Sam Gagner

Arbitration dates set; Gagner, Stewart up first

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Last week, 21 players filed for salary arbitration.

Today, 15 of them got their hearing dates.

The first two up are perhaps the two most interesting of the lot — Edmonton’s Sam Gagner and St. Louis’ Chris Stewart. The pair are slated for hearings on the morning of Monday, July 22.

Gagner, 25, finished second on the Oilers in scoring last season with 14 goals and 24 assists, playing on a one-year, $3.2 million deal.

For the Oilers, the problem with going to arbitration is that the maximum term that could be awarded is one year, which would leave Gagner — who’s already got six NHL seasons under his belt — a pending unrestricted free agent.

Stewart, 25, led St. Louis in scoring last year with 36 points in 48 games. His last contract, a one-year deal, paid him $3 million — though his situation is different than Gagner’s, in that Stewart needs two more years of service before becoming a UFA.

Here’s the full schedule of arbitration hearings, courtesy the NHLPA:

Hearing Date  AM/PM Player  Club
 July 22, 2013  AM  SAM GAGNER  EDM
 July 22, 2013 AM CHRIS STEWART STL
 July 23, 2013 AM ERIC TANGRADI WPG
 July 24, 2013 AM BRYAN LITTLE WPG
 July 25, 2013 AM NICK SPALING NSH
 July 26, 2013 AM CARL GUNNARSSON TOR
 July 29, 2013 AM BLAKE WHEELER WPG
 July 30, 2013 AM PAUL POSTMA WPG
 July 30, 2013 AM MARK FRASER TOR
 July 31, 2013 AM MATS ZUCCARELLO NYR
 July 31, 2013 AM DALE WEISE VAN
 August 1, 2013 AM ROBERT BORTUZZO PIT
 August 1, 2013 AM JORDAN NOLAN LOSA
 August 2, 2013 AM TREVOR LEWIS LOSA
 August 2, 2013 AM ZACH BOGOSIAN WPG

Should be noted that Brendan Smith (Detroit), Alec Martinez (Los Angeles), Jake Muzzin (Los Angeles), Ryan White (Montreal), Josh Bailey (New York Islanders and Erik Condra (Ottawa) all received new deals after they filed for arbitration.

Update: Cross Tangradi off the list, as he and the Jets agreed to a two-year, $1.35 million deal.

Report: Ehrhoff headed to Bruins on a PTO

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The Boston Bruins were under some serious pressure this summer to improve their group of defensemen.

That didn’t happen.

With training camp and the preseason now in full swing, it appears the Bruins are bringing in a veteran blue liner — at least on a professional tryout.

On Friday, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that unrestricted free agent blue liner Christian Ehrhoff is about to join Boston on a PTO following his showing at the World Cup of Hockey.

In six games with Team Europe, Ehrhoff had three assists — all at even strength — and nine shots on goal.

Ehrhoff is now 34 years old, and the Bruins already have a pair of seasoned defenders in Zdeno Chara (39 years old) and John-Michael Liles (35 years old) on their roster. Adam McQuaid turns 30 years old in October.

Ehrhoff played last season on a one-year, $1.5 million contract, and was placed on waivers in February while with the L.A. Kings, before he was traded to Chicago. Age and injuries have caught up to him, and he never did fit with the Kings’ style under Darryl Sutter.

He was most productive during two seasons in Vancouver, a puck-moving defenseman that could effectively skate the puck out of trouble and move the attack that way if need be. But that was from 2009 to 2011. His production has dipped, especially over the last three years.

He was also pivotal to Vancouver’s power play, especially in 2011 when the Canucks won the Presidents’ Trophy and made it to the Stanley Cup Final — against Boston.

Again, that was five years ago.

Lehner (forearm contusion) to miss preseason game versus Maple Leafs

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The Buffalo Sabres will not have goalie Robin Lehner in their lineup Friday versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As per the Sabres, Lehner is dealing with a forearm contusion and will not dress for this preseason game. Jason Kasdorf will start in net for Buffalo.

Members of the media in Buffalo have noted that if this were a regular season game, Lehner would be able to play.

Lehner had ankle surgery in March, ending his 2015-16 season. His ankle issues dated even further back, to the beginning of last season when he suffered a high-ankle sprain.

The Sabres have some exciting young players on their roster, especially up front, but they need Lehner to be healthy if they are to take a run at a playoff spot this season.

Behind him sit Linus Ullmark, Anders Nilsson and Kasdorf, who have a combined 73 games of NHL experience between them all.

Matthews to sit out preseason tilt versus Sabres, as Maple Leafs give him ‘a little break’

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Auston Matthews poses for a portrait after being selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in round one during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)
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The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. But No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews won’t be in the lineup, according to multiple reports.

“Sooner or later, he’s going to get in, but not tonight,” said assistant coach Jim Hiller, as per the Toronto Sun.

“The lineups are day by day. They (World Cup players such as Matthews, Milan Michalek, Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk) went through a solid three weeks. It’s a little break, a little down time. There are tons of games coming. They’ll get a lot of ice time. They’ll get in shortly.”

(The report also notes that Matthews is not dealing with a health issue, which is obviously good news for the Leafs.)

On a night when the No. 2 overall selection Patrik Laine is slated to make his preseason debut for the Winnipeg Jets, fans wishing to see Matthews don a Maple Leafs jersey in his anticipated debut will have to wait.

Matthews played for Team North America at the World Cup held in Toronto. He had two goals and three points in three round robin games, but the young North American team was unable to advance to the semifinal round.

The Maple Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens at home on Sunday.

McLellan: Maroon’s lower-body injury not considered serious

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It appears Patrick Maroon‘s injury from Wednesday’s preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks looked worse than it is.

The Edmonton Oilers forward was in obvious pain immediately after he went hard into the boards from an awkward hit delivered by James Sheppard just past the midway point of the third period. Maroon needed help to the bench and was unable to put much, if any, pressure on his left leg.

He left the game and didn’t return.

Good news, however, from the Oilers: Head coach Todd McLellan told reporters on Friday that the injury — lower body — is not serious, as per the team’s Twitter account.

According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet, the 28-year-old Maroon is expected to be ready for Edmonton’s season opener against the rival Calgary Flames on Oct. 12.

The Oilers acquired Maroon at last season’s trade deadline, a move that certainly added size and an element of grit to their group of forwards.

In 16 games with Edmonton, he scored eight goals and 14 points. In 56 games with Anaheim that same season, he registered only 13 points before the trade.