Author: Mike Halford

University of Michigan v Minnesota

Leafs acquire Hobey Baker finalist Hyman from Florida


Interesting move from the Maple Leafs on Friday, as they acquired the rights to University of Michigan standout forward Zach Hyman from Florida in exchange for center Greg McKegg.

The Leafs will also receive conditional 7th round pick in 2017 from the Panthers.

Hyman, taken by Florida in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, led the Wolverines in scoring this year with 54 points in 37 games, and finished as a Hobey Baker finalist.

In April, news broke of his intention not to sign with the Panthers.

A Toronto native, it remains to be seen if Hyman will ink with the Maple Leafs or hold out for unrestricted free agency. An earlier report from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggested both Detroit and San Jose were interested in his services — which could explain why Toronto got a head start by acquiring Hyman’s rights — and it’ll be interesting to see if Toronto can now persuade the 23-year-old to sign.

Caps d-man Kundratek signs in KHL

Washington Capitals v New York Islanders

Washington blueliner Tomas Kundratek has signed with Latvian-based KHL club Dinamo Riga, the team announced on Friday.

Kundratek, 25, has appeared in 30 games for Washington over the last four years, though none in the last two — he’s been playing exclusively for the Caps’ AHL affiliate in Hershey, scoring 27 points in 55 games last year.

Originally selected by the Rangers in the third round of the 2008 draft, Kundratek was acquired by Washington in 2011 and was a semi-regular fixture during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, scoring seven points in 25 games.

From there, he was gradually bumped down the defensive depth chart — especially last summer, when the Caps inked d-men Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik to lengthy deals. Kundratek also suffered a torn ACL while playing for Hershey, an injury that stalled his progression.

Dallas parting ways with veteran center Horcoff

Shawn Horcoff

Shawn Horcoff’s time as a Dallas Star is over.

Horcoff, acquired via trade from Edmonton in the summer of 2013, won’t be given an extension and will head to free agency on July 1, Stars GM Jim Nill confirmed.

“I’ve known Shawn for some time, and I know he wants to have a big role in the team, and that probably wasn’t possible here,” Nill told the Dallas Morning-News. “We’re moving toward a younger lineup, and I know Shawn will find the right fit on another team.”

The 36-year-old — who just wrapped a six-year, $33 million deal — had something of a bounce-back campaign in Dallas this year, scoring 11 goals and 29 points (his highest since the ’11-12 season in Edmonton).

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of interest he garners on the open market; for the last six years, Horcoff’s always been tied to his onerous contract (and cap hit, at $5.5M per). He could, however, now be an inexpensive veteran pickup for a team looking for depth down the middle next season.