National Hockey League
NHL News Wire
  • Friday, August 28, 2015
    NHL notebook: Hall of Fame coach Arbour dies
    By The Sports Xchange

    Legendary Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour, who guided the New York Islanders to four straight Stanley Cup championships in the 1980s, died Friday. He was 82.

    • Arbour was being treated for Parkinson's disease and dementia near his home in Sarasota, Fla.

      "Al will always be remembered as one of, if not, the greatest coaches ever to stand behind a bench in the history of the National Hockey League," Islanders president and general manager Garth Snow said in a statement. "The New York Islanders franchise has four Stanley Cups to its name, thanks in large part to Al's incredible efforts. From his innovative coaching methods, to his humble way of life away from the game, Al is one of the reasons the New York Islanders are a historic franchise. On behalf of the entire organization, we send our deepest condolences to the entire Arbour family."

      Arbour coached 1,500 regular-season games over 19 seasons with the Islanders after he was hired at the start of the 1973-74 season. He retired after the 1994 playoffs, but returned in 2007 at the age of 75 to coach one more game for the team -- a 3-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

      "To me, Al was the Vince Lombardi of hockey," Islanders star Pat LaFontaine, who joined the team in 1984, told the New York Daily News. "The impact he had on all of us as players and people is second to none. And the five-year run the islanders had under Al, which I was a part of at the very end, is unmatched. It will go down as one of the great dynasty teams in professional sports, and it was Al who got it all to mesh together."

      Arbour won 119 career playoff games -- an NHL record for a coach with one club -- over 15 postseason appearances and hoisted the Stanley Cup each season from 1980 to 1983. Overall, he had a 782-577-223 record, including three seasons coaching the St. Louis Blues, and ranks second on the NHL win list behind Scotty Bowman.

      "The National Hockey League deeply mourns the passing of Al Arbour, revered head coach of the dynastic New York Islanders," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "A four-time Stanley Cup champion as a player and a brilliant motivator and tactician as a coach, Al Arbour directed the Islanders' rapid transformation from expansion team to NHL powerhouse -- guiding them to four straight Stanley Cup championships, five consecutive appearances in the Stanley Cup Final and an astounding 19 consecutive playoff series victories. As it grieves the loss of a profound influence on coaching and on the game itself, the NHL sends its heartfelt condolences to Al's family and friends, to his former teammates and to all the players he mentored."

      ---The Dallas Stars signed center Cody Eakin to a four-year contract extension.

      Eakin, 24, tallied 40 points (19 goals) in 78 games last season -- his third with the team since being acquired from Washington for center Mike Ribeiro in June 2012.

      In 237 games over four seasons with Washington and Dallas, he has 107 points (46 goals).

      ---St. Louis Blues forward Patrik Berglund had surgery on his right shoulder, general manager Doug Armstrong announced.

      The surgery was performed by team orthopedists Dr. Rick Wright and Dr. Matt Smith. Berglund will be re-evaluated in four months. Berglund suffered a dislocation during the 2013-14 season and reinjured the shoulder while training this offseason, the team said Thursday.

      Berglund, 27, recorded 27 points (12 goals) in 77 games last season. In six playoff contests, he recorded two goals and two assists.

      ---The Vancouver Canucks signed forward Adam Cracknell to a one-year, two-way contract.

      The deal is reportedly worth $575,000 at the NHL level.

      The 6-foot-2, 210-pound native of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, had an assist and two penalty minutes in 17 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season. The 30-year-old Cracknell added 10 goals and 10 assists in 40 American Hockey League games with Springfield and Chicago.

  • Friday, August 28, 2015
    Stars sign C Eakin to four-year extension
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Dallas Stars have signed center Cody Eakin to a four-year contract extension.

    • The team announced the move Friday but did not reveal terms of the deal.

      Eakin, 24, tallied 40 points (19 goals) in 78 games last season -- his third with the team since being acquired from Washington for center Mike Ribeiro in June 2012.

      In 237 games over four seasons with Washington and Dallas, he has 107 points (46 goals).

      He also represented Canada at the World Championship this year, helping the team to a 10-0 record and a gold medal.

