National Hockey League
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  • Kings F Gaborik out eight weeks after WCH injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, September 27, 2016

    The Los Angeles Kings find themselves short-handed long before the puck officially drops on the NHL season.

    • Veteran forward Marian Gaborik sustained a right foot injury on Sunday while playing for Team Europe in the World Cup of Hockey. The 34-year-old will be not only miss Tuesday's opener of the best-of-three final against Team Canada but a significantly greater amount of time.

      "Bad -- eight weeks," Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said of Gaborik's expected absence in an email to the Los Angeles Times.

      Gaborik scored his second goal of the tournament early in Sunday's 3-2 overtime victory over Team Sweden. He was on the receiving end of a slap shot later in the contest, but managed to complete the game.

      "Due to a lower-body injury suffered on Sunday, forward Marian Gaborik has left Team Europe and he will not return," Europe general manager Miroslav Satan said in a statement. "Marian was a very important part of Team Europe throughout the entire World Cup of Hockey and though he is leaving our group today, he remains a part of our team. We know he will be supporting us in the final against Team Canada and we wish him all the best in his recovery."

      Gaborik collected 12 goals and 10 assists in 54 games last season for Los Angeles, which opens the regular season on Oct.12.

      Selected with the third overall pick of the 2000 draft, Gaborik has scored 306 goals and set up 387 others in 933 career games with the Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Kings.

  • Bruins sign F Marchand to 8-year, $49M extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, September 26, 2016

    The Boston Bruins signed forward Brad Marchand to an eight-year, $49 million contract extension through the 2024-25 season.

    • The team announced Monday that the deal is worth an average annual value of $6.125 million.

      Marchand, 28, completed his seventh NHL season with the Bruins in 2015-16, establishing career-highs in goals (37) and points (60), while adding 90 penalty minutes and a plus-21 rating in 77 games. His 37 goals ranked sixth in the NHL and were the most by a Bruins player since Glen Murray (44) in 2002-03.

      "This is an extremely exciting day for me and my family," Marchand said in a statement. "I have been a Bruin since the start of my pro career and there is no place I would rather play. I look forward to doing everything I can to help our team achieve success and bring the Stanley Cup back to Boston."

      In 2014-15, the 5-foot-9, 181-pound Marchand played in 77 games, posting 42 points (24 goals, 18 assists) and 95 penalty minutes. Marchand played in all 82 games for the Bruins in 2013-14, with 25 goals, 28 assists and 64 penalty minutes.

      For his career, Marchand has played in 454 NHL games, all with the Bruins, accumulating 288 points (153 goals, 135 assists) and 434 penalty minutes.

      Marchand has appeared in 66 postseason games with the Bruins from 2010-14, compiling 16 goals, 23 assists and 81 penalty minutes. During the Bruins' Stanley Cup championship run in 2011, Marchand had 11 goals.

      Marchand is playing for Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey 2016. He has three goals and five points in four games playing on a line with Sidney Crosby and Bruins teammate Patrice Bergeron. Team Canada will face Team Europe in the best-of-3 final beginning Tuesday night.

      After Canada's 5-3 win over Team Russia on Saturday, Marchand was asked about his contract and the possibility of going to the Pittsburgh Penguins to join Crosby. Marchand scored twice in the game while Crosby added a goal and assisted on Marchand's tallies

      "That's a long ways away, but there's a championship games here, we got to think about that first," Marchand said. "But we'll deal with whatever needs to be dealt with down the road. But it's a lot of fun playing with Sid, there's no question about that. But for now we'll keep that to here."

      The Halifax, Nova Scotia, native was originally selected by the Bruins in the third round (71st overall) of the 2006 NHL draft.

  • Europe knocks off Sweden in OT to reach World Cup finals
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, September 25, 2016

    Tomas Tatar scored two goals, including the winner 3:43 into overtime, as underdog Team Europe defeated Team Sweden 3-2 on Sunday in Toronto to advance to the World Cup of Hockey final series.

    • "Tomas stepping up with his spirit today and those two goals, really -- he created that whole OT goal," Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger said. "When you see the fight on the wall against those boys that were a lot bigger than him, that's where it all was initiated. It ends up in the net, and we just continually found ways to do that, and that's the beauty of this team."

