National Hockey League
NHL News Wire
  • Monday, July 27, 2015
    NHL notebook: Rangers sign Stepan
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New York Rangers and restricted free agent center Derek Stepan avoided an arbitration hearing Monday when they agreed to terms on a multiyear contract.

    • Financial terms were not disclosed, but the New York Daily News reported the deal is for six years and worth $39 million for an average annual value of $6.5 million.

      Stepan was seeking a $7.25 million, one-year contract prior to the settlement and the Rangers were offering $5.2 million for one year, Sportsnet reported Saturday. Stepan had an average annual value of $3.075 million in the two-year contract he signed in 2013.

      Stepan, 25, registered 55 points (16 goals, 39 assists), along with a plus-26 rating and 22 penalty minutes in 68 games with the Rangers last season.

      --The Nashville Predators signed restricted free agent Colin Wilson to a four-year, $15.75 million contract to avoid arbitration.

      Wilson will be paid $3.75 million in 2015-16, and $4 million in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 for an average annual value of $3.9375 million.

      Wilson, 25, set career highs in goals (20) and points (42), while tying a personal best in assists (22) in 2014-15.

      --The Buffalo Sabres named Russ Brandon as president after former president Ted Black and the team "mutually agreed to part ways."

      Brandon, also named alternate governor for the Sabres, will continue as managing partner/president of the Buffalo Bills.

      Brandon will oversee all aspects of the business operations for both the Sabres and Bills organizations and report directly to owners Terry and Kim Pegula.

      --The Colorado Avalanche signed forward Joey Hishon to a one-year contract.

      Hishon, who was a restricted free agent, appeared in 13 games for the Avalanche last season, tallying one goal and one assist. Hishon scored his first NHL goal, the game-winner, on April 7 against the Nashville Predators.

  • Monday, July 27, 2015
    Avalanche sign F Hishon
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Colorado Avalanche signed forward Joey Hishon to a one-year contract Monday.

    • Hishon, who was a restricted free agent, appeared in 13 games for the Avalanche last season, tallying one goal and one assist. Hishon scored his first NHL goal, the game-winner, on April 7 against the Nashville Predators.

      The Stratford, Ontario, native spent most of the season with the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, recording 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists) in 53 games.

      Colorado's first-round pick (17th overall) in the 2010 draft, Hishon joined the Avalanche for the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs, tallying one assist in three postseason games.

  • Monday, July 27, 2015
    Sabres name Brandon as president
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Buffalo Sabres named Russ Brandon as president on Monday after former president Ted Black and the team "mutually agreed to part ways."

    • Brandon, also named alternate governor for the Sabres, will continuing as managing partner/president of the Buffalo Bills.

      Brandon will oversee all aspects of the business operations for both the Sabres and Bills organizations and report directly to owners Terry and Kim Pegula.

      "Since we purchased the Buffalo Bills last October, we have been highly impressed with the business acumen that Russ has shown with the Bills," the Pegulas said in a statement. "Now is an appropriate time to give him additional responsibilities with the Sabres.

      "Russ will work with Pegula Sports & Entertainment to create strong synergies between the Sabres and Bills. With Russ' strong ties to the area business community and sponsorship partners, he will effectively position both organizations for future growth. We are grateful to Ted Black for all he has done for the Sabres organization and wish him much success in his future endeavors."

      Black came to the Sabres from the Pittsburgh Penguins when the Pegulas purchased the Sabres franchise in 2011.

      Brandon will represent ownership interests locally, regionally and with the NHL and NFL.

      "I would like to thank Terry and Kim for the confidence they have placed in me," Brandon said in the statement released by the Sabres. "With so much excitement surrounding the Sabres, there is also great opportunity. We have a strong staff at the Sabres that I will be relying on and there is much from my Bills experience that can be applied at the Sabres. I look forward to the opportunity to engage with the Sabres great fans and lead the business operations of both teams."

      Brandon, who has been with the Bills since 1997, has served as team president since January 2013. He is credited with playing a key role in facilitating the sale of the Buffalo franchise from the Ralph Wilson family to the Pegula family.

      Sabres general manager Tim Murray will continue to oversee hockey operations and report directly to the owners.

  • Monday, July 27, 2015
    Predators sign F Wilson to four-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Nashville Predators signed restricted free agent Colin Wilson to a four-year, $15.75 million contract Monday to avoid arbitration.

