Senators and Lightning.

      "Our plan was that at some point we were going to turn over the starting goaltending duties to (22-year-old Andrei Vasilevskiy)," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman told the Tampa Times on Sunday night. "Ultimately the timing of the trade really is based on that we're able to acquire a goaltender (in Budaj) that can go in play games for us and help us win games this year. And Andrei will play a bigger load of games than he has.

      Budaj fared well this season in place of injured Jonathan Quick, highlighted by a league high-tying seven shutouts. The 34-year-old owns a 27-20-3 mark with a 2.12 GAA and .917 save percentage this season and a 152-127-39 career record with 18 shutouts with the Montreal Canadiens, Colorado Avalanche and Kings.

      Cernak, a second-round pick by L.A. in 2015, has three goals, 14 assists and a plus-27 rating to go along with 47 penalty minutes in 40 games with Erie of the Ontario Hockey League. The 19-year-old has scored seven goals and set up 25 others in 82 career contests with the Otters. At 6-foot-3, 221 pounds, the right-shot defenseman is a solid add to the Lightning prospect pool.

      "He's big, strong, a good skater, a good strong defender," Yzerman told the Times. "With our depth chart and prospect pool, he fits in. We're very optimistic that with time he can develop into an NHL player."

  • NHL notebook: Wild sign F Carter to two-way deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, February 26, 2017

    The Minnesota Wild signed free agent forward Ryan Carter to a one-year, two-way contract for the remainder of the season, the team announced Sunday.

    • The deal is worth a prorated $575,000 at the NHL level and a prorated $250,000 when in the American Hockey League, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

      Carter, 33, skated in three games with the Iowa Wild of the AHL after signing a professional tryout agreement on Feb. 18. He tallied seven goals, five assists and 48 penalty minutes in 60 regular-season games with Minnesota last season and skated in two Stanley Cup Playoff contests.

      The 6-foot-1, 205-pound native of White Bear Lake, Minn., owns 93 points (41 goals, 52 assists) and 444 penalty minutes in 473 career games during nine NHL seasons with Anaheim, Carolina, Florida, New Jersey and Minnesota. Carter has seven goals, five assists and 48 penalty minutes in 46 playoff games and won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.

      The Wild also recalled forward Zac Dalpe from their AHL affiliate. Dalpe, 27, has one goal and two assists in nine games with Minnesota this season and two goals and 40 shots in 12 games with Iowa.

      --The Chicago Blackhawks recalled goaltender Lars Johansson from Rockford of the AHL.

      Johansson, who has yet to appear in an NHL game, posted an 11-11-4 mark with two shutouts, a 2.66 goals-against average and .907 save percentage in 30 contests with the IceHogs this season. The 29-year-old Swede is rejoining the Blackhawks for the first time since serving as a backup during a nine-game, 16-day stretch in December.

      --The Buffalo Sabres recalled goaltender Linus Ullmark from the Rochester Americans of the AHL.

      Ullmark, 23, joins the Sabres for his fifth recall of the season, but he has yet to appear in a game with the team in 2016-17.

      The Lugnvik, Sweden, native has a 20-20-2 record with a 2.90 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 42 games for Rochester this season.

      --The Florida Panthers recalled forward Denis Malgin from the Springfield Thunderbirds of the AHL.

      Malgin, 20, has four goals and four assists in 39 games with Florida this season. He has 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 15 games for Springfield.

      --The Washington Capitals reassigned forward Riley Barber and defenseman Aaron Ness to the Hershey Bears of the AHL.

      Barber, 23, made his NHL debut on Feb. 24 against Edmonton and has two shots on goal in two games with the Capitals this season. He has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in 18 games with the Bears in 2016-17.

      Ness, 26, has been in two games with Washington this season and has two assists in 10 career games with the Capitals. The Roseau, Minn., native has 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 41 games with Hershey this season.

  • Blackhawks recall G Johansson
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, February 26, 2017

    The Chicago Blackhawks recalled goaltender Lars Johansson from Rockford of the American Hockey League prior to Sunday's game against the St. Louis Blues.

    • Scott Darling is expected to get the start vs. the Blues with fellow netminder Corey Crawford dealing with an illness.

      Johansson, who has yet to appear in an NHL game, posted an 11-11-4 mark with two shutouts, a 2.66 goals-against average and .907 save percentage in 30 contests with the IceHogs this season. The 29-year-old Swede is rejoining the Blackhawks for the first time since serving as a backup during a nine-game, 16-day stretch in December.

  • Sabres recall G Ullmark
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, February 26, 2017

    The Buffalo Sabres recalled goaltender Linus Ullmark from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League on Sunday.

