<span class="vcard">Jason Brough</span>

Neely was ‘surprised’ that Hamilton didn’t want to sign with Bruins

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Yesterday, Dougie Hamilton didn’t want to talk about his reasons for wanting out of Boston.

“For me, I’m just going to keep on saying how excited I am to be a Flame and looking forward to the future and everything,” he said. “What’s in the past is in the past and I think I’m just looking forward to being a Flame to moving to Calgary and seeing the city and the fans.”

But it’s clear he no longer wanted to be a Bruin.

It’s been speculated that the 22-year-old defenseman didn’t get along with coach Claude Julien. There was also talk at the draft in Florida that he felt bullied by Boston’s veteran players. And that may mesh with the report that Hamilton wasn’t the most popular figure in the Bruins’ room.

The whole thing is somewhat reminiscent of Evander Kane’s departure from Winnipeg, minus the clothes in the shower.

Whatever led to Hamilton’s unwillingness to sign long-term with the Bruins, it took club president Cam Neely by surprise.

“I really didn’t get any indications of anything negative in exit meetings,” Neely told the Boston Globe. “So I was surprised.”

Neely told the newspaper that the Bruins made three separate offers — one for four years, another for five, and a third for six. The salary, according to Neely, was not far off what Hamilton agreed to be paid in Calgary.

“We wanted Dougie,” Neely said.

But he didn’t want them.

Related: Sweeney explains Hamilton trade: ‘We extended Dougie a very significant contract offer’

Ribeiro re-signs with Preds — two years, $7 million

Winnipeg Jets vs Nashville Predators
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From TSN’s Aaron Ward:

After being bought out by Arizona, Ribeiro bounced back with a productive “last chance” season for the Preds. The 35-year-old had 15 goals and 47 assists while playing mostly on a top line with Filip Forsberg and James Neal.

The Preds wanted Ribeiro back, despite the civil lawsuit filed by his former nanny, who claims that he sexually assaulted her in 2012.

“Last year before we signed Mike, we talked to he and his family a lot about his past and I guess you could say his plan and his commitment for moving forward for both on and off the ice,” GM David Poile said. “As it turned out, I think Mike was a good teammate and he was a productive player. I don’t think anybody would argue with that. I think he was great among his teammates, and his wife and he were excellent in the community.”

Hockey wise, the Preds may be in tough to win a Stanley Cup with a pair of 35-year-olds, Ribeiro and Mike Fisher, as their top centers. But Ribeiro and Fisher are only signed through 2016-17, so there’s flexibility to improve at the position.

Dano ‘an exciting player’ for Blackhawks

Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders
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Assuming Artem Anisimov can stay healthy, the 27-year-old should make a fine replacement for Brad Richards at the second-line center spot in Chicago.

It’s the other player that came to the Blackhawks in yesterday’s surprising Brandon Saad trade that’s a bit of a wildcard.

Forward Marko Dano is only 20 years old. The 27th overall pick in 2013, he has just 35 NHL games, with eight goals, to his name.

“He’s an exciting player,” Chicago GM Stan Bowman said, per NHL.com. “He came on to the scene with Columbus last year with maybe not a lot of fanfare, but I think he impressed people. He certainly impressed our scouts with his all-around game. I think when you look at the potential for [Anisimov and Dano] for years to come, we’re very excited to have a [center] and a winger. Those are the main points of the trade.”

Dano, playing on a line with Alexander Wennberg and Scott Hartnell, finished 2014-15 with 15 points in the Jackets’ final 18 games.

“He’s playing big, playing strong, physical in the corners and physical in the battles,” coach Todd Richards said in March, per FOX Sports Ohio. “There’s a lot of skill and ability in him.”

Sure, the Blackhawks would’ve preferred to keep Saad “for years to come.” But the salary cap forced Bowman to make a tough decision, in the pursuit of flexibility.

“We’ve got a lot of options we can pursue now,” the GM said. “It’s too early to tell what we’re going to do, but I would say everything is a possibility going forward.”

Related: Brandon Saad is ‘just out for a Sunday stroll,’ scoring big goal after big goal

NHL, Coyotes deny report that team is moving to Vegas

Las Vegas Arena Construction Site Tour
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From the New York Post:

Sin City is getting hockey, two sources close to the situation told The Post.

The NHL is arranging the sale of the Arizona Coyotes to billionaire William Foley who will move the team to Las Vegas giving it its first major professional franchise, one source said.

Foley will move them for the 2016-17 season, the source said.

Both the Coyotes and the NHL are vehemently denying the story:

But this isn’t the first time this scenario has been reported. In October, before the City of Glendale voted to cancel the Coyotes’ lease, the Post cited a source that said the club could move to Vegas, as new owner Andrew Barroway saw “flipping the team as a good investment.”

Stafford ‘closing in’ on deal with Jets (Update: two years, $8.7 million)

Anaheim Ducks v Winnipeg Jets - Game Three
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Drew Stafford is “closing in on a deal to remain a Winnipeg Jet,” according to his agent, Scott Bartlett.

Bartlett tweeted the update out this afternoon.

We wrote about Stafford’s pending UFA status here.

It was reported earlier this month that Stafford and the Jets were working on an extension.

The 29-year-old winger was traded from Buffalo to Winnipeg in February and proceeded, according to Jets coach Paul Maurice, to make a “huge impact” with his new team.

Update:

Club press release here.