    • Wilson will be paid $3.75 million in 2015-16, and $4 million in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 for an average annual value of $3.9375 million.

      Wilson, 25, set career highs in goals (20) and points (42), while tying a personal best in assists (22) in 2014-15. The Greenwich, Conn., native also led the team and set a career high with a plus-19 rating, and tied a career high and ranked third on the Predators in game-winning goals (five).

      The 6-foot-1, 216-pound Wilson had five goals, four on the power play, in the Western Conference first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, which the Predators lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.

      Nashville's first-round pick (seventh overall) in the 2008 draft, Wilson has 77 goals and 178 points in 368 career NHL games.

      The Predators avoided arbitration with forward Craig Smith when he signed a five-year, $21.25 million contract last week.

  • Monday, July 27, 2015
    Rangers sign C Stepan to avoid arbitration
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New York Rangers and restricted free agent center Derek Stepan avoided an arbitration hearing Monday when they agreed to terms on a multiyear contract.

    • Financial terms were not disclosed, but the New York Daily News reported the deal is for six years and worth $39 million for an average annual value of $6.5 million.

      Stepan was seeking a $7.25 million, one-year contract prior to the settlement and the Rangers were offering $5.2 million for one year, Sportsnet reported Saturday. Stepan had an average annual value of $3.075 million in the two-year contract he signed in 2013.

      Stepan, 25, registered 55 points (16 goals, 39 assists), along with a plus-26 rating and 22 penalty minutes in 68 games with the Rangers last season. The 6-foot, 196-pounder had five goals, 12 points, 10 penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating in 19 Stanley Cup playoff games.

      Stepan scored the winning goal in overtime of Game 7 in New York's Eastern Conference second-round series against the Washington Capitals. He did not have a point in the last four games of the conference final, which the Rangers lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games.

      In five NHL seasons, all with the Rangers, Stepan has 252 points (89 goals, 163 assists), 94 penalty minutes and a plus-85 rating. He has 15 goals, 41 points and a minus-5 rating in 80 playoff games.

      The Hastings, Minn., native has represented the United States in international tournaments. Most recently, Stepan skated with Team USA in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

      Stepan was originally selected by the Rangers in the second round (51st overall) of the 2008 draft.

  • Sunday, July 26, 2015
    Flames sign F Byron
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Calgary Flames signed forward Paul Byron to a one- year contract Sunday.

    • Byron and the Flames avoided arbitration to reportedly settle on a $900,000 deal.

      Byron, a native of Ottawa, Ontario, played 57 games with the Flames last season, recording 19 points (six goals, 13 assists). In 138 career NHL games, Byron has tallied 48 points (17 goals, 31 assists).

      Originally drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2007 draft, Byron was acquired by the Flames on June 25, 2011.

  • Sunday, July 26, 2015
    Sens F Chiasson awarded $1.2M in arbitration
    By The Sports Xchange

    Ottawa Senators forward Alex Chiasson was awarded a one-year contract worth $1.2 million following an arbitration hearing.

    • The Senators offered $1 million and Chiasson asked for $2.475 million. The hearing was held Thursday in Toronto.

      The 24-year-old Chiasson, who was acquired by Ottawa from the Dallas Stars on July 1, 2014, had 11 goals and 15 assists in 76 games for the Senators last season. He has 68 points (30 goals, 38 assists) and 105 penalty minutes in 162 career NHL games with the Stars and Senators.

  • Saturday, July 25, 2015
    NHL notebook: Devils sign Larsson to six-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New Jersey Devils re-signed defenseman Adam Larsson to a six-year, $25 million contract Saturday.

    • The team announced the salary breakdown as follows: 2015-16, $2.5 million; 2016-17, $3 million; 2017-18, $4.5 million; 2018-19, $4.85 million; 2019-20, $5.05 million; 2020-21, $5.1 million.

      Larsson, 22, led all New Jersey defensemen in assists (21) and points (24), while playing in 64 games in 2014-15. He also appeared in one game for Albany of the American Hockey League while on a conditioning stint.

      Larsson split the previous two seasons between New Jersey and Albany. He spent his entire 2011-12 rookie season with New Jersey, recording 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in a career-high 65 games. Larsson was New Jersey's first choice and the fourth overall selection in the 2011 NHL Draft.

