Saku Koivu

Saku Koivu signs one-year, $3 million extension with Anaheim

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The Ducks are getting their alternate captain back for one more year.

That’s the news out of Anaheim today as the club announced Saku Koivu had agreed to a one-year extension. (Eric Stephens of the OC Register reports it’s a $3 million deal plus bonuses.)

From the team website:

Koivu, 37, appeared in his third season with Anaheim in 2011-12, scoring 11-27=38 points with a +7 rating and 50 penalty minutes (PIM) in 74 contests. He co-led the team in takeaways (35), ranked second in shifts-per-game (24.5), tied for second in plus/minus and third in assists. The 5-10, 180-pound center led the club in faceoff wins (646) and faceoff percentage (52.4), while ranking fourth among team forwards in time-on-ice (18:07).

As that stat-heavy excerpt suggests, Koivu’s coming off a solid campaign with the Ducks. He was especially strong as the Ducks surged in January and February, scoring 15 points in 27 games while posting a plus-11 rating.

It’s not surprising that Koivu wanted back in Anaheim.

“We’ve enjoyed it a lot,” Koivu told the OC Register in early April. “Everything that we looked for has happened except the success in the playoffs. When you’re family’s happy, you feel comfortable. I don’t see a reason why I should go and look for something else.

That said, it’ll be interesting to see if the Koivu deal plays a role in Teemu Selanne returning for another season. The 41-year-old is close to Koivu, a fellow Finn, and served with Koivu as one of Anaheim’s two alternate captains this past year.

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
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The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.

Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.

That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.

If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.

The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.

Leafs claim Corrado from Canucks, waive Panik

Frank Corrado
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.

Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.

With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.

Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.

In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.