Rumor Roundup: It’s official – Matt Beleskey done with the Ducks

Matt Beleskey (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Anaheim Ducks’ efforts to re-sign pending UFA winger Matt Beleskey ended in failure. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports the 27-year-old rejected the club’s best offer and is headed to unrestricted free agency on July first.

Murray told media members at Tuesday’s GM meetings: “We made a really fair offer. God bless him.”

Beleskey is coming off a career-best 22-goal season, along with eight goals in 16 playoff games. He’s completing a two-year deal worth an annual cap hit of $1.35 million. Given the lack of depth in this summer’s UFA pool, Beleskey could command more than $4-million annually on the open market.

It’s possible the Ducks could shop Beleskey’s rights before the July 1 free-agent deadline. If so, the Ducks could get a conditional draft pick if the winger signs with the team his rights were dealt to. It’s not much, but it will be better for the Ducks than losing him for nothing.

KESSEL TO…THE PENGUINS?
Hearing word that the Pittsburgh Penguins were among the preferred trade destinations of Toronto Maple Leafs right winger Phil Kessel raised some eyebrows in Pittsburgh. Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review believes acquiring Kessel is something the Penguins should consider, though he acknowledges there are significant issues working against such a move.
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2015 Draft Preview – Columbus Blue Jackets prospects like to move

Ryan Kennedy
Sonny Milano (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Blue Jackets will draft players from any and all circuits, but those kids tend to wind up in either major junior or the AHL. Sonny Milano chose Plymouth over Boston College, Peter Quenneville left Quinnipiac for Brandon, Markus Soberg went from Sweden to Windsor and Marko Dano dumped the KHL for the AHL. Will the trend continue?

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Team USA summer roster out; look for an experienced world junior squad

Noah Hanifin of Boston College (Tom Sorensen/USA Hockey)

Team USA was almost shockingly young at the world juniors in 2015, so perhaps it wasn’t surprising that the Americans lost to Russia in the quarterfinal, mainly due to a rash of unnecessary penalties. But the wound of that loss could become vital scar tissue for the 2016 squad.

Because USA Hockey just released its preliminary summer camp roster and it is heavy on experience.

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Jackets’ Johansen throws shade at departing NCAA free agent Reilly

Ryan Johansen (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

American collegiate defenseman Mike Reilly told the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday he would not be signing with them despite the organization drafting him in the fourth round (98th overall) in 2011. And via a pointed message on social media shortly after the news, Blue Jackets star center Ryan Johansen told Reilly he wouldn’t be missed in Columbus. Read more

NCAA free agent defenseman Mike Reilly to meet with nine teams

Jared Clinton
Mike Reilly (Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

To say there are a few teams interested in free agent defenseman Mike Reilly would be an understatement. After all, the NCAA standout and former Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick is set to meet with nine teams at the combine this weekend.

According to a report from TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Reilly will meet with the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and the team that drafted him 98th overall in 2011, the Blue Jackets. Read more

Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek drafted seventh overall in KHL

Jared Clinton
Petr Mrazek (Getty Images)

The Detroit Red Wings drafted netminder Petr Mrazek in the fifth round, 141st overall, of the 2010 draft. Less than five years later and Mrazek’s draft stock has risen significantly – at least in the KHL.

In Sunday’s first round of the 2015 KHL draft, Mrazek, who met the criteria for the draft by virtue of being under the age of 24 and not having his rights owned by any club in the league, was selected seventh overall by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. However, after a season in which he may have possibly pushed fellow goaltender Jimmy Howard out of the Detroit net for the number one job, it’s probably safe to put his chances of heading to Russia next season at about zero percent. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Sweeney’s decisions could shape Bruins’ future

Milan Lucic (Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

Lost amid news of the Toronto Maple Leafs hiring Mike Babcock were reports of the Boston Bruins hiring a new GM. Over a month after firing Peter Chiarelli, the Bruins promoted assistant GM Don Sweeney.

The Boston media wasted little time dreaming up “to-do” lists for Sweeney. Along with re-signing restricted free agent defenseman Dougie Hamilton and deciding if Claude Julien stays or goes as head coach, The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa and the Boston Herald’s Stephen Harris agreed a decision must be reached over left winger Milan Lucic’s future with the Bruins. Read more

Nick Foligno named captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets

Jared Clinton
Nick Foligno (via Columbus Blue Jackets/YouTube)

Nick Foligno is the new captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets, but it’s about more than just having the ‘C’ on his jersey.

In Wednesday’s press conference in which he was announced as the eighth captain in the history of the Blue Jackets franchise, Foligno stressed often that the captaincy is about more than just being recognized as the leader of the group. For him, being Columbus’ captain is about taking the club to the next level.

“We’re working towards something,” Foligno said at the press conference to introduce him as captain. “That’s the evolution that (coach Todd Richards) talked about. Obviosuly, we’re working towards a Stanley Cup and this is the next part. I’m so honored that I can be a guy that’s looked to help lead in that direction and I’ll do the best I can.” Read more