Ryan Dadoun

Yannick Weber

Riley Nash, Yannick Weber among those without qualifying offers

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With the start of the free agent period less than 48 hours away, teams had to either present qualifying offers to their restricted free agents or allow them to enter the UFA market. While most RFAs will receive them, every year there are some noteworthy players that teams choose to concede the rights to.

This year Carolina Hurricanes forward Riley Nash and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Yannick Weber are among those that top that list.

Nash was taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. Rather than sign him though, Edmonton traded his rights to Carolina in 2010. Since then the 26-year-old forward has registered 22 goals and 37 assists in 178 contests, including 25 points in 68 games in 2014-15.

Hurricanes GM Ron Francis hasn’t ruled out the possibility of re-signing Nash despite the fact that he’s allowing Nash to enter the open market, per the Raleigh News & Observer’s Chip Alexander.

Weber, 26, is the veteran of 229 NHL contests. He had 11 goals and 21 points while averaging 17:11 minutes in 65 contests in 2014-15. Vancouver’s decision to give up its exclusive rights to Weber is eyebrow raising.

Similarly to the case with Nash though, Vancouver might still end up signing him. It sounds like the Canucks’ primary concern was what he might have gotten via arbitration, per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy. Still, Weber has been given control over his situation so Vancouver will have to see what he does with it.

Some other noteworthy players that will be allowed to test the open market include Colorado’s Jordan Caron, Columbus’ Dana Tyrell, Edmonton’s Keith Aulie, and Winnipeg’s Keaton Ellerby.

Vancouver signs Linden Vey to one-year extension

Linden Vey
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The Vancouver Canucks announced that they have signed Linden Vey. Although the team didn’t release the terms, it’s a one-year, $1 million deal, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Vey was eligible to become a restricted free agent after completing a one-year, two-way deal that was worth $735K at the NHL level.

The 23-year-old forward was taken in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings. After a few strong seasons in the minors and a promising 10-game showing with the Kings, he was shipped to Vancouver last summer in exchange for a second round selection.

With the Canucks he scored 10 goals and 24 points in 75 contests while averaging 13:10 minutes per game in 2014-15. He only dressed in one game during Vancouver’s 2015 playoff series against Calgary though.

Glendale ordered to make scheduled $3.75 million payment to Coyotes

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In the latest development in the ongoing dispute between the City of Glendale and the Arizona Coyotes over the arena lease agreement, Judge Dawn Bergin has sided with the team on the matter of the fourth quarter $3.75 million payment due Wednesday, per the Arizona Republic.

The city had filed a motion to withhold the payment.

Although the fact that the payment will go ahead is good news for the Coyotes, Bergin did increase the team’s required bond to $1 million from $250K.

The city voted to terminate the arena lease agreement, but it is still at least temporarily in place because the Coyotes were successful in obtaining a restraining order. With that in mind, the Coyotes were arguing that withholding the payment would have undermined that ruling.

Both sides expressed their satisfaction with Bergin’s decision with Glendale’s acting city manager Dick Bowers saying, “The judge’s ruling enforcing an increase in the bond payment is an assurance for our taxpayers that we’re looking out for their best interests.”

Your 2015 HHOF Class: Fedorov, Housley, Lidstrom, Pronger, Ruggiero

Detroit Red Wings v Philadelphia Flyers
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The Hockey Hall of Fame has announced that the class of 2015 will consist of Sergei Fedorov, Phil Housley, Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger, and Angela Ruggiero while Bill Hay and Peter Karmanos Jr. were selected for the builders category.

Even among company like that, Lidstrom stands out. He’s a seven-time Norris Trophy winner and four-time Stanley Cup champion. During his 1,564-game career with Detroit, the team never missed the playoffs and as a result he ranks second on the all-time postseason games played list with 263.

Of course, Lidstrom was a big contributor in the playoffs too, scoring 54 goals and 183 points while being leaned on heavily in terms of ice time. He captured the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2002 while logging 31:10 minutes per game.

The year before Lidstrom started his first run of three-straight Norris Trophy seasons from 2000-03, Chris Pronger captured the award as well as the Hart Trophy. He had 14 goals, 62 points, and a league-leading plus-52 rating in 79 games with St. Louis back in 1999-00. It was the only time Pronger won either award, but it was far from Pronger’s only impact season.

He surpassed the 40-point mark in 10 separate seasons and played a big role in Anaheim capturing the Stanley Cup in 2007. He enjoyed a 1,167-game career, but unfortunately his playing days ended in 2011 due to a concussion. Already locked into a contract that runs through 2016-17, Pronger had the dubious distinction of actually being involved in a trade mere days before he was officially included in the Hall of Fame class.

Housley is the final NHL defenseman included in the players category and unlike Pronger and Lidstrom, he wasn’t seen as a lock. Housley was great offensively, recording more than 80 points on three occasions and finishing his career with 338 goals and 1,232 points in 1,495 games. However, he never won the Norris Trophy or the Stanley Cup.

Fedorov is the only forward to make it this year. Over the course of his career, he won the Selke Trophy twice and captured the Hart Memorial Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award in 1993-94. He also won the Stanley Cup three times with Detroit.

During his career he surpassed the 100-point mark twice, recorded more than 50 goals once, and finished with 483 goals and 1,179 points in 1,248 career games.

Ruggiero is a four-time Olympian for Team USA. She won the bronze medal in 2006, silver in 2002 and 2010, and helped the United States capture the gold in 1998. She claimed an additional four gold medals on the World Championships stage over the course of her career. In 2005, she became the first woman to participate in a regular season contest in a professional United States league in a position other than goalie. More specifically, she aided the Central Hockey League’s Tulsa Oilers.

NHLPA reviewing Richards situation, determining course of action

Mike Richards
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The Los Angeles Kings decision to terminate the remainder of Mike Richards’ contract rather than buy it out may have sparked a battle between the league and union, but the NHLPA isn’t ready to commit to anything yet.

“We are in the process of reviewing the facts and circumstances of this matter and will discuss the situation with the player in order to determine the appropriate course of action,” the players’ association said in a statement, per the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott.

As previously noted Richards is now a free agent in the eyes of the NHL and the Kings are free of any buyout penalty. However, many expect the NHLPA to ultimately dispute that position. It can take months of even years for grievances to be settled, but an expedited hearing might lead to a resolution in a matter of days or weeks, per Bob McKenzie.

It’s also worth noting that even if it’s ruled that the Kings were allowed to terminate Richards’ contract, he might not be entirely off the books.

By contrast, a buyout would have cost the Kings roughly $14.7 million in total cap space over 10 seasons. At its peak, the Kings would have been saddled with a $4.2 million annual cap penalty for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns.