BUFFALO, New York. The Buffalo Sabers are giving Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen two more years to become an NHL starter after signing the goalie to a $1,675,000 contract.
Luukkonen has been a restricted free agent who has spent most of the last two seasons in the minors. He is 3-8-2 in the NHL, including 2-5-2 last season.
The 23-year-old Finnish football player was selected by the Buffalo Buffalo in the second round of the 2017 draft.
Luukkonen is expected to open this season as a junior after re-signing with the Sabers. Craig Anderson to a one-year contract and signed a former stand-in for the Winnipeg Jets Eric Comrie to a two-year contact as a free agent this summer.
Luukkonen had a dubious 15-14-6 record and a .900 shooting percentage in AHL Rochester last season. Once considered the heir apparent to the starting position, Luukkonen was surpassed in the Sabers’ organizational depth chart by Devon Levy, who opted to return for his junior season with the Northeast.
Levy ends a year in which he went 20-13-1 with a school-record 10 strikeouts and named the finalist the best goaltender on the college hockey team.
FRISCO, Texas – Young scorer with 40 goals. Jason Robertson He is expected to miss the start of Dallas Stars training camp because the team and the restricted free agent have not agreed on a new contract.
General manager Jim Neill said there had been ongoing discussions with Robertson and his representatives over the past two weeks. Neill did not say what prevented the two sides from reaching an agreement, adding that “very good discussions” took place.
The Stars, with new coach Pete DeBoer, open camp Thursday in Cedar Park, Texas, the home of their AHL team. They have three days of work there before they return to North Texas for the show opening at home on Monday night. They open the regular season on October 13 in Nashville.
“I think he’s disappointed that he’s not at camp, and so are we,” Neill said before the team headed to the Austin area. “I think this is very important for the young player and, as you mentioned, for the (new) coaching staff. … We have some time on our side, but we want him to come here as soon as possible.”
Robertson’s base salary last season was $750,000, the end of a three-year, $2.775 million contract. He has five more years before he can become an unrestricted free agent.
The left wing turned 23 shortly after the end of last season, scoring 41 goals and 38 assists for 79 points in 74 games. Robertson joined Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Modano. Jamie Benn as well as Tyler Seguin as the only scorer to score 40 goals since the franchise moved to Dallas in 1993.
Selected by the Stars in the second round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Robertson scored 125 (58 goals, 67 assists) in 128 NHL games. He scored one goal and had three assists in his first postseason game last season, as Dallas lost the first-round playoff series in seven games against Calgary.
DeBoer said he’s looking forward to coaching Robertson, but the forward’s absence won’t change his camp plans.
“It doesn’t affect what I do,” DeBoer said. “Look, I stayed up at night with the excitement when I coached Jason Robertson, 40+ goals, but he’s not here. So, you know, until he arrives, I can’t waste energy on this.”
Neill said the Stars are open to a long-term extension or a bridge contract with Robertson, who was one of the team’s top players with a veteran last season. Joe Pavelski as well as Rupe Hintz. In total, they scored 232 points, which was the second most in franchise history for a trio.
“We are open to everything. But other than that… I’m not going to negotiate through the media,” Neill said. As I said, we had good conversations. Let’s see where it goes.”
Training camps are reopening in the NHL after another short off-season, the third in a row squeezed by the pandemic. That doesn’t bother the Colorado Avalanche star. Nathan McKinnon one bit.
It’s time for one of the best players and his teammates to get back on the ice and defend their Stanley Cup title, less than three months after they knocked out the two-time champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
“I still feel like I was just playing,” McKinnon said. “I took a two-week break and then started skating again. It’s just fun. I like it and I like the short summer. It feels like the season is kind of flipping again.”
The NHL is heading into fall, with exciting playoffs and finals that have a chance to return to a regular schedule. This means full training camps for teams with new coaches and the benefits of a regular schedule.
This means that only 88 days elapse between the sixth game of the final and the first practice on the ice.
