Cam Tucker

CALGARY, AB - APRIL 7: Emerson Etem #26 of the Vancouver Canucks in action against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 7, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
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Canucks re-sign Etem to one-year, $775K deal

The Vancouver Canucks have brought back forward Emerson Etem on a one-year, one-way contract worth $775,000, the team announced Monday.

Etem, 24, was a pending restricted free agent, coming off a one-year deal that paid him $850,500, more than his newly signed deal does, as per General Fanager.

A former first-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in 2010, Etem scored 61 goals and 107 points in his final year of junior with the Medicine Hat Tigers, but that scoring touch hasn’t yet transferred to the NHL level.

Etem is now on his third NHL team, having been traded twice.

The Canucks acquired Etem from the New York Rangers in January, in exchange for prospect Nicklas Jensen.

After going 19 games without a goal in New York, Etem scored seven times and had 12 points in 39 games for a Vancouver team that, across the board, didn’t score very much.

“He’s a guy that is going to bring us speed and he’s got strength to get to the net,” said general manager Jim Benning of Etem at the time of the trade. “He’s proven he can score in the past and so I expect him, when he comes in here and gets his confidence, to be a scorer for us.”

Related: Canucks waive Higgins for buyout purposes

Police reports outline complaints against Sabres’ Evander Kane

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 01: Evander Kane #9 of the Buffalo Sabres warms up to play the Edmonton Oilers at First Niagara Center on March 1, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Buffalo police have released a pair of complaints against Sabres forward Evander Kane in which two women accuse him of grabbing them at a bar.

The accusers’ names are blacked out in the harassment reports released Monday. The incidents allegedly occurred shortly after 3 a.m. EDT June 24.

Police say they’re investigating and no charges have yet been filed.

According to the reports, one woman told police Kane threatened her inside the club, and while outside grabbed her throat and tried to push her into his car. The second woman accused the 6-foot-2-inch Kane of trying to force her from the bar.

Kane’s attorney and the Buffalo Sabres didn’t immediately return messages.

Kane was investigated for a possible sex offense in December but prosecutors determined there wasn’t evidence to support charges.

Related:

AP Source: Police investigating Evander Kane harassment claim 

Report: After ‘alleged incident’ at a Buffalo bar, two crime reports have been filed against Evander Kane

Senators choose not to extend qualifying offer to Wiercioch

OTTAWA, ON - FEBRUARY 11: Patrick Wiercioch #46 of the Ottawa Senators skates with the puck against the Colorado Avalanche during an NHL game at Canadian Tire Centre on February 11, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
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Patrick Wiercioch is now an unrestricted free agent, after the Ottawa Senators declined to extend him a qualifying offer.

This move isn’t unexpected. In fact, it was initially reported in May that the Senators likely wouldn’t qualify the 25-year-old defenseman, who had five assists in 52 games this past season.

As per General Fanager, Wiercioch made $2.7 million in NHL salary this past season, so the Senators had to match that in a qualifying offer to him. The Senators right now have $18.4 million in cap space dedicated to three defensemen — Dion Phaneuf, Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot — for next season.

Senators GM Pierre Dorion foreshadowed today’s news with his comments ahead of the NHL Draft.

“There is an appetite, but we have to think that it’s 2.7 [million dollars] to qualify him. Is he worth that money? Is he better off going somewhere else?” said Dorion, as per TSN. “I said we’d explore options. At 2.7 to qualify him, that’s a significant number. We’ve talked to his agent and we’ll see what happens going forward over the next 10 days.”

The club also announced it sent a qualifying offer to 22-year-old defenseman Cody Ceci, who scored 10 goals and 26 points last season and is also a restricted free agent.

While his point production has slipped from a career year of 23 points (four goals) in 53 games in 2013-14, he had strong possession numbers at even strength in three of his five seasons with Ottawa, registering a 56.8 per cent Fenwick For rating at five-on-five during the lockout-shortened 2013 season.