      ---The New York Rangers and restricted free agent center Derek Stepan are $2 million apart in their arbitration offers.

      Stepan, who is scheduled to go to arbitration Monday, is seeking a $7.25 million contract and the Rangers have offered $5.2 million, Sportsnet reported.

      Each figure would be a significant raise from the average annual value of $3.075 million in the two-year contract he signed in 2013.

      Stepan, 25, had 55 points (16 goals, 39 assists), 22 penalty minutes and a plus-26 rating in 68 regular-season games for the Rangers last season. He also had five goals, seven assists, 10 penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating in 19 Stanley Cup playoff games.

      ---The Washington Capitals and restricted free agent center Marcus Johansson have not made progress in contract negotiations in advance of a salary arbitration hearing next week.

      "I think they're status quo from last time," Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said Friday while discussing goalie Braden Holtby's new five-year, $30.5 million contract.

      MacLellan said he hopes to avoid Johansson's arbitration hearing scheduled Wednesday.

      Johansson set NHL career high in goals (20), assists (27) and points (47) in 82 games last season, He had four points (one goal, three assists) in 14 Stanley Cup playoff games. He has 186 points (61 goals, 125 assits) in 345 NHL games over five seasons, all with the Capitals.

      Johansson made $2 million last season in the final year of a two-year contract.

      ---The Detroit Red Wings signed right winger Tomas Jurco to a two-year contract.

      Jurco, 22, skated in 63 games with the Red Wings in 2014-15, his first full professional season, and scored three goals while adding 15 assists. He also appeared in all seven of Detroit's first-round playoff games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, picking up a goal and an assist. In 99 career NHL games over the past two seasons, he has 11 goals, 33 points and 28 penalty minutes.

  • Saturday, July 25, 2015
    Rangers, Stepan far apart in arbitration offers
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New York Rangers and restricted free agent center Derek Stepan are $2 million apart in their arbitration offers.

    • Stepan, who is scheduled to go to arbitration Monday, is seeking a $7.25 million contract and the Rangers have offered $5.2 million, Sportsnet reported Saturday.

      Each figure would be a significant raise from the average annual value of $3.075 million in the two-year contract he signed in 2013.

      Stepan, 25, had 55 points (16 goals, 39 assists), 22 penalty minutes and a plus-26 rating in 68 regular-season games for the Rangers last season. He also had five goals, seven assists, 10 penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating in 19 Stanley Cup playoff games.

      Stepan scored the winning goal in overtime of Game 7 in New York's Eastern Conference second-round series against the Washington Capitals. He did not have a point in the last four games of the conference final, which the Rangers lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games.

      In five NHL seasons, all with the Rangers, Stepan has 252 points (89 goals, 163 assists), 94 penalty minutes and a plus-85 rating. He has 15 goals, 41 points and a minus-5 rating in 80 playoff games.

  • Saturday, July 25, 2015
    Devils re-sign D Larsson
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New Jersey Devils re-signed defenseman Adam Larsson to a six-year, $25 million contract Saturday.

    • The team announced the salary breakdown as follows: 2015-16, $2.5 million; 2016-17, $3 million; 2017-18, $4.5 million; 2018-19, $4.85 million; 2019-20, $5.05 million; 2020-21, $5.1 million.

      Larsson, 22, led all New Jersey defensemen in assists (21) and points (24), while playing in 64 games in 2014-15. He also appeared in one game for Albany of the American Hockey League while on a conditioning stint.

      Larsson split the previous two seasons between New Jersey and Albany. He spent his entire 2011-12 rookie season with New Jersey, recording 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in a career-high 65 games. His assist total was second among NHL rookie defensemen and his points ranked fifth. He also skated in five games during the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, adding one goal and four penalty minutes. In 192 career NHL games, Larsson has 51 points (six goals, 45 assists) with 78 penalty minutes.

      The native of Skelleftea, Sweden, spent two professional seasons with his hometown club, Skelleftea in Elitserien, prior to his North American career. Larsson was New Jersey's first choice and the fourth overall selection in the 2011 NHL Draft.

  • Saturday, July 25, 2015
    Capitals, Johansson not making progress in talks
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Washington Capitals and restricted free agent center Marcus Johansson have not made progress in contract negotiations in advance of a salary arbitration hearing next week.

    • "I think they're status quo from last time," Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said Friday while discussing goalie Braden Holtby's new five-year, $30.5 million contract.