      The best-of-three series begins Tuesday, with Europe taking on Team Canada (4-0-0), which defeated Russia in the other semifinal on Saturday. Canada beat Europe 4-1 in the first round.

      Team Europe (3-1-0), a collection of players from eight European countries, surprised many by taking down a powerhouse squad from Sweden (2-1-1).

      "I felt like right before they scored the game-winning goal we had a two-on-one situation and we couldn't score," Sweden coach Rikard Gronborg said. "If you put yourself in that position, one of the top four teams in this tournament, you go into overtime, obviously we've done a lot of good stuff.

      "That's how I sum it up, and I think obviously there are things you want to go back and change, but right now I'm content we're top four, but I'm obviously disappointed we're not top two."

      Goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped 37 of 39 shots while improving his save percentage in the tournament to .946.

      "I mean, Jaro has been just an absolute leader in the room," Krueger said. "Everybody wants to play for him. From day one, he grabbed the ball. ... He's been outstanding. He's been absolutely fantastic. Everybody in this room knows we wouldn't be here without fabulous goaltending, and a world-class performance by Jaro Halak has helped us a lot."

      Nicklas Backstrom opened the scoring 2:31 into the second period to give Sweden the advantage, but Marian Gaborik equalized for Europe at 16:27.

      Europe took a 2-1 lead on Tartar's first goal just 12 seconds into the third period, but Erik Karlsson equalized with less than five minutes remaining in regulation before Tartar's winner.

      Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves in the losing effort.

  • Blackhawks F Fortin agrees to three-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, September 25, 2016

    The Chicago Blackhawks agreed to terms with forward Alexandre Fortin on a three-year contract Sunday.

    • Fortin, 19, registered 43 points (19 goals, 24 assists) in 54 regular-season games with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Rouyn-Noranda Huskies last season. He recorded 105 shots on goal, four game-winning goals and a plus-13 rating.

      The Laval, Quebec, native added four goals and three assists in 20 postseason games en route to the organization's first-ever President Cup championship. Fortin also notched three assists in five 2016 Memorial Cup contests.

      The undrafted Fortin collected 40 points (11 goals, 29 assists) in 67 games with Rouyn-Noranda during his first season in the QMJHL in 2014-15.

  • Canada earns spot in finals with win over Russia
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, September 25, 2016

    Brad Marchand is living a dream and his performance has Team Canada in position to win the World Cup of Hockey.

    • Marchand scored twice while captain Sidney Crosby added a goal and assisted on Marchand's tallies as Team Canada defeated Russia 5-3 on Saturday in the World Cup of Hockey semifinals in Toronto.

      Corey Perry and John Tavares also scored and Carey Price stopped 31 shots to help Canada reach the best-of-three finals which begins Tuesday in Toronto.

      Canada plays the winner of Sunday's semifinal between Team Europe and Team Sweden.

      "I think that it's been a whirlwind here being part of a group like this and at this level has been special," Marchand said. "But any time you play in a game of that magnitude and you're able to win, it's an incredible feeling. So, still trying to take in everything and it's been a blast so far."

      Nikita Kucherov, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Artemi Panarin scored for Russia. Alex Ovechkin was held to one shot on goal in 20:15 of ice time.

      Russia was without top center Pavel Datsyuk, who missed his second straight game because of injury.

      Canada trailed 2-1 before Crosby set up Marchand with 2:24 remaining in the second period. Marchand scored the go-ahead goal at 1:16 of the third period when he beat Sergei Bobrovsky (42 saves) with a low shot.

      Crosby is impressed with Marchand's play as the line which also features Patrice Bergeron -- Marchand's linemate with the Boston Bruins -- has clicked all tournament.

      "I think all three of us work hard to gain possession to create turnovers," Crosby said. "(Marchand) does that really well. He's got a great shot. He's got speed, a lot of different things. But I think just the way he competes every shift you know that he's able to generate a lot sometimes from nothing."

  • Unsigned D Trouba asks Jets to deal him
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, September 24, 2016

    Former first-round defenseman Jacob Trouba requested a trade from the Winnipeg Jets.

