Milan Lucic

Milan Lucic expects Sabres to come after him

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Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe spoke with Bruins winger Milan Lucic today in advance of Wednesday’s highly-anticipated Bruins-Sabres tilt.

Not beating around the bush, Dupont asked Lucic if he expected one of the Buffalo players to drop the mitts.

His response?

“Yes. I’m not going to lie…yes.”

Not a surprise, but definitely interesting given Brendan Shanahan has spoken with both GMs — Buffalo’s Darcy Regier and Boston’s Peter Chiarelli — informing them that “awareness will be heightened” for the game. Lucic’s honesty is admirable, even though a “no comment” might’ve been the smarter play.

That said, we’re now left with the following questions for tomorrow night:

— Who takes on Lucic? Buffalo’s most active pugilist this year is Cody McCormick, but he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury and hasn’t played since Nov. 14. Paul Gaustad, one of the most outspoken Sabres following the Lucic-Miller collision (and one of Miller’s best friends), has fought twice already this year and certainly has the size at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds.

— What will Patrick Kaleta do? If there’s one wildcard in the Buffalo lineup, it’s Kaleta — he’s already been suspended for headbutting and fined $2,500 for a hatchet job on Phoenix’s Derek Morris.

— Will Boston start Tim Thomas in goal? It might not be the worst idea ever to rest your franchise goalie (you know, the guy with a penchant for playing outside the blue ice.) Tuukka Rask only has one start in Boston’s last five games, but Thomas does have a two-game shutout streak going.

— Who will work the game? The officiating crew of referees Ghislain Hebert/Marc Joannette and linesmen Derek Nansen/Mark Shewchyk called the last Bruins-Sabres affair. Hebert was fairly inexperienced as far as referees went (he called his first regular-season game in 2009) and it’s likely a more veteran crew will be assigned to this potentially explosive affair.

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Sweet ride: Blackhawks sponsor CJ Wilson Racing’s Porsche Cayman at Road America

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Chicago Blackhawks fans, start your engines!

Yes, according to MotorSportsTalk, the Blackhawks have become the main sponsor of CJ Wilson Racing’s No. 35 car, a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, for the upcoming IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge event at Road America next month.

That’s a sweet ride.

From MotorSportsTalk:

The partnership will officially launch at the United Center on Wednesday, August 3, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m in advance of Saturday’s race. Fans will have the opportunity to get up close to the car, meet the drivers and Blackhawks Ambassador Denis Savard, and have their picture taken.

The race takes place Aug. 6 at Road America in Wisconsin.

Third team’s the charm? Devils ink Gormley to one-year, two-way deal

<>during the first period at TD Garden on November 12, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Since being selected by the Coyotes at 13th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft, Brandon Gormley has had a difficult time breaking into the league on a full-time basis.

On Thursday, the 24-year-old Gormley joined his third NHL team, signing with the New Jersey Devils on a one-year, two-way deal worth $650,000 at the NHL level, the club announced.

Despite his draft status, Gormley has yet to play a full season in the big league, although this deal could give him an opportunity to end that. For the Devils, the deal adds more depth to the blue line in the organization and for a friendly price.

Last season, Gormley split time between the Colorado Avalanche and its farm team, the San Antonio Rampage. Despite some high expectations about where he could fit on the Avs’ blue line, he was eventually put on waivers in January.

He ended the season with one assist in 26 games with the Avalanche, and hit the open market after Colorado didn’t give him a qualifying offer.

Wild sign Dumba to two-year, $5.1M deal

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After ongoing contract talks between the Minnesota Wild and restricted free agent defenseman Matt Dumba, the two sides have come to a deal.

The Wild announced Thursday that they had signed Dumba to a two-year deal, worth a total value of $5.1 million.

A breakdown of the new deal:

— In 2016-17: $2.35 million.

— In 2017-18: $2.75 million.

Selected seventh overall by the Wild in 2012, Dumba had his most productive campaign this past season, with 10 goals and 26 points in 81 games.

Known for his offensive skills — he had 20 goals and 57 points with Red Deer in the WHL in his draft year — Dumba also brings a coveted right-shot to the Wild blue line, which features four players with contracts of four or more years of term remaining.

As per General Fanager, the Wild still have $2.168 million in projected cap space, but they have secured all their remaining restricted free agents.

Rangers bring back forward Marek Hrivik (Updated)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 09:  Marek Hrivik #46 of the New York Rangers skates against the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden on April 9, 2016 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Red Wings 3-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The New York Rangers announced that they’ve re-signed Marek Hrivik to a new contract. The term and financial details of the deal were not released.

Hrivik signed with the Rangers as an undrafted free agent in May 2012. The 24-year-old made his NHL debut in 2015-16 and ended up playing five games for the Rangers. He had one assist and a plus-3 rating during his time in the NHL.

Updated:

The young forward was an important part of New York’s AHL affiliate in Hartford. Hrivik finished his AHL campaign with 12 goals and 29 assists. He tied for the team lead in assists and finished third in points.

If you go by Hrivik’s tweet, it appears as though he signed a one-year contract:

Now that Hrivik is re-signed, the Rangers have no more free agents of any kind, per General Fanager.