      MacLellan said he hopes to avoid Johansson's arbitration hearing scheduled Wednesday.

      "As we get closer and, you know, as both parties go through their arbitration process, I think you get a better feeling for the value of the player," MacLellan said. "Hopefully we can come to an agreement before then, but again, we're willing to go through the whole process and keep negotiating."

      Johansson set NHL career high in goals (20), assists (27) and points (47) in 82 games last season, He had four points (one goal, three assists) in 14 Stanley Cup playoff games. He has 186 points (61 goals, 125 assits) in 345 NHL games over five seasons, all with the Capitals.

      Johansson made $2 million last season in the final year of a two-year contract.

      "I'm not worried about (the arbitration process)," Johansson told Swedish website Varmlands Folkblad. "I think I will continue to play (in Washington). My focus right now is on training hard and getting myself prepared, for I know I will be playing."

  • Friday, July 24, 2015
    Red Wings sign Jurco to 2-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Detroit Red Wings signed right winger Tomas Jurco to a two-year contract on Friday.

    • Jurco, 22, skated in 63 games with the Red Wings in 2014-15, his first full professional season, and scored three goals while adding 15 assists. He also appeared in all seven of Detroit's first-round playoff games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, picking up a goal and an assist. In 99 career NHL games over the past two seasons, he has 11 goals, 33 points and 28 penalty minutes.

      He also spent parts of two seasons with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, totaling 60 points (27 G 33 A) in 106 regular-season games and adding 21 points in 32 postseason appearances.

  • Friday, July 24, 2015
    NHL notebook: Glendale council approves new Coyotes arena deal
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Glendale City Council voted unanimously Friday to end their six-week legal dispute with the Arizona Coyotes that will keep the team playing at Gila River Arena.

    • The council voted 7-0 to rescind its decision on June 10 to cancel an arena management contract with the Coyotes and to enact an amended two-year deal with the team.

      The city and Coyotes have been fighting over the 15-year, $225 million lease for Gila River Arena since the council voted last month to terminate the agreement. The Coyotes then obtained a restraining order to keep the city from dissolving the agreement. A hearing had been scheduled for July 31.

      According to the revised agreement, the city's arena management fee to the team would drop from $15 million a year to $6.5 million, and the team would keep all revenue from ticket surcharges, parking and naming rights.

      The contract expires in 2017, which has raised questions about the Coyotes' long-term plans. Council members and LeBlanc said they hope to work out a longer-term deal between the city and the team.

      ---Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke resigned to become chief operating officer of the NFL.

      Lightning chairman and governor Jeff Vinik said team president Steve Griggs has been named the organization's chief executive officer. Vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman will continue to report to Vinik on all hockey operations matters.

      Leiweke has been with the Lightning for the past five years as part of an executive team brought to the Lightning by Vinik. The Lightning won the Eastern Conference championship and advaned to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015.

      ---The New Jersey Devils hired Tom Fitzgerald as assistant general manager.

      Fitzgerald, 46, retired as an NHL player following the 2005-06 season. He was assistant general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins before joining the Devils.

      ---The Washington Capitals re-signed goaltender Braden Holtby to a five-year, $30.5 million contract extension.

      Holtby set career highs in wins (41), shutouts (nine), games played (73) goals-against average (2.22), save percentage (.923) and recorded a franchise-record 1,887 saves in 2014-15. He tied a franchise record in wins, shutouts and games played.

      The Capitals also signed defenseman Ryan Stanton to a one-year, two-way contract.

      ---The Montreal Canadiens agreed to terms with free agent forward Alexander Semin on a one-year contract.

      The deal is worth $1.1 million, according to ESPN.com. Semin, who signed a five-year, $35 million deal during the lockout-shortened 2013 season with the Carolina Hurricanes, was bought out earlier this month. He is owed $14 million -- two-thirds of the amount remaining on his contract -- over six years. He had three years left on a deal that paid him $7 million annually.

      Semin, 31, played 57 games with Carolina in 2014-15, recording 19 points (six goals, 13 assists). The 6-foot-2, 209-pound right winger served 32 penalty minutes and averaged 15:55 of ice time per game.

      The Canadiens also agreed to terms on a three-year, entry level contract with forward Daniel Audette.

      ---The Nashville Predators signed 2014 second-round selection Jack Dougherty to a three-year entry-level contract.

