Jason Brough

INGLEWOOD, CA - 1990:  Basil McRae #17 of the Minnesota North Stars skates during a game against the Los Angeles Kings in the 1990-1991 NHL season at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Jackets name Basil McRae director of player personnel


The Columbus Blue Jackets have added some toughness to the front office, naming Basil McRae their director of player personnel.

From the press release:

McRae, who served as a scout for the Blue Jackets in 2013-14 and the St. Louis Blues for five seasons prior, rejoins the organization after spending the past two years as part-owner, alternate governor and general manager of the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights. Last season, the Knights captured OHL and Memorial Cup championships.

In addition to nearly two decades of scouting experience, McRae played 16 seasons in the NHL between 1981-96, registering 53 goals and 83 assists for 136 points with 2,453 penalty minutes in 576 games with the Quebec Nordiques, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota North Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks

On this slow day of NHL news, enjoy this old-time hockey montage from the 1987-88 season, featuring McRae (who racked up 378 PIM that season), Dave Semenko, and the late John Brophy…

Preds hoping Yannick Weber ‘can get his career back on track’

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 02: Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks makes a save against Yannick Weber #6 of the Vancouver Canucks at the United Center on April 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Canucks 3-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Yannick Weber was supposed to be a big part of the Vancouver Canucks in 2015-16. The Swiss defenseman was coming off an 11-goal season in 2014-15, and GM Jim Benning had talked him up as a dynamic threat on the back end.

But things didn’t go to plan, and that’s an understatement. Weber ended up with no goals in 45 games, he was a minus-17, and the Canucks let him become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Enter the Nashville Predators, who swooped in and signed him for one year and $575,000. The hope is that he can bounce back, that his puck-moving skills will be a good fit on one of the most talented blue lines in the league.

“He’s obviously disappointed with what happened last year,” GM David Poile told The Tennessean. “He didn’t have a good year in Vancouver. They didn’t try to re-sign him, and he basically comes in a low-end contract trying to prove himself.”

Assuming P.K. Subban will be on the Predators’ first-unit power play, Weber could potentially be on the second. Or, Weber and Subban could play together, with Subban using his agility and creativity to set up Weber’s big shot.

Of course, the Preds also have Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis to throw out there with the man advantage, so Weber will have to be sound defensively if he intends to be a regular in the lineup. It’s not like they’re desperate for his power-play prowess.

“I talked to a general manager over in Switzerland before we signed him,” said Poile, “and he said that Yannick could have taken the easy way out and come back and actually probably made more money in Europe, but he was bound and determined to get his career back on track and play well in the National Hockey League.”

Related: Preds continue to overhaul, buy out Jackman

Flyers sign T.J. Brennan to multi-year deal

VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 14:  T.J. Brennan #25 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates with the puck in NHL action against the Vancouver Canucks on March 14, 2015 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Offensive defenseman T.J. Brennan is changing teams again. He’s signed a multi-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers, the club announced today.

Brennan, 27, has amassed a ton of points in the AHL, but defensive deficiencies have limited him to just 53 NHL games (5G, 8A) with the Sabres, Panthers and Maple Leafs.

Last season, Brennan had 25 goals and 43 assists in 69 games for the Toronto Marlies. For that, he received his second Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s top defenseman. He also won it in 2013-14.

There had been talk Brennan might go to the KHL next season.

No financial terms of his deal with the Flyers have been reported.


Rangers re-sign Jensen, who’s feeling pretty good about his game

SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 16: Nicklas Jensen #46 of the Vancouver Canucks scores the game winning goal in the shootout against goaltender Roberto Luongo #1 the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on March 16, 2014 in Sunrise, Florida. Vancouver defeated the Panthers 4-3 in a shootout. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

After a solid half a season with AHL Hartford, Nicklas Jensen has been given a one-year contract extension by the New York Rangers.

Jensen, 23, had 15 goals and 10 assists in 41 games for the Wolf Pack in 2015-16. A former first-round draft pick of the Canucks, he showed occasional flashes with Vancouver but in January was traded to the Rangers for Emerson Etem. 

“The Vancouver organization treated me really well for several years and I had a lot of close friends that I had played with there, so when the trade happened at first that’s what I thought about the most,” Jensen told Blueshirts United. “Hockey-wise, though, this was a great opportunity and I was really happy to come to the New York Rangers organization. I thought it was time to get a fresh start somewhere else with all of the changes management-wise and coaching wise in Vancouver; and I thought it really worked out well for me in Hartford after the trade.”

Jensen is also coming off an impressive showing at the 2016 Worlds, where he had five goals in eight games for Denmark, plus this nifty shootout winner versus Latvia:

Related: Canucks re-sign Etem to one-year, $775K deal

Sens prospect Chabot gets the message after unimpressive development camp

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26:  Thomas Chabot poses for a portrait after being selected 18th overall by the Ottawa Senators during the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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One of the Ottawa Senators’ top prospects needs to up his intensity level if he’s going to crack the NHL roster next season.

Defenseman Thomas Chabot was drafted 18th overall in 2015. And according to assistant GM Randy Lee, the 19-year-old did not have a very impressive development camp.

“I thought Thomas should have been a bit more intense, I thought Thomas should have dominated,” Lee told the Ottawa Citizen.

Chabot played 64 games for QMJHL Saint John last season, piling up 66 points in the regular season and playoffs combined. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder the Sens have such high expectations, and aren’t afraid to say so.

It sounds like he got the message.

“I’m their first pick from last year, they expect a lot from me,” Chabot said. “I don’t think I did what they expected from me. They only have six defensemen signed, so, for sure, I want to work as hard as I can this summer to work for a spot (next season).”

Related:No doubt’ Sens want to add d-man via trade, free agency