Richard Park leaves the NHL to sign three-year deal with Swiss team

richardpark1.jpgThe free agent crunch has been a theme we’ve hit from all sides this summer and yet another player is packing his things up and heading to Europe after being unable to land a deal in the NHL. Former Wild and Islanders forward Richard Park is packing his bags to join the Swiss Elite League.

Coach Chris McSorley says the 34-year-old winger chose Geneva-Servette over NHL and European teams.

McSorley tells The Associated Press he spoke with the Islanders’ Swiss defenceman Mark Streit about Park before making him the top off-season acquisition. The club lost to Bern in the Swiss playoff finals last season in game seven.

It’s tough to see useful players like Park leave the NHL but this is just how it goes these days. While Park isn’t a superstar by any means, his work in a checking role and on the penalty kill was always top-notch. Getting squeezed out of a job in the NHL stinks for guys like Park. What the effect it will have on those roles in the NHL remains to be seen.

Clearly many teams feel that roles like this can be assumed by those from within the organization or for less money via free agency. We’ll have to wait and see if it pans out or if NHL teams will indeed be hoping to bring back players like Richard Park to take care of those roles.

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    Huge Flames – Hurricanes trade features Hamilton, Hanifin, Lindholm

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    For a while, things were getting a little sleepy on draft weekend, but the Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes changed that with a massive trade.

    Here’s how the five-player trade looks for each side.

    Calgary Flames receive: Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm.

    Carolina Hurricanes receive: Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and defensive prospect Adam Fox.

    There are a lot of facets to break down here.

    Contract challenges

    One factor is that both Hanifin and Lindholm need new contracts as RFAs, so the prices they eventually come in on for Calgary will play a big role in how we judge this franchise-altering trade.

    The Hurricanes have changed huge portions of their front office, and this appears to be the first major shockwave stemming from the new regime.

    Apparently the contract tiffs aren’t just on the Carolina end. There’s some belief that Fox, a well-regarded prospect who was taken in the third round (66th overall) in 2016, was not going to sign with the Flames. SBNation Flames blog Matchsticks & Gasoline posits that Fox could tip the scales of this trade depending upon how his development goes.

    Prime-age players exchange hands on both sides, but one objective remark is that the Flames generally landed the younger players.

    The talent is young and substantial enough that plenty of players involved could affect how we look back at this massive move. Let’s consider the biggest names.

    Blue chippers, plus a big forward

    It’s honestly bewildering to consider the high-end draft picks involved in this move.

    Dougie Hamilton, 25, was drafted ninth overall by the Boston Bruins in 2011. This is the second time the high-scoring defenseman’s been traded, as the Bruins sent him to Calgary for a first-round pick and two second-rounders back in 2015.

    Despite scoring a career-high 17 goals and continuing a four-season streak of 10+ tallies, Hamilton remains a divisive figure in the NHL, not unlike players like P.K. Subban and Phil Kessel, who he’ll be connected to for the rest of his career thanks to how his pick landed in Boston. Hamilton has been excellent for much of his days, yet plenty of people either believe that he’s ineffective in his own end, brings chemistry issues, or …?

    Hamilton’s cap hit is $5.75 million running through 2020-21. Much like everything else with the defenseman, hockey people are likely divided regarding that contract being a bargain or being too rich.

    (Fun.)

    Noah Hanifin, 21, was the fifth pick of the 2015 NHL Draft.

    While Hamilton’s resume is pretty robust with tangible evidence that he’s a difference-maker, Hanifin stumbled a bit out of the gate. He’s corrected in promising ways recently, however, generating career-highs of goals (10) and points (32) in 2017-18.

    As much as anything else, it’s his youth, speed, and potential that makes him fascinating. Of course, on the other hand, you can talk yourself into expecting too much thanks to that high draft pick pedigree.

    Elias Lindholm, 23, also went fifth overall, but in 2013.

    The Swedish forward has been productive, yet not exactly spectacular, so far during his NHL career. He’s already played in 374 regular-season games, generating 64 goals and 124 assists for 188 points.

    Micheal Ferland, 26, isn’t of the same draft pedigree, as he went in the fifth round (133rd overall) back in 2010.

    You could make a reasonable argument that Ferland could be reasonably comparable to Lindholm from an immediate viewpoint, though. Ferland is coming off of a 21-goal, 41-points season from 2017-18.

    Some of that production is likely inflated by playing with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Still, it’s worth noting that he fit in very nicely with those two players, bringing a big body and some nice finishing ability to the table.

    Ferland has one year left on a team-friendly $1.75M cap hit.

    If you want a fancy perspective:

    ***

    This is a really fascinating move for both teams. No doubt about it, the Flames’ take has to be heavily influenced by the hiring of former Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters. The contract situations for Lindholm, Hanifin, Fox, and eventually Ferland will play a role in how hindsight gazes upon this blockbuster.

    Let’s get a feel for the immediate viewpoint, though. Who do you think got the better end of the trade?

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    John Tavares to explore his options during free agent interview period

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    DALLAS — John Tavares may still re-sign with the New York Islanders, but he’s going to at least see what’s out there before making a final decison.

    When the interview period for prospective free agents opens this week, Tavares will meet with five teams, his agent Pat Brisson confirmed.