    • Trouba, an unsigned restricted free agent, informed the Jets that he will not attend training camp and welcomes a trade out of Winnipeg.

      Trouba's agent, Kurt Overhardt, released a statement detailing that his client and Jets management have been working on a trade since May.

      "There has been no negotiation regarding the terms of a contract between our client and the Jets over the course of the last several months," Overhardt's statement read, via Sportsnet. "The situation is not about money; it is solely about our client having the opportunity to realize his potential as a right shot NHL defenseman.

      "To the Jets' credit, the club has two outstanding right-shot veteran defensemen and our client simply wants the opportunity to have a greater role. As a consequence of the Jets depth on the right side, we believe it is in both parties' best interest to facilitate a mutually advantageous trade."

      General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff confirmed Overhardt's statement and offered one of his own.

      "We are aware of the statement issued by Kurt Overhardt regarding Jacob Trouba. Over the last three seasons, Jacob Trouba has played a key role for the Winnipeg Jets and in our view still represents an important part of the long-term future of our club. As such, any decisions made regarding Jacob Trouba will be made in the best interest of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club.

      "As an unsigned player, we cannot compel Jacob to report to training camp at this time. However, we will continue to work diligently to resolve this matter. We will have no further comment on this matter until such time as it is resolved."

      Trouba has collected 23 goals and 49 assists in 211 career games since being selected with the ninth overall pick of the 2012 draft.

  • Senators F Stone diagnosed with concussion
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, September 24, 2016

    Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone sustained a concussion during the team's first on-ice training session Friday.

    • Stone, who plays right wing on the Senators' No. 1 line, was involved in a skirmish with teammate Buddy Robinson, but head coach Guy Boucher painted an optimistic picture to reporters following Saturday's practice.

      "We were told it is looking good, much better than we expected," Boucher said. "We're taking all the precautions we can to make sure it heals faster. We're just following the protocol."

      Stone scored 23 goals and tied his career high with 38 assists last season, but he missed the final five games with an upper-body injury after absorbing a big hit from Winnipeg's Dustin Byfuglien.

      Ottawa is also missing right wing Curtis Lazar, but Boucher said he is showing progress in his bout with mononucleosis.

  • Eakin out 6 weeks as Stars' injury woes continue
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, September 24, 2016

    Dallas Stars forward Cody Eakin sustained a lower-body injury during the first day of training camp on Friday and is expected to miss six weeks, the team announced on Saturday.

    • The Stars are limping right of the chute, with captain Jamie Benn missing the World Cup of hockey following offseason abdomen surgery and fellow forward Tyler Seguin sustaining a hairline fracture in his heel during that tournament. In addition, Radek Faksa is dealing from concussion-like symptoms following a hit in the World Cup and Ales Hemsky is nursing a groin injury.

      Eakin collected 16 goals and 19 assists while playing in all 82 games for Dallas last season. The 25-year-old has only missed four contests over the last four years.

  • Bruins C Vatrano to miss three months with foot injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, September 24, 2016

    The Boston Bruins announced Saturday that center Frank Vatrano tore ligaments in his left foot while training.

    • Vatrano will undergo a surgical repair by Dr. George Theodore at Massachusetts General Hospital on Monday. He is expected to need three months to recover.

      Vatrano had eight goals and three assists with 14 penalty minutes in 39 games last season for the Bruins.

      The 22-year-old also led the American Hockey League in goals in 2015-16 with 36 in 36 games. Vatrano also had 19 assists for 55 points with 22 penalty minutes and a plus-21 rating.

      The Bruins signed Vatrano as a free agent out of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in March 2015.

  • Penguins G Murray out 3-6 weeks
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, September 24, 2016

    Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray will be sidelined for three to six weeks with a broken hand.

    • Murray, the rookie sensation who helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup last season, sustained the injury while playing for Team North America on Monday in the World Cup.

      The 22-year-old Murray, who posted a 15-6-0 record and 2.08 goals-against average while starting 21 games in Pittsburgh's run to the Stanley Cup, will not be ready for the season opener on Oct. 13.

      "We're going to have to go through a 10- to 14-day period to really see how long it will be for Matt," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. "At that point we'll have a better idea.

