The Pittsburgh Penguins signed forward Chris Conner to a two-way, one-year contract that would pay him $550K at the NHL level, the team reports.
At a scrawny 5-8, Conner will have to struggle to find his way into the team’s reputation. Still, he’s been pretty solid in spot duty with the big club. The team provided a little more detail on his limited career so far.
Conner, 26, has played in 79 career NHL games since entering the league in 2006, posting nine goals and 24 points.
Conner, who originally signed with the Penguins on July 5, 2009, scored two goals and three points in eight games with Pittsburgh this past season, and appeared in one postseason contest. He scored two goals, one being the game-winner, in Pittsburgh’s 4-2 victory at New York against the Rangers Jan. 25 just hours after being recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The 5-foot-8, 180-pound forward completed his first season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2009-10, ranking second on the team in points (56) and assists (37), while chipping in 19 goals in just 59 contests. Two days before helping Pittsburgh defeat the Rangers the speedy winger tied a WBS franchise record with five points (2G-3A) in a 6-3 victory at Syracuse Jan. 23. Conner tied for the team lead with four points (2G-2A) in four postseason games.
The Westland, Michigan native spent three-plus seasons with Dallas after signing with the Stars in the summer of 2006. In 71 games with the Stars, Conner recorded seven goals and 21 points.
The team’s cap space is pretty limited at this point, as they’d have around $1.5 million for two depth spots, at least when Conner is at the NHL level. The Penguins are among the many teams that now seem close to having their rosters close to complete.
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.
“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”
Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.
TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.
The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.
“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”
The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.
Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.