      "Cody is a well-rounded player and has the versatility to play in a number of roles," general manager Jim Nill said. "He has the ability to shut down opponents' top players, win faceoffs and kill penalties, all while producing offensively. Cody has been an important part of our team and will continue to be a part of our core for the next five seasons."

  • Friday, August 28, 2015
    Blues F Berglund has shoulder surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    St. Louis Blues forward Patrik Berglund had surgery on his right shoulder Friday, general manager Doug Armstrong announced.

    • The surgery was performed by team orthopedists Dr. Rick Wright and Dr. Matt Smith. Berglund will be re-evaluated in four months.

      Berglund suffered a dislocation during the 2013-14 season and reinjured the shoulder while training this offseason, the team said Thursday.

      Berglund, 27, recorded 27 points (12 goals) in 77 games last season. In six playoff contests, he recorded two goals and two assists.

      The native of Vasteras, Sweden, has spent his seven-year NHL career with the Blues since they drafted him in the first round in 2009.

  • Friday, August 28, 2015
    Canucks sign F Cracknell
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Vancouver Canucks signed forward Adam Cracknell to a one-year, two-way contract.

    • The deal is reportedly worth $575,000 at the NHL level.

      The 6-foot-2, 210-pound native of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, had an assist and two penalty minutes in 17 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season. The 30-year-old Cracknell added 10 goals and 10 assists in 40 American Hockey League games with Springfield and Chicago.

      Cracknell made his NHL debut with the St. Louis Blues in 2010-11. He has six goals and 11 assists in 82 NHL games with St. Louis and Columbus.

      Cracknell was originally selected by Calgary in the ninth round of the 2004 NHL draft.

  • Friday, August 28, 2015
    Legendary coach Al Arbour dies at 82
    By The Sports Xchange

    Legendary Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour, who guided the New York Islanders to four straight Stanley Cup championships in the 1980s, died Friday. He was 82.

    • Arbour was being treated for Parkinson's disease and dementia near his home in Sarasota, Fla.

      "Al will always be remembered as one of, if not, the greatest coaches ever to stand behind a bench in the history of the National Hockey League," Islanders president and general manager Garth Snow said in a statement. "The New York Islanders franchise has four Stanley Cups to its name, thanks in large part to Al's incredible efforts.

      "From his innovative coaching methods, to his humble way of life away from the game, Al is one of the reasons the New York Islanders are a historic franchise. On behalf of the entire organization, we send our deepest condolences to the entire Arbour family."

      Arbour coached 1,500 regular-season games over 19 seasons with the Islanders after he was hired at the start of the 1973-74 season. He retired after the 1994 playoffs, but returned in 2007 at the age of 75 to coach one more game for the team -- a 3-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

      "To me, Al was the Vince Lombardi of hockey," Islanders star Pat LaFontaine, who joined the team in 1984, told the New York Daily News. "The impact he had on all of us as players and people is second to none. And the five-year run the islanders had under Al, which I was a part of at the very end, is unmatched. It will go down as one of the great dynasty teams in professional sports, and it was Al who got it all to mesh together."

      Arbour won 119 career playoff games -- an NHL record for a coach with one club -- over 15 postseason appearances and hoisted the Stanley Cup each season from 1980 to 1983. Overall, he had a 782-577-223 record, including three seasons coaching the St. Louis Blues, and ranks second on the NHL win list behind Scotty Bowman.

      Arbour, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996, also won the Stanley Cup three times as a player, once with the Chicago Blackhawks and twice with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

      "The National Hockey League deeply mourns the passing of Al Arbour, revered head coach of the dynastic New York Islanders," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "A four-time Stanley Cup champion as a player and a brilliant motivator and tactician as a coach, Al Arbour directed the Islanders' rapid transformation from expansion team to NHL powerhouse -- guiding them to four straight Stanley Cup championships, five consecutive appearances in the Stanley Cup Final and an astounding 19 consecutive playoff series victories.

      "As it grieves the loss of a profound influence on coaching and on the game itself, the NHL sends its heartfelt condolences to Al's family and friends, to his former teammates and to all the players he mentored."

