Jason Brough

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Canucks sign Gagner, Burmistrov, Del Zotto, and Nilsson

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One year after giving Loui Eriksson a six-year, $36 million deal, the Vancouver Canucks went a different direction today, adding multiple players on relatively inexpensive, short-term contracts.

Forward Sam Gagner, after a 50-point season in Columbus, signed for three years and a cap hit of $3.15 million.

Forward Alexander Burmistrov, after splitting last season between Winnipeg and Arizona, signed for one year and $900,000.

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto, after three years in Philadelphia, signed for two years and a cap hit of $3 million.

Finally, goalie Anders Nilsson, after registering a .923 save percentage last season in Buffalo, signed for two years and a cap hit of $2.5 million.

Taken as a whole, today’s additions should give the Canucks some much-needed depth. And that’s something they badly lacked the past two years when injuries piled up, and so did the losses.

No, it’s probably not enough to make the Canucks a playoff team. But that’s not really the point anymore in Vancouver, where the focus has shifted more to the future.

The Canucks were able to be active today in part because Ryan Miller‘s $6 million cap hit came off the books. The veteran goalie is likely to sign in Anaheim.

Report: Jackets offer Ryan Murray as part of package to get Duchene

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The Blue Jackets have reportedly offered defenseman Ryan Murray as part of a package to get forward Matt Duchene out of Colorado.

Per Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the Jackets would also include another roster player, prospect, or draft pick.

It certainly makes sense that the two teams are talking. The Jackets are in win-now mode and could use a top center. Given they already have Zach Werenski, Seth Jones, Jack Johnson, and David Savard on the back end, Murray is somewhat expendable.

The Avs, meanwhile, are desperate to upgrade their defense. Though Murray has fallen short of expectations since being drafted second overall in 2012, he’s still fairly young at just 23 years old.

All that said, GM Joe Sakic has options beyond the Jackets’ offer. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Nashville Predators have also made an offer, and other teams are still calling.

Related: Duchene’s contract could complicate things for Avs

Devils could be favorites to land Shattenkirk

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They have the cap space, and they have the need.

The day before July 1, the New Jersey Devils might be the favorites to sign defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

When the market officially opens tomorrow, Shattenkirk, 28, will be the consensus best player available. All year long, most observers expected the New Rochelle, New York, native to sign with the Rangers.

But the Blueshirts may have other plans. Clearly, GM Jeff Gorton wants to get younger. He acquired 21-year-old Anthony DeAngelo in the Derek Stepan trade with Arizona, and DeAngelo’s game is a lot like Shattenkirk’s — albeit far less proven at the NHL level.

The Buffalo Sabres were another team linked to Shattenkirk. But the Sabres today got Marco Scandella from Minnesota. And besides, they’ve already got a right-shooting, power-play quarterback in Rasmus Ristolainen.

Which brings us back to New Jersey. The Devils had all sorts of trouble scoring goals last season, and that’s something Shattenkirk could help. By himself, Shattenkirk had eight power-play goals in 2016-17. Meanwhile, the Devils’ d-men combined for just two — one by Andy Greene, the other by John Moore.

The Devils also have plenty of room under the cap. They bought out Mike Cammalleri today, adding even more. They’ll need to spend money somewhere.

Where Shattenkirk ends up, we’ll have to wait and see for sure. The Tampa Bay Lightning could make a play for him. And the Bolts, unlike the Devils, could offer a legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup in the next year or two.

Just don’t be surprised if he picks New Jersey.

If it matters, Newark to New Rochelle is a one-hour drive.

Buyouts! Buyouts! Buyouts!

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A number of NHL players are on waivers today for the purposes of being bought out.

Let’s start with New Jersey winger Mike Cammalleri, who has two years left on his deal with a cap hit of $5 million. Buying him out will mean a cap hit of $1.67 million over the next four years. The 35-year-old had just 10 goals in 61 games last season, and the Devils are expected to be active tomorrow in free agency.

New Jersey will also buy out the final year of winger Devante Smith-Pelly’s contract.

Moving on to the Calgary Flames, who will buy out forward Lance Bouma and defenseman Ryan Murphy, the latter of whom was just acquired in a trade with Carolina. Bouma and Murphy each have just one year left on their contracts.

The others:

— The Bruins will buy out winger Jimmy Hayes, who has one year left on his contract.

— The Panthers will buy out forward Jussi Jokinen, who has one year left on his contract.

— The Jets will buy out defenseman Mark Stuart, who has one year left on his contract.

To see the cap hits for each buyout, CapFriendly’s Twitter account has it all.

Wild, Sabres pull off multi-player trade

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The Buffalo Sabres and Minnesota Wild have pulled off a multi-player swap. Defenseman Marco Scandella and forward Jason Pominville are headed to Buffalo, in return for forwards Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno, plus a fourth-round draft pick in 2018.

The trade was first reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Scandella, 27, has three years left on his contract with a cap hit of $4 million. He had four goals and nine assists in 71 games last season, averaging 18:20 of ice time. Compared to previous campaigns, it was not a great season for him.

But the Sabres badly need to upgrade their defense, and they also get Pominville, the 34-year-old winger who spent his prime years in Buffalo. Pominville has two years left on his deal with a cap hit of $5.6 million. He had 13 goals in 78 games last season.

As for the players headed to Minnesota, Foligno is a 25-year-old winger coming off a 13-goal season of his own. He’s also a restricted free agent.

Ennis, a first-round draft pick in 2008, is the bigger name. But the 27-year-old has had all sorts of trouble staying healthy. Last season, he had just five goals in 51 games. He’s signed for two more years at a cap hit of $4.6 million.

No salary was retained in the trade.