UFA of the Day: Darren Helm

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 11: Darren Helm #43 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 11, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Red Wings 3-2 in overtime.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Every day until June 30, we’ll write about a pending unrestricted free agent. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Darren Helm

For the first time in his career, Darren Helm could become an unrestricted free agent.

At the age of 29, Helm is coming off a regular season in which he scored 13 goals and 26 points in 77 games. In training camp, he suffered a shoulder injury and a concussion after colliding with prospect Jerome Verrier, so his season didn’t get off to the greatest start.

(He’s also dealt with back issues in the past.)

He then had one goal in five playoff contests, before the Detroit Red Wings were eliminated in the first round.

Overall point production has never been what Helm is about. He hit single-season career highs for goals (15) and points (33) during the 2014-15 campaign.

Instead, he’s known for his speed. He also used on the penalty kill (1:48 per game on the kill) and power play (0:43 per game with the advantage), and can play center and the wing.

But it seems he has questions about how he is best used within the organization’s group of forwards under head coach Jeff Blashill, who took over behind the Detroit bench when Mike Babcock left for Toronto. (Remember, Babcock once referred to Helm as a “top-four forward.”)

“It was definitely a different year for myself,” said Helm, as per the Detroit Free Press. “I’ll need to talk to Blash and (GM Ken Holland) and see where everything is headed, see where I see myself fitting into this organization and where they see me fitting into this organization. Then I’ll have to make some tough decisions.

“I want to win. I don’t really mind playing in the bottom lines as long as there is that respect factor. You’re getting opportunities in different situations. If it looks like that is the case, I’ll get to play in those situations that I feel I can play in, then I’ll be happy. If not, if they tell me right away it’s not going to happen, I might not want to stay.”

As per General Fanager, Helm’s last contract, a four-year deal, had an annual cap hit of $2.125 million.

He’s one of four pending UFAs from the Red Wings roster this season — Brad Richards, Drew Miller and Kyle Quincey being the others. The Red Wings could also go after pending UFA Steven Stamkos, especially after freeing up cap space by unloading Pavel Datsyuk’s contract at the draft.

Speed could be Helm’s most attractive asset, especially after what occurred in the playoffs, if he does go to free agency.

The Pittsburgh Penguins seemed to overwhelm opposing teams with their speed during their run to the Stanley Cup, and Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan saying he thought his team struggled at times against quicker opponents.

And as per the Detroit Free Press, the Capitals, as well as the St. Louis Blues, would be among the suitors for Helm this summer.

Click here for all our 2016 UFA profiles.

Brian Burke pays sixth overall pick Tkachuk the ultimate compliment

Brian Burke, Calgary Flames' president of hockey operations, announces the firing of general manager Jay Feaster and assistant general manager John Weisbrod during a NHL hockey news conference Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, in Calgar, Alberta. Burke will serve as acting general manager. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Larry MacDougal)
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Brian Burke has delivered an abundance of quips in his time.

One of his classics, from 2002 when he was GM of the Vancouver Canucks: “Sedin is not English for ‘punch me or headlock me in a scrum.'”

Now the president of hockey operations for the Flames, Burke spouted more memorable lines when describing Matthew Tkachuk, the sixth overall pick to Calgary during the first round of the NHL Draft on Friday.

“Kid’s a kind of pain in the ass,” said Burke, as per the Calgary Herald. “We don’t have enough guys who are pains in the ass. And the way I like to play, I like guys who are pains in the ass.

“So, I thought that was a real important pick for us.”

After 107 points in 57 games for the London Knights during the OHL’s regular season, Tkachuk followed that up with an impressive 40 points in 18 playoff games, capped off with a Memorial Cup victory.

For the Flames, the addition of Tkachuk should strengthen a group of young, talented forwards, including Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, who have already established themselves in the NHL.

“Everybody talks about his brawn and his ability to score, but this guy, he’s got an elite mind,” said Flames GM Brad Treliving of Tkachuk.

“He can play with top players, he can think the game at a high level and he plays in the areas that aren’t fun to play in.”