Report: Setoguchi to join Maple Leafs. Can he rediscover his 30-goal ways?

Jared Clinton
Devin Setoguchi Featured

Devin Setoguchi’s 2014-15 campaign was forgettable, but he could be getting a shot to prove he still has some game left in him at the NHL level.

This past season, Setoguchi began the campaign with the Calgary Flames on a one-year, $750,000 deal. Coming off of a disappointing 11-goal, 27-point season with Winnipeg in 2013-14, the hope was Setoguchi could provide some scoring punch on a show-me deal with the Flames. Instead, he went pointless in 12 games and was promptly demoted to the AHL. While some would have considered it his last shot at the NHL, a report says Toronto will be giving him a chance come training camp.

According to a report from CTV Calgary’s Glenn Campbell, Setoguchi has signed the paperwork to join the Maple Leafs for what appears to be a tryout contract. The deal hasn’t been officially announced by Toronto, but the one-time 30-goal man will likely be heading to Leafs Nation for a shot at making the team out of camp. Read more

What does Kessel look like in a Penguins jersey? Here’s the first look

Jared Clinton
Phil Kessel in his new Penguins jersey. (via Pittsburgh Penguins/Twitter)

Avert your eyes, Toronto Maple Leafs fans. The sight of Phil Kessel in a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey may be too much to bear.

Pittsburgh’s newest sniper was taking his photo in his new duds for the club this afternoon, and the Penguins social media team sent out a photo of Kessel in his brand new No. 81 jersey.

Acquired by the Penguins on the opening day of free agency, Kessel has yet to be spotted in Pittsburgh’s jersey. While some fancy photoshop work has been spread around, this is the first time the real thing is out there, and, after six seasons as a Maple Leaf, Kessel as a Penguin looks so very strange. Take a look: Read more

Rumor Roundup: Senators still shopping Greening

Colin Greening (Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

Following the recent completion of the NHL’s 2015 salary-arbitration period, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston observed the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Minnesota Wild had a second buyout window open for a 48-hour period commencing on Aug. 5. None of the clubs, however, used the opportunity to shed a contract.

The Senators spent months last season trying to find a trade partner for winger Colin Greening, prompting some speculation the 29-year-old winger might receive a buyout. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports Senators assistant GM Pierre Dorion explained that wasn’t possible, as Greening’s $2.65-million annual cap hit was about $10K short of the minimum allowable to be bought out.

Greening’s future with the Senators remains uncertain. Garrioch believes Murray will keep trying to peddle the winger, who was a frequent healthy scratch last season. Perhaps Murray will have better luck next month, as rival GMs evaluate their roster needs during training camp and preseason play. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Do Ladd, Byfuglien have a future in Winnipeg?

Lyle Richardson
Dustin Byfuglien. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

Recent internet-generated trade speculation involving Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien caught the eye of’s Allan Muir. Byfuglien, 30, becomes eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. While the Jets don’t have to move the big blueliner this summer, Muir notes re-signing him could be tricky.

Like Byfuglien, Jets captain Andrew Ladd could become a UFA next July. Center Mark Scheifele and defenseman Jacob Trouba will be restricted free agents in line for significant raises. Muir points out the Jets are a budget club that usually doesn’t spend toward the league’s cap ceiling.

Muir observes the recent rumor tied Byfuglien (who had a modified no-trade clause) to the Boston Bruins, but they must ship out salary to absorb his $5.2-million cap hit. Muir also suggests the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks as possible trade partners. Read more

The 10 oldest players suiting up in the NHL in 2015-16

Jaromir Jagr (Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins made a move yesterday that flew a bit under the radar, signing center Matt Cullen to a one-year, $800,000 contract.

Cullen, who has played in more than 1,200 games over his career, has been a steady middle of the lineup player throughout his career. Cullen can give the Penguins some veteran depth, so it’s not a terrible signing, but what’s shocking about the deal is that Cullen is inching closer to his 39th birthday.

The Penguins also signed Eric Fehr this off-season, but Fehr, a veteran of 10 NHL seasons, is still 10 years Cullen’s junior. That’s no small age gap. Even still, Cullen barely cracks the five oldest players this season. Here are the NHL’s elder statesmen with contracts for the upcoming season: Read more

Matthew Tkachuk and the boys of summer headline The Hot List

Matthew Tkachuk. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

A Hot List in the middle of summer? Why not? There’s plenty of prospects on the ice right now, what with Canada hosting teams in Calgary and Team USA defending home ice in Lake Placid. From world junior prep to Ivan Hlinka tryouts for Canada’s under-18s, there are some important viewings going on right now for the international squads, so let’s take a look at some of the kids who are standing out so far. Players are listed with their presumed 2015-16 squads.

Matthew Tkachuk, LW – London Knights (OHL)

The exciting thing about Tkachuk is that his star will continue to rise as he continues to grow. Already 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Tkachuk showed off his numerous skills in USA White’s 10-4 destruction of Sweden. In fact, Tkachuk had a hat trick in the game.

“I consider myself a power forward and I mix in some skill, too,” Tkachuk said. “My best attribute is my hockey IQ. I use that to get me where I want to be, get to pucks and get around the net, where I am most of the time.”

The son of former NHL great Keith Tkachuk, Matthew has a big hockey family. Jimmy and Kevin Hayes are cousins, while Casey Fitzgerald, his teammate last year with the U.S. National Team Development Program, is a second cousin. Playing for the NTDP seemed like the best career move.

