David Poile

Report: Flames targeted Preds GM Poile prior to Burke hire

Prior to Calgary hiring Brian Burke as its president of hockey operations, the Flames targeted another high-profile candidate — NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan.

Now, reports suggest there was a third high-profile candidate too.

Longtime Nashville GM David Poile — a three-time finalist for NHL General Manager of the Year — was approached for the job, according to The Province’s Tony Gallagher:

The Flames interviewed NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan for the job that Burke officially took Thursday in Calgary, but the former Red Wings star turned it down, apparently wishing to remain in a larger city.

Further, so did Nashville GM David Poile, who was also approached by the Flames ownership over the summer, the team evidently asking for and receiving permission to speak to the longtime Preds boss.

He also wished to remain where he is.

Poile does have ties to Calgary and the Flames organization. He spent two years with the club as an assistant GM back in the early 80s — following the move from Atlanta — and worked with then-GM Cliff Fletcher on the famous trade that brought Lanny McDonald to town.

This summer, he spent time talking with Flames CEO Ken King about rebuilding the Saddledome following July’s floods in Southern Alberta. Poile had dealt with a similar situation in 2010 when flood waters invaded Tennessee.

King also stated he’d created a long list of potential candidates for the hockey ops job — a list that had 60 names on it, apparently.

This report makes one wonder about incumbent GM Jay Feaster’s job security in Calgary.

While Burke made it clear that Feaster’s job was safe, it’s interesting to think how different the situation would’ve been if a three-time GM of the Year nominee — and architect of the U.S. Olympic team — was brought in.

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    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.

    Patrik Laine to make highly anticipated preseason debut for Jets

    BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Patrik Laine gives an interview after being selected second by the Winnepeg Jets during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)
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    Anticipation has been building since the Winnipeg Jets officially took Patrik Laine with the second overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

    On Friday, Laine, the highly coveted Finnish forward, will make his preseason debut for the Jets when they play the Edmonton Oilers in Winnipeg, as the home fans get the chance to take in the occasion.

    The Jets have done a nice job of amassing good young forwards in their organization. Laine, who has the gifts to be a prolific scorer in the NHL, is at the top of that prospect list.

    Winnipeg’s roster tonight also includes forward prospects Kyle Connor, Nic Petan and Brandon Tanev, not to mention more NHL experienced forwards like Alex Burmistrov, Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele.

    Laine enters this season with high expectations placed on him from fans and media, after coming to the NHL following a standout career in Finland as a teenager. He’s aware of the expectations, but toned down the hype with the usual statements of just playing his game.

    “Just be brave on the ice and show everybody I will earn my spot on the team,” he told reporters.

    Laine has already seen game action this month. Not with the Jets, but with Finland’s entry at the World Cup of Hockey.

    Following offseason knee surgery, Laine wasn’t happy with his performance in Finland’s first pre-tournament game. In three tournament games, Laine failed to register a point, despite a team-best 10 shots on goal, as Finland was quickly eliminated in the round robin.

    Related:

    Looking to make the leap: Patrik Laine

    Murray: Ristolainen’s good-faith gesture unlikely to sway talks with Sabres

    BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 22: Rasmus Ristolainen #55 of the Buffalo Sabres makes a pass during the game against the Detroit Red Wings on January 22, 2016 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images)
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    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray tells The Associated Press he doesn’t believe defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen‘s decision to join the team for practice without a contract will have any effect on thawing negotiations.

    With a big laugh, Murray on Friday said the only way Ristolainen could speed up contract talks is if “he got all lovey-dovey” and elected to take the Sabres’ latest offer.

    Ristolainen is a restricted free agent whose rights were retained by the Sabres in June. After representing Finland in the World Cup of Hockey, Ristolainen reported to the Sabres on Thursday in what was regarded as a sign of good faith.

    Though he’s not allowed to play because he’s not under contract, Ristolainen is practicing with the team and also taking part in meetings. Ristolainen is not making himself available to reporters.

    Murray says he didn’t see anything wrong with allowing Ristolainen to practice, saying he’d rather the player be in Buffalo than working out elsewhere.

    Murray says the two sides are still negotiating.

    In three seasons, Buffalo’s 2013 first-round draft pick has established himself as the Sabres’ top defenseman. Last year, Ristolainen led the team in averaging more than 25 minutes of ice time per game, and led Buffalo defensemen with 41 points (nine goals, 32 assists).

    Contract coming? Rakell’s agent negotiating ‘frequently’ with Anaheim

    ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Rickard Rakell #67 of the Anaheim Ducks skates during a game against the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center on November 30, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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    More updates from Anaheim, the land of contractual impasses…

    Rickard Rakell, the still-unsigned RFA forward, sounds as though he’s closer to an extension with the Ducks than teammate Hampus Lindholm, who’s working out in Sweden.

    From the O.C. Register:

    Rakell has yet to resume his training after being unable to play for his homeland in the World Cup of Hockey. But it is believed that while the Ducks would prefer to stay lower than Rakell’s six-year, $24 million asking price, they’ve made more headway with the center’s agent, Peter Wallen.

    In an e-mail to the Register, Wallen confirmed as much while saying Rakell has slowly started to work out again and will need “a couple of weeks” to get back in top shape. “Back negotiating,” Wallen said. “More frequently now.”

    Rakell finished fourth on the Ducks in scoring last year, with 20 goals and 43 points, and led the team in game-winning markers. His emergence over the last two seasons — he had 31 points in 73 contests in ’14-15 — his age (only turned 23 in May) and his versatility (can play center or right wing) are the big reasons why he’s angling for a significant payday.

    For Anaheim, it’s one of those problems teams wish they had.

    Though they’re stretched thin financially, the Ducks have an arsenal of good young talent up front that will eventually replace the likes of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler. Rakell is chief among them, and he’ll soon be followed by the likes of Nick Ritchie, Nick Sorensen, Julius Nattinen and both of the club’s first-round picks at this year’s draft — Max Jones and Sam Steel.

    The key, of course, is keeping all those young guys in the fold.

    And that starts with Rakell.

    Related: Lindholm seeking eight-year deal from ducks, at least $6M per