      The Sudbury, Ontario, native was nicknamed "Radar" because he was one of the few players in NHL history to wear glasses on the ice. He spent 19 years in professional hockey as a defenseman, many of those seasons in the minors. He retired as a player with the Blues during the 1970-71 season, having played 626 NHL games.

      "Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Arbours after the passing of our original captain, Al Arbour," the Blues said on Twitter.

  • Thursday, August 27, 2015
    NHL notebook: Hurricanes extend F Lindholm's contract
    By The Sports Xchange

    Forward Elias Lindholm landed a two-year contract extension from the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday after a breakthrough second season in the NHL.

    • The new deal is worth $2.5 million in 2016-17 and $2.9 million in 2017-18. Lindholm still has one season remaining on his entry-level contract.

      The 20-year-old, who was the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, totaled 17 goals and 39 points in 81 games last year for the Hurricanes. Lindholm's goals, assists (22), points and games played were career highs, and he ranked third on the team in goals and points and tied for third in assists.

      "Elias played well last season, nearly doubling his offensive numbers from his rookie year," Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said. "We expect he will be a very important part of the Hurricanes as he continues to develop as a professional."

      ---St. Louis Blues forward Patrik Berglund will undergo surgery on his right shoulder on Friday.

      Berglund suffered a dislocation during the 2013-14 season and reinjured the shoulder while training this offseason, the team said Thursday.

      The surgery will be performed by Dr. Rick Wright of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and Berglund will be re-evaluated in four months.

      ---Former Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards was charged with possession of a controlled substance by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

      He was formally charged Tuesday and is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 10.

      An investigation began when Richards was stopped June 17 and the prescription drug oxycodone reportedly was discovered at a border crossing from the United States to Canada.

  • Thursday, August 27, 2015
    Hurricanes extend F Lindholm's contract
    By The Sports Xchange

    Forward Elias Lindholm landed a two-year contract extension from the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday after a breakthrough second season in the NHL.

    • The new deal is worth $2.5 million in 2016-17 and $2.9 million in 2017-18. Lindholm still has one season remaining on his entry-level contract.

      The 20-year-old, who was the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, totaled 17 goals and 39 points in 81 games last year for the Hurricanes. Lindholm's goals, assists (22), points and games played were career highs, and he ranked third on the team in goals and points and tied for third in assists.

      "Elias played well last season, nearly doubling his offensive numbers from his rookie year," Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said. "We expect he will be a very important part of the Hurricanes as he continues to develop as a professional."

      A native of Sweden, Lindholm played for his country in the 2015 World Chmpionship and had two goals and six points.

  • Thursday, August 27, 2015
    Blues F Berglund will undergo shoulder surgery Friday
    By The Sports Xchange

    St. Louis Blues forward Patrik Berglund will undergo surgery on his right shoulder on Friday.

    • Berglund suffered a dislocation during the 2013-14 season and reinjured the shoulder while training this offseason, the team said Thursday.

      The surgery will be performed by Dr. Rick Wright of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and Berglund will be re-evaluated in four months.

      Berglund, 27, recorded 27 points (12 goals) in 77 games last season. In six playoff contests, he recorded two goals and two assists.

      The native of Vasteras, Sweden, has spent his seven-year NHL career with the Blues since the they drafted him in the first round in 2009.

      He has tallied 247 points (118 goals) and 164 penalty minutes in 513 games, as well as 13 points (six goals) and 10 penalty minutes in 29 postseason games.

  • Wednesday, August 26, 2015
    Sabres cap season ticket sales at 16,000
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Buffalo Sabres have capped season ticket sales for the 2015-16 season at 16,000 tickets.

    • The cap is designed to ensure the availability of mini packs and individual game tickets for all fans, the team announced Wednesday.

      "The fact that we had such a high rate of renewal from our season ticket holders is really a testament to the direction our organization is headed," Sabres president Russ Brandon said in a statement. "There's a tremendous amount of excitement surrounding our team and we can't wait to get on the ice."

      The Sabres had 96 percent of season ticket holders renew their tickets for the 2015-16 season, marking the 10th consecutive year featuring a renewal rate higher than 90 percent.

