Tag: Colorado Avalanche

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Decision made: Eichel signs entry-level deal with Sabres


After months of refusing to say whether he’d turn pro or return to school next year, Jack Eichel made up his mind on Wednesday:

He’s going pro.

Eichel, the second overall pick at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, signed his three-year entry-level deal today, which ends his brief-but-impressive tenure at Boston University, during which he became just the second freshman ever to win the Hobey Baker.

“It’s just so exciting,” Eichel told the Sabres’ website. “I think everyone’s excited about what’s happening around here, and I can’t wait to get things started.”

Eichel’s first order of business will be participating in Buffalo’s prospect development camp, which will get underway in a few days.

From there, all eyes will be on the reigning Hobey Baker winner to see where he fits in the Sabres lineup; he, along with Sam Reinhart and newly-acquired Ryan O’Reilly, should be in competition for minutes at center.

Related: Boston University or Buffalo? Eichel’s still playing coy (Video)

PHT Morning Skate: Should Lindros have been in the ’15 HHOF class?

Minnesota Wild v Philadelphia Flyers

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

As impressive as the 2015 Hockey Hall of Fame class is, there were still some noteworthy snubs. Here’s the argument in favor of Eric Lindros. (Sporting News)

Patrick Kane serenaded a crowd with his rendition of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’. It’s safe to say that if at any point in his life he was debating between a hockey and singing career, he made the right choice. (CSN Chicago)

Wally Stanowski, who won the Stanley Cup with the Toronto Maple Leafs four times in the 1940s, has passed away at the age of 96. (Toronto Star)

Now with the Buffalo Sabres, Ryan O’Reilly doesn’t think there’s anything he would have done differently when it comes to his past contract negotiations with the Colorado Avalanche. (Denver Post)

Ottawa hasn’t given up on re-signing Erik Condra. (Ottawa Sun)

Max Talbot took to Twitter to shoot down the rumor that he wants to be traded. (CSN New England)

Riley Nash, Yannick Weber among those without qualifying offers

Yannick Weber

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.

Winners and losers of the 2015 NHL Draft


Hindsight is 20/20, but what about when something is so close it’s directly in your blind spot?

The 2015 NHL Draft is over, and with the long-awaited wave of prospects behind us, it will be years before we can truly judge what just happened. It would be foolish to hand out grades on the same day the draft ended. Who would do that, right?

Well, uh … about that.

Here’s a stab at some of the winners and losers from this busy, busy weekend in the NHL. Feel free to add your own suggestions and counterarguments in the comments (preferably kindly).


Oilers: They will smile upon this weekend for Connor McDavid alone, but GM Peter Chiarelli also made some interesting trades to improve the team with the likes of Cam Talbot and Griffin Reinhart.

Sabres: In the same “No, duh” spirit as the Oilers grabbing McDavid, the Sabres probably would have come up winners if they merely grabbed Jack Eichel and went into cruise control with picks.

Instead, GM Tim Murray was as busy as his selection announcement for Eichel was brief. Robin Lehner is, at minimum, someone Murray believes in. Ryan O’Reilly is a legit find, setting up Buffalo to have a scary 1-2 punch down the middle with Eichel.

Flames: OK, this has more to do with what happened before the draft than what happened during it … but landing Dougie Hamilton for a package of picks could end up being one of those moves we remember for ages.

That said, getting Oliver Kylington about a round after many believed he would be drafted (60th overall) isn’t chopped liver, either.

Islanders: Over the years, GM Garth Snow has steadily earned a reputation as one of the NHL’s sneaky-shrewdest executives. The 2015 NHL Draft will only strengthen those arguments.

Flyers: Are we prepared for a brave new world in which the Philadelphia Flyers are sober-minded and clever like this? Forgive reheating a joke from last night, but:


Bruins: Yes, the Bruins’ salary cap is slimmer, and they definitely nailed the draft from a “quantity” standpoint.

Still, they moved mountains to get picks 13-15, but the grades for their picks generally range from “not very sexy” to “huge reach.” Time will ultimately be new GM Don Sweeney’s judge, but right now, he’s probably not the most popular fellow among B’s fans.

Penguins: Actually, consider this grade more of an “Incomplete” than an “F.” Sometimes no splashy moves are better than reckless ones … still, Pittsburgh fans might be a little antsy.

Canucks: That’s a disappointing haul for Eddie Lack, but GM Jim Benning’s biggest mistake might have been forgetting to get an intern to tell him when the camera was on him:

Talk about a caption contest waiting to happen.


Again, the Bruins could very well end up laughing at all of us after making bold moves in the middle of the first round. Chances are, there are gems buried in later rounds that will drastically change how we view 2015.

Still, winners and losers lists are fun, so enjoy yourselves in the comments.

Just be nice.

How much better will the Sabres be next season? Murray says: ‘quite a bit’

Tim Murray

The Buffalo Sabres are going to be better next season.

In part, because it’d be hard to be worse.

But mostly because the roster has been significantly improved by GM Tim Murray, who not only drafted Jack Eichel yesterday, but also added Ryan O’Reilly, Robin Lehner, Jamie McGinn, and David Legwand in trades.

We’ll assume Eichel goes pro and does not go back to school, though he still hasn’t announced a decision. The Sabres will also have Evander Kane, the goal-scoring winger they got from Winnipeg. And Sam Reinhart, the second overall pick in 2014, should be ready too.

On top of all that, they’ll have a Stanley Cup-winning head coach in Dan Bylsma.

Though Murray believes it may take some time for the group to gel, he was clearly happy with how his plan had come together.

“I can tell you that our players back home are excited,” Murray told reporters, per NHL.com. “I got a couple texts from different guys, and if that excitement that they showed today carries over into training camp, I believe we can improve by quite a bit. In saying that, we’ve got a long way to go to improve to get to be competitive or a playoff team.”