Cam Tucker

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski
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Hurricanes buy out Wisniewski, who played 47 seconds for Carolina last season


James Wisniewski played all of 47 seconds for the Carolina Hurricanes last season, before tearing his ACL in the first period of his debut — an injury that required surgery and ended his 2015-16 season.

On Thursday, the Hurricanes bought out the final year of his six-year contract, which had a cap hit of $5.5 million. He’ll now enter free agency on Friday.

The Hurricanes initially acquired the now 32-year-old Wisniewski, a veteran defenseman with 552 regular season games of experience and 274 career points, from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for goalie Anton Khudobin a year ago.

The Ducks previously acquired Wisniewski from Columbus at the 2015 trade deadline. He played 13 regular season games with Anaheim, with five assists, but didn’t play in the post-season.

‘I’m not going to say it’s rosy’: It’s complicated between Brown, Kings management after captaincy change

Los Angeles Kings v Calgary Flames
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The relationship between the L.A. Kings and Dustin Brown has hit a rough patch, to say the least. Going in separate directions may eventually be possible, but probably not likely — not for another six years when his contract is up.

On Thursday, Brown was candid about the club’s decision to strip him of his captaincy, and his relationship with management and head coach Darryl Sutter.

Based on his comments, Brown didn’t hold back his disappointment and frustration with the situation or how it was handled from the organization’s perspective.

And his relationship with management, and the coach? According to Brown, he’s had some very honest conversations with both GM Dean Lombardi and Sutter the coach about his role going forward. Far from warm and fuzzy, particularly with management.

This could all make things very awkward between the Kings and their former captain going forward, because Brown still has six more years left on his current contract — eight years worth a total of $47 million and an annual cap hit of $5.875 million.

A buyout? That, according to General Fanager, would come with a total cost of more than $21 million. And Lombardi has said he believes Brown can get his game back.

A trade? Brown turns 32 in November and his production has dropped significantly since the end of the 2011-12 season and Stanley Cup run, scoring 11 goals in each of the last two seasons and fewer than 30 points in each of the last four seasons (one of those was the lockout-shortened campaign).

“We had pretty candid conversations. From my perspective, I think they’ve tried to trade me and have been unable to come to a deal – whether that was last week, three months ago, five months ago, or a year ago, I couldn’t tell you,” said Brown, as per Mayor’s Manor.

So, what happens now?

Anze Kopitar is the Kings’ captain now.

Brown said he believed Kopitar would do well in that position, while putting the onus on himself to play better.

“My job is to be a better hockey player for my teammates,” Brown continued. “And, as a result, help this team win. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a business and I understand all of that. I think it’s my job just to come in ready to go in September.”

Poll: Who should be in the ’17 Hockey Hall of Fame Class

Teemu Selanne
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With the 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame class now officially revealed, Eric Lindros getting the call in his seventh year of eligibility, attention turns to who will get inducted in 2017.

As is the case just about every year, it’s sure to provide hardy debate.

Teemu Selanne will enter his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame next year and he could be a lock as a prolific scorer, with 684 career goals and 1,457 points, Olympic medalist and Stanley Cup champion. His 76 goals scored during his rookie season — back in 1992-1993 — is a record that may never be broken.

Mark Recchi has still not received a call into the Hall of Fame, despite being a three-time Stanley Cup champion for three different teams, with 577 goals and 1,533 points in 1,652 games. “I don’t know what more you need to do to be a Hall of Fame player,” said Rod Brind’Amour of Recchi.

Daniel Alfredsson will enter his first year of eligibility in 2017. He’s never won the Stanley Cup, spending 17 years with the Ottawa Senators before moving on to the Detroit Red Wings for one final season. But he is an Olympic champion, with 1,246 regular season games, 444 goals and 1,157 points.

Dave Andreychuk is now 52 years old. He captained the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup in 2004 — the second to last NHL season of his career, which lasted 23 seasons.

Now, have your say. Choose up to four players, the maximum number of NHLers for an annual Hockey Hall of Fame class. For write-in suggestions, put those in the comments section.

Justin Schultz headlines list of RFAs not extended qualifying offers

SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 12: Justin Schultz #4 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with the Stanley Cup after their 3-1 victory to win the Stanley Cup against the San Jose Sharks in Game Six of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center on June 12, 2016 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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After hoisting the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this month, Justin Schultz could soon be joining another NHL team.

The Penguins didn’t extend Schultz a qualifying offer Monday, which means he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Already facing a cap crunch, Pittsburgh, had it opted to give Schultz a qualifying offer, would have to match his entire $3.9 million salary from his one-year contract in 2015-16.

