• Sven Baertschi gets one-year, one-way deal with Canucks

    Jared Clinton
    Sven Baertschi (Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

    Sven Baertschi has suited up in a mere 69 NHL games since being selected 13th overall in the 2011 draft, but he could more than double that total next season.

    The Vancouver Canucks announced late Tuesday they have signed the 22-year-old Baertschi to a one-year, one-way deal that will pay the Swiss winger $900,000 next season. The money is notable if for no other reason than it’s actually a cut in salary from Baertschi’s entry-level contract, on which he had an NHL salary of $925,000.

    To say Baertschi has had a turbulent tenure in the NHL would be an understatement. Since being taken by the Calgary Flames in the 2011 draft’s first round, Baertschi has bounced back and forth from WHL to NHL to AHL and back again. Last season alone, Baertschi suited up for the Canucks, Flames, Utica Comets and Adirondack Flames, playing no fewer than five games with each club. The hope now is that he can find a permanent place with the Canucks. Read more

  • Rebuilding or contending? Making sense of the Canucks’ mess

    Matt Larkin
    Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

    If I could sit down with Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning right this second, the conversation might sound like Skyler probing Walter in season 2, episode 1 of Breaking Bad:

    “Will you talk to me, please?”

    “I don’t know where to begin.”

    Where would Benning begin if asked to describe his team’s off-season? Summer 2015 makes summer 2014, which was wacky and contradictory in its own right, look like a confident vision by comparison.

    A brief timeline of Benning and team president Trevor Linden’s key moves since Benning took over as Canucks GM in May 2014:

    Read more

  • Flyers ink Sean Couturier to six-year, $26 million extension

    Jared Clinton
    Sean Couturier (Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

    Sean Couturier has signed a six-year, $26 million extension with the Philadelphia Flyers that runs through to the 2021-22 season.

    Couturier, 22, was a first-round pick of the Flyers in 2011, eighth overall, and made the jump to the NHL immediately following his draft year. In 2011-12, Couturier had a stellar rookie season, scoring 13 goals and 27 points in 77 games with Philadelphia. But more than just his offense, it was his two-way play that brought hope to the Flyers faithful.

    Over the past three seasons, Couturier has racked up 32 goals and 91 points in 210 games, with his career best point total coming in 2013-14 when he notched 13 goals and 39 points. He set his career mark for goals in a season with a 15-tally campaign in 2014-15. Read more

  • Wild’s Dumba gets blessing from Boogaard’s family, changes jersey to No. 24

    Jared Clinton
    Matt Dumba (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

    For the past two seasons, Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba has proudly worn No. 55 for the Wild, but the club announced Monday he would be switching to No. 24, the number he had worn for much of his junior hockey career.

    Usually, there isn’t much hullabaloo about a player switching jersey numbers – it happens on a yearly basis, yet rarely does it make headlines – but Dumba’s situation is made unique by the number he’s choosing to wear.

    The No. 24 is synonymous in Minnesota Wild history with cult-star tough guy Derek Boogaard, who passed away suddenly in 2011 from an accidental overdose. Boogaard, one of the most fearsome fighters in the NHL during his playing days, was a fan favorite in Minnesota. As such, Dumba wanted to make sure it was all right for him to wear Boogaard’s former number. Read more

  • Whoops! EA Sports leaks San Diego Gulls jerseys in new NHL 16 video

    Jared Clinton
    EA Sports accidentally leaked the San Diego Gulls jerseys in a game trailer. (via EA Sports/YouTube)

    Back in February, the Anaheim Ducks officially unveiled that their new San Diego-based AHL affiliate would take on the Gulls moniker that has been associated with hockey in the Southern Californian city for decades.

    The name announcement came along with the unveiling of a logo, but fans have been waiting to get a glimpse of the jerseys since the Feb. 22 ceremony. Now, thanks to EA Sports and NHL 16, fans can get their first look at the Gulls’ new uniforms in a video hyping up the return of the NHL series’ famous EA Sports Hockey League game mode. Read more

  • Penguins ship Sutter to Canucks, sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract

    Jared Clinton
    BSutter

    The Pittsburgh Penguins have made a pair of moves that should help address their perceived depth issues.

    Tuesday morning, the Penguins announced they had dealt center Brandon Sutter and a 2016 third-round pick to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for center Nick Bonino, defenseman Adam Clendening and a 2016 second-round pick. Within minutes of announcing the trade, the club also announced the signing of pivot Eric Fehr to a three-year, $6 million deal.

    “The two deals went hand-in-hand so we could add more depth,” said Penguins GM Jim Rutherford in a conference call. “The conversations with Vancouver have actually gone on a long time. I can’t remember exactly when, but it was prior to the draft.” Read more

  • Swedish team to march in Stockholm Pride Parade, appeals to other teams to follow

    Jared Clinton
    Members of Kiruna IF wearing rainbow-colored jerseys. (via Kiruna IF/Twitter)

    Sweden’s Kiruna IF will be marching in Stockholm’s Pride Parade on Aug. 1, and the club’s chairman Johan Kohler is requesting that other teams from Hockeyettan, the Swedish third division that Kiruna plays in, also show their support during the parade.

    According to TheLocal.se’s Sophie Inge, Kohler addressed the league’s other teams in a plea on the Kiruna’s website.

    “The parade has a sports section where I want to see all the clubs, as well as mine, standing up for everyone’s right to play sports without fear of harassment or being insulted,” Kohler wrote. “So, if you are the chairman or another association leader, put on your match or competition gear and walk with me!” Read more

  • Kruger wants long-term deal with Blackhawks, but short-term might be the only fit

    Jared Clinton
    Hawks winger Marcus Kruger celebrates his game winning goal against Anaheim in triple overtime of Game 2 of the Western Conference Final. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

    The Chicago Blackhawks have less than $500,000 in salary cap space, but that doesn’t mean Marcus Kruger will be going anywhere.

    Kruger, 25, may have only scored 17 points with the Blackhawks this past season, and he may have only registered two goals and four points in 23 playoff games, but you’d be hard-pressed to find many who wouldn’t call Kruger one of the most important pieces of the Blackhawks. As such, there’s no surprise Chicago GM Stan Bowman wants the pivot under contract.

    However, with August drawing nearer and Kruger on the verge of one month as a restricted free agent, the Blackhawks have yet to ink the Swedish center. Yet there doesn’t appear to be any panic from either Kruger or the Blackhawks. If anything, both sides seem to be feeling pretty good about where they are.

    According to the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc, the lack of cap space is making it difficult for the Blackhawks to finalize a deal with Kruger. Read more