      The 6-foot-1, 186-pound defenseman is expected to play his first season with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League in 2015-16. Dougherty, 19, spent last season at the University of Wisconsin.

      ---The Calgary Flames signed forwards Josh Jooris and Turner Elson to one-year contracts.

      Jooris played 60 games for Calgary in 2014-15, recording 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists). Elson spent last season with the Adirondack Flames of the AHL, tallying 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists) in 59 games.

  • Friday, July 24, 2015
    Predators sign D Dougherty
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Nashville Predators signed 2014 second-round selection Jack Dougherty to a three-year entry-level contract Friday.

    • The 6-foot-1, 186-pound defenseman is expected to play his first season with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League in 2015-16.

      Dougherty, 19, spent last season at the University of Wisconsin, tying for fourth among Big Ten freshmen defensemen with nine points (two goals, seven assists) and ranking fifth with four power-play points.

      Prior to his lone collegiate season, the St. Paul, Minn., native played the 2013-14 season with the U.S. National Team Development Program, ranking second among team blueliners in goals (six), and fourth in points (22). Dougherty helped the United States win its fifth gold medal in a six-year span at the Under-18 World Championship in 2014, and led Team USA to a silver medal at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Tournament.

  • Friday, July 24, 2015
    Glendale council approves new Coyotes arena deal
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Glendale City Council voted unanimously Friday to end their six-week legal dispute with the Arizona Coyotes that will keep the team playing at Gila River Arena.

    • The council voted 7-0 to rescind its decision on June 10 to cancel an arena management contract with the Coyotes and to enact an amended two-year deal with the team.

      The city and Coyotes have been fighting over the 15-year, $225 million lease for Gila River Arena since the council voted last month to terminate the agreement. The Coyotes then obtained a restraining order to keep the city from dissolving the agreement. A hearing had been scheduled for July 31.

      "I'm relieved," Coyotes co-owner, president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said Friday. "It's good to get this behind us and focus on what's important to us, which is the hockey team.

      "I understand people having concern because the two-year timeline is a bit of a surprise to many people, including us. It certainly wasn't our desire, but I think the comments I made inside (the council chamber) hopefully will ring true. If we had an intention of wanting to leave the Valley, we had the opportunity to do that this summer and we went the other way. We continue to believe very strongly in this market."

      According to the revised agreement, the city's arena management fee to the team would drop from $15 million a year to $6.5 million, and the team would keep all revenue from ticket surcharges, parking and naming rights.

      The contract expires in 2017, which has raised questions about the Coyotes' long-term plans. Council members and LeBlanc said they hope to work out a longer-term deal between the city and the team.

  • Friday, July 24, 2015
    Flames sign Fs Jooris, Elson
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Calgary Flames signed forwards Josh Jooris and Turner Elson to one-year contracts Friday.

    • Jooris, a 25-year-old native of Burlington, Ontario, played 60 games for Calgary in 2014-15, recording 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists). He was signed as an undrafted free agent by Calgary on July 30, 2013, and spent his first professional season with the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League, putting up 11 goals, 16 assists and 67 penalty minutes.

      Elson, a 22-year-old from St. Albert, Alberta, spent last season with the Adirondack Flames of the AHL, tallying 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists) in 59 games. The left winger has played parts of four seasons for Calgary's AHL teams, recording 33 points (19 goals, 14 assists) in 99 games.

  • Friday, July 24, 2015
    Canadiens sign F Semin
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Montreal Canadiens agreed to terms with free agent forward Alexander Semin on a one-year contract Friday.

    • The deal is worth $1.1 million, according to ESPN.com. Semin, who signed a five-year, $35 million deal during the lockout-shortened 2013 season with the Carolina Hurricanes, was bought out earlier this month. He is owed $14 million -- two-thirds of the amount remaining on his contract -- over six years. He had three years left on a deal that paid him $7 million annually.

      Semin, 31, played 57 games with Carolina in 2014-15, recording 19 points (six goals, 13 assists). The 6-foot-2, 209-pound right winger served 32 penalty minutes and averaged 15:55 of ice time per game.

      "We are very pleased to have reached a short term agreement with Alexander Semin. Alex is a pure goal scorer with a good shot," general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement. "We believe his addition to our group of forwards will strengthen our offensive production and our power play. A veteran winger with size, Semin has reached the 20-goal plateau seven times since the beginning of his NHL career 12 years ago. His signing represents a great opportunity for the organization and for Alex's career."

