Florida Panthers

PHT Morning Skate: Eddie Lack pays tribute to former teammate on new mask

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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.

Last spring when Eddie Lack was looking for help designing his new mask, Roberto Luongo tweeted the 27-year-old with his own design suggestion. Now with the Carolina Hurricanes, Lack decided to pay tribute to his former Vancouver Canucks teammate by putting Luongo’s face on his mask.

Applying for an NHL expansion franchise will cost interested groups $10 million, which includes $2 million that’s non-refundable. (Seattle Times)

Pittsburgh’s bid to host the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship got support from U.S. Sen. Bob Casey on Wednesday. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Defenseman Kevin Lohan, the younger cousin of actress Lindsay Lohan, is at Washington Capitals development camp. (CSNWashington.com)

Jack Eichel shows off his hands at Sabres’ development camp (Bar Down)

Former NHLer Colby Armstrong says it was frustrating playing with Phil Kessel in Toronto. (Sportsnet)

Canucks’ prospect Thatcher Demko feels ‘better than new’ after hip surgery. (Metro News)

Hurricanes’ prospect Sergey Tolchinsky scored an amazing breakaway goal at Carolina’s development camp. (Bar Down)

John Schiavo had quite the goal during a shootout at New York Islanders development camp on Wednesday night.

Panthers ink Corban Knight, Garrett Wilson

The Florida Panthers announced that they have agreed to one-year, two-way contracts with forwards Corban Knight and Garrett Wilson.

Knight, 24, is a former standout with the University of North Dakota. He went pro in 2013 after the Panthers traded his rights to Calgary in exchange for a 2013 fourth round pick (Michael Downing). He played primarily in the minors over the last two seasons, although he did appear in nine games with the Flames and scored a goal.

Calgary traded him back to Florida in January in exchange for Drew Shore. Knight had 16 goals and 36 points in 58 AHL contests with Adirondack and San Antonio in 2014-15.

Wilson, 24, was taken with the 107th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He had 23 goals, 38 points, and 80 penalty minutes in 71 contests with San Antonio last season. Over the last two seasons, Wilson has also played in five games with Florida.

Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio

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A trio of young forwards have signed with the Boston Bruins.

The B’s announced today that Jimmy Hayes has inked a three-year deal with a cap hit of $2.3 million, while Brett Connolly has agreed to a one-year deal with a cap hit of $1.025 million and Brandon DeFazio has signed a one-year, two-way deal with a cap hit of $575,000 at the NHL level.

Hayes, 25, was acquired last week in a trade with the Florida Panthers. He had 19 goals and 16 assists in 72 games last season.

Connolly, 23, was acquired in March in a trade with Tampa Bay, soon after which he suffered a fractured finger and missed most of the remainder of the season.

Hayes will be an unrestricted free agent when his contract expires, while Connolly will remain an RFA. The latter’s $1.025 million cap hit could be a good bargain for the Bruins next season.

DeFazio was an unrestricted free agent. The 26-year-old spent the last two seasons in the Canucks organization, mostly with AHL Utica.

Related: Chiarelli believes Connolly can ‘help us right away’

Trade: B’s send Smith, Savard’s contract to Florida for Hayes

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Boston GM Don Sweeney remained a busy man on Wednesday, shipping forward Reilly Smith to Florida in exchange for Panthers winger Jimmy Hayes.

Oh, the B’s also sent Marc Savard’s contract to South Florida in the deal as well.

A quick look at the particulars:

• Hayes, 25, is a former Boston College standout that spent the last two years in Florida, scoring 11 and 19 goals in each of the last two seasons. A big man (6-foot-6, 221 pounds) and current RFA, it sounds as though his camp couldn’t agree on a new contract with Panthers GM Dale Tallon, hence the move to the Bruins.

• Smith, 24, was one of the pieces the Bruins acquired in the Tyler Seguin-to-Dallas trade. After a good first year in Boston, scoring 20 goals and 51 points, Smith tailed off a bit this year and saw his totals drop to 13G and 40PTS. Unlike Hayes, Smith is under contract for two more years with a cap hit of $3.425 million.

• The Savard contract was rumored to be in play. At the draft, Philly moved Chris Pronger’s deal to Arizona, setting the stage for Boston to do the same with Savard. Brough touched on this yesterday:

Sweeney confirmed today that he’s spoken to a few teams about a transaction that would clear Savard’s $4 million cap hit (through 2016-17) off Boston’s books, and put it on a team that could perhaps use it.

No longer able to play due to concussion issues, Savard has an actual salary of just $575,000 in the final two years of his contract.

Dealing Savard would help the B’s in that they wouldn’t be as prone to the bonus-related overage issues that have plagued them recently. On that note, Sweeney suggested the Bruins intend to keep spending to the cap, and that they’re dealing with a current overage of approximately $1 million.

The Savard move was done so the B’s could ink former Anaheim forward Matt Beleskey in free agency.

Florida waives Boyes for buyout purposes

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The Florida Panthers are ready to part ways with veteran forward Brad Boyes.

Per TSN, the club has placed Boyes on waivers for the purpose of buying out the last of his two-year, $5.25 million contract — one that carries a cap hit of $2.625M.

Per Cap Friendly, the buyout will cost Florida $833,333 in each of the next two seasons, while carrying a cap hit of $958,333 in year one and $833,333 in year two.

Boyes, 33, has spent the last two seasons in Florida and achieved a decent level of success, scoring 21 goals in his first year and 38 points last year — his highest total since 2011. That said, he did see a dip in minutes under new head coach Gerard Gallant this year.

The well-traveled journeyman could land with a new team once his buyout is complete. Though not the scorer he once was — Boyes netted 43 during the 2007-08 campaign, lest we forget — he can still produce on occasion and has proven durable, missing just eight games over the last three seasons.

Boyes is also one of the NHL’s all-time best in the shootout.