“Now we’re used to it,” the Tampa Bay goaltender said. Andrey Vasilevsky said after he and the Lightning lost in the final for the first time in three consecutive trips. “Of course it’s a little more difficult because you don’t have much time to rest. It’s basically a few weeks and you should get back to it. But yeah, I can’t complain. You want your summer to be short every year.
It’s been a little longer for Connor McDavid and the Oilers after losing to Colorado in the West Finals. Despite no downtime, McDavid “wouldn’t trade it for anything” and intends to do so even more as Edmonton bolstered their goalkeeping position by adding Jack Campbell.
Several rotations of the goalie carousel culminated in the acquisition of Avalanche Alexander Georgiev from the New York Rangers and Cup winner Darcy Kemper touchdown with Washington. Joined by new teammates, many of whom lifted the Cup in 2018, Kemper isn’t worried about less free time.
“It was definitely a unique summer,” Kemper said. “Because of how short they were, you start going back to the gym and are a little worried that your workouts will be so short. But you felt like you weren’t getting back in shape. You were already there.
The Oilers are one of several teams headed to training camp under a new coach. Jay Woodcroft took over as interim coach in February but is now full-time.
“Looking forward to camping with him,” McDavid said. “He did a great job in the middle of the season, but it’s never easy as a manager. I’m sure there are things that he wanted to touch on that you couldn’t touch on in the middle of the year, so this year he will be able to touch on all of that.”
The same goes for Bruce Boudreau in Vancouver, 11 months after he took charge of the Canucks. John Tortorella of Philadelphia, Jim Montgomery of Boston, Bruce Cassidy of Vegas, Peter DeBoer of Dallas, Paul Maurice of Florida, Luke Richardson of Chicago, Derek Lalonde of Detroit and Lane Lambert of the New York Islanders all start from scratch.
Approximately 40 players attend the camp through a professional tryout agreement with the possibility of a season contract. James Neal has that opportunity with the Blue Jackets. Derek Stepan returned to Carolina in search of a job with the Hurricanes.
The most intriguing situation involves 37-year-old center Eric Staal, who agreed to a trial in Florida at the same time that his brother Mark signed a one-year contract. Younger brother Jordan was with Eric and Mark on the 18th Lawn in Pebble Beach to witness the event.
“They’re both just super muscled, just like me,” said Jordan Steel, who is the captain of the Hurricanes. “Eric is excited about this opportunity, as is Mark. Very cool. Really cool stuff.”
Before the puck drops in the North American NHL season on October 11, the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks will play twice in Prague on October 7 and 8. And this is not a show.
“We’re still playing two big games,” the Sharks forward said. Thomas Hurtle, a native of Prague. “You don’t just come here for preseason to warm up.”
Colorado and Columbus will also play two games in Tampere, Finland on November 4-5 as part of the NHL Global Series.
And while the league gets used to a regular schedule, work continues between the league and the NHL Players Association to host the World Championship of Hockey in February 2024, which is popular with players, even if the calendar is once again confusing.
“I think they missed out on a huge, huge part of the international game that will really be missed,” McDavid said. “We need to find a way to have an international tournament as quickly as possible.”
CORAL SPRINGS, Florida – Alexander Barkov fast asleep in his house in Finland, when the trade that brought Matthew Tkachuk The Florida Panthers were completed, which is no surprise given that it was around 4:00 am in this part of the world.
He woke up and read messages from friends reacting to the deal.
And soon he received a message from Tkachuk.
“The first message was ‘(expletive) right’ and how excited he was to come to Florida,” Barkov, the Panthers captain, said at the Florida press day. “Let’s take the next step, be a winning team for years to come.” That’s who he is. He wants to win. He wants to bring this character into this organization. And I think he’s already done some damage.”
On this Barkov was sold.
And after weeks of informal skating with each other, the Panthers begin the process of officially showing off what they have in Tkachuk when the team’s training camp opens – the first under new coach Paul Maurice.
“Basically, we have gathered everyone here for a few weeks,” Tkachuk said. “I feel like I spent a couple of weeks in a training camp. So today doesn’t seem like anything new to me. I got to know everyone… so let’s start these games. I’m tired of just practicing and working. I want to start playing some games. I think everyone feels…