• Rumor Roundup: Shattenkirk possible target for Rangers after Brassard trade

    Kevin Shattenkirk (Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

    After weeks of anticipation, the New York Rangers finally made a significant roster move this summer. On Monday, they dealt center Derick Brassard and a seventh-round pick in 2018 to the Ottawa Senators for center Mika Zibanejad and a 2018 second-round selection.

    In shipping out Brassard’s $5-million annual average salary through 2018-19 for Zibanejad’s $2.65 million in 2016-17, Rangers GM Jeff Gorton freed up an additional $2.35 million. He can put that toward re-signing a restricted free agent forward such as Chris Kreider or Kevin Hayes. He could also use it to his roster via trade or free agency.

    Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News speculates Gorton could use the savings to acquire St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. He could then re-sign the blueliner, who’s eligible next July for unrestricted free agency, to an extension worth $6-million annually. Leonard also wonders if Kreider could be swapped for Shattenkirk before the winger’s arbitration date on Friday. Read more

  • USA picks Palmieri to replace Callahan at World Cup, passes on Kessel, Okposo

    Jared Clinton
    Kyle Palmieri (Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

    The past year could end up being one of the very best of Kyle Palmieri’s career.

    Since being acquired by the Devils from the Ducks, Palmieri, 25, has had the breakout that Anaheim had been waiting for, potting 30 goals and 57 points in 82 games this past season in New Jersey. Palmieri parlayed his huge year into a five-year, $23.25-million contract in early July, and now he’s turned his biggest season into a chance to play alongside the best American players at the World Cup.

    Palmieri was officially announced as the replacement for injured Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan, who underwent surgery in late-June to repair a labral tear in his right hip.

    “Kyle brings an all-around game that we’re confident will fit nicely with the framework we’re looking to build,” said Team USA GM Dean Lombardi in a release. “He’s coming off an outstanding year in New Jersey and will play an important role with our team.” Read more

  • Colorado re-signs Mikhail Grigorenko; still has work to do

    Ryan Kennedy
    Mikhail Grigorenko (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

    The Colorado Avalanche have re-signed center Mikhail Grigorenko to a one-year deal worth $1.3 million, giving the youngster a nice raise for 2016-17. Though the stat is largely ignored now, it’s worth noting that on a team filled with minus players, Grigorenko was a plus-2. But if the Avs want to make it back to the playoffs, they’re going to need more help than that.

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  • Prust ready to earn spot in training camp — here are five others who could go the same route

    Jared Clinton
    Brandon Prust (Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

    After the way things started in Montreal for Zack Kassian, it would have been hard to imagine that it was he who would have had the better season following an off-season trade between the Canadiens and Canucks that sent Brandon Prust to Vancouver.

    However, after the off-season crash and stint in the NHL/NHLPA substance abuse program, Kassian got his season on track with the Edmonton Oilers and finished the campaign with three goals and eight points in 35 games while averaging nearly 12:30 of ice time per game. Kassian earned himself a $1.5-million contract extension in Edmonton.

    As for Prust, well, his season was rough. He dealt with an ankle injury early, was sent down to the AHL by February and finished his campaign on the shelf. Prust notched one goal and seven points with the Canucks, skated roughly 12:45 per game and he’s still looking for work. But the 32-year-old agitating winger said he’s ready to do whatever it takes to earn himself a deal.

    “Right now, I would accept a job anywhere,” Prust told TVA Sports. “Everything depends on the team and if they see me in their plans.”

    He said the plan is to start next season in the NHL, and added it doesn’t matter if he has a deal to start the season. His intention is to win one. And Prust won’t be alone among the players looking to earn a contract in training camp. Here are five players who could also be looking at securing NHL jobs through tryout contracts: Read more

  • Down Goes Brown: Five expected off-season moves that haven’t happened yet

    Kevin Shattenkirk (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

    The dog days of the NHL offseason got a nice jolt on Monday when the Senators and Rangers hooked up on a decent-sized trade. The deal sends Derick Brassard and a seventh to Ottawa in exchange for Mika Zibanejad and a second, improving the Senators’ top six while adding some youth to the Rangers and giving them some additional cap room to work with.

    The trade also answered one of the offseason’s lingering questions, which was: When are the Rangers going to get around to doing something? We were all told to expect a busy offseason in New York, as GM Jeff Gorton would look to shake up his aging and expensive core. But until this week, not much had happened aside from a few minor free agency signings. Trading Broussard isn’t exactly a blockbuster, but at least now the Rangers are on the board.

    But that still leaves a few more stories lingering in the “still waiting” file. Here are five moves everyone went into the offseason expecting to see that still haven’t happened yet. Read more

  • Marcus Johansson’s three-year, $13.75-million deal a good compromise for Capitals

    Jared Clinton
    Marcus Johansson (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    The Capitals and Marcus Johansson were literally minutes away from arbitration, but the two sides have reached a deal that sees the versatile Swedish forward back in Washington on a three-year, $13.75-million deal.

    Johansson, 25, was set to become the first player to head to salary arbitration this summer, with his hearing slated for 9 a.m. Wednesday morning. According to the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan, though, the Capitals and Johansson were able to come to terms on the new contract at 8:57 a.m. How’s that for taking things down to the wire?

    The new deal is a successful one for the Capitals, especially when considering the difference in salary heading towards arbitration was $1.4 million. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman had reported that Johansson was seeking $5.25 million in arbitration, while Washington was hoping the deal would fall closer to $3.85 million per season. With a $4.58-million cap hit, the sides meet almost exactly in the middle.

    “We started getting close to each other this morning,” Johansson said. “I think both parties were hoping we could figure it out before we went into the meeting, and I think both parties are really happy we did. A little bit of a tight schedule before the meeting, but I’m happy that we worked it out.” Read more

  • So is Shea Weber actually an ‘average’ NHL defenseman?

    Shea Weber and P.K. Subban at the 2016 All-Star Skills Competition (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Some things in life are not terribly fair. And in the case of the P.K. Subban trade, much of the trade has become a referendum on the merits of Shea Weber. Last I checked, Weber didn’t ask to be traded to one of the most hockey-mad cities on the planet for a player who was universally loved by its fan base. And former Canadiens analytics consultant Matt Pfeffer, whose comments to thn.com about Weber have landed him in the crosshairs of critics, doesn’t deserve to be put through the wringer the way he has.

    I feel badly about the latter. Pfeffer is a 21-year-old who is a bright, hard-working kid who’s doing some groundbreaking work when it comes to analytics. We had a very candid conversation Friday afternoon about the Weber trade, perhaps in retrospect for him, a little too candid. He spoke about the trade of course, but also the place of analytics in the game and how hockey is still finding its way. But the comment that seems to be drawing the most ire was when he said: “There’s nothing wrong with being average in the NHL. An average NHLer is worth a heck of a lot and that’s what Shea Weber is.”

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  • What will the Buffalo Sabres do with Zemgus Girgensons?

    Ryan Kennedy
    Zemgus Girgensons  (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

    There is a lot of room for long-term optimism in Buffalo. Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Ryan O’Reilly and now Alex Nylander are all gems up front, while Rasmus Ristolainen looks like a solid No. 1 defenseman in the years to come. But the team is still in transition and there will be bumps in the short-term. One of those storylines involves fan favorite Zemgus Girgensons.

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