    • Ullmark, 23, joins the Sabres for his fifth recall of the season, but he has yet to appear in a game with the team in 2016-17.

      The Lugnvik, Sweden, native has a 20-20-2 record with a 2.90 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 42 games for Rochester this season.

      The 6-foot-4, 221-pound Ullmark, the Sabres' sixth-round pick in the 2012 NHL draft, appeared in 20 games for Buffalo during the 2015-16 season, logging a .913 save percentage and a 2.60 goals-against average as a rookie. His 8-10-2 record that season included wins in each of his last three NHL appearances.

  • Wild sign F Carter to prorated deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, February 26, 2017

    The Minnesota Wild signed free agent forward Ryan Carter to a one-year, two-way contract for the remainder of the season, the team announced Sunday.

    • The deal is worth a prorated $575,000 at the NHL level and a prorated $250,000 when in the American Hockey League, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

      Carter, 33, skated in three games with the Iowa Wild of the AHL after signing a professional tryout agreement on Feb. 18. He tallied seven goals, five assists and 48 penalty minutes in 60 regular-season games with Minnesota last season and skated in two Stanley Cup Playoff contests.

      The 6-foot-1, 205-pound native of White Bear Lake, Minn., led the team in penalty minutes and ranked fourth in hits with 87. Carter also recorded a career-high 37 blocked shots.

      Carter owns 93 points (41 goals, 52 assists) and 444 penalty minutes in 473 career games during nine NHL seasons with Anaheim, Carolina, Florida, New Jersey and Minnesota. Carter has seven goals, five assists and 48 penalty minutes in 46 playoff games and won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.

      Carter played two seasons at Minnesota State University-Mankato (2004-06) before signing as a free agent with the Ducks on July 12, 2006. He was originally signed as a free agent by the Wild on Oct. 6, 2014.

      The Wild also recalled forward Zac Dalpe from their AHL affiliate.

      Dalpe, 27, has one goal and two assists in nine games with Minnesota this season and two goals and 40 shots in 12 games with Iowa.

      Dalpe underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee on Oct. 31. The 6-2, 199-pound native of Paris, Ontario, owns 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in 128 career NHL contests with Carolina, Vancouver, Buffalo and the Wild.

      Dalpe was originally selected by Carolina in the second round (45th overall) of the 2008 NHL draft and was signed as a free agent by Minnesota on July 1, 2015.

  • Capitals reassign F Barber, D Ness
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, February 26, 2017

    The Washington Capitals reassigned forward Riley Barber and defenseman Aaron Ness to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League on Sunday.

    • Barber, 23, made his NHL debut on Feb. 24 against Edmonton and has two shots on goal in two games with the Capitals this season. He has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in 18 games with the Bears in 2016-17.

      The 6-foot, 193-pound Barber missed 35 games this season with an upper-body injury and scored three goals in five games since returning to the Hershey lineup. Last season, the Pittsburgh native registered 55 points (26 goals, 29 assists) in 74 games with Hershey. Barber was selected by the Capitals in the sixth round of the 2012 NHL draft.

      Ness, 26, has been in two games with Washington this season and has two assists in 10 career games with the Capitals. The Roseau, Minn., native was drafted by the New York Islanders in the second round (40th overall) in 2008. Ness has one goal and four assists in 39 career NHL games with the Islanders and Capitals.

      Ness has 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 41 games with Hershey this season. The 5-10, 184-pound Ness owns 166 points (34 goals, 132 assists) in 383 career AHL games with Bridgeport and Hershey.

  • Panthers recall F Malgin
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, February 26, 2017

    The Florida Panthers recalled forward Denis Malgin from the Springfield Thunderbirds of the American Hockey League on Sunday.

    • Malgin, 20, has four goals and four assists in 39 games with Florida this season. He has 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 15 games for Springfield.

      The 5-foot-9, 177-pound native of Olten, Switzerland, was originally selected by the Panthers in the fourth round of the 2015 NHL draft.

  • Canucks D Sbisa leaves game with illness
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, February 26, 2017

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Defenseman Luca Sbisa left the Vancouver Canucks' game against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday with what the team called a stomach flu.

    • Sbisa left the game with about one minute left in the second period and didn't return for the third period.

      The Canucks had five players affected by the mumps, three of them defensemen.

      Sbisa has two goals and 10 assists in 61 games this season.

  • NHL roundup: Canadiens make it 14 straight over Leafs
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, February 25, 2017

    TORONTO -- Andrew Shaw scored 1:06 into overtime as the Montreal Canadiens recorded their 14th straight victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs with a 3-2 decision on Saturday night.