      "We don't need to push this too quick. We're early in the season. We have good goaltending. Let's make sure (the hand) is 100 percent."

      Murray was elevated to the starting job when veteran Marc-Andre Fleury sustained a concussion late in the regular season. Fleury is the all-time winningest goaltender in franchise history.

      Murray started 13 games during the regular season, compiling a 9-2-0 record and 2.00 GAA.

  • Blues sign F Steen to four-year, $23M extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, September 23, 2016

    The St. Louis Blues signed forward Alexander Steen on Friday to a four-year contract extension worth $23 million.

    • Steen, 32, is entering his ninth season in St. Louis after the Blues acquired him via trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 24, 2008.

      In 2015-16, the 6-foot, 205-pound Steen played in 67 regular-season games, ranking second on the Blues with 35 assists and 52 points, and fifth with 17 goals.

      During the 2016 postseason, Steen led the Blues to their first trip to the Western Conference final in 15 years, posting 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 20 appearances.

      "We are extremely excited to have Alexander signed for the next four seasons," Blues president of hockey operations and general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement. "He has developed into one of the league's premier 200-foot players and is a key member of our leadership group. He has shown tremendous loyalty to the Blues organization, its fans and the St. Louis community."

      For his Blues career, Steen has appeared in 493 regular-season games and ranks 11th in club history with 355 points (147 goals, 208 assists).

      Steen is a versatile two-way forward, averaging over 1 1/2 minutes of shorthanded ice time and 2 1/2 minutes of power-play ice time per game, while recording a plus-54 rating since joining the Blues.

      The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native is a veteran of 11 NHL seasons. He was originally drafted 24th overall by Toronto in 2002.

      Steen has played in 746 career regular-season games, accumulating 481 points (197 goals, 284 assists). His postseason career includes 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 51 games.

  • Red Wings re-sign D Sproul
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, September 23, 2016

    The Detroit Red Wings re-signed defenseman Ryan Sproul to a two-year contract Friday.

    • Sproul, 23, played in 75 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League in the 2015-16 season and led all defenseman on the team in goals with 12. His 35 points ranked second among Grand Rapids defenseman during the regular season and his nine playoff points placed second on the team.

      The 6-foot-4, 206-pound Sproul has totaled 28 goals and 63 assists in 215 career games with the Griffins, while adding 14 points in 24 career playoff games.

      Sproul was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team in 2013-14 and made his NHL debut on April 4, 2014, against the St. Louis Blues, recording three shots.

      The native of Mississauga, Ontario, was originally drafted by the Red Wings in the second round (55th overall) of the 2011 NHL draft.

  • Former USA Hockey president Bush passes away
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, September 23, 2016

    USA Hockey is reeling, and it has nothing to do with the embarrassing 0-3-0 showing by Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey.

    • Walter Bush, the former USA Hockey president, died Thursday at 86.

      USA Hockey confirmed Bush's death, saying: "Hockey mourns tonight the passing of USA Hockey's Walter Bush, a pioneer in the game and one of the most beloved figures in the sport."

      Bush was enshrined into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980, the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000, was awarded the Olympic Order in 2002, and was added to the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 2009.

      "Walter Bush was a formidable presence at all levels of the hockey world," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement Thursday. "Walter made important and lasting contributions to the sport. His impact was felt, nationally and internationally, in the professional and the amateur ranks, in women's hockey as well as men's."

      Bush was instrumental in getting women's hockey to the Olympics in 1998 when he was serving as USA Hockey president. The Dartmouth alumnus also won the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1973 for his contributions to the sport in the United States.

      "He helped launch the Minnesota North Stars, helped found the Central Hockey League, worked tirelessly to get women's hockey into the Olympics and properly earned global respect for his devotion to the growth of hockey everywhere," Bettman added. "Most important, Walter was a wonderful man -- loved and respected and a delight to be with. The NHL family sends thoughts of condolence and comfort to Walter's family and many friends."

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  • Kings sign F Luff to entry-level deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, September 22, 2016

    The Los Angeles Kings signed forward Matt Luff to a three-year entry-level contract Thursday.

    • The 19-year-old Luff scored 27 goals and 57 points with 43 penalty minutes in 61 regular-season games last season with Hamilton (OHL). He added a goal and an assist in four postseason games.

