EDMONTON, Alberta. The Edmonton Oilers signed Jake Virtanen to a professional tryout deal two months after the former Vancouver forward was found not guilty of sexual assault.
Virtanen was charged in January in connection with an incident in a downtown Vancouver hotel room in September 2017. He was with the Canucks when allegations surfaced in May 2021 and the team put him on leave before buying him out of contract the following month. In July, he was found not guilty.
Last season, 26-year-old Virtanen played 36 games for Continental Hockey League Spartak Moscow, scoring nine goals and providing seven assists. Selected by the Canucks with the sixth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Virtanen has 55 goals, 45 assists and 219 penalty minutes in six NHL seasons.
The Oilers also announced that defenseman Jason Demers, 34, has signed with the PTO team. Demers, from Laval, Quebec, played five games in the KHL last season and provided two assists in five games for Canada at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Demers was selected by San Jose in the seventh round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He has 45 goals, 169 assists and 407 penalty minutes in 699 games for San Jose, Dallas, Florida and Arizona. He had four assists in 41 games for the Coyotes in 2020-21.
SAN JOSE, California – Evander Kane and the San Jose Sharks reached a settlement on Friday over a complaint he filed over the termination of his contract last season.
The Sharks announced the deal, which they say has been approved by the NHL and the Players Association.
“We are satisfied that its terms will not negatively impact the team financially or competitively for this or future seasons,” the team said in a statement.
The Sharks terminated Kane’s contract in January for violating virus protocol when he played with his major minor league affiliate, the American Hockey League’s San Jose Barracuda. The termination cost Kane just under $23 million from a seven-year, $49 million contract he signed in May 2018.
Kane and the NHL Players Association filed a complaint, arguing that the Sharks did not have a good reason for such a move. While this process was ongoing, he signed with the Oilers for the remainder of the season and re-signed for $20.5 million over four years at Edmonton.
The 31-year-old is in his fourth NHL organization after being drafted by Atlanta, moved to Winnipeg when the Thrashers became the Jets, and was traded to Buffalo and then San Jose. “. He fitted in well with the Oilers, helping them reach the Western Conference Finals.
HENDERSON, Nevada. Nathan McKinnon expects to sign a contract extension with the Colorado Avalanche in the near future, and this could make him the highest paid player in the NHL.
McKinnon wants to do something before the start of the season next month, adding that he will postpone negotiations if an agreement is not reached by October 12, when the defending champions raise their Stanley Cup banners and begin their title defense.
“We’re very close,” McKinnon said Thursday during an NHL/NHLPA player media tour outside of Las Vegas. – I’d rather it be done. … It gets emotional. Sometimes you feel like it’s personal. I would like to do it without being distracting at all.”
Agent Pat Brisson said the parties are trying to close a deal relatively soon. McKinnon’s current contract expires after the end of this season.
When this is completed, the deal could surpass Connor McDavid$100 million in eight years as the richest subscriber since the salary cap era began in 2005. McDavid, the captain of Edmonton, whose $12.5 million ceiling is the highest in the league, said he didn’t think much about others passing him.
“I think it would be good for hockey to keep raising the bar,” McDavid said. “But at the end of the day, the pay cap system is a weird system where the more money you make, the less money someone else can make. It’s kind of a weird system.”
McKinnon said he was willing to take less money to keep Colorado competitive. It helps that the Avalanche have already signed a Norris Trophy-winning guard and playoff MVP. Cale Makarcaptain Gabriel Landeskog and valuable forwards Valery Nichushkin as well as Arturi Lehkonen long term.
“I think the deal I sign will be fair,” McKinnon said. “It’s not going to be a single digit (salary cap) or anything like that, but I think it’s good for both parties. Denver is the only place I want to be.”
McKinnon was a three-time Hart Trophy finalist for league MVP over the past five seasons and was one of Colorado’s top players during the Cup run, scoring 24 points in 20 games.
McKinnon, with a $6.3 million cap, has long been one of the lowest paid players in hockey.
“It’s not what you want, that’s for sure,” he said. “This is not the title you want. But I’m glad we won the Cup.”
NASHVILLE, Tennessee. The Nashville Predators announced that Rhonda Engelhardt would become a North American amateur scout from Minnesota and be the first female scout to be hired by the team.
Engelhardt’s hiring on Wednesday comes a day after the Calgary Flames added Rebecca Johnston to a player development role and the Seattle Cracken promoted Alexandra Mandritsky to assistant general manager after three years as director of hockey strategy and research.
Engelhardt has been the head coach of the Premier Hockey Federation’s Minnesota Whitecaps for the past four seasons and won the Isobel Cup in 2019. The Roseville, Minnesota native was a US women’s team player and captain for the University of Minnesota from 2002–2003.
Previously, she was an assistant hockey coach for Division III St. Thomas and head coach for the girls’ high school at Breck School in Minnesota.
General manager David Poyle also announced that Sebastian Bordelot has joined coach John Hines’ staff as a skills coach. Nathan Schiff was hired to replace Bordelo as the Predators’ development coach, working with assistant general manager Scott Nichol assessing Nashville’s prospects.
Former NHL player Brett Carson joined assistant general manager Jeff Kilty’s team as a North American amateur scout in the western United States and Canada. Jason Nordby is the Predators’ new assistant strength and conditioning coach after 17 seasons as a strength coach with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals.
Michael Bingham is joining the Predators outfitting staff as coordinator, and John Sherman has been hired as hockey operations coordinator and analyst.
SEATTLE — The Seattle Kraken has promoted Alexandra Mandritsky to assistant general manager after three years as director of hockey strategy and research.
Mandryki was one of the first Kraken employees hired by the front office after the NHL awarded the expansion franchise. She became the sixth female assistant general manager in the NHL.
“I am honored to take on this role with the Kraken,” Mandryka said in a statement. “I would like to thank my team who have been integral to the day to day success of our department and organization. I appreciate Ron and Tod Leiweke’s trust not only in me, but in our entire department, and I’m excited to continue to grow with this team.”
Mandriki will join Ricky Olchik and Jason Botterill as Assistant General Managers, working alongside GM Ron Francis. Mandriki will continue to lead the Seattle R&D group, but will also oversee amateur scouting as part of his promotion.
Mandriki spent four seasons as an analyst for the Minnesota Wild before joining Kraken.