    • Shaw broke into the clear and put a backhand past Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen for his ninth goal of the season as Montreal improved to 4-0 versus the Maple Leafs in 2016-17.

      Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk also scored for the Canadiens. Galchenyuk added an assist while Carey Price made 32 saves.

      Auston Matthews scored twice for Toronto and Andersen stopped 25 shots. The Maple Leafs tied the game at 1:19 of the third period when Matthews deflected a shot by Zach Hyman for his 30th goal of the season.

      Kings 4, Ducks 1

      LOS ANGELES -- Tyler Toffoli scored two goals and Los Angeles rallied for four goals in the third period to defeat Anaheim.

      Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who led Los Angeles to Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014, returned after missing the previous 59 games with a groin injury and stopped 32 shots. The Ducks entered the game allowing the fewest third-period goals in the NHL (39).

      Toffoli tied the score at 3:37 after Tanner Pearson took a shot from a tough angle and the puck came out to Toffoli, who stuffed it past goalie Jonathan Bernier. Toffoli scored again just over four minutes later when he worked a 2-on-1 with Jeff Carter and finished the play for a 2-1 lead on his 12th goal of the season.

      Penguins 4, Flyers 2

      PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby increased his league lead to 34 goals and Matt Cullen, playing in his first NHL outdoor game at age 40, scored the winning goal as Pittsburgh bested Philadelphia at Heinz Field in a Stadium Series game.

      Crosby scored the only goal of the first, with the Penguins' Nick Bonino and the Flyers' Jakub Voracek trading goals in the second. Cullen got two whacks at a wraparound and gave Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead at 1:50 of third.

      After a 76-degree day Friday, the game-time temperature was 36 degrees, and snow fell through most of the game, although mostly in the form of flurries. A crowd of 67,318 watched.

      Predators 5, Capitals 2

      NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Filip Forsberg scored his seventh goal in three games and had an assist in Nashville's three-goal second period that lifted it over Washington.

      Roman Josi scored twice for the Predators, including the clincher at 12:07 of the third period with a slapper only three seconds into a power play. Mike Fisher also added a goal as Nashville jumped over idle St. Louis for third place in the Central Division.

      Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his 15th goal at 17:03 of the third to draw the Capitals within a pair, but they got no closer in losing for the third time in 11 games.

      Sharks 4, Canucks 1

      VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Mikkel Boedker and Logan Couture scored goals 2:49 apart in the third period to lift San Jose.

      Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau also scored for the Sharks, who haven't lost in Vancouver for more than five years. Chris Tierney broke an eight-game pointless streak with a pair of assists.

      Daniel Sedin scored for the Canucks, who have three wins in their last 12 games (3-9-0). Vancouver, which had five players affected by the mumps, dressed three players from their AHL farm team.

      Rangers 4, Devils 3 (OT)

      NEWARK, N.J. -- Mika Zibanejad's eighth goal of the season at 1:16 of overtime lifted New York to its league-leading 21st road victory.

      The Rangers forced overtime on an Adam Clendening goal with 4:25 remaining in regulation. Antti Raanta stopped 36 shots for New York.

      New Jersey's Kyle Palmieri scored twice earlier in the period, his team-high 17th and 18th goals, to give the Devils their first lead at 3-2. Cory Schneider sparkled in the Devils' net with 36 saves.

      Blue Jackets 7, Islanders 0

      COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Nick Foligno and Josh Anderson scored two goals apiece as Columbus rolled.

      The Blue Jackets showed little ill effects from coming off its five-day break as they peppered New York with 45 shots. On the other end, Joonas Korpisalo turned aside all 24 Islanders' shots for his fourth shutout of the season.

      David Savard added a goal and two assists, while Boone Jenner contributed a goal and an assist as Columbus reached the seven-goal plateau for the sixth time this year.

      Avalanche 5, Sabres 3

      DENVER -- Gabriel Landeskog had two goals and an assist to lift Colorado.

      Blake Comeau had a goal and an assist, Tyson Barrie and Mikhail Grigorenko also scored and Jeremy Smith stopped 32 shots for the Avalanche.

      Marcus Foligno and Evan Rodrigues had goals, and Sam Reinhart also scored in his return after missing two games for Buffalo. Robin Lehner stopped 25 shots for the Sabres, who continued the poor record for teams coming out of the league-mandate five-day rest period. NHL teams are 6-14-4 after their break.

  • Bettman upholds Duck F Vermette's 10-game suspension
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, February 25, 2017

    NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the 10-game suspension given to Anaheim Ducks forward Antoine Vermette for slashing an official with his stick during a game last week, the league announced Saturday.