      The 6-foot-3, 194-pound native Oakville, Ontario, signed after recently attending the LA Kings Development Camp and Rookie Camp. He has appeared in 125 regular-season games in two OHL seasons with Belleville and Hamilton, scoring 36 goals and 88 points with 63 penalty minutes.

  • Russia tops Finland to advance to World Cup semis
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, September 22, 2016

    Sergei Bobrovsky made 21 saves as Team Russia secured a berth in the semifinals of the World Cup of Hockey with a 3-0 victory over Finland on Thursday in Toronto.

    • Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Telegin and Evgeni Malkin each scored a goal for the Russians, who advance to face Sidney Crosby and Group A winner Canada on Saturday (7 p.m. EDT).

      Team Russia finished with a 2-1-0 mark to match Team North America in Group B play, but the former advanced courtesy of its 4-3 victory in head-to-head competition on Monday.

      Team Sweden, the Group B winner, will face Team Europe in the other semifinal on Sunday (1 p.m.).

      Bobrovsky received help from the post to deny Mikael Granlund's one-timer and preserve a scoreless tie early in the second. The 2013 Vezina Trophy recipient wasn't overly tested the rest of the way.

      Tarasenko opened the scoring 3:42 into the second period after depositing a nifty feed from Alex Ovechkin past Tuukka Rask. Telegin doubled the advantage just 79 seconds later by beating the Boston Bruins goaltender to the far post. Malkin provided insurance 3:39 into the third following a two-on-one rush.

      Rask finished with 19 saves for Finland (0-3-0), which is a back-to-back Olympic bronze medalist.

      "We started off well and played pretty good first period," Finland coach Lauri Marjamaki said. "We created so many good scoring chances, but we didn't score. ... And everybody understands that if you score, you get so much energy and positive thinking in your team. But now we didn't score. Same way on Tuesday. ...

      "The future seems bright, nevertheless, for Team Finland."

      Team USA lost to the Czech Republic 4-3 to close out the group stage in the late game Thursday.

      Milan Michalek scored twice, and Zbynek Michalek and Andrej Sustr added a goal apiece, and Petr Mrazek stopped 36 shots for the Czech Republic (1-1-1).

      Joe Pavelski, Justin Abdelkader and Ryan McDonagh scored for Team USA. Goalie Ben Bishop was lifted after giving up four goals on 20 shots through two periods, and Cory Schneider stopped all seven shots he faced in the third.

      "None of us with the U.S. team here from head to toe is happy with what's happened here," US coach John Tortorella said. "But I thought our guys rallied together here a little bit, and that's what we talked about, as far as all the things going around the team and the organization of USA Hockey, let's just try to play a game for ourselves.

      "We come up short, but I think some guys gave some really true efforts. We just didn't find a way to win the hockey game."

      The USA finished tournament 0-3-0, finishing seventh among eight teams.

  • "Emotional" Maple Leafs LW Lupul to open season on IR
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, September 22, 2016

    Left wing Joffrey Lupul failed his physical and will begin the regular season on injured reserve as he continues to recover from sports hernia surgery.

    • Lupul, 32, was placed on IR in January and underwent surgery in February. He has been rehabbing over the summer, but is still experiencing the "same discomfort," according to Toronto general manager Lou Lamoriello.

      "It is with deep regret that I will be unable to attend training camp and start the season with the Leafs due to injury," Lupul said in a statement released by the team Thursday. "I pledge to work hard with a view to return to playing this season.

      "Hockey is the only life I have known. This is an extremely emotional time for me. Accordingly, I will not be making any further comment at this time."

      Lupul had nine goals and eight assists in 26 games last season, and is due to earn $5.25 million for the 2016-17 season.

      Toronto opens its preseason scheduled Monday against the Ottawa Senators at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.

  • OT win keeps Team North America alive
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, September 22, 2016

    Team North America defeated Team Sweden 4-3 in overtime in its final preliminary-round game at the World Cup of Hockey on Wednesday in Toronto but will need help to reach the semifinal.

