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It’s Carolina Hurricanes day on PHT

The Carolina Hurricanes are talking about the playoffs, and there is a belief they have a legitimate shot at making the Stanley Cup tournament next season.

In their plight to get back into the post-season, the Hurricanes have managed to revamp their roster, both up front and on defence, with younger players, including the acquisition of 21-year-old forward Teuvo Teravainen from the Chicago Blackhawks. It was a move that included having to take on the remaining year of Bryan Bickell’s contract, which includes a cap hit of $4 million.

Teravainen joins a group of young, talented forwards that includes Jeff Skinner, Victor Rask, Elias Lindholm, and Sebastian Aho, who signed an entry-level deal in June. Julien Gauthier, taken 21st overall in June, is also signed to an entry-level deal.

But the changes have also meant the end of an era in Raleigh.

Eric Staal, who hoisted the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in just his second season back in 2005-06, was traded prior to the deadline. Before the deal that sent him to the New York Rangers, Staal had played 909 games of his career in Carolina.

The Hurricanes also committed once again to goalie Cam Ward for two more years at a $3.3 million cap hit, meaning they’ll go with Ward and Eddie Lack in net again next season. The duo experienced difficulties at points last season.

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    Foley: Las Vegas NHL team can’t use ‘Knights’ nickname in Canada

    LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 22:  New Las Vegas NHL franchise owner Bill Foley addresses the media during the Board Of Governors Press Conference prior to the 2016 NHL Awards at Encore Las Vegas on June 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NHL's board of governors approved expanding to Las Vegas, making the franchise the 31st team in the league. The team will start play during the 2017-18 season and play at the newly built T-Mobile Arena.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    Things are happening.

    The Las Vegas NHL franchise has named its general manager. It has named its assistant general manager. It has named its director of player development. The franchise has even installed ice for the first time in its arena.

    But still, no team name. Not yet, anyway.

    Trademark issues have been the cause of the delay in a team name, as the team’s owner Bill Foley and the league look to get beyond this hurdle.

    The latest surrounds ‘The Knights,’ which has become an unlikely option, Foley told the Las Vegas Review Journal, because of the London Knights name in the Ontario Hockey League.

    “The London Knights own the name in Canada and to acquire the name from London is not economically feasible,” said Foley, adding there should be “clarity” on the name issue in the next 30 days. “In the U.S., ‘Knights’ are fine. But we can’t use it in Canada.”

    The ‘Black Knights’ had been a name Foley reportedly had interest in when the league awarded Las Vegas its franchise.

    Related: McPhee wants to play ‘attack’ hockey in Vegas

    Report: Former Stars defenseman Rome sues NHL, insurance company

    DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 27:  Aaron Rome #27 of the Dallas Stars skates off the ice during pregame warmup before taking on the Colorado Avalanche at American Airlines Center on January 27, 2014 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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    Former NHL defenseman Aaron Rome has sued the league and his insurance company, according to a report in the Dallas Morning News.

    The report states that Rome is seeking compensation after a “career-ending” hip injury while he was with the Dallas Stars. Rome, who also spent time in Anaheim, Columbus and Vancouver, hasn’t played an NHL regular season game since April of 2014.

    From the Dallas Morning News:

    Rome then made a claim for disability benefits from HCC Life Insurance Co., but was denied.  He alleges that the insurance adjuster assigned to handle his claim was not licensed in Texas and withheld documents he needed to appeal the claim.

    It’s unclear how much money Rome is seeking or whether he is eligible for disability benefits. 

    A copy of the NHL’s benefits guide included in the lawsuit says players will receive a lump sum if they suffer a career-ending disability, ranging from $200,000 to $1 million depending on their age. But it also says cumulative injuries do not count. 

    The Stars signed Rome as a free agent to a three-year contract worth a total of $4.5 million in July of 2012.

    They later used one of their compliance buyouts on Rome, who at the time had one year remaining on his deal with Dallas.

    In two seasons with the Stars, Rome played 52 games with a total of six assists. For his career, Rome played in 226 NHL games, reaching a career-high 10 points in 43 games with Vancouver in the 2011-12 season.

    In the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, Rome was suspended four games for a high, late hit on Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton.

    ‘A big part of our organization’s future’: Canucks sign Olli Juolevi to entry-level deal

    BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Olli Juolevi celebrates with the Vancouver Canucks after being selected fifth overall during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    It took a while.