      Since making his professional debut with the Washington Capitals in 2003-04, Semin has played 635 regular-season NHL games, contributing 513 points (238 goals, 275 assists). He has scored 65 goals on power plays, four while shorthanded, and totals 32 winning tallies. In 10 full seasons in the NHL, he has a plus-70 rating and has served 570 penalty minutes. Semin added 34 points (15 goals, 19 assists) in 51 career playoff games in the NHL, with five of goals coming on power plays and four as game-winners.

      Semin played for Russia at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, at the 2004 World Junior Championship in Finland, and at five World Championships (2003, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010). A native of Krasnojarsk, Russia, Semin was selected in the first round (13th overall) by Washington in the 2002 draft.

      The Canadiens also agreed to terms on a three-year, entry level contract with forward Daniel Audette.

      In 60 regular-season games with the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, Audette led the team with 73 points (29 goals, 44 assists). Fourteen of his goals were scored on power plays and he added five winning tallies. He served 64 penalty minutes and totaled 196 shots on goal. Audette added two goals and four assists) in six playoffs games.

      A native of Buffalo, N.Y., the 5-8, 176-pound Audette has totaled 178 points (60 goals, 118 assists) in 182 regular- season games since making his juniors debut with Sherbrooke in 2012-13. He has scored 24 power-play goals, one while shorthanded and seven game-winning scores. The 19-year-old was selected in the fifth round by the Canadiens in the 2014 draft.

  • Friday, July 24, 2015
    Devils hire Fitzgerald as assistant GM
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New Jersey Devils hired Tom Fitzgerald as assistant general manager.

    • Fitzgerald, 46, retired as an NHL player following the 2005-06 season. He was assistant general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins before joining the Devils.

      "Tom Fitzgerald has extensive experience as both a player and now in hockey operations, having served in several significant roles over the past eight seasons," Devils general manager Ray Shero said in a statement Friday.

      "He is well respected throughout the league, and I feel that he is an ideal fit for our team. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Pittsburgh Penguins for their cooperation in allowing Tom to join our organization."

      Fitzgerald began his post-playing career in 2007-08 when he joined Shero's staff in Pittsburgh as director of player development. He was named assistant coach on Feb. 15, 2009, where he was instrumental in helping the Penguins win the 2009 Stanley Cup championship. In the summer of 2009, he was promoted to the position of assistant to the general manager, where he served for five years. He was promoted to assistant general manager of the Penguins on June 6, 2014.

      A forward, Fitzgerald's professional playing career spanned 17 seasons in both the NHL and American Hockey League. He posted 329 points (139 goals, 190 assists) and 776 penalty minutes in 1,097 career NHL appearances with the New York Islanders, Florida, Colorado, Nashville, Chicago, Toronto and Boston. Fitzgerald added 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) and 90 penalty minutes in 78 career playoff games, including a trip with the Panthers to the 1996 Stanley Cup Final.

  • Friday, July 24, 2015
    Lightning CEO Leiweke steps down, joins NFL
    By The Sports Xchange

    Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke resigned Friday to become chief operating officer of the NFL.

    • Lightning chairman and governor Jeff Vinik said team president Steve Griggs has been named the organization's chief executive officer. Vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman will continue to report to Vinik on all hockey operations matters.

      Leiweke has been with the Lightning for the past five years as part of an executive team brought to the Lightning by Vinik. The Lightning won the Eastern Conference championship and advaned to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015.

      "Tod has been instrumental in our franchise transformation and I am grateful for all his work and dedication," Vinik said in a statement. "During Tod's five years with the Lightning, we have set our franchise on a trajectory for excellence with Steve Griggs and an outstanding management team working beside him every step of the way. Steve is ready for the additional responsibilities that come with being CEO, and, as a testament to Tod, we will not miss a beat moving forward."

      Griggs has spent 22 years in the sports industry, holding leadership roles with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the Minnesota Wild and the Orlando Magic. He was recruited to the expansion Wild in 1999 by Leiweke, and headed up a sales and service effort that set records for an expansion team.

      In 2007, Griggs left Minnesota to become executive vice president for the Orlando Magic, and was one of the key executives helping design, develop and launch the Amway Center in 2010.

