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Coyotes ink Michael Stone, Connor Murphy to new deals

From the Phoenix Coyotes, first...

Arizona Coyotes General Manager John Chayka announced today that the Coyotes have signed defenseman Michael Stone to a one-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

We are very happy to have Michael back," said Chayka. "He had a breakthrough year for us last season and we are confident that he will fully recover from his injury and that he will play an important role for us."

The 26-year-old Stone registered 6-30-36 with 62 PIM in 75 games with the Coyotes last season and has collected 23-64-87 in 279 career NHL games. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native set career-highs in points and assists and led the team with 143 blocked shots last season.

And second:

Arizona Coyotes General Manager John Chayka announced today that the Coyotes have signed defenseman Connor Murphy to a six-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

"We are extremely pleased to sign Connor to a long-term contract," said Chayka. "At only 23, Connor has established himself as a very good NHL defenseman. He's a great skater, a fierce competitor and he has an excellent work ethic. We look forward to him taking the next step and having him on our blue line for many years to come."

The 23-year-old Murphy registered 6-11-17 with 48 PIM in 78 games with the Coyotes in 2015-16 and has collected 11-21-32 in 181 career NHL games. Last season, the Dublin, Ohio native set career-highs in goals, assists and points and finished second on the team with 175 hits and 139 blocked shots.

FYI:

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  Tags: phoenix+coyotes

Wild re-sign Dumba

From TSN:

Matt Dumba has agreed to a two-year, $5.1 million contract to stay with the Minnesota Wild.

The 22-year-old will earn $2.35 million in 2016-17 and $2.75 million in 2017-18.

The Regina, Sask. native finished with 10 goals and 16 assists in 81 games last season with Minnesota, setting career highs in each category.

He also ranked third on the team in power play goals with six.

Dumba has 19 goals and 25 assists in 152 career games in three seasons with the Wild.

The right-handed defenceman was selected seventh overall by Minnesota in the 2012 Draft.

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Discussing expansion draft-eligible players

From ESPN's Tal Pinchevsky:

George McPhee hasn't been on the job long enough to hire a scouting staff. But the general manager for the NHL's Las Vegas expansion franchise is already formulating his strategy for next year's expansion draft.

"Teams will still do their best to not give us anything," McPhee said. "We'll have a better opportunity to build a foundation than in previous expansion drafts. But we're going to have to work hard to find great players."

McPhee figures he will be lucky if he selects one or two players who stick with the franchise for the long term. But that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be staying away from players with long-term deals.

"I think we'll have to evaluate every team on a case-by-case basis and see what they have," McPhee said. "I'll take a longer contract if it's a good player."

Before McPhee got the job, the other 30 general managers were already shuffling their rosters so as to have options entering the expansion draft. With teams allowed to protect one goaltender, that's the main reason Frederik Andersen and Brian Elliott were dealt this summer and why the Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings are expected to make similar moves with goalies.

Teams will be able to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie OR eight skaters and one goalie in the expansion draft. They must also protect players with no-movement clauses as well as first- or second-year pros.

Continued

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  Tags: george+mcphee, las+vegas

No news is no news regarding Monahan, Gaudreau

From the Calgary Herald's Kristen Odland:

But when the news involves the Calgary Flames’ two biggest stars — Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau — and their imminent contract extensions, it’s pretty hard not to wonder …

“No real update there,” said Flames general manager Brad Treliving, addressing the subject at a Wednesday news conference to introduce goaltender Brian Elliott to the local media. “We’ll continue to work away at it. We wanted to focus (Wednesday) on Brian and (Elliott’s wife) Amanda and welcome them to Calgary. But we’ll continue to work away at it.”

It’s been Treliving’s answer to everybody’s favourite question since the 2015-16 regular season ended — “What is happening with Monahan and Gaudreau?”

Continued

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  Tags: brad+treliving, calgary+flames, johnny+gaudreau, sean+monahan

Elliott finally gets his chance to establish himself as a #1 goaltender

From the Canadian Press:

The temperatures outside are scorching, but new Flames goaltender Brian Elliott is eager to get back in the rink. After years of fending off challengers for his job in St. Louis, Elliott has big expectations entering next season as the unquestioned No. 1 in Calgary.

"This is a big one for me so I’m really looking forward to it," Elliott said when introduced to the media on Wednesday. "Sometimes you want that extra bit of summer to relax and enjoy your downtime but now I’ve gotten really excited to get the pads back on and ready to get back at it."