    • Nathan MacKinnon scored the winner 4:11 into overtime to give Team North America (2-1-0), made up of American and Canadian under-23 stars, a chance, but it still needs Team Russia to lose to Team Finland on Thursday to advance.

      "Well, I know there's going to be a large contingent of Canadians and Americans pulling for (Team Finland on Thursday)," Team North America coach Todd McLellan said, "but I don't know. That's completely out of our control. We've done everything we can as a group of young players. We lost one game by one goal, and we could be out. We entertained, and we'd like a chance to continue that. But it's out of our control."

      Sweden (2-0-1) advanced as the Group B winner by forcing overtime.

      "Yeah, always when you step on the ice, you want to win the game, but obviously mission accomplished," Sweden coach Rikard Gronborg said. "I knew it was going to be a tough game. Three games in four days."

      Mackinnon's goal capped a wild game that had seven different goal-scorers.

      Auston Matthews, Vincent Trocheck and Johnny Gaudreau also scored for team North America, while John Gibson made 34 saves.

      Henrik Lundqvist made 45 saves for Sweden, while Filip Forsberg, Nicklas Backstrom and Patrik Berglund scored goals.

      North America took the early 1-0 lead 30 seconds into the game on Mathews' second of the tournament before Trocheck made it 2-0.

      "It was something we needed," McLellan said of the quick early goal. "It got us going. It got everybody engaged. The start probably set us up for the end, as well. Like we were energized and we were excited, we got the fans in it right away, so couldn't ask for a better start."

      Forsberg brought Sweden back within a goal 8:24 into the first on a shaky goal allowed by Gibson. Gaudreau made it 3-1 on a breakaway before Backstrom closed out the first-period scoring.

      Berglund scored the equalizer early in the third period.

      Team Canada and team Europe, both of which already had their places in the semis booked, also squared off Wednesday.

      Team Canada (3-0-0) took Group A with a 4-1 win. The Canadians will play the Group B runner-up on Saturday in the semifinals.

      Jonathan Toews scored twice and Sidney Crosby and Logan Couture once each for Canada, while Marian Hossa scored for Team Europe (2-1-0). Corey Crawford stopped 18 of 19 shots for Canada, and Jaroslav Halak stopped 42 of 46 for the Europeans, who will play Sweden on Sunday in the second semi.

  • Capitals sign D Orlov to one-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    The Washington Capitals re-signed defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a one-year contrcct worth $2.57 million on Wednesday.

    • Orlov collected career highs in goals (eight), assists (21) and plus-minus rating (plus-8) while playing in all 82 games last season for the first time in his career.

      Selected in the second round of the 2009 NHL draft, the 25-year-old has scored 14 goals and set up 46 others in 201 career games with Washington.

      Orlov won a gold medal with his native Russia at the 2014 World Championship and a bronze at the same tournament two years later.

  • Devils sign F Speers, D White
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    The New Jersey Devils signed forward Blake Speers and defenseman Colton White to three-year, entry-level contracts on Wednesday.

    • Speers, 19, spent the last three seasons with Sault Ste. Marie of the Ontario Hockey League, where he led the team in scoring with career highs in all offensive categories -- 26 goals, 48 assists and 74 points -- while playing in all 68 games. He was named team captain last season and recorded six goals and four assists in 12 OHL playoff games.

      Speers was selected in the third round (67th overall) by the Devils in the 2015 NHL draft.

      White, 19, was Speers' teammate for the last three seasons, where he led Greyhounds defensemen with a career-high nine goals and had career highs with 26 assists and 35 points while playing in 68 games. He was named an alternate captain last season and scored one goal and two assists in 12 OHL playoff games.

      White was selected by the Devils in the fourth round (97th overall) in the 2015 draft.

      Both players skated for the Devils at last weekend's Prospects Challenge in Buffalo, N.Y.

  • Canada KOs USA, reaches semifinals
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    Team Canada earned a decisive 4-2 victory over Team USA in Toronto on Tuesday, eliminating the U.S. squad from the World Cup of Hockey after just two games in the preliminary round.

    • Canada, which still has one round-robin game left in Group A, advances to a semifinal game Saturday. Team Europe, tied with Canada atop Group A after two wins, also clinched a semifinal berth.

