Jason Brough

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 03:  Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 3, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Oilers shutout the Flyers 4-0.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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McDavid becomes youngest captain in NHL history

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At just 19 years old (plus 266 days), Connor McDavid was today named the captain of the Edmonton Oilers.

McDavid becomes the 15th captain in franchise history, and the youngest captain in NHL history (narrowly edging out Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog, who was 19 plus 286 days).

Andrew Ference was the last Oiler to wear the ‘C’, but he relinquished the role a year ago.

Other former Oilers captains include Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Kevin Lowe, Craig MacTavish and Doug Weight.

Edmonton’s alternate captains will be Milan Lucic, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Related: Talbot thinks McDavid is ready to be Oilers’ captain

 

With two-year contract extension, Coyotes expect Domingue to ‘take that next step’

Arizona Coyotes' Louis Domingue waves to the crowd after the Coyotes' NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. Domingue earned his first NHL shutout as the Coyotes won 1-0. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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When all was said and done, the Arizona Coyotes didn’t get very good goaltending last season. They finished with a team save percentage of just .904, one of the lowest rates in the league.

That being said, they did get one very good stretch in December and January from Louis Domingue, and for that he was given a two-year, $2.1 million contract extension.

Now Domingue, 24, is out to prove he’s for real.

“Being a 24-year-old goalie in this league is an honor,” Domingue told the Arizona Republic. “Not every goalie gets up here this fast. I’m taking it one day at a time, and it happened to me. Putting in the work and not looking too far ahead, it worked out. I’m here now, so I’m going to keep pushing the same way.”

The Coyotes still have Mike Smith under contract for three more years. As former GM Don Maloney put it, they’re “married” to him, at a cap hit of $5.7 million to boot.

Smith, 34, went 15-13-2 with a .916 save percentage last season, and he actually played very well after returning in mid-March from abdominal surgery.

So it should be an interesting battle for playing time between the young netminder and the veteran.

“He’s been solid,” GM John Chayka said of Domingue. “It looked like he had a good summer and came in in good shape. … I expect him to take that next step. Louis’ got the talent to do it. It’s now doing it.”

Hurricane Matthew forces cancellation of Panthers-Lightning preseason game

CARIBBEAN SEA - OCTOBER 3: In this NOAA handout image, taken by the GOES satellite at 1315 UTC shows Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean Sea heading towards Jamacia, Haiti and Cuba on October 3, 2016. Matthew is a strong Category 4 hurricane, in the central Caribbean Sea and is poised to deliver a potentially catastrophic strike on Haiti.  (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
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Hurricane Matthew, which is expected to hit Florida Thursday or Friday, has forced the cancellation of tomorrow’s preseason game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers in Sunrise.

The cancellation, which was expected, was confirmed today by TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

From the Miami Herald:

The Panthers could leave for their previously scheduled weekend trip to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, a little earlier than scheduled.

Florida plays the New Jersey Devils at West Point in its preseason finale on Saturday night.

As for the storm, here’s the latest from NBC News:

Thousands of Americans were headed for higher ground Wednesday as deadly Hurricane Matthew crawled across the Caribbean and toward the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

The storm is likely to bring high winds, heavy rain and storm surges to Florida on Thursday, before crawling its way up the coast toward Georgia and the Carolinas by Friday or Saturday. 

Minnesota sends Tuch to AHL, while Eriksson Ek remains

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26:  Joel Eriksson Ek poses after being selected 20th overall by the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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It was always going to be tough for Alex Tuch to make the Minnesota Wild out of training camp. The team already had four NHL veterans at right wing — Charlie Coyle, Jason Zucker, Jason Pominville, and Chris Stewart — while Tuch is only 20 years old and has yet to play a single regular-season game as a professional.

So today’s news that Tuch, the former Boston College star, has been assigned to AHL Iowa should come as no real surprise. The Wild also sent Jordan Schroeder, Kurtis Gabriel and Hunter Warner down to the farm.

Related: Alex Tuch is looking to make the leap

While Tuch was sent down, another of the Wild’s top prospects, forward Joel Eriksson Ek, remained. The 19-year-old Swede was a first-round draft pick in 2015, and it sounds like he has a good chance to start the season in the NHL.

Eriksson Ek, a center, outlasted 23-year-old center Tyler Graovac, who today was placed on waivers. (Presumably Graovac will be assigned to the AHL should he clear.)

Suffice to say, Eriksson Ek is a very important prospect for a team whose top two centers, Eric Staal and Mikko Koivu, are on the tail ends of their careers.

According to the Star Tribune, if Eriksson Ek doesn’t stick with the Wild, he could return to Sweden for another season with Färjestad.

Ottawa releases Bartkowski from PTO

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 10: Matt Bartkowski #44 of the Vancouver Canucks skates during the pre-game warm up prior to NHL action against the Calgary Flames on October 10, 2015 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
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The Ottawa Senators have released former Bruins and Canucks defenseman Matt Bartkowski from his professional tryout.

Bartkowski, 28, took the audition with the Sens after failing to turn his one year with Vancouver into a guaranteed contract anywhere. He played 80 games last season and had six goals and 12 assists, but the Canucks chose to let him walk.

The Sens still have eight defenseman on their training camp roster. That includes 19-year-old Thomas Chabot, the 18th overall draft pick in 2015 who has yet to play an NHL game. It also includes 23-year-old Fredrik Claesson, who only made his NHL debut in December.

A few weeks ago, it was reported that the Sens had “kicked tires” on free agents Dennis Seidenberg and Kris Russell. Seidenberg has since signed with the Isles, while Russell remains unsigned.