“I just knew it was the best decision for me,” he said. “Seeing all the guys who have moved forward to the NHL – Patrick Kane, Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Ryan Kesler – all those good players went there.”

Tkachuk was almost headed to Notre Dame for this season, but signed on with the powerhouse Knights, instead. He’ll go from riding shotgun with top 2016 prospect Auston Matthews at the NTDP to playing with a bevy of huge talents in London such as Christian Dvorak and Mitch Marner. This will be a big development year and Tkachuk already has a role model picked out.

“I watch a lot of James van Riemsdyk,” he said. “I try to play exactly like he does. I’m a pretty big guy, I like to be around the net and I try to mix in some skill.”

Tkachuk wants to work on his quickness, but with such a fast mind, he’s already a handful for opponents. Draft eligible in 2016.

Mitch Marner, RW – London Knights (OHL)

The patience with the puck and the vision to find his man are two aspects of Marner’s game that are so fun to watch – unless you’re an opposing team. The Knights star displayed that in Canada’s 4-1 world junior camp win over Russia on Monday and there’s no reason to suspect the points machine will slow down anytime soon. Drafted fourth overall by Toronto in 2015.

Mikko Rantanen, RW – TPS Turku (Fin.)

Thanks to an out clause in his Finnish contract, Rantanen could come to North America this season and I think he has a shot at the NHL. USA Blue found that out the hard way in Lake Placid as the big, gifted winger thrashed the Yanks for three assists in a 10-3 stomping on Monday. Drafted 10th overall by Colorado in 2015.

Dante Fabbro, D – Penticton Vees (BCHL)

One of two Vees to watch this season alongside center Tyson Jost, Fabbro is a smart, skilled blueliner who doesn’t mind jumping in the rush. His rocket shot netted him a goal for Canada Red in his second under-18 camp game and he had an assist in the other. Fabbro is currently looking at NCAA options. Draft eligible in 2016.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, RW – Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL)

The talented winger would have been a great candidate for the list thanks to his overtime winner for Canada White’s second win over Canada Red at the under-18 camp, but there’s more to Dubois. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder goes to the net, protects the puck and has great playmaking vision. Draft eligible in 2016.

Brock Boeser, RW – University of North Dakota (NCHC)

As I’ve been telling anyone who listens, scoring in the USHL is tough and Boeser was one of the best with Waterloo. Thanks to his hard shot, Sweden learned that the hard way in Lake Placid as the UND recruit threw up a hat trick in a 10-4 devastation of the Tre Kroner. Drafted 23rd overall by Vancouver in 2015.

Carter Hart, G – Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Though Hart doesn’t have ideal NHL size at six-feet tall, the netminder makes up for it with his athleticism and great post-to-post movement. A breakout underage star for the Tips last season, he’s been solid for Canada Red’s under-18 squad so far. Draft eligible in 2016.

Sonny Milano, LW – Flint Firebirds (OHL)

One of the most experienced players at Team USA’s camp, Milano makes his name by dazzling in the offensive zone. Those sick hands and quick feet helped him notch two goals in USA White’s 5-2 win over Finland. Drafted 16th overall by Columbus in 2014.

Julius Nattinen, C – JYP (Fin.)

A big, talented pivot who impressed scouts last season by adding some nice bite to his game, Nattinen had two goals in Finland’s 10-3 bombing of USA Blue. He’ll take on a bigger role with JYP’s top squad in 2015-16, where his puck control skills will be welcome. Drafted 59th overall by Anaheim in 2015.

Rasmus Asplund, C – Farjestad (SHL)

Asplund began to turn heads last season and has brought up comparisons to Henrik Zetterberg thanks to his all-around game. Though he is playing wing for Sweden in Lake Placid, Asplund is good on faceoffs and is dangerous on both special teams. He has two goals and three points through two games. Draft eligible in 2016.

Maple Leafs, Bernier agree to two-year, $8.3 million contract

Jared Clinton
Jonathan Bernier.  (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs and goaltender Jonathan Bernier didn’t need an arbitrator’s ruling after all.

Sunday morning the Maple Leafs and Bernier reached a two-year deal. According to the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle, the contract will carry a cap hit of $4.15 million each of the next two seasons with signing bonuses of $2 million in 2015-16 and 2016-17. The Maple Leafs and Bernier went to club-elected arbitration Friday, but the deal comes before an arbitrator awarded the 26-year-old netminder a new contract.

Entering arbitration, Bernier was seeking $5.1 million. Toronto had countered with a one-year offer of $2.89 million. By coming to terms on a $4.15 million per-season pact, both sides meet close to the middle, with the Maple Leafs shelling out a few extra dollars likely in order to buy a year of Bernier’s UFA eligibility. In addition, the Maple Leafs were able to hand the goaltender a two-year deal instead of a one-year contract by making the deal outside of arbitration. Read more

A Toronto-Philadelphia rivalry primer for Drake and Meek Mill

Tie Domi (far left) and Donald Brashear  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

One of the biggest pop culture stories going around right now involves rappers Drake and Meek Mill, former friends turned enemies. The beef between the pair began over hurt feelings and escalated into several freestyle diss tracks…you don’t care about this. We’re The Hockey News. But since Drake used the Blue Jays’ World Series victory over the Phillies as ammo against Meek Mill (guess which two cities these guys are from?), I thought we should hockey this thing up, just in case the rappers need more material (and after hearing Meek Mill’s “Wanna Know,” they do).

Here’s a brief history of the bad blood between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers:

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