Mike Halford

Frank Corrado

Leafs claim Corrado from Canucks, waive Panik

8 Comments

The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.

Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.

With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.

Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.

In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.

Wild waive Schroeder and cut Reilly, Graovac makes team

Connor McDavid, Mike Reilly
6 Comments

Busy day in Minnesota, as the Wild made a series of moves to get to their 23-man roster.

Perhaps the most prominent move was the demotion of young defenseman Mike Reilly.

Reilly, the prized University of Minnesota product, made headlines this summer after balking on signing with his draft team, Columbus, to join his hometown Wild.

The 22-year-old failed to leapfrog any of the club’s veterans in training camp, however, and Minnesota will now open with a top-six defense comprised of Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin, Mathew Dumba, Marco Scandella and Christian Folin.

Journeyman Nate Prosser will serve as the club’s seventh d-man.

Up front, good news for former seventh-round pick Tyler Graovac — he’s won the club’s third-line center job, thanks to a roster spot created after Jordan Schroeder was waived and Justin Fontaine was placed on IR.

Graovac, 22, has spent the majority of his pro career with AHL Iowa and impressed in ’14-15, scoring 21 goals and 46 points in 73 games.

At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, he’ll add some size to the Wild lineup.

Teuvo time: Teravainen to open with Toews, Hossa

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
7 Comments

Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.

Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.

Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.

The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.

It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.

Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.

That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.

“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”

‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster

Brian Elliott, Mattias Janmark-Nylen
1 Comment

Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.

“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.

“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”

Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.

As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.

He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.

His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.

Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.

Crowded crease: Flames to carry three goalies, Ramo starts opening night

Dallas Stars v Calgary Flames

Several teams around the NHL have been keeping an eye on what Calgary will do with its three-headed goalie monster.

Sounds like they’ll have to keep watching.

The Flames are planning to keep all of their netminders — Karri Ramo, Jonas Hiller and Joni Ortio — to open the year, per the Calgary Sun.

The Flames also announced that Ramo will be the opening-night starter when they take on the Canucks Wednesday, with Hiller his backup and Ortio a healthy scratch.

It’s pretty clear nobody’s happy with the current situation.

“The only good thing about three goalies is that it’s giving you another subject of conversation,” Hartley said, per NHL.com. “That’s about the only good thing that comes out of it. At the same time, it’s our situation. we’re going to work with it and see what will happen.”

Hiller, who was involved in a three-man goalie situation in Anaheim, knows that it can be an uncomfortable situation.

“Three ways, I think it always gets a little difficult in practice and stuff,” he said, per the Sun. “I have no clue what the plan is, but we’ll make it work and try to get the guy who plays the best chance that he can be successful playing, and see that the other two guys can stay in shape and be ready if they get a chance.”

Calgary was backstopped by the Ramo-Hiller tandem last year, and fared well — well enough that Ramo was brought back on a one-year, $3.8 million deal on the opening day of free agency.

Hiller is also now on a one-year contract — in the last of a deal that pays $4.5 million annually — and Ortio, thought by some to be the organization’s goalie of the future, would need to pass through waivers before heading to the club’s AHL affiliate in Stockton.

And that’s why the Flames have three goalies.