Corey Crawford

Blackhawks show Corey Crawford their faith, sign him to a three year deal

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The Blackhawks are making sure they’ve learned from history so as to not repeat it again this offseason. After failing to get Antti Niemi locked up to a restricted free agent deal last summer, GM Stan Bowman and the rest of the Chicago front office made sure they didn’t do the same thing this time around with Corey Crawford.

Chicago signed Crawford to a three year contract extension that will reportedly pay him $8 million total according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. That works out to a salary cap hit of $2.67 million over the next three seasons, a cap-friendly amount for the cap space limited Blackhawks. The annual cap hit works out to be $80,000 less than Niemi was awarded in arbitration over the summer, a deal that Chicago walked away from only to see Niemi sign with San Jose.

For Crawford, he’s being rewarded for a spectacular rookie season that saw him go 33-18-6 with a 2.21 goals against average and a .927 save percentage. While it’s just one year’s worth of results for Crawford, his play in the late stages of the regular season and the playoffs gave hope to all in Chicago that it’ll be the first of many years like that to come for the 26 year-old Quebec native.

While his contract is decently priced, the Blackhawks still have salary cap questions for next year. has the Blackhawks committed to $53.6 million next season already for just 15 players. With the cap rumored to be going up to $62.2 million next season, that gives Chicago less than $9 million to get up to eight players signed up.

They’ll again be in the market for a backup goalie if Marty Turco doesn’t want to hang around. They’ll also have up to five restricted free agents to negotiate with  as well. It’ll make for another interesting offseason in Chicago, but one they’ll likely feel a bit less stressed out compared to last year.

That said, getting good goaltending and not having to break the bank for it are great things and for Chicago, this is a great deal. We’re sure that the Washington Capitals who have restricted free agent Semyon Varlamov to deal with were paying close attention to how things went down here.

Stars place Lehtonen on IR, call up Campbell and Nemeth

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Kari Lehtonen will miss at least a few games with the upper-body injury he suffered the other night against Ottawa. The Dallas Stars announced today that they’ve placed the 32-year-old goalie on injured reserve, retroactive to Tuesday.

With Lehtonen out, Jack Campbell has been called up from AHL Texas to be Antti Niemi‘s backup. The Stars host Vancouver Friday, with a game at Minnesota Saturday.

Campbell, the 11th overall pick in the 2010 draft, has struggled in the AHL this season, going 3-3-0 with an .873 save percentage.

The Stars have also recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth.

Related: Campbell credits ECHL stint for turning his game around

Gleason ends tryout with ‘Canes

Tim Gleason, David Desharnais
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Tim Gleason has likely played his last NHL game. The 32-year-old defenseman has informed the Carolina Hurricanes that he no longer wishes to continue his professional tryout.

“Tim informed us today he wasn’t going to continue to pursue his tryout,” said GM Ron Francis, per the club’s website. “He looked and felt good physically, but didn’t feel up to the grind of the NHL mentally.”

Gleason started last season with Carolina before he was traded to Washington in February.

In his career, he’s played 727 NHL games, plus 32 more in the playoffs.

Isles call Strome back up

Ryan Strome, Johnny Boychuk
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Ryan Strome has been called back to the New York Islanders, the club announced this morning.

The 22-year-old returns to the NHL after eight games with AHL Bridgeport Sound. He had been sent there three weeks ago, after a tough start to the season.

Strome had two goals and two assists during his stint with the Tigers.

The Isles’ next game is Friday at Florida.

McLellan on Oilers’ loss to ‘Canes: ‘That’s a really disappointing effort from our hockey club’

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With the addition of Connor McDavid, 2015-16 was supposed to be the year Edmonton showed significant progress on the ice.

We’re less than two months into the season, McDavid’s out because of a broken clavicle, and the so-called progress just hasn’t been there.

On Wednesday, the Oilers hit a new low, as they were handed their fifth loss in their last six games at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring in the first period, but Carolina answered with four unanswered goals by Jordan Staal, Elias Lindholm, Jeff Skinner and Andrej Nestrasil to win 4-1.

“We got outcompeted in the second period, badly,” Mark Letestu told the team’s website. “Whether it was little puck battles or even just executing on systems. It played right into their game. When you get behind a team like this that’s so dominant in the circle it’s tough to generate chances to come back. We didn’t deserve to win this one at all.”

As if things weren’t bad enough, the Oilers also lost Nail Yakupov to injury after a linesman (yes, a linesman) fell on top of him.

After the game, head coach Todd McLellan didn’t hold back:

Edmonton collected 14 points in the first 22 games of the 2014-15 season and after the same amount of games this year, they have just one more point.

They’re currently alone in last place.