      Canada coach Mike Babcock said, "There was times tonight that I didn't think we were even close to being as good as we're capable of being. But it was an opportunity to get better today, and now we're set up to play more games in the tournament, which is real positive. And we've got to take some steps because we weren't as good as we're capable of being tonight."

      Team USA coach John Tortorella said, "Yeah, it's disappointing, frustrating. All different types of emotions. Yeah, I think we let some people down. It's on my watch. I certainly feel responsible for that. So yeah, it's really disappointing."

      Matt Duchene scored twice and Corey Perry and Patrice Bergeron each added goals to provide the Canadian offense, while Team Canada goaltender Carey Price made 34 saves.

      The USA (0-2-0) went ahead early on defenseman Ryan McDonagh's goal 4:22 into the game, but it was all downhill from there as Canada scored the next four goals before TJ Oshie added a late goal in the third.

      After McDonagh's goal, Canada (2-0-0) went ahead 2-1 on goals 14 seconds apart from Duchene and Perry at 6:05 of the first period. Duchene added his second at 12:07 to make it 3-1 after one period.

      Bergeron scored the only goal of the second period after John Tavares' shot deflected off his skate and in.

      "Well, I think there's some self-inflicted wounds there," Tortorella said. "Going into tonight's game, I think it was very important that if they were going to get something, they had to earn it.

      "I thought we had a good start, but we gave them a couple of freebies there, and you just can't do that. They surged, and we were trying to catch up through most of the rest of the game."

      Goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 30 of 34 shots for the USA.

      Team USA, which hit three posts in the third period, closes out its tournament Thursday against the Czech Republic (0-1-1). Canada faces Europe (2-0-0) on Wednesday to determine the Group A winner.

      In the earlier game Tuesday, Henrik Lundqvist recorded 36 saves in his tournament debut to lift Team Sweden to a 2-0 victory over rival Team Finland in Group B.

      Defenseman Anton Stralman opened the scoring midway through the second period, and Loui Eriksson added an empty-net goal to seal the win for the Swedes (2-0-0) at the Air Canada Centre.

      Tuukka Rask turned aside 27 shots for the Finns (0-2-0), who could be eliminated pending the result of Sweden's game versus North America (1-1-0) on Wednesday.

      Sidelined by flu-like symptoms in the Swedes' 2-1 win over Russia on Sunday, Lundqvist didn't look the worse for wear against Finland.

      The New York Rangers goaltender denied Mikael Granlund from along the side boards before thwarting Teuvo Teravainen on a rebound with 4:54 remaining in the first period.

      "Physically, I felt really good," Lundqvist said. "You know, I walked out to the game and had a lot more energy today than I had a couple days ago, and that alone gives you more confidence knowing that physically you're good."

      Stralman fended off Joonas Donskoi and converted a nifty feed from captain Henrik Sedin to open the scoring. The slim advantage stood up until Eriksson provided the final margin of victory by tapping the puck into an empty net with three seconds to play.

      Finland plays Russia (1-1-0) on Thursday.

  • Islanders hire Loiselle as consultant
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    The New York Islanders named Claude Loiselle as their hockey operations consultant on Tuesday.

    • Loiselle held that same position with the Arizona Coyotes last season after serving as vice president and assistant general manager with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2010-14. The 53-year-old Ontario native also was the assistant general manager with the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2005-09 after spending seven years as an associate director of hockey operations with the NHL.

      "Claude brings decades of management and player evaluation experience to the Islanders and we're excited to add him to our team," New York president and general manager Garth Snow said.

      Loiselle is enjoying a homecoming as well, as he joins the club with which he played from 1991-94. He competed as a forward for 13 seasons in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils, Quebec Nordiques, Toronto Maple Leafs and Islanders.

  • Panthers D Ekblad out of World Cup of Hockey
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    Young Florida Panthers star defenseman Aaron Ekblad suffered a possible concussion on Sunday night at the World Cup of Hockey and will not continue playing for Team North America.

    • The 20-year-old Ekblad was smacked into the glass by Finland's Leo Komarov during Sunday's contest. He missed Team North American's game against Russia on Monday.

      Team USA released a statement Tuesday saying Ekblad, "has left Team North America and he will not return."

