Cam Tucker


More Sabres goaltending news: Cal Petersen announces he’s turning pro


Shortly after the Buffalo Sabres announced the signing of prospect goalie Jonas Johansson, it looks like another one of their prospect netminders is going pro.

Having weighed his options this the spring, saying during the World Hockey Championships that he was still undecided about where to play next season, Cal Petersen announced Wednesday via the Notre Dame Athletics website that he will not return to school for his senior year.

“I feel immensely fortunate I was given the opportunity to attend Notre Dame and play hockey for the Fighting Irish,” said Petersen in a statement.

“The experiences and memories I have shared with my teammates and best friends both on and off the ice will be something I carry with me forever. This is the hardest decision I have ever had to make because of how incredible of a place Notre Dame is to be both a student and an athlete.”

Taken in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft, Petersen was a Richter Award finalist this past season — his junior year at Notre Dame. He posted a record of 23-12-5 and a save percentage of .926 in 40 games. Former Sabres general manager Tim Murray spoke very highly of Petersen’s development during his time in college.

“I am proud of Cal for taking his time and doing his due diligence before making the decision to take the next step in his career,” said Notre Dame’s head coach Jeff Jackson.

The Sabres sent out a congratulatory tweet to Petersen, but have yet to make any official announcement on this matter.

Sabres sign prospect goalie Johansson to entry-level deal

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The Buffalo Sabres have signed prospect goaltender Jonas Johansson to a three-year entry-level contract, following the 21-year-old puckstopper’s brief stint in the American Hockey League this past season.

The Sabres selected Johansson in the third round, 61st overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft. He spent three seasons with Swedish club Almtuna IS, before coming over to North America and playing seven games for the Rochester Americans on an amateur tryout.

In those seven contests, he allowed 20 goals against, although that’s a small sample size of work in the minors.

While the Sabres got Johansson under contract, they have another prospect netminder, Cal Petersen, who had been weighing his options for next season.

Petersen, selected in the fifth round of the 2013 draft, has spent the last three years at the collegiate level, playing for Notre Dame. He was one of five Richter Award finalists for the top NCAA goalie this year. While he recently spent time with Team USA at the World Hockey Championships as the No. 3 goalie, he had the option of returning to Notre Dame for his senior year.

“I haven’t decided that yet,” Petersen told USA Hockey of his potential future plans during the tournament. “I’m giving this opportunity as kind of a big measuring stick to see where I match up and see if I can be successful and compete at this level, so this is a huge opportunity for me to help clear up any questions I would have had about what to do for next year.”

According to the Buffalo News, Sabres’ star forward Jack Eichel was able to talk to Petersen while together at the international tournament.

“At the end of the day, it’s up to him,” said Eichel. “It’s his decision. I told him, ‘You’ve got to do what’s best for you at all times, but if you have any questions, if you need anybody to talk to about it, about the process, the situation, you can reach out to me.’”

Report: Canucks receive Blue Jackets’ 2017 second-round pick for Tortorella hiring


It looks like a done deal now.

The Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday received the Columbus Blue Jackets’ second-round pick in this year’s draft as compensation for Columbus hiring John Tortorella in October of 2015, according to multiple reports.

At the time Tortorella was hired in Columbus, he was still under contract to the Canucks, despite being fired after one tumultuous season in Vancouver. Hence the compensation of a second-round pick in, at the time, one of three drafts between 2016, 2017 or 2018, per Sportsnet.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, that pick to Vancouver is the 55th overall selection this year. Good news for the rebuilding Canucks, who now have a pair of second-round picks, and six picks in the first four rounds of the draft.

Vancouver currently has the fifth overall pick.

Related: Talks continue with pending UFA Miller, but Markstrom is Canucks No. 1 goalie … eventually

When it comes to Jordan Eberle’s future with Oilers, Chiarelli is ‘happy to have him on our team’


Approaching the one-year anniversary of the controversial Taylor HallAdam Larsson trade, Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli may need to move another high profile forward.

This time, however, any potential move would be to free up cap space in order to re-sign a pair of cornerstone franchise players in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Draisaitl is a pending restricted free agent this year, while McDavid — up for the Hart Trophy at the age of 20 — is a pending RFA at the end of next season.

Draisaitl saw another significant increase in his production during the regular season, with 29 goals and 77 points in 82 games, before he went off in the postseason, particularly against the Ducks, with 16 points in 13 games.

Read more: Some big decisions remain for the Oilers

Both players will be due for a respective raise, and getting both players re-signed to new deals is the key priority for Chiarelli, and he’s admitted as much.

“The way we’re going to have to spend our money in the future probably will mean us moving a player,” he told Pierre LeBrun of TSN. “When that future is, I don’t know. We’ve got — basically, we’ve got a year to play with, in my mind.”

That brings up the point of perhaps having to move a forward. Jordan Eberle‘s name has certainly been circulated in the trade rumor mill as a potential candidate to be moved.

Eberle still has two more years left on his deal that comes with an annual cap hit of $6 million. He had 20 goals and 51 points this past regular season for the Oilers, but only two assists in 13 playoff games, as Edmonton qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2006.

His struggles even prompted head coach Todd McLellan to publicly call out Eberle during the second round versus Anaheim.

There is no getting around the fact Eberle’s playoff production — or lack of — was disappointing, but Chiarelli came to the defense of his 27-year-old right winger, saying he was “happy to have him on our team.”

“I think Jordan, outside of two players, probably had the most positive touches of the puck on our team. I really don’t feel the need to defend him,” he said.

“He didn’t have a great playoff. He didn’t have a good playoff. But he did a lot of things that we expected of him. He just didn’t have the offense that we expected him to have in the playoffs. What he does is he creates space with his touches and I thought he played well. In his defense, it’s the first time he’s been in the playoffs.”

Firing Bylsma, Murray was a ‘bit of a shocker’ to Sabres star Eichel


Despite speculation of a rift between Jack Eichel and Dan Bylsma this past season, the Buffalo Sabres star forward has expressed his surprise with the organization’s decision to clean house, firing both the head coach and general manager Tim Murray.

The Sabres fired Bylsma and Murray on the same day, following reports earlier that same week of internal turmoil, most notably between Bylsma and Eichel, the latter being the 20-year-old face of the franchise.

Eichel, in conversation with the Buffalo News, said in a report published Wednesday that it was “a bit of a shocker” to him that both Bylsma and Murray were fired. He then added: “I think the Pegulas and the rest of the organization, if they think that was best for the future, then that needed to happen.”

Eichel had a late start to his sophomore season due to an ankle sprain, but still managed 24 goals (which tied his total from his rookie campaign) and career highs in assists (33) and points (57), despite playing in 20 fewer games from his first year.

Still, the Sabres finished 26th in the overall standings, prompting Eichel to sound off following such a disappointing season, admitting frustration with the team’s culture.

More than a month after the organizational shakeup, it seemed Eichel still couldn’t put his finger on exactly why it went so wrong for the past regime of Bylsma and Murray, or future developments for the Sabres, particularly behind the bench.

“I’m not really sure,” Eichel continued to tell the Buffalo News. “I went through both of my end-of-the-year meetings, and I thought things were all right. You don’t really know what’s going to happen. That’s not my position really. I’m more in terms of playing, as you know. Whoever the GM, whoever the coach are, I’ll just try and show up with a good attitude and be a good player.”

The Sabres have since hired a new general manager, naming Jason Botterill to the position. The search for a new coach still continues. The latest is that San Jose assistant coach Bob Boughner has reportedly interviewed with the Sabres.

Related: ‘I want to be here for a long time’: Eichel says he isn’t interested in leaving Buffalo