Joe Yerdon

Oilers name Andrew Ference captain


The impression defenseman Andrew Ference has already made on the Edmonton Oilers is apparently a big one.

Oilers coach Dallas Eakins, via Twitter, announced Ference as the 14th captain in franchise history.

At 34 years old, Ference is the second-oldest player on the roster (only former captain Ryan Smyth is older) and it’s his veteran status that helps make him a solid choice as team leader. Some thought perhaps it would be Taylor Hall’s time to don the “C” but that’ll have to wait.

Considering all Ference has already done in the community (charity work, November Project), he’s been doing captain-like things as it is. He was an alternate captain behind Zdeno Chara while with the Boston Bruins.

Video: Cogliano’s sliding, twirling, one-handed goal is worth watching


One thing Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano has always had going for him is his speed. Apparently he’s got a little bit of skill thrown into the mix as well as he demonstrated to the San Jose Sharks.

At 10:27 of the first period of the Ducks’ 6-5 loss to the Sharks, Cogliano came blitzing into the Sharks zone and turned Scott Hannan inside out with a spin-o-rama-like move before falling on his stomach and one-handing the puck past Antti Niemi. Sound unbelievable? Seeing is believing.

Sure, preseason games don’t count in the standings but can we make sure goal of the year candidates can be had from them?

Hurricanes and Canucks swap prospects and a pick


It won’t go down as a blockbuster, but the Carolina Hurricanes and Vancouver Canucks made a deal.

Carolina sends forwards Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh to Vancouver in exchange for forward Kellen Tochkin and a fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft.

The deal works out to be a way for Carolina to clear some salary. According to, the Hurricanes had less than $450,000 in cap space. Moving Welsh ($850,000) helps clear his money and Dalpe’s $550,000 hit is a virtual wash with Tochkin’s ($544,722).

For Vancouver, they add more skilled depth at forward if not with the big club then certainly with their AHL squad in Utica.

Maple Leafs deal Colborne to Flames for fourth-round pick


The Toronto Maple Leafs are figuring out how to cut down their roster, and they’ve made a trade to help that along.

The Leafs sent center Joe Colborne to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft. The pick can be upgraded to a third-round selection if certain conditions are met this season. Flames GM Jay Feaster had glowing words about his new player.

“As an organization we have had many discussions this past year about Joe, but never made an offer,” said Flames General Manager Jay Feaster. “With the opportunity to speak with Brian Burke and learn about Joe’s hockey sense and character from someone who had him as a player and knows him so well, it became clear to us that this is the type of young, big center we need. He fits in very well with our rebuild and provides size up the middle which we believe is critical going forward.”

With the Flames, Colborne will get the opportunity to jump right into things at center as that’s one of their big (many?) weaknesses. It was clear he wasn’t going to make Toronto’s roster and if they put him on waivers they likely would’ve lost him for nothing.

The obvious connection to make here is with new Flames director of hockey operations Brian Burke and Leafs GM Dave Nonis.

It was Burke as GM of the Leafs who acquired Colborne from the Boston Bruins in the Tomas Kaberle deal in 2011. Now he heads to his hometown of Calgary to be part of Burke’s team there as the two former co-workers teamed up to swing the deal.

Blackhawks send second line hopeful Pirri to AHL


It looks like Michal Handzus will be Chicago’s second line center to start the season.

After tonight’s final preseason game, the Blackhawks sent hopeful second line candidate Brandon Pirri along with winger Jeremy Morin and goalie Antti Raanta to AHL Rockford.

Much has been made of the competition through training camp for the right to play between Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa. Handzus was essentially auditioning to keep his job and fending off Chicago’s 2009 third-round pick in Pirri was his final battle. Second-year forward Brandon Saad was in the running early on before he was moved back to wing.

The demotions put Chicago’s roster at 24 players and one more cut to make. Expect a defenseman, either Ryan Stanton or Mike Kostka, to be the last to go. Chicago opens the season on Tuesday night at home against Washington at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.