      "While Aaron would have liked to stay with his teammates at the World Cup of Hockey, we respect the decision for him to continue his evaluation and rehabilitation in Florida with the Panthers' team doctors," Team North America General Manager Peter Chiarelli said. "Aaron was a very important part of our defense core here and a key leader on this team. We wish him all the best in his recovery."

      The Panthers awarded Ekblad with an eight-year, $60 million extension in July and reportedly told the NHL that they didn't want their prized defenseman to continue playing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto.

      If officially diagnosed with a concussion, it would be the third in a span of 25 months for Ekblad.

      Ekblad was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 draft. He was the Calder Memorial Trophy winner as rookie of the year in 2014-15 when he had 12 goals and 27 assists for 39 points. Last season, Ekblad recorded 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists).

      His hefty contract begins with the 2017-18 campaign.

  • Islanders, Strome agree to two-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    The New York Islanders and Ryan Strome agreed to terms on a two-year deal on Tuesday.

    • Strome, 23, scored 28 points (eight goals, 20 assists) in 71 games last season with the Islanders. The Mississauga, Ontario, native added four points in eight Stanley Cup Playoff games.

      The Islanders selected Strome in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft. In 189 career games with the Islanders, Strome has 96 points (32 goals, 64 assists). He posted single-season career highs in goals (17), assists (33) and points (50) in 2014-15.

  • Europe's win leaves Team USA near elimination
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, September 19, 2016

    Leon Draisaitl scored off a breakaway 2:06 into overtime, lifting Team Europe to a 3-2 win over the Czech Republic on Monday at Toronto in the World Cup of Hockey.

    • The Group A result leaves Team USA needing a win over Team Canada on Tuesday to avoid elimination in the preliminary round. Both Canada and Europe would advance to the semifinals -- regardless of the results of their third group games -- should Canada beat the U.S. squad.

      Europe, which beat Team USA 3-0 on Saturday, improved to 2-0 thanks to the overtime winner by Draisaitl, a 20-year-old German center who plays for the Edmonton Oilers.

      Zdeno Chara and Mats Zuccarello also scored for Team Europe, while the Czech Republic got goals from Jakub Voracek and Martin Hanzal.

      Czech goalie Petr Mrazek of the Detroit Red Wings stopped 38 shots, one of them a second-period penalty shot by Anze Kopitar.

      Europe goaltender Jaroslav Halak saved 19 of the 20 shots he faced.

      Russia 4, Team North America 3

      Russia scored four unanswered goals in the second period to grab a 4-1 lead, then held on for a win in a Group B game at Toronto.

      The Russians leveled their record at 1-1. Team North America, featuring the top 23-and-under players from Canada and the United States fell to 1-1. Sweden (1-0) plays its second Group B game Tuesday against Finland (0-1).

      Vladislav Namestnikov tied the game 1-1 at 9:29 of the middle period. Nikita Kucherov, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Vladimir Tarasenko followed with goals for Russia in the next six minutes.

      North America got one before from Morgan Rielly late in the second period. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sliced the lead to 4-3 on a power-play goal early in the third, but North America was unable to beat Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky again.

      Bobrovsky made 43 saves. Matt Murray was pulled from the North America net after giving up all four Russia goals on 19 shots. John Gibson replaced him and stopped all six shots he faced.

      North America's Auston Matthews opened the scoring at 5:14 of the first period.

  • Sweden overcomes loss of Lundqvist, tops Russia
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, September 18, 2016

    On the second day of the World Cup of Hockey, Team Sweden started out with some bad news in learning No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist was ill and would not play.

    • That didn't make a difference against Team Russia, as backup Jacob Markstrom collected 27 saves in Team Sweden's 2-1 victory on Sunday.

      Two second-period goals a little more than two minutes apart by Gabriel Landeskog and Victor Hedman helped Sweden jump out to a 2-0 lead.

      Landeskog scored first with a power-play goal at 10:41, one-timer from the top of the right circle just four seconds into the man advantage. Just 2:11 later, Hedman pounded home a Carl Hagelin feed for the eventual game winner.

      Alex Ovechkin scored late in the third period to break up Markstrom's shutout bid.

      Team North America and Team Finland play the nightcap on Sunday.