2010 NHL free agency: Maple Leafs sign trio of players destined for AHL


The Toronto Maple Leafs have helped fill out their system with three experienced AHL veterans. Luckily for them, they’ll get to play in the same city when the season starts as these three are destined to play for the Leafs’ AHL team, the Toronto Marlies. TSN lets us in on who these guys are.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed a trio of players on Thursday, including unrestricted free agent forwards Mike Zigomanis and Joey Crabb, along with defenceman Danny Richmond.

Each of the three players spent time in the American Hockey League last season.

Zigomanis is a small-ish centerman who wins a ton of face-offs and is a great scorer in the AHL. Joey Crabb was obtained by the Blackhawks in the Dustin Byfuglien trade but allowed to become a free agent on July 1. Crabb has seen some time with the Atlanta Thrashers in the past but spent most of his time in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves. Danny Richmond is your prototypical journeyman defenseman in the AHL. He’ll hit guys, he’ll fight guys and play OK positional defense.

If you get to see or hear too much from these guys with the Maple Leafs this year, let’s just say it’s likely that the Leafs season isn’t going the way they expected it to.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.