Florida Panthers v New York Islanders

Panthers sign Pirri to two-year deal

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The Florida Panthers locked up one of their Chicago Blackhawks “transplants” on Wednesday, signing forward Brandon Pirri to a two-year contract.

The Panthers haven’t shared the financial terms of the deal yet, though Panther Parkway reports it’s believed to be a one-way deal.

A one-way deal would make sense, as the 23-year-old showed promise upon receiving a heightened role after the Panthers acquired him from Chicago for a third-rounder in 2014 and a fifth-rounder in 2016. Pirri ended the season on a particularly high note, scoring seven points in as many games.

Overall, Pirri scored 14 points in 21 games in Florida after managing 11 in 28 with Chicago last season. He also averaged about a minute and a half of extra ice time with the Panthers (13:56) than he did with the Blackhawks (12:15). Much has — fairly — been made about how much Blackhawks-turned-Panthers GM Dale Tallon loves to acquire teams from his former employer, but Pirri’s made a solid first impression in Sunrise.

Re-signing Pirri isn’t the last thing on Tallon’s list of summer chores, however. The Miami Herald notes that restricted free agents Jimmy Hayes and Dmitry Kulikov still need deals.

Update: Wisniewski tore ACL 47 seconds into ‘Canes debut

James Wisniewski, John-Michael Liles, Elias Lindholm
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Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.

Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.

From the club:

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.

Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.

This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.

Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.

Jordan Weal to make NHL debut for Kings

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Two days after an uninspiring performance versus San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings will be getting an injection of youthful enthusiasm tonight versus Arizona.

Coach Darryl Sutter confirmed today that Jordan Weal will make his NHL debut at Staples Center.

A 23-year-old center, Weal is expected to replace Andy Andreoff and skate between Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line.

“It’s really exciting,” Weal told LA Kings Insider. “A lot of work has gone into getting to this part of my career, and the hard work’s just going to continue. It’s going to keep going, and I’m trying to do as much as I can in this game and keep improving from this game moving forward in trying to solidify a solid spot in the lineup.”

The 70th overall pick in 2010, Weal had 69 points in 73 games last season for AHL Manchester.

Related: Jordan Weal is looking to make the leap