When in doubt, pick the player with the coolest name.
That might not be the strategy the Phoenix Coyotes are actually employing by signing forward Rob Klinkhammer to a two-year deal on Thursday, yet it’s probably the most entertaining way to think about it.
The 26-year-old boasts the kind of size that could allow him to live up to a fabulous last name, standing at 6-foot-3 and 214 lbs. He collected 11 points in 22 games at the NHL level in 2013, representing a respectable rookie season.
The financial terms weren’t disclosed, but the monetary impact is likely to be minimal.
The Coyotes have plenty of other questions to answer this offseason, even beyond bigger-picture questions about ownership. While goalie Mike Smith represents the biggest conundrum, the team’s forward corps could be in a serious flux. Here’s a list of the scorers who need new deals:
Defenseman Michael Stone (restricted) and backup Jason LaBarbera (unrestricted) also need new deals – either with the Coyotes or someone else – this summer.
At least the team crossed one name off the list today, though.
Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season
Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.
But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.
On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.
Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.
Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.
Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma express remorse after benching
“We want to apologize to the organization, the coaches, our team especially, and the city of Calgary and the fans,” Gaudreau said, per the team’s Twitter account. “For us not to show up like that, and miss a game like that, it’s not professional on our part.”
“I’m a young guy and I’m a leader on this team,” Monahan added. “I’ve got to step up and take that back and earn that respect again.”
More on what transpired at Tuesday’s practice, from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:
Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did his best to keep an epic Super Bowl party under wraps. But two of his players — Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan — arrived at the Saddledome at 10:15 am for a 10:30 Monday morning practice, and those two barely beat Johnny Gaudreau in the Saddledome doors.
Then practice started, and in the words of Calgary winger David Jones: “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.”
“I think (Hartley) was pretty pissed off.”
The trio was then subsequently benched for last night’s game against Toronto, which the Flames won 4-3.
Tonight, the New York Rangers are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at Consol, in a rematch of the ’14 and ’15 playoffs (the Blueshirts eliminated the Pens from each of the last two postseasons, you’ll recall.)
You can catch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.