Author: Joe Yerdon

Jannik Hansen

Canucks sign Hansen to four-year, $10 million extension

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Jannik Hansen is cashing in with the Vancouver Canucks.

The team announced they’ve signed the Danish winger to a four-year extension. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the deal has a cap hit of $2.5 million, good for $10 million in all.

Hansen has been a steady player over his six seasons in Vancouver. Last year saw him break out a bit offensively putting up 27 points in 47 games including 10 goals. Two seasons ago saw him post career-highs in goals (16) and points (39).

He earned more time on ice and responsibilities last season, however, and is now one of their key players moving ahead. Now he’s set up to play alongside a healthy Ryan Kesler, his opportunities to contribute more offense will be there.

Curiously enough, his deal matches the one Vancouver signed Chris Higgins to back in April.

Leafs’ Liles headlines list of players on waivers

John-Michael Liles

Teams are in need of being down to their 23-man roster by tomorrow and that means today is loaded with players on waivers. 37 players to be exact.

Highlighting the list is Toronto defenseman John-Michael Liles. The Maple Leafs are in a cap crunch and would also like to get more of a look at rookie Morgan Rielly. His $3.875 million cap hit on a deal which he’s got three years left on made him a prime candidate to be waived. Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports says the Leafs have spent the past few days trying to trade him but to no avail.

Toronto also put blue liners Korbinian Holzer and T.J. Brennan on waivers as well as forwards Trevor Smith and Troy Bodie and goalie Drew McIntyre.

Other notable players on waivers include:

Cory Emmerton – Detroit: The Wings have 17 forwards in camp and are a bit over the salary cap. Waiving Emmerton only addresses the roster total as his cap hit is a paltry $533,000.

Jeff Schultz – Los Angeles: He lost out in his camp battle with Keaton Ellerby. He was bought out by the Washington Capitals this summer.

Alexander Sulzer – Buffalo: Rookie Rasmus Ristolainen making the Sabres roster squeezed him out of a job with the big club.

Adam Pardy – Winnipeg: He too may be here thanks to losing out in camp to a rookie. In this case it’s 2012 first-round pick Jacob Trouba.

If your team feels the need for a tough guy, there’s a few to choose from. New Jersey’s Cam Janssen, Colorado’s Guillaume Desbiens, Washington’s Joel Rechlicz, Anaheim’s Nolan Yonkman, and New York Islanders defenseman Joe Finley are all there for the picking.

Kreider highlights list of Rangers’ final cuts

Chris Kreider

A change of coaches hasn’t helped Chris Kreider’s status with the New York Rangers.

The former Boston College standout was one of seven players sent to the AHL as they get the roster cut down for opening day. Kreider had his struggles last season with former coach John Tortorella. Now with Alain Vigneault at the helm he had an opportunity to show the new boss what he had.

Apparently what he showed wasn’t good enough and fellow youngsters Jesper Fast and J.T. Miller are cracking the opening night roster instead.

Joining Kreider on the cut list are forwards Darroll Powe, Brandon Mashinter, Marek Hrivik, and Oscar Lindberg. Defensemen Stu Bickel and Connor Allen were also sent to AHL Hartford.

For Kreider he’ll need to get focused in the minors to get back to Manhattan. After arriving on the scene in a big way two playoffs ago, the talent is there, it just has to be harnessed.

Predators place Stalberg (shoulder) on IR

Viktor Stalberg

Things aren’t starting in Nashville the way Viktor Stalberg had hoped they would.

The Predators announced they’ve placed the 27-year-old speedy Swede on injured reserve thanks to the shoulder injury he suffered last week in training camp.

Stalberg was signed by the Preds this summer as, perhaps, their biggest free agent acquisition. They’re hoping he eventually slots in as one of, if not their top, scoring wingers.

The team also sent down three players (Marek Mazanec, Taylor Beck, Joe Piskula) to get their roster down to 23 for opening night. One surprising player that’s apparently sticking with the team is Swiss forward camp invitee Simon Moser.

Getting Stalberg back can only help an offensive attack that’s sure to see some struggles without him.

Tough cuts: Wild send Zucker and Dowell to Iowa

Jason Zucker

Competition to stick with the Minnesota Wild for opening night was fierce and one player the team is high on is now headed back to the AHL.

Jason Zucker and Jake Dowell were re-assigned to the Wild’s farm team in Iowa and as Michael Russo of The Star Tribune shares, it’s not meant to be a permanent move.

Again, as the Wild has said over and over this camp, in its mind, whoever didn’t make the opening-night roster simply won’t be in the lineup opening night vs. L.A. on Thursday. It’s not, “not making the team.”

Forwards Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, and Justin Fontaine all are sticking with the team for now. The curious name here is Fontaine as he doesn’t have the sort of offensive or overall upside Zucker does or the defensive abilities of Dowell.

What Fontaine does have going for him, however, is his career playing at Minnesota-Duluth during his college days. Can’t be bad for appearances to have a good local guy sticking around… right?

This won’t be the last we hear from Zucker, but Wild fans are likely not going to be too pleased at getting the season started like this.