  • Wednesday, August 26, 2015
    Former Blackhawk Maki dies at 76
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former longtime Chicago Blackhawks forward Ron "Chico" Maki died Monday. He was 76.

    • Maki died at his home in Port Dover, Ontario.

      Maki spent 15 seasons with the Blackhawks, from 1961-62 to 1975-76. He won the Stanley Cup in 1961 and played in three NHL All-Star games.

      The right winger had 143 goals and 292 assists in 841 regular-season games. He scored an NHL career-high 22 goals with 26 assists in 1970-71.

      Maki, a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, had 53 points (17 goals, 36 assists) in 113 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

      Maki's late brother Wayne played two seasons with the Blackhawks and also played for the St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks.

  • Tuesday, August 25, 2015
    NHL notebook: Kane meets with investigators
    By The Sports Xchange

    Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane met with investigators in New York regarding rape allegations following an extensive search of his home where the crime is alleged to have taken place.

    • The Buffalo News first reported that Kane, 26, met with an investigator from the Erie County District Attorney's Office. A second source told the News that Kane met with both an investigator and a detective from the Hamburg (New York) Police Department.

      The authorities are jointly investigating the Aug. 2 incident.

      Kane has not publicly commented and the district attorney will not name Kane as a suspect without evidence and impending formal charges. There is no indication the investigation could conclude any time soon.

      --Defenseman Mark Giordano signed a six-year contract extension with the Calgary Flames worth an estimated $40.5 million.

      The new deal will begin after the 2015-16 season and is valued at $6.75 million annually. Giordano would have been a restricted free agent next year.

      --Longtime NHL head coach and assistant coach Craig Ramsay joined the Montreal Canadiens as a consultant.

      Ramsay, 64, was with the Edmonton Oilers as an assistant last season. He has served as an assistant and a head coach in the NHL for multiple teams and also played in the league for 14 seasons.

  • Tuesday, August 25, 2015
    Canadiens hire Ramsay as consultant
    By The Sports Xchange

    Longtime NHL head and assistant coach Craig Ramsay joined the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday as a consultant.

    • Ramsay was with the Edmonton Oilers as an assistant last season. He has served as an assistant and a head coach in the NHL for multiple teams and also played in the league for 14 seasons.

      The 64-year-old Ramsay was the last head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers during the 2010-11 season and also stepped in during his long career as an interim coach for the Buffalo Sabres and the Philadelphia Flyers.

      "On a consulting basis, he will be called upon regularly during the season to share his knowledge with our coaching group. Our players will also benefit from his expertise," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement.

      Ramsay spent his entre playing career with the Buffalo Sabres, who drafted him in 1971, and he finished with 252 goals and 420 assists in 1,070 career games. He was named an NHL All-Star in 1976 and won the Selke Trophy in 1985 as the league's top defensive forward.

  • Tuesday, August 25, 2015
    Flames sign D Giordano to six-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange

    Defenseman Mark Giordano signed a six-year contract extension with the Calgary Flames on Tuesday worth an estimated $40.5 million.

    • The new deal will begin after the 2015-16 season and is valued at $6.75 million annually. Giordano would have been a restricted free agent next year.

      Last season, Giordano was an All-Star before suffering a biceps injury on Feb. 23. Despite missing the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs, the team captain finished with 11 goals and 37 assists in 61 games and was sixth in the Norris Trophy voting.

      The 31-year-old is considered one of the top two-way defensemen in the NHL and his new contract puts him among the highest-paid players at his position. In 510 career games for the Flames, Giordano has 66 goals and 179 assists in 510 games, including 95 points in the past two seasons.

  • Tuesday, August 25, 2015
    Blackhawks' Kane meets with investigators
    By The Sports Xchange

    Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane met with investigators in New York regarding rape allegations following an extensive search of his home where the crime is alleged to have taken place.

    • The Buffalo News first reported that Kane, 26, met with an investigator from the Erie County District Attorney's Office. A second source told the News that Kane met with both an investigator and a detective from the Hamburg (New York) Police Department.

      The authorities are jointly investigating the Aug. 2 incident.

      Kane has not publicly commented and the district attorney will not name Kane as a suspect without evidence and impending formal charges. There is no indication the investigation could conclude any time soon.