      Griggs left the Magic later in 2010 after being recruited again by Leiweke to return to his native sport of hockey, and to become COO of the Lightning. Griggs was named president of the organization on April 7, 2014.

      "While I am saddened that a good friend and mentor is leaving the Lightning for the National Football League, I'd like to thank him for all his work in positioning the franchise for continued excellence as we move forward," Griggs said. "Tod is the best operator is team sports and he led an inspirational five-year brand and business transformation of the organization -- we'll work hard to maintain the great track that Tod has set down for the team and the Tampa Bay community."

      Leiweke was also CEO of Strategic Property Partners, the development company controlled by Vinik and Cascade Investment of Kirkland, Wash., that is guiding the $1 billion plan to redevelop downtown Tampa, Fla.

      Leiweke will be preparing for an August transition from the Lightning to the NFL.

      "The future of all things here in Tampa is bright due to great people like Jeff Vinik, Steve Griggs, Steve Yzerman and our leadership team," Leiweke said. "I want to thank Jeff and his family for allowing me to be a part of such a special group that has changed the course of this franchise. I am thankful for so many community friends and partners who bought into the idea of a community-based franchise and literally joined arms with us to save this team.

      "Additionally, I believe the real estate project has the potential to forever change the city of Tampa and to become a best practice for other urban centers across America. I am grateful to Michael Larson of Cascade and to Jeff for allowing me to play a role in giving life to this initiative. I am excited to join the NFL and work with Roger Goodell in this unique national position, but I will always feel a part of this great community."

  • Friday, July 24, 2015
    Capitals re-sign G Holtby
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Washington Capitals re-signed goaltender Braden Holtby to a five-year, $30.5 million contract extension Friday.

    • Holtby set career highs in wins (41), shutouts (nine), games played (73) goals-against average (2.22), save percentage (.923) and recorded a franchise-record 1,887 saves in 2014-15. He tied a franchise record in wins, shutouts and games played.

      "Braden emerged as a top NHL goaltender and we are pleased to sign him to a long-term contract," Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement. "We feel Braden is just entering his prime and in his young career has already established himself as one of the best goaltenders in the history of our franchise. He is an athletic goaltender with a tremendous work ethic and is a big part of our future."

      Holtby earned his career-high 41st win of the season on April 8 against Boston, tying Olie Kolzig (1999-2000) for first place on the Capitals' single-season wins list. Holtby also registered his ninth shutout of the season on April 8, tying Jim Carey (1995-96) for first place on the franchise single-season shutouts list. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native set the franchise record for most consecutive games played by a goaltender, appearing in 27 consecutive contests.

      Holtby is the third goaltender in franchise history to play in 70 or more games in a season and the 6-foot-2, 208-pounder is the third goalie to reach 100 wins with the Capitals.

      Holtby registered one shutout, a 1.71 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage in 13 games during the 2015 playoffs. He was originally drafted by Washington in the fourth round of the 2008 draft.

      The Capitals also signed defenseman Ryan Stanton to a one-year, two-way contract.

      Stanton, 26, registered 11 points (three goals, eight assists) and 35 penalty minutes in 54 games with Vancouver last season. The 6-2, 208-pounder recorded 16 points (one goal, 15 assists) and 32 penalty minutes in 64 games with Vancouver in 2013-14, setting career highs in games played, assists and points.

      Stanton made his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks on April 27, 2013. In 119 career NHL games with Chicago and Vancouver, the St. Albert, Alberta, Stanton has earned 27 points (four goals, 23 assists) and 69 penalty minutes. He has recorded 60 points (nine goals, 51 assists) and 332 penalty minutes in 224 career American Hockey League games with Rockford.

  • Thursday, July 23, 2015
    NHL notebook: Glendale to vote on amended deal with Coyotes
    By The Sports Xchange

    Glendale city officials are scheduled to meet Friday to vote on a possible settlement with the Arizona Coyotes.

    • The Coyotes and the city said they have reached an agreement on an amended lease for Gila River Arena that will keep the team in Glendale for at least two more years.

      According to the revised agreement, the city's arena management fee to the team would drop from $15 million a year to $6.5 million, and the team would keep all revenue from ticket surcharges, parking and naming rights.

      The city and team have been fighting over the 15-year, $225 million lease for Gila River Arena since June, when the City Council voted to terminate the agreement. The Coyotes then obtained a restraining order to keep the city from dissolving the agreement.