The Flames acquired the 31-year-old native of Newmarket, Ont., from St. Louis on the night of the NHL draft for a second-round pick. Elliott and his wife were on vacation in Croatia at the time.

"When I got the news, it was 2 o’clock in the morning and I saw my phone lighting up. I didn’t go back to sleep after that, I was so excited," he said.

Continued

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  Tags: brian+elliott, calgary+flames, st.+louis+blues

Blackhawks leaning on their ‘kids’

From NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika:

OK, so who's it going to be? Nick Schmaltz? Tyler Motte? Ryan Hartman? Vincent Hinostroza? Tanner Kero?

Who's going to seize the opportunity with the Chicago Blackhawks this season? Who's going to grab the job openings at forward on a team that has won the Stanley Cup three times since 2010? Who's going to play in a lineup that includes Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa?

"The one thing I've told all those players was, 'I'm not sure which of you guys is going to make the team, but we're hoping you make the decision easy for us,'" Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "I think the one thing that's different this year is they don't have a lot of veteran guys ahead of them, so they're essentially fighting amongst themselves. We've got a group of six to eight young players. A number of them are going to make it."

Who makes it could have a huge effect on how far the Blackhawks make it.

Continued

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, stan+bowman

On Wayne Simmonds’ charitable commitment

From Sportsnet's Donovan Bennett:

Legacy.

It can be something you leave behind or something you benefit from. In Wayne Simmonds’ case, it’s both.

Simmonds is a prime example of a hockey player lifted by his community to heights that allowed him to represent Canada and find success in the NHL. Now, the Philadelphia Flyers forward is calling on his friends and family to help him return the favour through Wayne’s Road Hockey Warriors ball hockey tournament in his hometown of Scarborough, Ont.

The annual event was inspired by a promise he made to his parents that he’d give back to the community if he ever made it big. The idea was originally started with childhood friend Brandon Sinclair who, like Simmonds, also benefited from community initiatives with his adolescent hockey career.

Every summer, 160 kids age eight to 12 get to meet and be coached by NHL players, and even watch them play in a celebrity game.

Continued

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  Tags: philadelphia+flyers, wayne+simmonds

Oilers will name a captain prior to start of 16-17 season

From EdmontonOilers.com's Chris Westcott:

The Oilers went through the 2015-16 season without a player wearing the “C” on their chest. They instead elected to go with multiple alternate captains, including Andrew Ference, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Matt Hendricks was among a few other players to don the “A” at various points of the season.

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan confirmed with the media on Wednesday at the Mark Spector Golf Classic that the club will have a captain on opening night, when the team hosts Calgary on October 12.

“Will we have a captain? Yeah, we will,” said McLellan.

When pressed on who it might be, McLellan simply repeated himself.

“We will have a captain.”

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  Tags: edmonton+oilers, todd+mclellan

Open post: hockey talk in late July

The "Royal Exalted Grand PooBah" suggested that KK's little daliance with a "Casual Friday" might yield an open post for KK members to discuss hockey talk that might not make the blog at this time of year, and so here is that open post for your enjoyment. Gab away, and I'll start with this:

Wings summer camper Matej Machovsky spoke to the CTK News Agency about his time at the Wings' summer development camp, and Machovsky stated that the Wings offered him an AHL deal, but he turned it down, hoping to earn an NHL contract after this season playing for HC Plsen. The Grand Rapids Griffins then signed Calvin Heeter from Medvescak of the KHL to fill their goaltending pipeline with Jared Coreau, Jake Paterson, Eddie Pasquale and Heeter battling for spots with the Griffins and Toledo Walleye.

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Lightning taking the long route to a contract with Kucherov

From the Tampa Bay Times' Joe Smith:

[Nikita] Kucherov, 23, one of the league's top young stars, is a restricted free agent, and is due a hefty raise from the $700,000 he made last season. He's coming off a 30-goal season, and another clutch playoff performance. Think of the Predators' six-year, $36 million deal with Filip Forsberg as an example.

[Steve] Yzerman said Wednesday he remains confident the Lightning can sign Kucherov, though would not put a timeline on when it'd happen. Yzerman suggested it could take until the start of the season. Agent Scott Greenspun declined to comment on negotiations.

"We continue to communicate with his representation," Yzerman said. "And we expect to have him under contract to start the season."

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  Tags: nikita+kucherov, steve+yzerman, tampa+bay+lightning

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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