Author: Mike Halford

Lulea Hockey v Frolunda Gothenburg - Champions Hockey League Final

Report: ‘Hawks sign ex-Oilers draftee out of Swedish league


The Chicago Blackhawks have tapped into the European market.


Shortly after announcing KHL scoring sensation Artemi Panarin would be coming aboard, the ‘Hawks have reportedly agreed to terms with d-man Erik Gustafsson — a former Edmonton draftee that’s spent the last few years in the Swedish league.

News of the signing was also tweeted out by Octagon player agent Peter Wallen, who’s based out Sweden.

Gustafsson — not to be confused with ex-Flyer Erik Gustafsson — was the 93rd overall pick in 2012 but never played for the Oilers, spending the majority of his time with Djurgardens of the SHL before moving to Frolunda, where he’s played the last two seasons.

This year, Gustafsson scored 29 points in 55 games and another three in 12 playoff appearances.

Pens tell long-serving Adams he won’t be back next year

Carolina Hurricanes v Pittsburgh Penguins

Veteran forward Craig Adams, who’s spent the last seven seasons in Pittsburgh, has reportedly been told by GM Jim Rutherford that he won’t be brought back for the 2015-16 campaign, per the Post-Gazette.

The news was also tweeted out by Adams’ agent, Neil Sheehy.

Adams, 38, was plucked off waivers by Pittsburgh in 2009 and went onto achieve a pretty high level of success for a wire claim, scoring five points in 24 games to help the Pens win the Stanley Cup that year. From there, he went on to appear in nearly 500 regular season contests for the club and served as the team’s player representative in a number of union matters.

A Harvard grad, Adams was slowly phased out of the Pens’ rotation this year and didn’t participate in any of the club’s opening-round playoff series loss to the Rangers.

Blues have ‘no answer’ about re-signing Jackman

Barret Jackman

Barret Jackman wants to keep playing hockey, and wants to do it in St. Louis.

That much is known.

What isn’t known, though, is if the Blues want to bring back their current longest-tenured player, who sits No. 2 among the franchise leaders in games played.

“We’ve got to look at the cap and we’ve got to look at the role that he wants on the team,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said of Jackman, per the Post-Dispatch. “Then I’ve got to find out the role the team has for him.

“So there’s no answer to that right now.”

Jackman, 34, is in the last of a three-year, $9.5 million deal with St. Louis, where he has has spent his entire 14-year career. Though he’s never blossomed into the star many projected upon winning the Calder in 2003, Jackman’s had a very solid run as a durable, physical and shutdown defenseman that blocks plenty of shots (finishing second on the team this year.)

He also knows he wants to keep playing not just next year, but beyond.

“I have lots left in me,” he said. “I don’t know, four-five years, year-to-year. The body’s the best it’s felt in years. I’ll continue to keep playing.”

The issue, of course, is that the Blues have big money already tied up in their defense with the Jay Bouwmeester, Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk contracts. There are cheaper options for bottom-pairing guys, and the club will need to free up some money this summer to ink Vladimir Tarasenko to an extension.

Jackman knows all this, and the reality of his situation.

“I don’t think my play’s dropped off year after year,” he explained. |I still feel like I help the team. With the cap issues and things like that.

“It’s going to be up to (Blues general manager Doug Armstrong) and coaches to see if I fit in.”