Joe Yerdon

Lamoriello ‘hopeful’ to re-sign Henrique soon

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New Jersey signing Jaromir Jagr to a one-year deal isn’t the last piece of business they’ve got to take care of this summer.

Restricted free agent Adam Henrique needs a new deal still and GM Lou Lamoriello is trying hard to get it done as he tells Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice.

Lamoriello, asked about restricted free agent Adam Henrique, said there were no updates “at this point but we certainly are hopeful. We’ll do everything we can.”

That doesn’t exactly sound encouraging for New Jersey.

Henrique is the Devils’ only remaining RFA and he’s coming off of his entry-level deal, one that came with a cap hit of just over $850,000 per year. He’s coming off a season that saw him score 11 goals with five assists in 42 games.

His first full NHL season two years ago saw him score 51 points and become a playoff folk hero scoring the overtime goal to eliminate the Rangers in the Eastern Conference finals. He’s due for a raise, but the team and player are likely haggling over just how much that is.

Taylor Hall admits it’ll be tough to make Team Canada

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Edmonton’s Taylor Hall is one of 25 forwards gunning to be on Team Canada for the 2014 Olympic Games.

While he had an all-pro-like season this past year, he knows it won’t be easy to make the final roster as he tells Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal.

“It’s going to be very hard for me to make the team. I realize that. There’s a lot of guys on that list who are tremendous players,” Hall said

Taking a look at Team Canada’s invite list, if you went just by guys who played left wing (like Hall does) the competition is insane as it is. Rick Nash, Andrew Ladd, Milan Lucic, and Chris Kunitz stand out as it is.

That said, the one guy who had a better season than Hall was Kunitz and he had that Sidney Crosby guy on his line. Maybe he doesn’t have too much to worry about when it comes to making the team.

Undrafted Russian invitee impresses at Carolina prospect camp

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Carolina had a surprise standout at their prospect camp this week in the form of an undrafted Russian invitee from the OHL.

Forward Sergey Tolchinsky surprised many with his play and as Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports, Hurricanes management certainly took notice.

“He’s probably the biggest surprise or explosive guy this week who made people look at him,” Kirk Muller said. “He didn’t get drafted – let’s be honest, probably people said it was his size. There’s a good example of you look at him, you get to know him, he’s got a great attitude and is a fun-loving guy and he plays hard and he produces.

“He’s a guy that I would say that really made us turn our heads.”

As for his size, that could be an issue. At 5’8″ 164 pounds, he’s not at all big. Then again, sometimes you don’t need to be big to have success in the NHL. Just ask Tampa’s Martin St. Louis or Ottawa’s Cory Conacher about that.

Last year, his first season with the Soo Greyhounds, Tolchinsky showed he’s got game scoring 26 goals with 25 assists. He’ll have time to develop more and impress other teams should Carolina not move to sign him. At the very least, he’s left a great impression for an undrafted player.

(Photo: OHL Images)

Isles’ Regin agreed to sign with team from a taxi cab

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Players can be excited by free agency. Sometimes they’re so excited to sign in a new place they’ll make sure to do it from anywhere.

Such is the case for one of the newest Islanders Peter Regin.

Regin hails from Denmark and fellow countryman and best friend Frans Nielsen provided all the motivation he needed to want to sign on Long Island as a story on a Danish website shares. The gang at Lighthouse Hockey were kind enough to point out how quickly he wanted to get it done.

In the article, Regin is quoted discussing how he long had the Isles in his sights, so the decision when free agency opened was a quick one that he made while in a taxi cab on the way back from the golf course.

“Taxi! I need to sign with the Islanders, pronto!”

It’s a great anecdote but the part of this that would make it more like something out of a storybook would be if Regin can stay healthy and teams up with Nielsen to prove Denmark isn’t just about Hamlet.

After wild first season, Detroit’s Lashoff has ‘something to prove’

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ALBANY — Brian Lashoff had one of the more up-and-down seasons a young player can have. When the lockout ended there wasn’t much expectation he’d see time in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings.

While he was doing his part to hone his game in Grand Rapids of the AHL during the work stoppage, the call came early on in the NHL season when injuries hit in Detroit. In just the second game of the season, Lashoff was making his NHL debut against Columbus and scoring his first career goal.

After 31 games with Detroit, he closed his year out winning a Calder Cup with the Griffins. With a roller coaster season like that, Lashoff says the experience was huge for him and the rest of the young guys (Gustav Nyqvist, Tomas Tatar, Joakim Andersson, Danny DeKeyser) who split time between the two leagues.

“We went through a lot of adversity in the playoffs in Grand Rapids,” he said. “Whether it was a tornado in the middle of the Oklahoma City series or dropping a game or two, we always found a way to come back and it was good. It was fun to watch and be a part of. I think it’s going to be fun more than anything to go into next season with these guys.”

The only subtraction from last year’s defensive group is Carlo Colaiacovo due to a buyout and Lashoff knows competition to get a top-six spot will be tough. With seven guys going for it in a mostly young group, he’s got all the motivation he needs.

“I think you bring those guys in and it’s been really nice to be able to have that kind of confidence to go into training camp just the same way I’ve gone into training camp since I was 18. I’ve got something to prove and it doesn’t matter if I’m 18 or 23.

“I’ve got something to prove and I’ve got to go in with a chip on my shoulder and make that top six and that’s my only priority right now.”