Wild sign AHL veteran Jean-Michael Daoust

Always in the need for some more scoring, especially from talented
wingers, the Minnesota Wild have signed minor league hockey veteran
Jean-Michael Daoust to a one-year contract. Daoust has was once part of
the Pittsburgh Penguins system, before signing as a free agent with the
Houston Aeros of the AHL.

The 26-year old  was the leading scorer
for the Aeros last season, with 55 points in 78 games. While it’s just a
two-way contract, it’s a good deal for both sides as the Wild now have
another option on the wing for next season.

He’s not exactly going to step in and set the world on fire in
Minnesota, but a team that is still struggling to overcome the defensive
trap systems of years past can always use goal-scoring wingers. From
the team’s press release:

“Jean-Michel had a great
season to lead Houston in scoring and showcased
his skill on a consistent basis,” said Assistant to the General Manager
Jim Mill, who also serves as the Aeros General Manager. “He has earned
this opportunity.”

The 26-year-old’s contract is a two-way deal after he signed an AHL free
agent contract last season. In a season full of Wild call-ups from
Houston, Daoust wasn’t eligible to join the NHL club unless the team had
signed him mid-season, and tore up his AHL deal.

“I knew he was a really good player in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton,” said Mill
when asked if Daoust’s production surprised him. “He worked his way up
from the ECHL to the American League, and he never gave up. He always
kept working, and he really did a great job last year.” 

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    Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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    The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

    But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

    In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

    (In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

    Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

    Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

    Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

    Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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    There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

    “Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

    “Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”

    Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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    Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

    The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

    Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

    Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

    Matt Frattin
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    Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

    But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

    On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

    Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

    Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.