    But the Vancouver Canucks have gotten prospect defenseman Olli Juolevi under contract, signing him to a three-year entry-level deal that was announced on Friday.

    The Canucks, in a bid to bolster their defense, selected Juolevi with the fifth overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft, after the 18-year-old blue liner enjoyed a solid season (nine goals, 42 points in 57 regular season games) with the OHL’s London Knights and nine points in seven games with Finland at the world juniors.

    “Olli is a talented all-around defenceman with high hockey sense who will be a big part of our organization’s future,” said general manager Jim Benning in a statement.

    “He’s had an outstanding year, winning the Memorial Cup and World Junior gold. We look forward to seeing him continue his development and compete at the NHL level during training camp in September.”

    The Canucks have seen a fair amount of change on defense this summer. Dan Hamhuis is gone, having signed in Dallas as a free agent. Prior to that, the Canucks acquired Erik Gudbranson from Florida in a deal that sent prospect forward Jared McCann to the Panthers.

    Their top four defensemen — Chris Tanev, Alex Edler, Ben Hutton and Gudbrandson — might be set but there should be plenty of competition between Luca Sbisa, Nikita Tryamkin, Andrey Pedan, Alex Biega and Philip Larsen for minutes in the bottom pairing.

    The Canucks may also not be done making moves, especially up front, as training camp approaches. There has been plenty of Evander Kane speculation in Vancouver — his hometown — throughout the summer.

    Islanders’ move to the Barclays Center was hardly a smooth one

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: A general view of the arena prior to the game between the New York Islanders and the Florida Panthers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round  during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Barclays Center on April 20, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    This is part of New York Islanders day at PHT…

    The New York Islanders completed their first season in their new digs in Brooklyn, but the move was hardly a smooth one. And there are still question marks surrounding the future of the club at the Barclays Center.

    Example: Kyle Okposo, who is no longer with the Islanders after signing in Buffalo this summer, ripped the ice conditions at Barclays Center, calling them “awful” and that it has to change.

    Scroll down even further, and the relationship, made official on a 25-year lease, between the Islanders and Barclays Center, with a capacity for hockey set at 15,795, has been tenuous for months.

    From the New York Post in February:

    Jonathan Ledecky — who heads a group of investors set to replace Wang as the team’s majority owner July 1 — apparently is listening. A source close to the Islanders and other industry sources say he’s enamored with possibly moving the team to Queens or back to Long Island.

    In either scenario, a new arena likely would have to be built — an expensive proposition considering it cost $1 billion to open Barclays Center in 2012. Another option is renegotiating the Barclays Center lease to salvage the relationship, sources said.

    In addition, there have been issues about seats with obstructed views and players forced to take the Long Island Railroad into Brooklyn from Long Island on game days.

    Ledecky said, according to the New York Daily News, that “Barclays is our home.” However, toward the end of last month, a report surfaced in Bloomberg that the Islanders have been in talks with the New York Mets to build a rink next to Citi Field in Queens.

    It’s been speculated that the Islanders may be using this as leverage to improve their agreement at the Barclays Center.

    That report in Bloomberg also stated a decline in attendance, with the Islanders averaging 13,626 fans, a drop of 11 per cent from the 2014-15 campaign.

    Again. This is Year One. And these developments breed uncertainty about the Islanders’ long-term situation in Brooklyn.

    The Islanders have hit the 100-point plateau in each of the last two seasons. They made the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

    Their star John Tavares has two more years left on his current deal, which has a cap hit of $5.5 million. A pending unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2017-18 season, he’s expressed that he “would love” to spend his entire career with the Islanders. And the new owners seem determined — as they should be — on keeping Tavares with the Islanders.

    When it comes to the NHL standings, the Islanders have in recent years been able to build a playoff team, with Tavares as the centerpiece.

    The Islanders’ situation at the Barclays Center, however, is definitely in fixer-upper territory. Lower attendance, poor ice conditions, obstructed views in certain seats, transportation issues and reports the Islanders may be looking for an out in Brooklyn all point to an off-ice outlook that doesn’t yet match the optimism surrounding the on-ice product.

    If the first year is the foundation, it’s difficult at this point to be convinced the long-term relationship between the Islanders and the Barclays Center is set on solid ground.