Mike Halford

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Report: Nathan Gerbe to sign in Swiss League

The NHL’s smallest player could be headed overseas.

Per Swiss newspaper Le Matin, Nathan Gerbe is reportedly close to signing on with National League A side Geneve-Servette.

Gerbe, 28, has spent the last three years in Carolina. He scored three goals and seven points in just 47 games last year, missing extensive time with a high ankle sprain.

A talented offensive player — he’s recorded a pair of 16-goal seasons over his eight-year career — Gerbe’s diminutive 5-foot-5 frame is almost always mentioned, but hasn’t been much of a detriment. He’s appeared in nearly 400 NHL contests, and was Carolina’s nominee for the Masterton this season.

Gerbe just wrapped the last of a two-year, $3.5 million deal with the ‘Canes, one that carried a $1.75M average annual cap hit. He’s set to hit unrestricted free agency on July 1.

Avs re-sign power forward Martinsen — one year, $640,000

DENVER, CO - MARCH 09:  Andreas Martinsen #27 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates as he scores a goal against the Anaheim Ducks to take a 2-0 lead in the second period at Pepsi Center on March 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Colorado has re-upped with burly Norwegian winger Andreas Martinsen on a one-year contract, the club announced on Friday.

Per the Denver Post, the deal is for $640,000 and is of the one-way variety.

More, from the club:

Martinsen, 26, tallied 11 points (4g/7a) in 55 games for the Avalanche during his first NHL season in 2015-16. He finished fourth on the team and fifth among NHL rookies with 155 hits.

In fact, his 2.82 hits-per-game average led all NHL rookies (min 40 GP). Martinsen also skated in 10 games (1g/1a) for Colorado’s American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.

The Avs signed Martinsen last summer out of the German League, following a ’14-15 campaign in which he scored 18 goals and 41 points in 50 games.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder has also represented Norway at a number of international tournaments, including seven consecutive world championships.


Draft Day! Here are all of PHT’s prospect profiles

SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 06:  (L-R) Top Prospects Alexander Nylander, Patrik Laine, Matthew Tkachuk, Auston Matthews and Pierre-Luc Dubois pose prior media availability for the 2016 NHL Draft Top Prospects ahead of Game Four of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center on June 6, 2016 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Over the past week, we’ve been running a series — Get to know a draft pick — profiling 20 of the top prospects for this year’s entry draft.

And a you may know, we opted for something different this year, and brought in special guest analyst Ryan Kennedy, associate senior writer and prospect expert at The Hockey News.

Now we’ve got all 20 of those profiles in one place — below. Have a look and prep for tonight, when the 2016 NHL Entry Draft goes live from the First Niagara Center in Buffalo at 7 p.m. ET.

Get to know a draft pick:

Auston Matthews

Patrik Laine

Jesse Puljujarvi

Pierre-Luc Dubois

Matthew Tkachuk

Olli Juolevi

Alexander Nylander

Mikhail Sergachev

Logan Brown

Jakob Chychrun

Tyson Jost

Mikey McLeod

Clayton Keller

Max Jones

Julien Gauthier

Kieffer Bellows

Dante Fabbro

Charlie McAvoy

Riley Tufte

Carter Hart

Get to know a draft pick — Mikey McLeod

VANCOUVER, BC - JANUARY 28:  Pierre-Luc Dubois #18 of Team Orr looks on as Michael McLeod #9 of Team Cherry skates up ice with the puck during the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game January 28, 2016 at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
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Like we’ve done in the past, we’re profiling top prospects who may hear their names called in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

But this year, something new — we’re featuring special guest analysis from Ryan Kennedy, associate senior writer and prospect expert at The Hockey News.

Mikey McLeod (C)

Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 188 pounds Shoots: Right

Team: Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)

Country: Canada

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 2 North American goalie

Kennedy says: “There’s been a decent amount of shade thrown McLeod’s way of late, but I can’t help but dig deeper.

“Here’s a kid who came back from a significant knee injury late in the season to help his team push a very good Barrie squad in the playoffs. Then, he gutted through a Charley Horse at the world under-18s with Canada.

“So yeah, maybe his numbers dipped a bit. But overall, you have one of the fastest kids in the draft, who also has power, decent size and some sick hands – particularly on the rush. McLeod may fall out of the top-10, but he’s a prize.”

Click here for all the 2016 NHL Draft profiles.

Edmonton’s blueline search is on, and Chiarelli’s ‘listening to offers’ for No. 4 pick

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26: Peter Chiarelli of the Edmonton Oilers attends the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The Edmonton Oilers need a defenseman. A good defenseman. And a right-handed defenseman, ideally.

That’s what GM Peter Chiarelli laid out pretty clearly on Thursday, one day ahead of the NHL Draft in Buffalo — telling reporters his search for blueline help is officially on and, in a related development, he’s taking a lot of calls on the No. 4 overall pick.

“I am listening to offers for it, and I wouldn’t rule it out,” Chiarelli said, per the club. “I’ve had discussions that include that pick.”

Chiarelli stressed how much he wanted to add a righty to the blueline. Currently, the Oilers have just three — Mark Fayne, Adam Clendening, Eric Gryba — and all have somewhat uncertain futures. Fayne was a healthy scratch at times last year, and put on waivers. Clendening is an RFA, and Gryba goes unrestricted on July 1.

“I’m really leaning towards the right hand shot,” Chiarelli said, when asked about potential acquisitions. “I feel we need more of the righty-lefty in our group”

As such, Kevin Shattenkirk‘s name has come up. Again.

The Oilers have been tied to the St. Louis rearguard, as have the Bruins. Boston’s latest reported offer for Shattenkirk — a first-round pick — was apparently rebuffed, but it’s unclear what pick the B’s were dangling (they have No. 14 and 29).

Could the No. 4 pick persuade the Blues to part with Shattenkirk?

If not, there are other options out there.

“We’ve got D on our radar that are lefty that play the right side,” Chiarelli said, noting the Oilers already had such an individual in Oscar Klefbom.

If you’re wondering about notable lefties out there that play the right, Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin is one of them.

At this point, it’s only right (see what I did there) to mention there’s another defenseman in this conversation — P.K. Subban. The Montreal rearguard has reportedly been the subject of numerous trade calls over the last few days, which makes sense given his no-trade clause kicks in on July 1.

It’s tough to imagine or envision what sort of package Edmonton would have to put together to pry Subban out of Montreal, but you’d think the No. 4 overall pick would have to be included.

Even then, the Oilers just might not have enough.

“How many true No. 1 defensemen are there? Maybe there’s 12,” Chiarelli explained. “So to think that you’re going to get a No. 1 d-man — it’s tough.”