    • Vermette slapped his stick against the back legs of linesman Shandor Alphonso after losing a faceoff to Minnesota's Mikko Koivu during the third period of Anaheim's 1-0 victory on Feb. 14.

      The 34-year-old Vermette violated Rule 40.3 (physical abuse of officials). The length of the suspension includes four games already served.

      Vermette met with Bettman during a hearing in New York on Thursday, pursuant to his appeal of the suspension assessed on Feb. 16.

      Vermette "exhibited sincere remorse both at the hearing and in his prior apology delivered to Mr. Alphonso," the commissioner said in his statement.

      "While in a particular case, and one such as this, the ten (10) game penalty may seem harsh, the purpose of Rule 40 is to protect the Officials and ensure the integrity of the game," Bettman wrote. "Therefore, any inappropriate conduct by Players vis-a-vis Officials cannot be condoned or tolerated."

      Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Vermette will forfeit $97,222.22. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

      Vermette has eight goals and 14 assists over 58 games in his first season with the Ducks.

  • Blackhawks assign G Glass to AHL
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, February 25, 2017

    The Chicago Blackhawks assigned goaltender Jeff Glass to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League on Saturday.

    • Glass, 31, agreed to terms with the Blackhawks on Thursday to a two-year contract that runs through the 2017-18 season.

      The Calgary, Alberta, native has a 5-4-1 record, along with a 2.38 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and two shutouts in 10 games with Rockford this season.

      Glass, who was a third-round pick by the Ottawa Senators in the 2004 NHL draft, owns a 48-72-6 record in 147 career AHL games with Binghamton, Toronto and Rockford.

  • NHL roundup: Caps win 13th straight at home
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, February 25, 2017

    WASHINGTON -- Justin Williams and Tom Wilson scored as the Washington Capitals defeated the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 Friday night for their 13th consecutive home victory.

    • Braden Holtby had 30 saves for the Capitals, who have won two in a row overall.

      Leon Draisaitl scored Edmonton's lone goal. The Oilers had won four of the previous five games.

      Hurricanes 3, Senators 0

      RALEIGH, N.C. -- Eddie Lack recorded his first victory since October by stopping 34 shots as Carolina defeated Ottawa at PNC Arena.

      Jordan Staal, Elias Lindholm and Viktor Stalberg scored for the Hurricanes, who finished with exactly three goals in a game for the first time in 2017. Phil Di Giuseppe picked up two assists.

      Lack, who made his sixth start of the season, improved to 2-3-1. He has nine career shutouts.

      Flames 4, Panthers 2

      SUNRISE, Fla. -- Chad Johnson made 36 saves and Matthew Tkachuk dished out two assists to lead Calgary over Florida at the BB&T Center.

      The Flames received goals from Sam Bennett, Mikael Backlund, Deryk Engelland and Troy Brouwer while Johnson gave Brian Elliott a rest after he had started four straight games in goal.

      Aleksander Barkov and Nick Bjugstad scored for the Panthers.

      Stars 5, Coyotes 2

      DALLAS -- Jamie Benn scored the game-winning goal 3:03 into the third period and Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves for Dallas vs. Arizona at American Airlines Center.

      Devin Shore, who also had an assist, John Klingberg, appearing in his 200th career game, Lauri Korpikoski and Cody Eakin also scored for the Stars, who got two assists from Esa Lindell.

      Radim Vrbata, who added an assist, and Martin Hanzal scored for the Coyotes while Louis Domingue made 32 saves in a losing effort.

  • Canucks D Stecher diagnosed with mumps
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    The Vancouver Canucks confirmed Friday that defenseman Troy Stecher was diagnosed with mumps and several other players have shown symptoms of the highly contagious virus.

    • "We're taking this very seriously given how easily mumps can spread," said Canucks general manager Jim Benning. "At this point, Troy Stecher is the only player with a confirmed test result. Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund have each presented symptoms.

      "We'll continue to follow all protocols in accordance with Vancouver Coastal Health guidelines in order to prevent further infection."

      In keeping with BC Centre of Disease Control and Vancouver Coastal Health guidelines, players presenting symptoms are immediately being tested and quarantined in isolation for a five-day period from the onset of symptoms or until test results prove negative.

      Vaccines are also being administered to minimize further risk of contraction along with universal preventative hygiene measures as recommended by Vancouver Coastal Health, including disinfecting all dressing room areas.

      Vancouver Coastal Health authorities will be on hand at Rogers Arena to screen players and staff and immunize those who need it.

      In 2014, nine NHL players were diagnosed with the mumps, but there have been no cases since until Friday's revelation.

