Finnish defenseman Anssi Salmela has made KHL history.
On Monday, Salmela scored the first-ever home goal for Kunlun Red Star, the new KHL team based out of Beijing in China, as he made a move around a falling forward at the blue line, walked into the middle of the ice and snapped a shot top corner.
Kunlun Red Star won the game 6-3, improving their record to 2-0 early in the season, while other teams in the conference have already played five, six and even seven games on their respective schedules.
For now, Paul Gaustad is technically on the free agent market. However, rather than signing a late-summer deal with a team or accepting a professional tryout, he may opt to call it a career.
According to a report in the Edmonton Journal, which listed off a number of veteran centers the Oilers may be interested in as training camp approaches, Gaustad is expected to announce his retirement in “a couple of weeks.”
Now 34 years of age, Gaustad spent the last four-plus seasons in Nashville. However, it was determined quickly after the Predators were eliminated from the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs that the veteran forward — as well as Eric Nystrom — would not be back.
With an annual $3.25 million cap hit from his now-expired four-year contract, Gaustad scored two goals and six points last season for Nashville. He reached the 10-goal mark, with 21 points, two years ago.
Gaustad, who began his NHL career in Buffalo during the 2002-03 season, has played in 727 regular season games, with 89 goals and 231 points. He also had 778 penalty minutes throughout his career.
After 16 seasons, Scott Gomez calls it a career
A documentary about the late Pavol Demitra, who played 847 NHL regular season games, will be shown during a festival in Vancouver next week, according to The Province newspaper.
It’s been almost five years since the tragic plane crash that killed the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team, including Demitra, on what IIHF president Rene Fasel called “…the darkest day in the history of our sport.” Wednesday, Sept. 7, marks five years since that crash.
Demitra, who was entering his second season in the KHL at the time, was 36 years old.
From The Province:
Pavol Demitra: 38 tracks his life, from his youth in Czechoslovakia, through his NHL career — including his stint with the Canucks between 2008 and 2010 — playing for his national team and for Lokomotiv, his final team.
The film features interviews with former teammates, like Peter Stastny, Jeremy Roenick, Keith Tkachuk, Zdeno Chara and Marian Hossa.
Demitra began his NHL career during the 1993-94 season with the Ottawa Senators. He went on to play for the St. Louis Blues, L.A. Kings, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks.
Former New Jersey Devils prospect Ben Johnson has been found guilty of sexual assault more than three years after he was first charged, according to the Windsor Star on Thursday.
From the Windsor Star:
Superior Court Justice Kirk Munroe has found former Windsor Spitfire Ben Johnson guilty of sexual assault.
Johnson, 22, is accused of raping a girl in the women’s washroom of Mynt, a now-defunct downtown nightclub, during a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in March 2013.
Johnson initially faced two counts of sexual assault from separate incidents dating back to March of 2013, while he was playing for the Windsor Spitfires in the Ontario Hockey League.
Shortly after the verdict was reported, the Devils released a statement saying the club has started the process of terminating Johnson’s contract with the team.
Johnson, now 22 years old, was selected in the third round, 90th overall, of the 2012 NHL Draft.
He hasn’t played a game for the NHL Devils, splitting the last two seasons between the Albany Devils in the American Hockey League and the Orlando Solar Bears and Adirondack Thunder in the East Coast Hockey League.
Zemgus Girgensons is under contract heading into the upcoming NHL season.
The Buffalo Sabres announced on Thursday that they have re-signed the 22-year-old center to a one-year deal. As per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, the deal is worth $1.15 million. Girgensons was selected 14th overall by the Sabres in the 2012 NHL Draft.
“Zemgus has grown into a solid two-way player since beginning his career,” said Sabres general manager Tim Murray in a statement.
“We hope to see him continue this positive trend and find a consistent role within the club this season as another young player to grow with our group.”
Last season, Girgensons, a restricted free agent this summer, saw his overall production drop. He scored seven goals and 18 points in 71 regular season games. The previous season, he scored 15 goals and 30 points in 61 games.
Sabres have a strong group of forwards — even without Jimmy Vesey