Preds’ Clune clears waivers, buyout coming

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Predators forward Rich Clune cleared unconditional waivers on Sunday and will likely be bought out by Nashville.

Clune has one year remaining on his two-year, $1.7 million deal with a cap hit of $850,000.

According to Capfriendly.com, the buyout will cost the Preds $283,333 in each of the next two seasons.

“I’m very grateful for my years playing for the Nashville Predators,” Clune said via Twitter. I want to thank David Poile and the rest of the staff for everything. Most important my teammates and the fans mean the world to me. Thank you.

“Nothing changes, I plan on playing in the NHL next season and will continue my rigorous training regimen out in Los Angeles this off season.”

Clune spent most of the 2014-15 season with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals scoring six goals and 17 points to go along with 181 penalty minutes.

Parenteau, Fistric land on unconditional waivers

In addition to Mike Richards, Ducks’ defenseman Mark Fistric and Habs’ forward P.A. Parenteau have also been placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout.

Fistric’s buyout will cost the Ducks $1.8 million over the next four years while Parenteau will cost the Habs $1.3 million each of the next two seasons.

Gibson trade rumors leave Ducks GM muttering profanities

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It only seemed natural to wonder if the Anaheim Ducks’ acquisition of Anton Khudobin would be the precursor to another goalie move, but apparently that’s not the case.

In fact, it sounds like Ducks GM Bob Murray was incensed by the rumors, as you can see from The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell’s account:

“John Gibson is not getting traded,” Murray said. “So put that (expletive) out there, OK. That’s enough.”

This was an amusing way to put it, too:

Murray may rank as the NHL executive most in need of a five-second delay … at least when it comes to rumors about his goalies. Back in January 2014, he needed to be censored when asked about a possible Jonas Hiller trade.

He might not like the rumors, yet they crop up for a reason (much like irksome ones involving Hiller and Bobby Ryan eventually hinted at exits that did happen). The Ducks have three goalies in Khudobin, Gibson and Frederik Andersen under contract for just one more season, so it’s only reasonable to wonder when the other shoe might drop.

You might need earmuffs if you ask Murray about it around kids, though.

For Ducks, Hagelin trade is all about keeping up — literally — with the NHL’s elite

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SUNRISE — To hear Bob Murray explain it, acquiring Carl Hagelin from the Rangers was his way of keeping up with the NHL’s top teams.

“We can play with some speed now,” the Ducks GM explained. “If you watched Tampa Bay and Chicago [in the Stanley Cup Final], that was pretty quick.

“You see who’s in the finals and you see how we got beat — the speed element of the game is getting bigger and bigger and bigger. So we have to move along with the times, and we got a guy that can really skate.”

Hagelin, who won the NHL’s fastest skater at the 2012 All-Star Game, certainly gives the Ducks some wheels. Widely regarded as one of the quickest wingers in the game, he now joins a team that already boasted one tremendous skater in Andrew Cogliano who, like Hagelin, has also won the ASG’s fastest skater competition (in 2009).

Of course, Anaheim had to give to get. That meant shipping out another speedster and former first-round pick Emerson Etem who, despite his skating ability and skill set, never seemed to find his niche with the club.

“He’d just gotten to a point where a change was good for him,” Murray explained. “With our coaching staff the way it was, I felt it was time for him to move on.”

Hagelin figures to play much larger role with the Ducks than Etem did. Coming off a year in which he posted career highs in nearly every category — games (82), assists (18) and points (35) — Hagelin could see even more minutes than the 15:14 he averaged for the Blueshirts last year.

“We’re quite excited about that,” Murray said. “Hagelin has speed, tenacity and he’s on the puck. Really good penalty killer, and I think he can play the power play with the right guys.”

The endgame, of course, is for Hagelin’s speed to help Anaheim get over the hump. Built to win now, the club came within a game of the Stanley Cup Final this year, only to lose Game 7 of the Western Conference Final to one of those speedy teams Murray referenced — the Chicago Blackhawks.

It’s a loss that’s stuck with the Ducks GM.

“We didn’t win,” Murray said. “We didn’t win. It’s the object to win, isn’t it?”

Ducks stay busy, send Etem to Rangers for Hagelin

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SUNRISE — The trades continue to pour in on the second day of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

In a fairly sizable move, the New York Rangers dealt speedy forward Carl Hagelin to Anaheim in exchange for another speedster, Emerson Etem. The Rangers also received the 41th overall pick, which they used to select WHL Seattle left wing Ryan Gropp; Anaheim received the 59th pick and the 179th pick in this year’s draft.

It’s an interesting deal. Both players are pending RFAs, though Hagelin has the more accomplished NHL resume and larger existing contract. The Swede, who tied a career-high with 17 goals last year, just wrapped a two-year deal worth $2.25 million annually.

Etem, a former first-round pick, just wrapped his entry-level contract, one that paid $870,000 per year. He’s struggled to keep a regular spot in the Anaheim lineup, though he did show flashes this postseason by scoring three goals in 12 games, including a highlight-reel tally against Winnipeg in the opening round.

It’s been a busy day for Anaheim. Earlier today, the Ducks sent underachieving defenseman James Wisniewski to Carolina in exchange for goalie Anton Khudobin.

After acquiring Lack, ‘Canes flip Khudobin to Ducks — more moves coming?

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The Carolina Hurricanes are playing the goalie market — and now, it appears the Ducks are as well.

Shortly after acquiring Eddie Lack from Vancouver, the ‘Canes orchestrated a yet-to-be-completed deal that moved Anton Khudobin to Anaheim. That’s led many to speculate that, with Khudobin and Frederik Andersen and John Gibson on the payroll, Ducks GM Bob Murray will soon make another move to clear up his three-headed goalie situation.

Update: Per reports, d-man James Wisniewski is headed to Carolina to complete the deal.

Khudobin, 29, is heading into the last of a two-year, $4.5 million deal with a $2.25M average annual cap hit. He scored that contract after a stellar first season in Carolina, then regressed last year — he finished ’14-15 with a 8-17-6 record, 2.72 GAA and .900 save percentage.

With this move, it appears the complex goalie market has become even more dynamic. Rangers backup Cam Talbot is still available for trade, and it’s possible someone could get in the mix for Gibson, regarded as one of the brightest young goaltending prospects in the NHL.