Michael Frolik, Troy Brouwer

Bad news for Chris Campoli? Chicago re-signs Michael Frolik for three years, Sami Lepisto for one year

Chicago’s summer of retooling and tweaking the lineup continues today and for one restricted free agent waiting to be signed, it might signal the end of his run in Chicago.

The Blackhawks re-signed restricted free agent Michael Frolik to a reported three-year, $7 million deal and have also signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Sami Lepisto to a one year contract. Frolik will likely slot in on the second line and play at center for Chicago once again. Frolik has scoring touch and gives Chicago some necessary offensive help.

Last season, Frolik’s third in the NHL, he scored 11 goals and added 27 assists between Florida and Chicago. His previous two seasons saw him total up 42 goals and 46 assists. If he can find that kind of scoring touch and perhaps more with the Blackhawks in a full season, it’ll be a huge boost for the team. The $2.3 million cap hit should do well by Chicago’s salary situation.

Chicago also signing up Sami Lepisto, who spent last year with both Phoenix and Columbus, has a bit more of a curious effect on how GM Stan Bowman is handling things with restricted free agent Chris Campoli. Campoli is set to go to arbitration on August 3 with the team and now with Lepisto in the fold, Campoli’s job as a puck moving offensively skilled defenseman is essentially filled. Lepisto is also likely coming in to Chicago at a cheaper price than Campoli would in arbitration and certainly for less than he could be looking for out of Chicago now.

At least Chicago fans will have the lasting memory of seeing Campoli turned inside-out by Alex Burrows in overtime of Game 7 of their first round playoff loss to make them feel furious. Campoli is also coming off of offseason knee surgery as well but he would be ready to go for training camp. As for whose training camp that will be in September remains to be seen.

With the kind of award Campoli would get in arbitration, it’s likely that it would be large enough for the Blackhawks to walk away from and make Campoli an unrestricted free agent, much like what the team did last year with Antti Niemi. While Niemi had a limited market in free agency last year, Campoli is a serviceable guy and could be useful for a number of teams seeking defensive help, he’ll just have to do it at a discount more than likely as the free agent market has virtually dried up.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer

Johansen calls trade rumblings ‘weird,’ says relationship with Torts is ‘great’

Ryan Johansen
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One day after reports surfaced of Ryan Johansen being at the center of trade talks, all parties involved from Columbus did what they’re supposed to do — downplay the situation.

You can read the denials in full over at the Dispatch, but here’s the gist:

— Johansen said the rumors were “weird” and that he’s “never seen it before.” He also said there were no issues between him and head coach John Tortorella, calling the relationship “great.”

— GM Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t address the report, nor would Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

— Johansen added he hasn’t spoken to any of Columbus’ management about the trade rumblings.

So there’s that. What’s next?

At this stage of the game, it’s hard not to think about another Overhardt client, Kyle Turris.

Turris, you’ll recall, spent four (mostly) stormy years with the Coyotes before his trade out to Ottawa was orchestrated. Turris eventually told GM Don Maloney “this is not going to work out” with the club, and he was gone.

So, consider the similarities now:

— Turris was 22 at the time of the trade, with four years and 137 games under his belt.

— Johansen is 23, with five years and 291 games.

— Both had contentious contract holdouts with their respective clubs.

— Both are Overhardt guys.

— The Turris trade happened after the Coyotes went from Wayne Gretzky to Dave Tippett as head coach.

— Johansen is already on his third head coach (Scott Arniel, Todd Richards, Tortorella).

For now, these are all coincidences (or a forced narrative, depending what you think of the author).

And, of course, the one big — big — difference between the two is that, at the time of his trade, Turris wasn’t as good or established a player as Johansen currently is. Therefore, logic suggests any Johansen trade would be a lot more blockbuster-y and, therefore, probably more complex.

And as we know, complex deals aren’t easy to pull off.

Flyers’ Gagner to miss another week after Malone hit

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The nasty blow Sam Gagner took in Monday’s game against Carolina will keep him on the shelf for a little bit.

On Wednesday, Flyers GM Ron Hextall said the club expected Gagner to be out around a week with injuries suffered on the hit, delivered by ‘Canes forward Brad Malone (per the Inquirer).

Gagner suffered a fairly significant facial laceration, which forced him from the game entirely. He didn’t practice on Tuesday and, in a corresponding move, the Flyers called up Colin McDonald from the AHL to fill Gagner’s spot on the roster.

This is the second facial injury Gagner’s suffered in recent years. He’d previously had his jaw broken by an errant Zack Kassian high stick, while he was with the Oilers and Kassian the Canucks.

Prior to getting hurt, Gagner had two goals and five points in 18 games, averaging just under 12 minutes per night.