The Penguins acquired Schultz from Edmonton just prior to the trade deadline, with GM Jim Rutherford praising his offensive upside, while admitting Schultz needed work in the defensive end.

Schultz played in 15 playoff games for Pittsburgh, adding an assist in the Cup-clinching win. However, it was shortly after winning the championship that it appeared his price tag would be too much for the Penguins.

Related: The Penguins are playing Schultz to his strengths

More notables:

Joe Colborne

The Calgary Flames did not offer the 26-year-old Joe Colborne a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent. He hit career highs in goals (19) and points (44) — also with a career-high shooting percentage of 19 per cent.

He wrapped up a two-year deal, worth $1.275 million.

The Flames also didn’t qualify center Josh Jooris and goalie Joni Ortio.

Ortio split the 2015-16 season between the Flames and their AHL affiliate, the Stockton Heat. With Calgary, he had a 7-9-5 record with a .902 save percentage, and was waived to go down to the minors, where he also struggled.

In a bid to bolster their goaltending situation, the Flames acquired Brian Elliott from the St. Louis Blues at the draft.

Brett Connolly

Once the sixth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Brett Connolly didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Boston Bruins, after scoring nine goals and a single-season career high 25 points in 71 games with this season.

He was playing on a one-year, $1.025 million contract.


He struggled to produce offense even though he spent long stretches playing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand last season. Still, he was the sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft and the Bruins gave up two second-round picks to Tampa Bay for him less than two years ago, so the move is somewhat unexpected.

Landon Ferraro

Another interesting decision from the Bruins, who claimed Landon Ferraro off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings in November. The 24-year-old forward, on a one-year deal worth $600,000 for 2015-16, had five goals and 10 points — all with the Bruins as a member of their bottom-six group of forwards — this past season.

After getting claimed by Boston but before he played a game for that franchise, Bruins coach Claude Julien described Ferraro as a “reliable” player.

Linden Vey

Jim Benning, at his first draft as the Canucks general manager, used a second-round pick to acquire Linden Vey from the L.A. Kings, but the Canucks did not qualify him Monday.

That doesn’t come as much of a surprise, with Vey reportedly expecting the Canucks not to make him a qualifying offer.

The 24-year-old Vey scored four goals and 15 points in 41 games this past season, after he was recalled from AHL Utica.

Prior to the beginning of this past season, Vey was put on waivers and eventually sent down to the minors, before getting recalled. In his first season with the Canucks, he entered training camp and was immediately given first-unit power play duties. He ended up scoring 10 goals and 24 points that season.

Off the ice, however, Vey has been troubled by family turmoil. Last month, it was reported in The Province newspaper that Vey’s father, Curtis, was set to go to trail on charges of conspiracy to murder his wife.

Brandon Pirri

The Ducks acquired Brandon Pirri from the Florida Panthers at the trade deadline. A year removed from a 22-goal season in Florida, Pirri then had three goals and five points in nine games with the Ducks.

From the Orange County Register:

Pirri is arbitration eligible and with 14 combined goals with the Ducks and Panthers last season, he could get a bump up from his $975,000 salary and the Ducks appear to want that slot open for a cheaper, more multi-dimensional forward.

— Brandon Gormley

According to the Denver Post, the Colorado Avalanche didn’t tender a qualifying offer to 24-year-old defenseman Brandon Gormley, once a 13th overall pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2010.

He has been unable to turn that into an established position at the NHL level.

He struggled in Colorado, eventually getting put on waivers. He split time between the Avalanche and San Antonio Rampage in the minors.

According to the aforementioned report, the Avalanche also plan to buy out the contract of 36-year-old defenseman Brad Stuart.

Shaw signs six-year extension with Habs

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 23:  Andrew Shaw #65 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates his third period goal against the St. Louis Blues in Game Six of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 23, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Blues 6-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Andrew Shaw has agreed to terms on a six-year contract extension with the Montreal Canadiens, the team announced Monday.

The Habs acquired Shaw from the Chicago Blackhawks at the draft for a pair of second-round picks.

“As I mentioned last Friday following his acquisition, we are adding a solid character player to our team, a reliable player who plays with grit and a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks over the past five seasons,” said Habs GM Marc Bergevin in a statement.

The reported average annual value of the deal — which represents a substantial raise from the two-year, $4 million contract he just wrapped up in Chicago, where he had 34 points in 78 games this season — is interesting to note, because it was reported Shaw was seeking about $4.5 million annually.

That was prior to the draft.

Combined with the salary cap moving to only $73 million, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman knew moving Shaw was inevitable.

Related: Shaw laments leaving ‘second home’ in Chicago, but excited for Montreal