      ---Lou Lamoriello resigned as president of the New Jersey Devils and was introduced Thursday as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

      Lamoriello's resignation was announced in a press release from the Devils at 10:12 a.m. ET, with the explanation that he would pursue other opportunities after 28 years with the franchise. One minute later, the Maple Leafs sent a release to trumpet Lamoriello would be taking over as general manager.

      His tenure with the Devils was the longest for any general manager in NHL history. Lamoriello first joined the Devils as president and general manager in 1987 and his first draft choice was No. 2 overall pick Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan is team president with the Maple Leafs, technically Lamoriello's new boss.

      ---The Calgary Flames signed forward Lance Bouma to a three-year contract worth a reported $6.6 million.

      The financial terms of the deal were reported by CBC. Bouma's salary will be a $2.2 million cap hit for the Flames next season.

      In 78 games for Calgary last season, the 25-year-old established career highs with 19 goals and 18 assists and also logged 54 penalty minutes.

      ---After making his Buffalo debut last season, forward Jerry D'Amigo signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Sabres.

      D'Amigo, acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a December deal for Luke Adam, played in nine NHL games last season after he was recalled from Rochester in the American Hockey League. D'Amigo also played for Springfield in the AHL before the trade and posted 26 points in 59 AHL games.

      The 24-year-old D'Amigo has appeared in 31 NHL games during his career and has one goal, two assists and two penalty minutes.

      ---The Arizona Coyotes have signed forward Michael Bunting to a three-year, entry-level contract.

      Bunting, 19, scored 37 goals and tallied 37 assists in 57 games with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League last season.

      The 5-foot-11, 187-pound native of Scarborough, Ontario, led the team in goals and finished third in points. He added nine goals and five assists in 14 postseason games.

      ---Center Michael Chaput signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

      Chaput, 23, played in 33 games for the Blue Jackets last season and logged one goal and four assists along with 21 penalty minutes.

      In 45 games for Springfield in the American Hockey League in 2014-15, Chaput had 10 goals, 11 assists and 22 penalty minutes.

  • Thursday, July 23, 2015
    Coyotes sign F Bunting to three-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Arizona Coyotes have signed forward Michael Bunting to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team said Thursday.

    • Bunting, 19, scored 37 goals and tallied 37 assists in 57 games with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League last season.

      The 5-foot-11, 187-pound native of Scarborough, Ontario, led the team in goals and finished third in points. He added nine goals and five assists in 14 postseason games.

      In 105 OHL games, the 2014 fourth-round pick has recorded 116 points (52 goals) and 73 penalty minutes.

  • Thursday, July 23, 2015
    F D'Amigo gets new deal from Sabres
    By The Sports Xchange

    After making his Buffalo debut last season, forward Jerry D'Amigo signed a one-year, two-way contract on Thursday with the Sabres.

    • D'Amigo, acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a December deal for Luke Adam, played in nine NHL games last season after he was recalled from Rochester in the American Hockey League. D'Amigo also played for Springfield in the AHL before the trade and posted a combined 26 points in 59 AHL games between the two teams.

      The 24-year-old D'Amigo has appeared in 31 NHL games during his career and has one goal, two assists and two penalty minutes

      .

  • Thursday, July 23, 2015
    Bouma lands new deal with Flames
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Calgary Flames signed forward Lance Bouma to a three-year contract on Thursday worth a reported $6.6 million.

    • The financial terms of the deal were reported by CBC. Bouma's salary will be a $2.2 million cap hit for the Flames next season.

      In 78 games for Calgary last season, the 25-year-old established career highs in goals with 19 and assists with 18 and also logged 54 penalty minutes.

      A third-round draft pick in 2008, Bouma has 22 goals and 31 assists in 199 career NHL games.

  • Thursday, July 23, 2015
    Blue Jackets sign C Chaput
    By The Sports Xchange

    Center Michael Chaput signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

    • The 23-year-old Chaput played in 33 games for the Blue Jackets last season and logged one goal and four assists along with 21 penalty minutes.

      In 45 games for Springfield in the American Hockey League in 2014-15, Chaput had 10 goals, 11 assists and 22 penalty minutes.

      In 50 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets, Chaput has one goal, five assists and 23 penalty minutes. And in 173 career AHL games, he has 42 goals, 56 assists and 130 penalty minutes with Springfield since the 2012-13 season.