      NHL training camps open Sept. 17. Kane's likeness was removed from the NHL 16 video game by EA Sports when the allegations became public.

      Kane had 64 points in 61 games last season and scored 23 points in 23 playoff games in guiding the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup.

      The first overall pick in 2007 signed an eight-year deal in July 2014 that includes a morals clause. If formal charges are filed, the Blackhawks could opt to terminate Kane's deal. The clause in standard NHL player contracts demands "conduct on and off the rink according to the highest standards of honesty, morality, fair play, and sportsmanship, and to refrain from conduct detrimental to the best interest of the Club, the League or professional hockey generally."

  • Monday, August 24, 2015
    Sharks name Spott assistant coach
    By The Sports Xchange

    The San Jose Sharks named Steve Spott as the second assistant coach on Peter DeBoer staff.

    • Spott, 47, most recently spent the 2014-15 season as an assistant coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

      "I'm excited to work with Steve again," DeBoer said in a statement. "We have a great relationship and he has grown significantly as a coach in the seven years since we last worked together. We are very fortunate he was available."

      Spott, a native of Toronto, spent two seasons with the Toronto organization, serving as the head coach of the Maple Leafs' American Hockey League affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, in 2013-14. He led the team to a record of 45-25-2-4, winning the North Division title.

      Prior to his time with the Toronto organization, Spott coached in the Ontario Hockey League with both the Kitchener Rangers and the Plymouth Whalers. He was hired by Plymouth in 1997 and spent four seasons on DeBoer's staff as an assistant/associate coach, before both he and DeBoer joined Kitchener in 2001. Spott spent his first seven seasons in Kitchener as an assistant coach under DeBoer, helping lead the Rangers to the 2003 Memorial Cup championship.

      Spott was hired as Kitchener's head coach and general manager in 2008 following DeBoer's departure to the NHL.

      The Sharks also signed forward Frazer McLaren to a one-year contract.

      McLaren, 27, registered one assist and 62 penalty minutes in 22 games with the Marlies last season. He has recorded 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) and 678 penalty minutes in 245 career AHL games with the Marlies and Worcester. He has four goals, seven assists and 264 penalty minutes in 102 career NHL games with the Sharks and Maple Leafs.

  • Friday, August 21, 2015
    Report: Vegas, Quebec closer to landing NHL teams
    By The Sports Xchange

    Both Las Vegas and Quebec City reportedly entered Phase III of the NHL's expansion process Friday.

    • NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed to Yahoo! Sports that both cities had moved forward, while Quebecor, the group bidding for expansion in Quebec, announced the move on Twitter.

      "Just the next phase of due diligence and document submission," Daly told Yahoo via email.

      In this phase, the markets will provide the NHL with additional information, including business plans, information about their respective cities' demographics and arenas.

      The NHL announced it would explore expansion with Las Vegas, Quebec City and Seattle at the league's awards in late June, with the former two meeting the requirement of submitting applications by the deadline.

      It is possible the NHL could award expansion franchises in September, although the new team or teams aren't expected to start playing until the 2017-18 season.

  • Friday, August 21, 2015
    Preseason games begin Sept. 20
    By The Sports Xchange

    The NHL announced Friday the composite schedule for the 2015 preseason, which opens on Sunday, Sept. 20.

    • Highlights of the 15-day, 104-game preseason slate include the New York Islanders launching the first season in their new home, Barclays Center, in Brooklyn. The Islanders will play host to three Metropolitan Division rivals: the Philadelphia Flyers Sept. 21, New Jersey Devils Sept. 23 and Washington Capitals Sept. 28.

      The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks host the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center on Sept. 22, to open their preseason slate. They will also face off at home against the St. Louis Blues on Sept. 26 and the Dallas Stars on Oct. 3. Chicago will visit Detroit on Sept. 23, the Montreal Canadiens on Sept. 25 and St. Louis on Oct. 1.

      The people of North Saanich, British Columbia, winners of the Canada-wide Kraft HockeyvilleTM competition, will celebrate the grand prize when the San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks visit their community on Sept. 21. The Sharks and Canucks will face off that night at the nearby Q Centre.

