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Report: Finnish goalie Sateri eyeing NHL after strong showing at Worlds

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Harri Sateri, the former Sharks prospect that’s spent the last three years in the KHL, is reportedly looking to come back to North America.

Per Finnish news outlet Iltalheti, Sateri shot down an extension with his current club, Vityaz Podolsk, to try and land an NHL gig.

The 27-year-old’s decision comes after a pretty solid showing with his native Finland at the World Hockey Championship. There, Sateri split time with Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo, finishing with a .915 save percentage and 2.26 GAA. He posted a 26-save shutout in a surprising quarterfinal win over the U.S.

Sateri’s been good in Russia as well. Last season, he finished with a .929 save percentage and 2.50 GAA in 42 games.

It’ll be interesting to see if he can find a gig this summer. Sateri was originally San Jose’s fourth-round pick (106th overall) at the 2008 draft, but spent all four of his years in North America with the club’s AHL affiliate.

In his final season, he lost out on the gig as Antti Niemi’s backup to Alex Stalock in the preseason.

‘I wish we wouldn’t have done that’: Wild owner regrets Martin Hanzal trade

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In the first half of the regular season, the Minnesota Wild looked like a legit Stanley Cup contender, but they faded quickly down the stretch.

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher tried to get his team back on the rails by making a splash on deadline day, so he landed Martin Hanzal, Ryan White and a fourth-round pick from Arizona for a first-round pick in 2017, a second-round pick in 2018, a conditional pick in 2019 and Grayson Downing.

Unfortunately for Minnesota, the deal didn’t exactly give them the shot in the arm they were hoping for, as they were bounced in the opening round of the playoffs by Jake Allen and the St. Louis Blues.

Looking back, owner Craig Leopold wishes his team hadn’t given up all those picks for Hanzal, who’s set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.

“In hindsight, geez, I wish we wouldn’t have done that,” said Leipold, per the Minneapolis Tribune. “I supported that decision at the time, and I’m willing to live with it.”

Hanzal was far from terrible after joining the Wild (four goals, 13 points, 15:31 of average ice time in 20 games), but he just didn’t make a big enough impact to warrant giving up all those draft picks.

Those picks could have really come in handy right now. They could’ve used them to strike a deal with Vegas to make sure a player like Nino Niederreiter or Matt Dumba doesn’t get taken in the expansion draft, or they could have used them to entice another team to take an expensive contract with a no-move clause off their hands (i.e. Jason Pominville).

It’ll be interesting to see what Fletcher is able to pull this summer.

Related:

Wild GM is “all ears” for trade offers ahead of expansion draft

Wild GM is ‘all ears’ for trade offers ahead of expansion draft

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A Sportsnet report that said Nino Niederreiter‘s name has “started circulating in trade circles” has brought renewed focus to the Minnesota Wild’s situation ahead of the expansion draft.

The Star Tribune’s Michael Russo had also heard that rumor, so he got in touch with Wild GM Chuck Fletcher to talk about it.

“Ultimately, I just don’t want this to be how we deal with our cap challenges and how to deal with our expansion challenges,” Fletcher told Russo. “That’s certainly a focus this summer, but I’d like the bigger focus to be, ‘How do we get better?’ … We need to get better and see what opportunities may be there, whether that’s internally, trade market, free agency, how do we get better and fill the holes we need to fill.”

There’s also been speculation about defenseman Matt Dumba, and for good reason. If the Wild only protect three defensemen, Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon will be safe for sure, leaving only one spot for Dumba, Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella, and a few others.

Up front, Minnesota is obligated to protect Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, and Jason Pominville due to their no-movement clauses, and they won’t want to lose Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Eric Staal, or Jason Zucker.

That’s seven forwards right there.

Perhaps they could trade Pominville to free up a protected spot, but they’d have to sweeten the deal for a team to take his contract on.

Which is probably why Niederreiter’s name has come up. The Wild could net a good return for him.

“I’ve had so many calls on a lot of our guys the last year,” Fletcher told Russo a few weeks ago. “We held on to everybody because we wanted to make a run. But if someone’s going to offer me a good deal right now, I’m all ears.”

Niederreiter, 24, is a pending restricted free agent coming off a 25-goal season.

WATCH LIVE: U.S. versus Sweden, World Hockey Championship

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After a 7-2 shellacking of Denmark yesterday, the Americans will look for their second straight win at the World Hockey Championship this afternoon against Sweden.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE (Puck drop is at 2:15 p.m. ET)

Arizona rookie Clayton Keller starred for the U.S. on Saturday, scoring a hat trick and capturing player of the game honors. Isles forward Anders Lee netted a pair, while Isles teammate Brock Nelson and Calgary winger Johnny Gaudreau each had singles.

Sweden figures to be a much bigger test than the Danes, however. It beat up on Germany on Saturday by a similar 7-2 scoreline. William Nylander led the way with two goals, while Gabriel Landeskog, Victor Rask, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Jonas Brodin and Linus Omark chipped in with one.

Ryan Ellis’ star turn continues for Predators in Game 4

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When you think about the great defensemen who’ve played for the Nashville Predators, you think of those who’ve left (Shea Weber, Ryan Suter) and those who picked up the torch (P.K. Subban, Roman Josi). Some might even remember Kimmo Timonen.

For some time, Ryan Ellis has been building his resume as an under-the-radar gem in Nashville. If he keeps going at this pace in the playoffs, he might just be considered another star.

Game 4 of Predators – St. Louis Blues was tied 0-0 for a long time, but Ellis broke through with a resounding tally, which you can watch above.

Ellis played a big role in limiting the Blues scoring, too. That was most dramatically true when he made this heads up play in backing up Pekka Rinne.

The Predators just won 2-1 to take a 3-1 series lead moments ago, and Ellis keeping his hot run going is a big reason why.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t just a playoff fluke run. He scored 16 goals and 38 points in 2016-17, putting him in the thick of things among top Predators producers.