Carl Gunnarsson

Carl Gunnarsson to join Swedish second division squad

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Orebro HK of the Swedish second division has signed locked-out Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson, according to the team’s website.

Gunnarsson was born in Orebro and played in Sweden before heading to Toronto in 2009-10, so it’s not surprising that he would chose to head home during the lockout.

Gunnarsson is coming off of a solid season where he played primarily with Dion Phaneuf as part of the Leafs’ top defensive pairing. Gunnarsson led the Leafs in blocked shots and logged 21:42 minutes per game. He has also recorded between 15 and 20 points in each of his first three NHL campaigns.

Before the lockout, he was scheduled to make $1,250,000 in 2012-13 and become a restricted free agent this summer.

When the union and NHL finally agreed on a new CBA, Gunnarsson should resume his role as one of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ key blueliners.

Glencross released from another PTO, this time by Avs

Washington Capitals v Ottawa Senators
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Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.

Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.

While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.

A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.

Slepyshev earns final Oilers roster spot; Draisaitl to AHL

Anton Slepyshev, Anton Lander
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The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.

The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.

The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.

But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.

“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”

Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.