      The Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning will meet in the inaugural Kraft Hockeyville USA matchup in Johnstown, Pa., on Sept. 29.

      The Penguins also will play a neutral-site game against the Montreal Canadiens in Quebec City on Sept. 28 at the newly completed Videotron Centre.

      Other neutral sites playing host to preseason games are Allentown, Pa. (NY Islanders vs. Philadelphia, Sept. 21); Bakersfield, Calif. (Arizona vs. Los Angeles, Sept. 21); Halifax, Nova Scotia (Carolina vs. NY Islanders, Sept. 26); Las Vegas, Nev. (Colorado vs. Los Angeles, Oct. 3); Providence, R.I. (Boston vs. New Jersey, Sept. 20); St. John's, Newfoundland (Carolina vs. Ottawa, Sept. 27) and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Edmonton vs. Minnesota, Sept. 26).

      The 2015-16 regular season opens Wednesday, Oct. 7.

  • Friday, August 21, 2015
    Wild assistant coach Sydor arrested for DUI
    By The Sports Xchange

    Minnesota Wild assistant coach Darryl Sydor was arrested Thursday on suspicion of DUI and child endangerment.

    • "We are aware of the reports regarding Darryl Sydor. We are continuing to gather information and will have further comment at the appropriate time," the Wild said in a statement Friday.

      Sydor failed field sobriety tests and was taken to the Fridley (Minn.) Police Department where a test reportedly revealed he had a blood alcohol level of .30.

      Sydor, 43, was driving his 12-year-old son to his hockey game, according to the Fridley Police.

      Lt. Mike Monsrud of the Fridley Police Department said Sydor was observed displaying "erratic behavior" such as swerving and making wide turns. Monsrud said when stopped, police noticed Sydor had bloodshot, watery eyes and "slow, slurred speech," according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune

      The newspaper reported that Sydor said in April that he sought treatment for alcoholism last summer and entered a rehabilitation facility in Canada.

      Sydor was the seventh overall draft pick in 1990 by the Los Angeles Kings. The defenseman played 18 years in the NHL for six teams, skating in 1,446 regular-season and playoff games. He won the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999 and Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004.

  • Thursday, August 20, 2015
    Coyotes sign second-round F Fischer
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Arizona Coyotes signed second-round draft pick Christian Fischer to a three-year, entry-level contract on Thursday.

    • The 18-year-old forward recorded 64 points (31 goals) in 66 games with the U.S. Under-18 team in 2014-15

      The 6-foot-1, 212-pound native of Wayne, Ill., won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2015 Under-18 World Junior Championship.

  • Tuesday, August 18, 2015
    NHL notebook: Blackhawks prospect has hip surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Chicago Blackhawks forward Phillip Danault had successful surgery to repair his left hip on Monday.

    • On Tuesday, the team said Danault will be out of action for four months.

      Danault had suffered a torn labrum and while the prognosis for recovery is good, his lengthy recovery time will challenge his chance of having an impact next season.

      The 22-year-old forward was expected to contend for third- and fourth-line minutes on a new-look Blackhawks team next season.

      Danault was the 26th pick of the 2011 draft and spent most of the past three seasons with the AHL Rockford IceHogs.

      ---Defenseman Nolan Valleau signed a two-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.

      Valleau recorded 19 points in 39 regular-season games with Bowling Green of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association during his freshman campaign; he shared the team lead in assists and seventh among league defensemen in scoring.

      ---Eleven-year NHL veteran Brooks Laich and "Dancing With the Stars" star Julianne Hough announced they are going to get married.

      The couple has dated for more than a year and took to Instagram to announce their engagement.

      The 32-year-old Laich notched seven goals for Washington last season.

  • Tuesday, August 18, 2015
    Capitals veteran Laich engaged to 'Dancing' star Hough
    By The Sports Xchange

    Eleven-year NHL veteran Brooks Laich and "Dancing With the Stars" star Julianne Hough announced Tuesday they are going to get married.

    • The couple has dated for more than a year and took to Instagram to announce their engagement.

      Laich, originally drafted by Ottawa in 2001, has spent most of his career with the Capitals in the shadow of forward Alex Ovechkin.