      Mumps is a virus that causes swollen and tender glands, particularly the salivary gland. It also causes flu-like symptoms such as fever and body aches. Mumps is spread through respiratory droplets of saliva and mucus from the nose, mouth and throat and can be present in a person for up to two weeks before symptoms arise.

  • NHL notebook: Ducks acquire Eaves from Stars
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    The Anaheim Ducks made a move to beef up their offense Friday, acquiring forward Patrick Eaves from the Dallas Stars.

    • Eaves is in the midst of a career season, tying for Dallas' team lead with 21 goals. Anaheim sent a conditional second-round pick to the Stars in exchange for Eaves.

      The 32-year-old Eaves will be joining his sixth team. At the time of the trade, he was tied for fourth in the league with 11 power-play goals.

      Eaves scored twice against Carolina on Feb. 11 to eclipse his previous career best of 20 goals established during his rookie season (2005-06) with the Ottawa Senators. His 37 points are also a career high.

      --The Vancouver Canucks confirmed that defenseman Troy Stecher was diagnosed with mumps and several other players have shown symptoms of the highly contagious virus.

      "We're taking this very seriously given how easily mumps can spread," said Canucks general manager Jim Benning. "At this point, Troy Stecher is the only player with a confirmed test result. Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund have each presented symptoms.

      "We'll continue to follow all protocols in accordance with Vancouver Coastal Health guidelines in order to prevent further infection."

      In keeping with BC Centre of Disease Control and Vancouver Coastal Health guidelines, players presenting symptoms are immediately being tested and quarantined in isolation for a five-day period from the onset of symptoms or until test results prove negative.

      --The Chicago Blackhawks acquired forward Tomas Jurco from Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft.

      Jurco, a second-round selection of Detroit in 2011, fell out of favor with the Red Wings this season and was a healthy scratch in 16 of the last 21 games.

      The 24-year-old Jurco showed promise in his first season with Detroit, collecting eight goals and 15 points in 36 games in 2013-14.

      His production dwindled to four goals and six points in 44 games in 2015-16 and bottomed out this season, with Jurco failing to hit the scoresheet in all 16 games since returning from offseason back surgery in November.

      --The Carolina Hurricanes assigned left winger Bryan Bickell to the Charlotte Checkers after clearing waivers and he is expected to play for the American Hockey League affiliate in his first game action since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last fall.

      Bickell, 30, was diagnosed with MS on Nov. 11. He is expected to be in the lineup for the Checkers against Cleveland on Saturday, moving another step closer to an NHL return and marking his first game since he played for Carolina against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 30.

      "It's been a long journey but the road is getting shorter so that's a positive thing for me to help out this team," Bickell told Postmedia Network on Thursday. "Finding out the news and then not knowing if you're even going to play hockey again -- that first month was kind of hard. But to move on, as a family and as a player, has been tough but it's been well-deserved when you get this close to coming back in."

      Bickell scored one goal in seven games with the Hurricanes this season prior to being placed on the injured reserve list after his diagnosis. The Bowmanville, Ontario, native was acquired by Carolina on June 15, 2016, from Chicago, where he was a member the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

      --The St. Louis Blues agreed on a five-year, $19.25 million contract extension with center Patrik Berglund, the team announced.

      Berglund, 28, was slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the season. His new deal extends through the 2021-22 season. He has spent his entire nine-year career with St. Louis.

      He ranks second on the Blues with 17 goals this season. Berglund's career-best total of 22 occurred during the 2010-11 season.

      Berglund has recorded 145 goals and 141 assists in 615 regular-season games with St. Louis.

      --The Buffalo Sabres recalled forwards Justin Bailey and Evan Rodrigues from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.

      The 6-foot-3, 214-pound Bailey, 21, joins the Sabres for his fourth recall of the season. In his second professional campaign, the Buffalo native is tied for ninth in the AHL with 19 goals in 40 games. Bailey has two goals and an assist in 19 games for Buffalo this season.

      The 5-10, 183-pound Rodrigues, 23, has two assists in eight games with the Sabres and joins the team for his third recall of 2016-17. He ranks third among Rochester skaters with 18 assists and fifth with 27 total points.

      In a corresponding move, the Sabres assigned forward Derek Grant to their AHL affiliate.

      --The Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned forward Cory Conacher to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League.

      The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Conacher was recalled by Tampa Bay on Wednesday and logged 8:04 in ice time Thursday night against Calgary.

      Conacher, 27, has a goal, an assist and four penalty minutes in eight games with the Lightning this season. He owns 60 points (20 goals, 40 assists) in 149 career NHL games with the Lightning, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders.

