Montreal Canadiens

Kassian traded to Habs for Prust; Hodgson signs with Preds

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The Vancouver Canucks have given up on Zack Kassian. The Montreal Canadiens will give him a chance.

Kassian was traded to the Habs today, along with a fifth-round pick in 2016. The 24-year-old winger, who came to Vancouver in the 2012 Cody Hodgson swap, never turned into the power forward the Canucks envisioned he could be. His stint with the club was a controversial one, marked by suspensions, punitive AHL demotions, and the odd hot streak. Some felt he was never given enough of an opportunity; others disagreed.

“I need to find consistency,” Kassian told TSN. “This summer, I’m really taking strides forward. I want to have a big year. I’ve matured a lot as a person and a player.”

Heading to the Canucks is gritty forward Brandon Prust. Prust is 31 years old. He’s signed for one more year at $2.5 million, after which he can become an unrestricted free agent.

In an odd twist, Hodgson has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Predators, who will hope to rejuvenate a career that went south in Buffalo. The 25-year-old center was just bought out by the Sabres. In Nashville, the top two centers, Mike Ribeiro and Mike Fisher, are each 35 years old, so rolling the dice on Hodgson makes sense.

Related: Ribeiro re-signs with Preds — two years, $7 million

Habs re-sign deadline pickup Flynn: two years, $1.9 million

After a short cameo at the end of last season, Brian Flynn has re-upped in Montreal.

On Monday, the Habs announced they signed Flynn to a two-year, $1.9 million deal with an average annual cap hit of $950,000. A serviceable depth forward, Flynn was set to become a restricted free agent but avoids that route with this deal, which represents a slight pay raise from his previous contract.

The former Sabre, who had three points in six playoff games for the Habs last year, is the latest of GM Marc Bergenvin’s trade deadline pickups to stick in Montreal.

Previously, the Canadiens signed d-man Jeff Petry — acquired from Edmonton at the deadline — to a six-year, $33 million extension. Torrey Mitchell — who,  like Flynn also came over from Buffalo — agreed to a new contract shortly after Petry, inking for $3.6 million over three years.

With those three now locked in and P.A. Parenteau bought out of his contract, Bergevin can focus on other tasks at hand — specifically, new deals for RFA forward Alex Galchenyuk and blueliner Jarred Tinordi.

Christian Thomas, a winger that’s spent most of his time in AHL Hamilton, also needs a new deal.

Agent: Franson has spoken with ‘half a dozen’ teams (Updated)

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Pending unrestricted free agent Cody Franson has spoken with “half a dozen” teams, agent Gerry Johannson tells PHT.

Since Thursday, pending UFAs have been allowed to have dialogue with other teams leading into July 1.

Franson’s one-year, $3.3 million deal is set to expire, making him a UFA for the first time in his career.

“Just tire-kicking. General stuff,” Johannson said of the talks. “We already know who the teams are that would need someone like Cody anyway. The conversations have been pretty light.”

With a total of 28 right-shot defenseman expected to hit the open market on Wednesday, per Generalfanager.com, Franson, along with Washington Capitals blue liner Mike Green, are expected to be highly coveted in free agency.

Update:

Johannson believes Jeff Petry’s new six-year, $33 million extension is the right “ballpark” for his client as he heads into the open market. Petry’s deal includes a full no-movement clause in the first three years of the deal and a 15-team no-trade clause for the final three years.

Franson appeared in 78 games split between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Nashville Predators during the 2014-15 season, registering seven goals and 29 assists while averaging 19:38 in ice time.

Related: UFA of the Day: Cody Franson

PHT Morning Skate: Patrick Kane takes the Stanley Cup to a Jimmy Buffett concert

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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.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane took the Stanley Cup to a Jimmy Buffet concert on Saturday. The 26-year-old took to the stage and helped Buffet sing “volcano” while rocking some interesting dance moves. (Bar Down)

UFA Decision Day looms for Mike ‘Motorcycle Gang’ Green. (The Hockey News)

“I think there was something between me and Paul (MacLean) that didn’t click when he was there” – Robin Lehner on his time in Ottawa (Ottawa Sun)

The Florida Panthers were one of the finalists in the Cam Talbot sweepstakes. (Miami Herald)

A behind the scenes look at the Toronto Maple Leafs’ fourth overall selection Mitch Marner:

A look at the new jerseys, which were unveiled during the 2015 NHL Draft. (Bar Down)

Actor Jonathan Cherry, who plays Marco Belchier in the movie “Goon” sat down with Habs’ goaltender Carey price for an interesting interview recently:

Photo courtesy of @JimmyBuffett

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.