Author: Ryan Dadoun

Jonas Siegenthaler

Siegenthaler signs entry-level contract with Caps

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The Washington Capitals announced that they have signed blueliner Jonas Siegenthaler to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Siegenthaler was selected by Washington with the 57th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He’s got size at 6-foot-3, 220-pounds and spent the 2014-15 campaign playing against men with Zurich of the Swiss League.

The 18-year-old had three assists and 39 penalty minutes in 41 contests with Zurich last season. Washington plans to have him attend its rookie camp and then loan him back so that he can play in Switzerland again in 2015-16.

Internationally he had four assists in seven games with Switzerland in the 2015 Under-18 World Championship and earned an All-Star selection.

TSN’s Craig Button believes Siegenthaler has the potential to be a defensive defenseman at the NHL level and listed Simon Despres as his comparable.

Schneider willing to be patient with transitioning Devils

Cory Schneider
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There’s a good chance that the New Jersey Devils won’t be very competitive over the next couple of seasons, so where does that leave 29-year-old goaltender Cory Schneider?

Certainly the Devils can come out of their rebuild while Schneider is still in his early 30s, but they are still running the risk of squandering the prime years of his career. It can’t be what Schneider was hoping for when he was first acquired in 2013 to be Martin Brodeur’s successor, but he’s willing to be patient.

“I’m really excited to step up here,” Schneider told NJ Advance Media. “We’re in transition somewhat, but (I’ll) hopefully be a calming presence and a veteran presence, even though I feel I’m a young 29. I hope to put my mark on a franchise and organization and hopefully carry them to a Stanley Cup one day.”

It helps that he’s got an eight-year, $42 million contract that kicks in this season, so he knows there’s a clear opportunity there for him to still be a big part of the Devils when they come out the other end of their rebuilding effort.

New Jersey will be going into the 2015-16 campaign with a young, but promising defense. For the Devils, the bigger question will be their offense, which has been near the bottom of the league for years and might require a meaningfully longer transitional period than the team’s blueline. That offense resulted in him finishing with a 26-31-9 record last season despite posting a 2.26 GAA and .925 save percentage.

From Jackets to Devils: Castron leaves one scouting director job for another

Ray Shero
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New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero’s restructuring of the New Jersey Devils continued on Friday as Paul Castron was brought on to serve as the team’s director of amateur scouting.

Castron will be replacing longtime scouting director David Conte, who the Devils parted ways with earlier this month.

It’s interesting to note that Castron was already serving as the director of scouting with the Columbus Blue Jackets, so at first glance this looks like a lateral move. However, Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen had brought on board Ville Siren to oversee the team’s amateur scouting and that hurt Castron’s level of authority, according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

“I would to thank Jarmo Kekalainen and the Columbus Blue Jackets for their cooperation in allowing Paul Castron to join the New Jersey Devils,” said Shero, per the team’s website. “Paul has an outstanding track record of evaluating and developing prospects for more than 20 years. We feel that he has the experience and leadership qualities to help us accomplish our player development goals.”

The Devils have been one of the least successful teams in recent years when it comes to drafting NHL talent while Columbus has been one of the best, as illustrated by this chart from TSN.ca’s Travis Yost.

One month later, Mike Richards’ future remains murky

Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers
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When will the other shoe drop?

It’s been a little over a month now since the Los Angeles Kings terminated Mike Richards’ contract for a “material breach.” Doing so avoided a costly buyout, but it also opened the door to the NHLPA potentially filing a grievance.

The NHLPA promptly released a statement that it was reviewing the situation and the next day a report emerged that Richards was allegedly involved in a border incident involving the prescription drug oxycodone.

Since then though the NHLPA hasn’t filed a grievance and Richards still hasn’t been charged with anything. So when will we know for certain what Richards’ status is?

Although it’s possible that nothing is imminent, there is a major deadline to consider. The NHLPA only had a 60-day window to file its grievance, so it must take action by Aug. 29 if it plans to do so at all, per TSN. From there the players’ union can request an expedited hearing, potentially opening the door to this matter being settled by training camp.

The union might be waiting in the hope that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will make its intentions known first though. Sgt. Bert Paquet confirmed that the investigation into Richards is still active. However, the RCMP’s deadline to file charges might lead to them making a decision after the NHLPA has to take a position.

“In a federal drug case, and I am not saying this is one, we usually have more than a year before courts say we can no longer prosecute,” Paquet said. “It depends on the actual charges in this case, if there are any. But we’re not worried about that, we have several more months before we’re at the point where that happens.”

If nothing else, the Kings will have a $1.33 million annual cap hit on their books next season due to Richards’ recapture penalty, but if Los Angeles has to buy him out under normal circumstances, that would result in fluctuating cap penalties that would total roughly $14.7 million over 10 years. At its peak, the Kings would be charged $4.2 million annually for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns.

Subban working out with former Olympian Ben Johnson

P.K. Subban
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In an effort to improve his speed and agility, Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban has enlisted the help of former Olympian Ben Johnson.

“We started working together three times a week, but we’ve gone down to two a week,” Johnson told TSN. “I don’t want to overload his muscles. He’s doing strength and acceleration and some agility. He’s going to be even better, even faster next year.”

Subban is coming off of a strong season where he recorded 60 points and averaged 26:12 minutes per contest. He finished third in Norris Trophy voting behind only Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson.

Subban declined to speak to TSN about his training and agent Don Meehan speculated that it was in an effort to protect Johnson from media scrutiny. Johnson won the gold medal for the men’s 100 meters in the 1988 Olympics, but lost the medal due to a positive steroids test. The International Amateur Athletics Federation banned him for life in 1993 following a positive test for excess testosterone. He was able to return in 1999 due to procedural errors only to once again fail a drug test.