      The Burlington, Ontario, native has 12 goals and 44 points, including four power-play goals, in 42 games with Syracuse this season. He leads the Crunch for points and assists (32).

  • Red Wings ship F Jurco to Blackhawks
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    The Chicago Blackhawks acquired forward Tomas Jurco from Detroit Red Wings on Friday in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft.

    • Jurco, a second-round selection of Detroit in 2011, fell out of favor with the Red Wings this season and was a healthy scratch in 16 of the last 21 games.

      The 24-year-old Jurco showed promise in his first season with Detroit, collecting eight goals and 15 points in 36 games in 2013-14.

      His production dwindled to four goals and six points in 44 games in 2015-16 and bottomed out this season, with Jurco failing to hit the scoresheet in all 16 games since returning from offseason back surgery in November.

      "Things haven't worked out. He wanted to be elsewhere," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said of Jurco, who will be a restricted free agent after this season.

      Jurco appeared in 159 points in parts of four seasons with Detroit, accumulating 15 goals and 24 assists.

  • Ducks acquire F Eaves from Stars
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    The Anaheim Ducks made a move to beef up their offense Friday, acquiring forward Patrick Eaves from the Dallas Stars.

    • Eaves is in the midst of a career season, tying for Dallas' team lead with 21 goals. Anaheim sent a conditional second-round pick to the Stars in exchange for Eaves.

      The 32-year-old Eaves will be joining his sixth team. At the time of the trade, he was tied for fourth in the league with 11 power-play goals.

      "Great friend. Good guy and teammate. He's a glue guy -- a guy that you can put on the power play, PK (penalty kill)," Ducks center Ryan Kesler said of Eaves. "When you can make a move to add to your team -- and not subtract anything, like we did today -- it's huge."

      Eaves scored twice against Carolina on Feb. 11 to eclipse his previous career best of 20 goals established during his rookie season (2005-06) with the Ottawa Senators. His 37 points are also a career high.

      "He's been able to put up offensive numbers with good players, and he can be a guy who can fit in with anybody," said Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle, who hopes Eaves will be in the lineup Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings.

      A first-round draft pick of Ottawa in 2003, Eaves has notched 120 goals and 107 assists in 604 career games with the Senators (2005-08), Carolina (2008-09), Detroit (2009-14), Nashville (2013-14) and Dallas (2014-17)

      Eaves had three goals and six points in nine playoff games last season for Dallas, which lost in the Western Conference semifinals.

      If Anaheim advances to the conference finals this season and Eaves plays in at least 50 percent of the games in the first two rounds, Dallas will receive a first-round draft pick.

  • Hurricanes LW Bickell begins comeback from MS diagnosis
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    The Carolina Hurricanes assigned left winger Bryan Bickell to the Charlotte Checkers on Friday after clearing waivers and he is expected to play for the American Hockey League affiliate in his first game action since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last fall.

    • Bickell, 30, was diagnosed with MS on Nov. 11. He is expected to be in the lineup for the Checkers against Cleveland on Saturday, moving another step closer to an NHL return and marking his first game since he played for Carolina against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 30.

      "It's been a long journey but the road is getting shorter so that's a positive thing for me to help out this team," Bickell told Postmedia Network on Thursday. "Finding out the news and then not knowing if you're even going to play hockey again -- that first month was kind of hard. But to move on, as a family and as a player, has been tough but it's been well-deserved when you get this close to coming back in."

      Bickell scored one goal in seven games with the Hurricanes this season prior to being placed on the injured reserve list after his diagnosis. The Bowmanville, Ontario, native was acquired by Carolina on June 15, 2016, from Chicago, where he was a member the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

      The 6-foot-4, 223-pound Bickell was selected by the Blackhawks in the second round (41st overall) of the 2004 NHL draft. He owns 136 points (66 goals, 70 assists) in 391 NHL career regular-season games with the Blackhawks and Hurricanes.

      "He's done everything he possibly can to get himself ready and get back at it, so we'll see where it leads," Carolina coach Bill Peters said of Bickell. "It's an unreal source of inspiration, and his attitude has been fantastic through this whole thing. I give him nothing but credit there."

      General manager Ron Francis is hopeful Bickell can return to the Hurricanes this season.

      "I think it would be incredible," Bickell said. "He's been an inspiration for our guys. He's come here and practiced as hard as you can practice each and every day while dealing with his issues and his treatment. His attitude has been 100 percent positive. Not just about the game, just his outlook on life in general. He's a great inspiration. This is a big opportunity for him to go down, get in some games and work on his timing. We're hoping he can make it back up here."

      Bickell received an outpouring of support from the players, former teammates and others throughout the NHL. He began practicing with the Hurricanes in mid-January and even traveled with the team at times.

      "If you asked me to play right now, I think I would be pretty good," Bickell told the Charlotte Observer on Thursday, smiling. "But I know it's comfortable for (the Hurricanes ) for me to go down there and get some minutes and get reps in practice and get my timing back. Games are a lot different from practice. So I'll get my confidence and hopefully come back up here and be ready to roll."

  • Blues re-sign Berglund to 5-year, $19.25M deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    The St. Louis Blues agreed on a five-year, $19.25 million contract extension with center Patrik Berglund, the team announced Friday.

    • Berglund, 28, was slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the season. His new deal extends through the 2021-22 season.

      Berglund has spent his entire nine-year career with St. Louis.

      He ranks second on the Blues with 17 goals this season. Berglund's career-best total of 22 occurred during the 2010-11 season.

      Berglund has recorded 145 goals and 141 assists in 615 regular-season games with St. Louis.

  • Sabres recall Fs Bailey, Rodrigues
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    The Buffalo Sabres recalled forwards Justin Bailey and Evan Rodrigues from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League on Friday.

    • The 6-foot-3, 214-pound Bailey, 21, joins the Sabres for his fourth recall of the season. In his second professional campaign, the Buffalo native is tied for ninth in the AHL with 19 goals in 40 games. Bailey has two goals and an assist in 19 games for Buffalo this season.

      The 5-10, 183-pound Rodrigues, 23, has two assists in eight games with the Sabres and joins the team for his third recall of 2016-17. He ranks third among Rochester skaters with 18 assists and fifth with 27 total points.

      In a corresponding move, the Sabres assigned forward Derek Grant to their AHL affiliate.

      The 6-3, 212-pound Grant, 26, was claimed off waivers from the Nashville Predators on Feb. 6. In 46 games for the Sabres and Predators this season, he has four assists and 24 penalty minutes.

  • Lightning reassign F Conacher
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    The Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned forward Cory Conacher to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League on Friday.

    • The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Conacher was recalled by Tampa Bay on Wednesday and logged 8:04 in ice time Thursday night against Calgary.

      Conacher, 27, has a goal, an assist and four penalty minutes in eight games with the Lightning this season. He owns 60 points (20 goals, 40 assists) in 149 career NHL games with the Lightning, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders.

      The Burlington, Ontario, native has 12 goals and 44 points, including four power-play goals, in 42 games with Syracuse this season. He leads the Crunch for points and assists (32).

      Conacher was signed by the Lightning as a free agent on July 13, 2016.

  • NHL roundup: Red-hot Forsberg leads Preds to another win
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Filip Forsberg's torrid week continued Thursday night.

    • The Nashville Predators' right winger registered his second straight hat trick, lifting his team to a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena.

      Viktor Arvidsson also scored for the Predators, while Roman Josi and Ryan Johansen each bagged two assists. Pekka Rinne stopped 20 shots to earn the win as the Predators swept the season series from Colorado (16-40-3) 5-0-0.

      Jarome Iginla led the Avalanche with a goal and an assist, while Patrick Wiercioch also contributed a goal. Jeremy Smith saved 25 of 28 shots in only his second NHL start.

      Blackhawks 6, Coyotes 3

      CHICAGO -- Patrick Kane registered his third career hat trick, and Jonathan Toews had two assists as Chicago won for the eighth time in their last nine games, beating Arizona.

      Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Hartman and Michal Rozsival also scored for the Blackhawks.

      Jakub Chychrun, Ryan White and Radim Vrbata registered the goals for the Coyotes, who got two assists from Alexander Burmistrov and 23 saves from goalie Mike Smith.

      Rangers 2, Maple Leafs 1 (SO)

      TORONTO -- Mika Zibanejad scored the decisive goal in a shootout to give New York a victory over Toronto.

      Connor Brown scored a first-period goal for the Maple Leafs and J.T. Miller tied the game for the Rangers in the third period.

      Each goaltender was called upon to make big saves. Toronto's Frederik Andersen stopped 37 shots New York's Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves.

      Islanders 3, Canadiens 0

      MONTREAL -- Anthony Beauvillier, Anders Lee and John Tavares scored as New York topped Montreal to improve to 12-4-2 under interim coach Doug Weight.

      Carey Price stopped 21 shots for the Canadiens, who haven't won consecutive games since the first week of January. Thomas Greiss made 24 saves for the Islanders to register his third shutout of the season, all since mid-January.