      The 32-year-old Laich notched seven goals for Washington last season.

      Hough is 27 and a two-time winner of "DWTS".

  • Tuesday, August 18, 2015
    Blackhawks F Danault has hip surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Chicago Blackhawks forward Phillip Danault had successful surgery to repair his left hip on Monday.

    • On Tuesday, the team said Danault will be out of action for four months.

      Danault had suffered a torn labrum and while the prognosis for recovery is good, his lengthy recovery time will challenge his chance of having an impact next season.

      The 22-year-old forward was expected to contend for third- and fourth-line minutes on a new-look Blackhawks team next season.

      Danault was the 26th pick of the 2011 draft and spent most of the past three seasons with the AHL Rockford IceHogs.

      He did get his first taste of NHL action last season, appearing in two regular season games with the Blackhawks.

      The start of training camp is one month away.

  • Tuesday, August 18, 2015
    Blackhawks sign D Valleau
    By The Sports Xchange

    Defenseman Nolan Valleau signed a two-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.

    • Valleau recorded 19 points in 39 regular-season games with Bowling Green of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association during his freshman campaign; he shared the team lead in assists and seventh among league defensemen in scoring.

  • Monday, August 17, 2015
    Ducks sign C Santorelli
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Anaheim Ducks signed center Mike Santorelli to a one-year contract Monday.

    • No financial terms were disclosed but the deal reportedly is worth $875,000.

      Santorelli, 29, has appeared in 336 NHL games, recording 120 points (55 goals, 65 assists) and 70 penalty minutes. He played in 79 games last year with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Nashville Predators, registering 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists) and 14 penalty minutes.

      A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Santorelli was drafted by the Predators in the sixth round of the 2004 draft. He has played with Nashville, Florida, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Toronto in his career.

  • Monday, August 17, 2015
    Ex-Flyers C Briere announces retirement
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former Philadelphia Flyers center Danny Briere announced his retirement Monday after a 17-year professional career that included 973 NHL games.

    • "After taking a few weeks to think about it, it's time to hang them up and spend a little more time at home with the family," Briere said in a statement. "I've been very, very fortunate to have a chance to play with some great organizations, but at this point the family becomes a priority. The Flyers are where I played the bulk of my career. I've had a great time in Philadelphia and have been very, very fortunate to have the chance to play here. ... It's been a great ride in an area that I still call home."

      Briere, 37, recorded 307 goals and 389 assists for 696 points with the Phoenix Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Flyers, Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche. The native of Gatineau, Quebec, was originally a first-round selection (24th overall) of the Coyotes in the 1996 NHL draft.

      Briere recorded 68 points (36 goals, 32 assists) in 62 career playoff games with the Flyers. Over the course of his entire NHL career, Briere recorded 116 points (53 goals, 63 assists) in 124 career playoff games.

      Briere began his professional career in the 1997-98 season, which he spent mostly with Phoenix's American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. He made his NHL debut on March 19, 1998, and scored his first NHL goal two nights later.

      The 2001-02 campaign marked Briere's first full NHL season. He recorded 32 goals, the first of four career 30-goal seasons, and added 28 assists for 60 points in 78 games. He then put up 17 goals and 29 assists over the first 68 games of the 2002-03 season before he was traded to Buffalo on March 10, 2003.

      On July 1, 2007, upon the opening of free agency, the Flyers signed Briere to an eight-year contract. He finished second on the team in scoring in 2007-08, recording 72 points (31 goals, 41 assists) to help a revitalized Flyers squad rebound from its worst season ever to a trip to the 2008 Eastern Conference finals.

      The 2010-11 season was Briere's best regular-season performance as a Flyer. He recorded his fourth and final career 30-goal season, putting up 34 goals and 34 assists in 77 games while representing the team at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game.

      Following the shortened 2012-13 season, the Flyers exercised a salary cap compliance buyout of Briere's contract. He then signed with Montreal, where he posted 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 2013-14 and had one final impressive playoff run, posting seven points (three goals, four assists) in 16 postseason games. He was traded to Colorado on June 30, 2014, and posted eight goals and four assists over 57 games for the Avalanche in his final season.