Author: Mike Halford

Colorado Avalanche v Nashville Predators

Coyotes sign recently acquired d-man Elliott

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Arizona has inked blueliner Stefan Elliott to a one-year, $650,000 deal, per General Fanager.

Elliott, 24, was acquired from Colorado last week for Brandon Gormley, a flip of two young defenseman that have yet to establish themselves at the NHL level. Elliott was the 49th overall pick in 2009, Gormley the 13th overall pick in 2010, but neither has appeared in more than 40 games in a single season.

With Arizona, Elliott should have a better shot at a bigger role.

The Coyotes are pretty thin on the back end, and young. Only Nicklas Grossmann and Zbynek Michalek are over 30, while the likes of 24-year-olds Klas Dahlbeck and Philip Samuelsson — both relatively untested at the NHL level — are projected to battle for spots.

It’s worth noting that Elliott is the last of all this year’s restricted free agents to sign a new contract.

Veteran NHLer Winchester calls it a career

Brad Winchester

Brad Winchester, who appeared in nearly 400 games over a seven-year career, announced his retirement on Thursday via Twitter.

Winchester, 34, had spent the last few seasons with a variety of organizations — Chicago, Minnesota, Anaheim, Edmonton — but played exclusively in the AHL, most recently with the Oilers’ affiliate in Oklahoma City.

That last stint with the Oilers was a homecoming of sorts, as Edmonton made Winchester the 35th overall pick in 2000 and gave him his NHL debut (he would later appear in 10 games during the Oilers’ Stanley Cup run of 2006.)

Winchester’s best years came with St. Louis, most notably the 2008-09 campaign in which he scored a career-high 13 goals and 21 points.

Ducks d-man Stoner charged with unlawful grizzly bear hunt

Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks - Game One

Two years ago, Clayton Stoner was in hot water after pictures of him hoisting the severed head of a grizzly bear appeared online.

Now, the water’s even hotter.

Stoner is facing five chargers under British Columbia’s Wildlife Act in relation to the hunt, per the Vancouver Sun.


The B.C.-born Stoner is charged with two counts of making a false statement to obtain a licence on May 22, 2013, as well as one count of hunting without a licence, one count of hunting wildlife out of season, and one count of unlawful possession of dead wildlife — the latter three offences allegedly taking place on May 28, 2013.

Stoner is scheduled to appear in Vancouver provincial court on Oct. 9.

The legal argument is that Stoner did not meet those conditions due to living out of the province as a professional hockey player. At the time of the hunt, Stoner played for the Minnesota Wild but joined Anaheim as a free agent in 2014. “All five charges are directly related to the residency requirement,” [conservation office Detective-Sergeant Cynthia] Mann said.

Shortly after the social-media firestorm occurred, Stoner released a statement through the Wild’s PR team to explain his side of the story.

“I grew up hunting and fishing in British Columbia and continue to enjoy spending time with my family outdoors,” he explained. “I applied for and received a grizzly bear hunting license through a British Columbia limited entry lottery last winter and shot a grizzly bear with my license while hunting with my father, uncle and a friend in May.

“I love to hunt and fish and will continue to do so with my family and friends in British Columbia.”

It’s believed about 100 bears are hunted and killed annually in the Great Bear Rainforest, a remote region in B.C. between Vancouver Island and Southeast Alaska.

Farewell, Carbomb: Carcillo announces retirement

Chicago Blackhawks v Philadelphia Flyers

After 429 games and 1233 penalty minutes, Dan Carcillo is calling it a career.

On Thursday, Carcillo announced his retirement from the NHL via the Players Tribune. The decision comes after a tumultuous ’14-15 campaign in which Carcillo’s close friend, ex-NHLer Steve Mondator, passed away; in the aftermath, Carcillo re-directed his focus on helping NHLers transition into retirement with his new endeavor, a charity called Chapter 5.

Carcillo, 30, walks away with a pretty colorful career. A two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Blackhawks, he’ll probably best be remembered for his numerous brushes with the league’s disciplinary office — Carcillo was suspended or fined 12 times in his first nine seasons in the league, which included a lengthy ban for physically engaging a linesman during the ’14 playoffs.

The later stages of Carbomb’s career did show a different side to him. He shot an emotional, well-received video segment for the Players’ Tribune following Montador’s passing, and been lauded for his initiatives with Chapter 5.

Martin Erat signs in KHL

Vancouver Canucks v Arizona Coyotes

With most NHL training camps getting underway today and tomorrow, veteran skaters that failed to land contracts or PTOs have decided to look overseas.

Like Martin Erat, for example.

Erat, who spent last year in Arizona, has signed on with KHL club Avangard Omsk, per the league website. The decision to head to Russia comes after the 34-year-old scored just nine goals in 79 games for the Coyotes last season, numbers that reflected Erat’s decline over the last few years.

A former mainstay in Nashville — he appeared in over 700 games for the Preds during an 11-year stint — Erat never seemed to find his comfort zone after leaving the Music City. The Czech winger was a three-time 20-goal scorer in Nashville but, after getting traded to Washington at the ’13 deadline, had real issues finding the back of the net.

All told, Erat scored just twice as a Capital, and finished with only 13 goals in 158 games following his trade from the Preds.

Related: Dany Heatley signs in German League