Jason Brough

St. Louis Blues v Los Angeles Kings
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Report: Russia acknowledges Voynov not eligible for World Cup

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The The Russian Ice Hockey Federation has reportedly given up on trying to get Slava Voynov into the World Cup.

According to TSN’s Gary Lawless, who cited an NHL source, the Russians now acknowledge that Voynov is ineligible to participate in the upcoming tournament. They have been offered the opportunity to replace him on their roster.

In late May, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made it clear that Voynov was still suspended by the league and, because of that, would not be allowed to play in the World Cup. But the Russians had argued that the NHL had no right to hold him out of the international tournament.

Voynov played last season for SKA Saint Petersburg in the KHL. He had nine assists in 28 games, including the playoffs.

Related: Voynov will leave Kings, return to Russia

Ledecky promises ‘no financial constraints’ for Islanders

UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 22:  (l-r) New York Islanders partners Scott Malkin, Charles Wang and Jon Ledecky pose for a photo opportunity during a press conference at Nassau Coliseum on October 22, 2014 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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If the New York Islanders need to spend money, then the New York Islanders will spend money. There “are no financial constraints” for the club.

That was the promise new majority owner Jon Ledecky made today.

“If we need to be a cap-max team to compete for Stanley Cup, we will be,” Ledecky said, per Peter Botte of the Daily News.

On July 1, Ledecky and Scott Malkin officially took control of the Islanders from Charles Wang.

The new owners have already committed big money to Andrew Ladd. But they’ll need to commit even more should they wish to re-sign John Tavares, who can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018. He’ll be eligible to sign an extension on July 1, 2017.

Ledecky also pledged that the Isles will remain in Brooklyn for the long term, saying that “Barclays is our home.” His intent was to address the speculation that the club might one day move back to Long Island. He said the focus going forward is on improving the fan experience, not finding a new place to play.

Wings re-sign Pulkkinen, have quite the surplus of forwards

Teemu Pulkkinen
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The Detroit Red Wings have re-signed winger Teemu Pulkkinen to a one-year contract worth a reported $812,500.

Injuries limited Pulkkinen to just 36 games (6G, 6A) in 2015-16. The 24-year-old had shoulder surgery in June and may not be ready for the start of next season.

But the signing of Pulkkinen gives the Wings yet another forward under contract for 2016-17. They already had 15, not including Johan Franzen and Joe Vitale, both of whom are expected to remain on long-term injured reserve.

GM Ken Holland said recently that he might try and turn his surplus of forwards into a defenseman via trade. The key will be if youngsters Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou are deemed NHL-ready come training camp.

“Part of this might be let’s get to September and see,” Holland told the Detroit News. “I’m hoping we’ve got 15, 16 NHL forwards and we’re positioned to do a deal.”

Related: The Ducks have too many defensemen

Penguins sign Schultz to one-year, $1.4 million deal

SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 12: Justin Schultz #4 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with the Stanley Cup after their 3-1 victory to win the Stanley Cup against the San Jose Sharks in Game Six of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center on June 12, 2016 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The Pittsburgh Penguins are bringing back Justin Schultz. They’ve signed the 26-year-old defenseman to a one-year, $1.4 million contract.

Schultz earned $3.9 million last season, so he’s taken a significant pay cut. He was briefly an unrestricted free agent after the Penguins chose not to extend him a qualifying offer in June.

But he’s found a good spot in Pittsburgh, after struggling under the weight of expectations in Edmonton. His new contract reflects a player who can do good things offensively, but still needs to be sheltered defensively.

“Justin’s a guy that, when we acquired him, we thought he could help us play the identity or the type of game that we want to play,” head coach Mike Sullivan said during the Penguins’ Stanley Cup run. “He’s a very good puck mover. He has good offensive instincts. He has good mobility. He can really shoot the puck. And so we’ve tried to put him in positions where he can play to those strengths, and he’s done a real good job for us. He doesn’t try to do too much. He plays within himself.”

Schultz played 15 playoff games for the Pens and had four assists.

Taylor Hall will wear No. 9 in New Jersey

EDMONTON, AB - APRIL 6:  Taylor Hall #4 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Vancouver Canucks on April 6, 2016 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The game was the final game the Oilers played at Rexall Place before moving to Rogers Place next season. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
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In Edmonton, he wore No. 4, the same number he wore in junior with the Windsor Spitfires, and all the way back to his days in minor hockey.

But Taylor Hall can’t wear No. 4 for the Devils, because that’s the number Scott Stevens wore, and it’s been retired.

So he’s chosen No. 9, another number with history in New Jersey. It’s the same number former captains Kirk Muller and Zach Parise wore.

“In choosing No. 9, I’m looking for a fresh start,” Hall told the club’s website. “There have been a lot of great players that have worn the No. 9 and I want to add to that list.”

In reality, it doesn’t really matter what number Hall wears, as long as he puts the puck in the net and the team has success. His main motivation is to prove that the Devils made the right move in trading for him, after all those losing years with the Oilers.

For the record, Hall couldn’t have worn No. 9 in Edmonton, because that’s Glenn Anderson’s old number, and the Oilers retired it in 2009.

Related: Hall excited about Henrique reunion in New Jersey