Carcillo might get automatic 10- or 20-game suspension

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Most of the time, the length of a suspension is left to the discretion of the NHL’s department of player safety, but the punishments are much stricter when it comes to any physical aggression on a player’s part towards an official.

Consequently, Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo’s playoff run might be over because of his actions during Montreal’s 3-2 overtime victory last night.

Here is the incident in question:

If it is determined that he “applied physical force” against an official “in any manner,” but didn’t intend to cause an injury, then he will be handed a suspension of at least 10 games. If Carcillo “should have known” that his actions “could reasonably be expected to cause injury,” then his suspension will be a minimum of 20 contests. That’s per rules 40.2 and 40.3.

TSN’s Darren Dreger’s “sense” is that one of those two rules will be applied to Carcillo.

The Rangers have a maximum of 11 games left in their postseason run.

There’s also a chance he might get a less severe three-game suspension if they decide that he physically demeaned or deliberately used “physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official.”

That’s rule 40.4 and the least likely to be applied out of the three, in the opinion of TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

“Well, he can’t do that, obviously, what he did there, but we’ll let the league handle that,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.

He went on to argue that if the league called a penalty on Canadiens forward Brandon Prust for his questionable hit on New York’s Derek Stepan, then Carcillo’s actions “probably wouldn’t have happened.”

Report: Predators, Ryan Johansen agree to new contract

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Not long ago, the Nashville Predators announced an upcoming press conference, which will almost certainly provide big news: Ryan Johansen‘s signed a new contract, according to The Tennessean’s Adam Vignan.

The Predators didn’t reveal the number of years nor the cap hit/salary on the contract to Vignan just yet.

This post will be updated when additional details are disclosed, whether they come via that press conference or from reports.

In the meantime, check out this post about how impressive the Predators’ salary structure looks, at least before this signing.

Oilers coach on Draisaitl negotiations, cap crunch and more

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As NHL.com reports, Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan doesn’t seem too worried about Leon Draisaitl‘s contract negotiations.

“I’m confident we’re going to see Leon in an [Oilers] uniform,” McLellan said at a charity golf tournament. “We want him to be there, he wants to be there, and it’s just a matter of getting a few things done over the summer.”

Granted, as confident as McLellan is, he also admits that he doesn’t really get involved in that side of the hockey business, preferring to leave that to GM Peter Chiarelli.

On that note, McLellan said he’s aware that locking down Drasaitl, Connor McDavid, and other key members will likely leave the Oilers with a “tight wallet … and that’s not going to change for many years.”

(For an in-depth look at the Oilers’ salary structure, check out this deep dive.)

McLellan faces the challenge of aligning those big-ticket items with bargain signings, something that’s likely only to become a more common situation as time goes along. He also must deal with an obstacle that isn’t new to him considering his Sharks days, but will be unusual for many Oilers: no longer slipping under the radar.

“Expectations make it a little harder on a hockey club, mentally and physically, and we haven’t experienced that as a group yet and that’s why I still consider our team a growth team,” McLellan said. “We’ve got to go through that now. Teams will be ready for the Oilers. They’ll be prepared to play against us night in and night out, and people expect us, our fans in particular, to win on a more regular basis than we have in the past. Our task just gets tougher.”

If they fail, McLellan will shoulder much of the blame, even if management makes some poor decisions with that “tight wallet.”

Blues re-sign goalie Binnington

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Jordan Binnington, the netminder taken 88th overall by the Blues in 2011, has signed a one-year, two-way extension, the club announced on Friday.

Binnington, 24, has played almost exclusively with St. Louis’ AHL affiliate since turning pro four years ago, though he did spend some time in the ECHL.

Last year he worked alongside Ville Husso and Pheonix Copley in the Wolves’ goal, and will likely do so again with Husso moving forward (Copley was traded to Washington as part of the Kevin Shattenkirk deal.)

Binnington’s NHL body of work is brief — one 13-minute relief appearance during the ’15-16 campaign. Right now he’s jockeying with Husso to be the organization’s No. 3 netminder, a potential call-up should either Jake Allen or Carter Hutton get hurt.

Chris Neil wants a one-way deal, and says he’s received offers

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Here’s what we know about veteran tough guy Chris Neil.

He won’t be back in Ottawa, the city where he’s spent his entire 15-year career. But he does want to keep playing. What’s more, he’s not ready to accept a two-way deal or training camp PTO, because offers for a one-way deal have already come in.

“The offers I’ve had so far haven’t been [two way or PTO]. They’ve been a one-way deal,” the 37-year-old forward said, per the Ottawa Sun. “For me, that’s what I’d be looking for.

“It’s up in the air right now. There’s some interest. There’s some teams you’d prefer over others.”

Neil was informed by the Sens last month that he wouldn’t be brought back next season, which marked the end of an era. Ottawa took Neil in the sixth round of the 1998 draft, and he made his NHL debut three years later. He went on to become one of the club’s most recognizable players, in large part to his pugilistic ways — during the 2003-04 campaign, he fought a remarkable 24 times.

That trademark toughness could be something teams are interested in bringing aboard. There were rumblings St. Louis was eyeing him after trading Ryan Reaves to Pittsburgh, with Fox Sports Midwest reporting that Neil had three offers on the table.

If there’s one thing that’s for certain, it’s that Neil believes he can still play. After learning that he wouldn’t be brought back to the Canadian capital, he had some choice words for Sens head coach Guy Boucher and the perceived lack of opportunity Boucher afforded him.

“I have a lot of respect for Randy [Lee, Sens assistant GM] and Pierre [Dorion, GM] … I think, if it was up to them, I’d be back,” Neil explained, per the Citizen. “But they kind of put it in the coach’s hands and that had a lot to do with it. For whatever reason, Guy [Boucher] never really gave me the chance to show I can play.

“Even before I got hurt, I was a healthy scratch for a couple of games and I saw the writing on the wall.”