Author: Jason Brough

Detroit Red Wings v Edmonton Oilers

Wings expect Franzen (concussion) to play next year


The Detroit Red Wings are operating under the assumption that Johan Franzen will be fully healthy by the start of training camp.

“I’m told he’s working out every day,” GM Ken Holland told MLive yesterday. “The expectation is that over the course of the summer, he’s going to be healthy.

“I expect to see him in training camp. I expect to see him playing hockey next year. Until I hear otherwise, that’s how I’m going to proceed.”

Franzen missed the entire second half of this past season with a concussion, finishing 2014-15 with seven goals and 15 assists in 33 games.

Earlier this month, the 35-year-old winger said he was feeling better, but remained unsure if he’d be able to keep playing.

Franzen has suffered multiple concussions throughout his career. He remains under contract to the Wings through 2019-20.

Difference of opinion: Craig Button has Hanifin 12th on final draft rankings

Noah Hanifin

Did you know there are players besides Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel that will be drafted into the NHL next month?

It’s true. There are like…lots of them.

If you haven’t started learning their names yet, TSN’s Craig Button has compiled his top 100 draft-eligible prospects list.

Yes, McDavid is number one and Eichel is number two. Rounding out Button’s top 10 are Dylan Strome, Mitch Marner, Ivan Provorov, Kyle Connor, Zach Werenski, Timo Meier, Brock Boeser, and Lawson Crouse.

That’s eight forwards and two defensemen. (Four from the OHL, one from the WHL, one from the QMJHL, two from the USHL, and two from the NCAA.)

Of note, Button has Boston College d-man Noah Hanifin ranked 12th overall, as Button is “not yet convinced he will make an impact in the NHL worthy of investing such a high pick.”

NHL Central Scouting had Hanifin at No. 3 among North American Skaters in its final rankings.

Devils sign Russian forward Kalinin

Sergei Kalinin

The New Jersey Devils have signed forward Sergei Kalinin to an entry-level contract, the club announced today.

From the press release:

Kalinin, 24, spent the previous five seasons with Avangard Omsk (KHL). This past year, he set career highs across the board with 12 goals, 13 assists, 25 points, 49 penalty minutes and 58 games played, while serving as the club’s captain. The 6-3, 190-lb. forward has scored 31 goals and 38 assists for 69 points and 113 penalty minutes in 213 career KHL games.

It was reported last week that the Devils had offered Kalinin a contract.

The free-agent signing (Kalinin was not drafted by an NHL team) would seem to fit with new GM Ray Shero’s plans to bolster the Devils’ prospects group by means beyond the draft.

“There are only seven picks in the draft and you need to look at different areas to try to add to the competition level or depth, depending on the risk factors involved,” Shero told NJ Advance Media.

Video: NHL’s Stanley Cup promo asks: ‘What’s in a name?’

Colorado Avalanche v Detroit Red Wings

This is the NHL’s 2015 Stanley Cup Final national TV spot, which will debut Wednesday during Game 1.

From the press release:

Narrated by acclaimed actor and hockey fan Liev Schreiber, the spot reminds us that an individual’s name can come to represent much more than just the person. Uttering a name can prompt personal stories, awaken never-forgotten memories and trigger a wide range of emotions – excitement, happiness, passion, pride, inspiration, and even heartbreak.

A few of the other spots from past years:

The Ducks got Kesler for a game like Saturday’s


Yes, the Ducks have lost a Game 7 at home the last two seasons.

And yes, they have another Game 7 at home tomorrow versus the Chicago Blackhawks, with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line.

But for one simple reason, what happened the last two years doesn’t have much predictive value, according to Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin.

“The last two years, we were a different team,” Beauchemin said. “We were a younger team. We added some players last summer that have been making the difference all year long for our team. Like I said, it’s not going to be the same Ducks that played Game 7 the last two years.”

Anaheim’s major offseason addition was Ryan Kesler, acquired from Vancouver to give the Ducks the kind of one-two punch at center that the Los Angeles Kings — the team that eliminated Anaheim last year on its way to winning the Stanley Cup — boast with Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter.

“I think I can fit into this team and be a good No. 2 behind Ryan Getzlaf,” Kesler said in June. ”I’m going to Anaheim to win a championship.”

Adding to the optimism created by the Kesler acquisition, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau remarked: “I’ve never coached a team in the NHL that’s had a second-line center that you’re going to have with Ryan Kesler.”

And for adding Kesler, as well as all the other moves he made, Ducks GM Bob Murray was named a finalist for NHL GM of the year.

So yeah, quite a bit on the line tomorrow in Anaheim. This is exactly why the Ducks got Kesler, for a game like this. To prove that, this year, things are different.

“Our goal wasn’t to get to the conference final. Our goal was to get to the Stanley Cup Final,” said Beauchemin.

“We have a chance to do that in Game 7 here.”

Related: Kesler gives Ducks the Selke Trophy type that Cup champs usually have