      Flames 3, Lightning 2

      TAMPA, Fla. -- Calgary continued its strong play on the road, pulling out a win over Tampa Bay at Amalie Arena.

      Dougie Hamilton, Mikael Backlund and Sean Monahan scored for the Flames.

      Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov replied for the Lightning.

      Bruins 4, Kings 1

      LOS ANGELES -- David Pastrnak scored the decisive goal and Anton Khudobin made 27 saves as the Boston Bruins defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 Thursday.

      Brad Marchand also scored while Dominic Moore and David Krejci added empty netters at 18:58 and 19:52 of the third period for the final margin.

      Kevin Gravel scored his first NHL goal and Peter Budaj stopped 21 shots for the Kings.

  • Blackhawks' Hjalmarsson leaves game with injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson left Thursday night's 6-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes with an upper-body injury after playing only five shifts.

    • It was unclear whether the ailment that knocked him out of the game was the same one that kept him out of the morning skate.

      "We thought he was fine, but didn't turn out so good," said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, who added that he would know more about Hjalmarsson on Friday.

      Hjalmarsson recorded five goals and nine assists while earning a plus-12 rating in 60 games this season.

  • NHL notebook: Penguins obtain D Hainsey from Hurricanes
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    The Pittsburgh Penguins addressed their ailing blue line by acquiring veteran defenseman Ron Hainsey from the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

    • The Hurricanes secured the services of forward Danny Kristo and a second-round pick of the 2017 NHL draft in the deal for Hainsey, who waived his no-trade clause. The 35-year-old Hainsey is the league's all-time leader in games played without a postseason appearance, although that streak likely will come to an end as he suits up for the reigning Stanley Cup champions.

      Pittsburgh announced earlier on Thursday that veteran defenseman Trevor Daley would miss six weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Daley sustained the injury in the Penguins' 3-1 victory over Carolina on Tuesday.

      Pittsburgh is also without defensemen Olli Maatta and Justin Schultz, as the former is sidelined for five more weeks with a hand injury while the latter is dealing with a concussion.

      Hainsey, who is in the final season of a three-year, $8.5 million contract, has collected four goals and 10 assists in 56 games with the Hurricanes in 2016-17. The Connecticut native has scored 49 goals and set up 201 others in 891 career contests since being selected by the Montreal Canadiens with the 13th overall pick of the 2000 draft.

      --The Carolina Hurricanes placed Bryan Bickell on waivers as the veteran forward prepares for perhaps the next step of his comeback from multiple sclerosis.

      Should Bickell clear waivers at noon ET on Friday, the 30-year-old can be assigned to Charlotte of the American Hockey League. The Checkers open a six-game homestand with contests on both Friday and Saturday nights.

      Bickell, who has practiced with the Hurricanes for more than a month, hasn't played since Oct. 30. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis on Nov. 11. Bickell has collected 66 goals and 70 assists in 391 career NHL games with the Blackhawks and Hurricanes since being selected in the second round of the 2004 NHL draft.

      --Chicago Blackhawks goaltending prospect Jeff Glass agreed to a two-year contract that runs through the 2017-18 season.

      Financial terms were not disclosed by the team on Glass, who has posted a 5-4-1 mark with two shutouts, a 2.38 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 10 games this season with Rockford of the American Hockey League.

      --The Washington Capitals reassigned forward Travis Boyd to Hershey of the American Hockey League.

      Boyd, who received his first recall to the NHL on Tuesday, did not play in Wednesday's 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. The 23-year-old Minnesota native collected 11 goals and a team-leading 32 assists in 53 games with the Bears this season.

  • Hurricanes' Bickell moving forward in health battle
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    The Carolina Hurricanes placed Bryan Bickell on waivers Thursday as the veteran forward prepares for perhaps the next step of his comeback from multiple sclerosis.

    • Should Bickell clear waivers at noon ET on Friday, the 30-year-old can be assigned to Charlotte of the American Hockey League. The Checkers open a six-game homestand with contests on both Friday and Saturday nights.

      Bickell, who has practiced with the Hurricanes for more than a month, hasn't played since Oct. 30. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis on Nov. 11.

      "He's done everything he possibly can to get himself ready and get back at it, so we'll see where it leads," Carolina coach Bill Peters said of the three-time Stanley Cup champion. "It's an unreal source of inspiration, and his attitude has been fantastic through this whole thing. I give him nothing but credit there."

      Bickell has scored one goal in seven games this season after being acquired by Carolina on June 15 from Chicago, with which he was a member of its Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

      Bickell has collected 66 goals and 70 assists in 391 career NHL games with the Blackhawks and Hurricanes since being selected in the second round of the 2004 NHL draft.