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Report: Sens tried to get Methot back from Vegas

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The Ottawa Senators did their best to make sure they didn’t lose Marc Methot in the expansion draft.

They attempted to get Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-move clause so they could keep Methot, but that didn’t work out.

On Monday, TSN hockey analyst Pierre LeBrun reported that the Golden Knights and Senators had been talking about a potential trade back to Ottawa.

In the end, Vegas GM George McPhee preferred to ship him to Dallas for 2017 seventh-rounder Dylan Ferguson and a second-round pick in 2020.

According to beat reporter Bruce Garrioch, Vegas’ asking price to allow the Sens to protect Methot before expansion was a 2018 first-round pick.

Methot has averaged at least 19:49 of ice time during his five seasons in Ottawa.

In the end, all this means is that the Senators will need to find someone else to play on the top pairing with Erik Karlsson next season.

During training camp, Ottawa put top prospect Thomas Chabot with Karlsson. They opted to send Chabot back to junior, but that could be an interesting combination if they think he’s ready to be a regular in the NHL.

Motzko to defend gold as U.S. World Juniors coach

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

That was the message from USA Hockey on Friday, in announcing that Bob Motzko would return as head coach of the U.S. World Junior team in 2018.

Motzko, the head coach at St. Cloud State, comes back for another kick at the can after winning it all last year, capping things off with a thrilling shootout victory over Canada in the gold medal final.

It was the United States’ first tournament win in four years.

“It’s terrific to have this staff return with Bob at the helm,” USA Hockey’s Jim Johannson said, in a release. “We’re looking forward to having the tournament on our home soil and it will be a real benefit to have an experienced coaching staff lead us in our quest to repeat last year’s gold-medal performance.”

Behind the bench, Motzko will be joined by the entire 2017 U.S. coaching staff in assistant coaches Greg Brown, Grant Potulny, Kris Mayotte and Steve Miller.

The ’18 Juniors begin on Dec. 26 in Buffalo, NY. This year’s tournament will be extra special, as the U.S. and Canada will play an outdoor game on Dec. 29 from New Era Field.

UMass-Lowell junior Smith leaves school, signs with Buffalo

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C.J. Smith, the UMass-Lowell forward that finished eighth in the country in goalscoring (23) this year, has signed a two-year, entry-level deal with the Sabres, the club announced on Thursday.

Smith, 22, is coming off an impressive 51-point junior campaign for the River Hawks, which he punctuated with MVP honors in the Hockey East tournament.

According to the Buffalo News, Smith will get a crack at some NHL action this year and suit up in the Sabres’ final five games of the season.

It’s been a busy 48 hours of departures for UMass-Lowell. Walter Brown Award winner Joseph Gambardella, a senior that served as alternate captain this year, inked with Edmonton yesterday while defenseman Michael Kapla signed with the Devils.

Habs sign d-man Mete, who ‘does everything’ for junior team

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Victor Mete, Montreal’s fourth-round pick at last year’s draft, has signed his three-year, entry-level deal, the club announced on Monday.

Mete, 18, is in his third year with OHL powerhouse London, and finished this season with 15 goals and 44 points in 50 games. He’s developed a reputation as a terrific skater, and often plays alongside fellow Knights d-man Olli Juolevi, who the Canucks took fifth overall at last year’s draft.

London assistant coach Dylan Hunter had high praise for Mete this season.

“When it comes to little nuances of his game, stick on puck, knowing when to make a play and when there isn’t a play to just get it out, he’s one of the best there is right now,” Hunter said, per the London Free Press.

“He does everything for us.”

Mete has one year of junior eligibility remaining, so it’s likely he’ll be back in London next season. At 5-foot-10 and just 180 pounds, he’s undersized and could use another year of development before turning pro.

 

Flames sign goalie prospect, U.S. world junior champion Tyler Parsons to entry-level deal

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Busy day for the Calgary Flames.

Micheal Ferland is out of the lineup tonight and now under observation for mumps. Curtis Lazar, acquired at the deadline, could make his debut. And the organization got some work done, signing prospect goalie Tyler Parsons to a three-year entry level contract.

The Flames selected Parsons in the second round, 54th overall, of last year’s NHL Draft. This year marks his third season with the OHL’s London Knights.

He currently has a .924 save percentage, which is a regular season career high for him with the Knights, who currently have a record of 46-15-3-4 and have qualified for the post-season.

Familiar territory for Parsons and the Knights. Last year, he backstopped a talented London team to a Memorial Cup title, with a .925 save percentage in the playoffs.

Parsons was also the gold-medal winning goalie for Team USA at this year’s world junior tournament, stopping all five shots he faced in the deciding shootout to best Canada in the finale and posting a .917 save percentage in five games during the competition.

“I love the pressure. I’ve played in a lot of high-pressure games. I love it. It makes me play better. I knew what I had to do. I had to stop the puck to win that gold medal,” he told the Detroit Free Press after winning the gold.

“The whole time in the shoot-out I was thinking in my head, ‘If I let in a goal, we’re losing the gold medal.’ I made sure that wasn’t going to happen. Stopped all five guys.”