Journeyman defenseman Nolan Yonkman is on his way to Finland.
Yonkman, who was in Flames training camp last year and spent the season with their AHL affiliate in Adirondack, has signed with SM-liiga team JYP, the club announced on Monday. Yonkman will head to Finland following a year in which he played 62 games for the Flames, scoring two goals and 12 points.
Picked 37th overall by Washington at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Yonkman has played for the Capitals, Coyotes, Panthers and, most recently Anaheim Ducks over a lengthy pro career. He’s primarily played in the American League — over 600 games to date — and this will mark the first time he’s played for a European outlet, having bounced around North America for the last 15 seasons.
The leading playoff scorer was back on the ice Friday, as Corey Perry returned to Anaheim Ducks practice after missing it on Tuesday and Thursday.
Perry, who leads all postseason skaters with 15 points through nine games, was shook up in the series-clinching Game 5 win over Calgary in Round 2, courtesy a collision with Flames forward Matt Stajan. Perry looked to be in serious discomfort on the play, but returned shortly afterward and went on to score the game-winner in OT.
There was some concern of a lingering ailment following the Stajan hit, but Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said he fully expects Perry to play in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, which will go at the Honda Center on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.
Two weeks ago, Blue Jackets president John Davidson revealed the club was ready to institute a captain for the first time since Rick Nash departed three years ago, adding the player had already been chosen.
Next week, we find out who it is.
In an email sent to ticketholders — later confirmed by the Columbus Dispatch — the Blue Jackets announced they’ll reveal the sixth captain in franchise history on Wednesday evening.
It’s expected that Nick Foligno will inherit the “C”. Earlier this month, the Dispatch suggested the 27-year-old is the favorite, especially after coming off a great campaign which he scored a career-best 73 points, signed a six-year, $33 million extension and was named a captain for the 2015 NHL All-Star Game — an event that Columbus hosted, and during which Foligno emerged as one of the faces of the franchise.
Others in the mix, according to the Dispatch, include Boone Jenner, Scott Hartnell, Brandon Dubinsky and Jack Johnson. Worth noting that Ryan Johansen wasn’t listed among the favorites.
Three of the oldest players on the Montreal roster are on their way out.
Manny Malhotra, Mike Weaver and Sergei Gonchar — the Habs’ elder statesman this year, at 41 — won’t be brought back for next season, GM Marc Bergevin confirmed during Friday’s end-of-season presser.
The moves don’t come as a huge surprise, given all were pending UFAs and none played in the playoffs. Malhotra had the biggest role on the team during the regular season, appearing in 58 games, and Gonchar did provide some offense on the back end, racking up 13 points in 45 games.
Weaver, a renowned shot-blocker that played regularly in last year’s run to the Eastern Conference Final, was largely a spare part this season and appeared in just 31 games, one of the lowest totals of his career.
It’ll be interesting to see what each player does next. The 34-year-old Malhotra, the youngest of the three, said he wants to keep playing; Weaver, who just turned 37, has played for six different teams over the last 13 years and always seems to find somewhere to sign. Gonchar could very well be done.
Finally, it’s worth noting that over $7 million comes off the books with Gonchar, Weaver and Malhotra leaving town. Important, because the club has said that re-signing pending UFA d-man Jeff Petry is a priority, and Petry isn’t going to come cheap.
The Detroit Red Wings are doing their part to honor the late Matthew Wuest.
Wuest, founder of the popular NHL salary website CapGeek, is the new namesake of the championship trophy at Detroit’s annual prospects tourney in Traverse City — the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup.
Wuest, who passed away in March following a battle with colon cancer, had strong ties to the Red Wings organization. In addition to his work with CapGeek, Wuest developed and maintained the now-defunct RedWingsCentral site, which played a key role in covering the early days of the Traverse City tournament.
RWC’s exclusive coverage of the NHL Prospect Tournament and Detroit Red Wings training camp were one of the most read sections of the site. With the help of an on-site contributor, Wuest provided statistical data on the participating teams and players along with exclusive box scores before the use of an online system was employed.
Without his early efforts, the tournament would not have accurate historical statistical data or a complete list of tournament winners, spanning back to the inaugural tournament in 1998.
This year will mark the 17th time the tournament has been played in Traverse City and is slated to feature teams from Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, New York and St. Louis.