    The 27-year-old Tavares said all season long that he wants to re-sign, but as we sit eight days away from the opening of the free agent market, he’s yet to agree to any deal. The Islanders can offer him an eight-year contract, while other NHL teams can only go as many as seven.

    “This is where I hope to be. I’ve always stated that,” Tavares said in April. “But obviously I have some time to think about my situation and go from there. I’ve loved it here and people have really embraced me, the team and organization have been first class since I’ve gotten here. Obviously, some great talent and some great things ahead. Definitely a lot of positives and I’ll have to take some time and figure out what I want to do and go from there.”

    The Islanders have used their off-season to begin taking the franchise in a different direction. GM Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight were relieved of their duties and Lou Lamoriello was brought in as the new president and GM. This past week he went out and replace Weight with Barry Trotz, who just won the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals.

    Those are definitely a pair of moves not only to improve the organization but also show Tavares that ownership is serious about making the team a contender again. Will this work? Only time will tell, but the Islanders are hoping their solid off-season continues with No. 91 back in their lineup next season.

    “Right now, until something’s done, it’s not done,” said Lamoriello. “There’s no question that he’s a very important part of this organization. We want him to be here. We’ll just have to wait.”

    ————

    Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

    Free agency looms for Orpik as Avalanche ready buyout

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    When the Colorado Avalanche gave up their 47th pick to land the rights of RFA goalie Philipp Grubauer, they also took on Brooks Orpik and his $5.5 million cap hit. Joe Sakic didn’t play coy about Orpik’s time likely being brief with Colorado, and that appears to be the case.

    [Get the lowdown on the trade here]

    The Avalanche placed Orpik on unconditional waivers with a buyout in mind, according to reporters including Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

    Via Cap Friendly, a buyout would mean a $2.5M cap hit in 2018-19 and a $1.5M cap hit in 2019-20 for Colorado. Between the buyout, 47th pick, and Grubauer’s eventual contract, Colorado is clearly making a significant investment in the former Capitals goalie.

    As TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported on Friday, this situation shouldn’t be a surprise for Orpik.

    “I told him I owed him the respect to let him know that the plan is to buy him out and let him be a free agent,” Sakic said. “I’m sure he’ll have a lot of teams that’ll want to add him to their group.”

    Is it possible that Orpik, 37, could be back with the Capitals? The team kept the door open.

    Considering that Orpik is essentially double-dipping here, it wouldn’t be shocking if the rugged defenseman came at a reasonable price. Then again, some teams might (over-)value a hard-hitting, veteran blueliner who’s won a Stanley Cup with two different squads.

    After a 2018 NHL Draft loaded with modern-style, fleet-of-foot, smaller defensemen, it should be interesting to see how an old-school guy like Orpik will fare during free agency.

    Chances are, there will be room for someone like Orpik somewhere, possibly even Washington.

    2018 NHL Draft Tracker: Rounds 2-7

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    After a lengthy first round on Friday, NHL teams are tearing through rounds 2-7 in a blur on Saturday. Not every name will stand out as of this writing, but GMs often unearth their biggest, franchise-turning bargains when they get in the weeds.

    Before we get to today’s picks, let’s review some of the earlier action revolving around the top 31 selections.

    This post will be regularly updated with picks coming in rapidly.

    ***

    Round 2

    32. Buffalo – Mattias Samuelsson, D, NTDP
    33. Detroit (from OTT via NYR) – Jonatan Berggren, W, Sweden
    34. Florida (from ARI) – Serron Noel, W, OHL
    35. Montreal – Jesse Ylonen, W, Finland
    36. Detroit – Jared McIsaac, D, QMJHL
    37. Vancouver – Jett Woo, D, WHL
    38. Montreal (from CHI) – Alexander Romanov, D, Russia
    39. NY Rangers – Olof Lindbom, First Goalie Taken, Sweden
    40. Edmonton – Ryan McLeod, C, OHL
    41. NY Islanders – Bode Wilde, D, NTDP
    42. Carolina – Jack Drury, C, USHL
    43. NY Islanders (from CGY) – Ruslan Iskhakov, C, Russia
    44. Dallas – Albin Eriksson, W, Sweden
    45. St. Louis – Scott Perunovich, D, NCHC
    46. Washington (from FLA via NJD) – Martin Fehervary, D, Sweden
    47. Colorado – Kody Clark, W, OHL
    48. NY Rangers (from NJD) – Jonathan Tychonick, D, BCHL
    49. Columbus – Kirill Marchenko, W, Russia
    50. Philadelphia – Adam Ginning, D, Sweden
    51. Los Angeles – Akil Thomas, C, OHL
    52. Toronto (from SJS) – Sean Durzi, D, OHL
    53. Pittsburgh – Calen Addison, D, WHL
    54. Anaheim – Benoit-Olivier Groulx, C, QMJHL
    55. Arizona (from MIN) – Kevin Bahl, D, OHL
    56. Montreal (from TOR) – Jacob Olofsson, C, Swden
    57. Boston – Axel Andersson, D, Sweden
    58. Pittsburgh (from COL, NSH) Filip Hallander, C, Sweden
    59. Tampa Bay – Gabriel Fortier, W, QMJHL
    60. Winnipeg – David Gustafsson, C, Sweden
    61. Vegas – Ivan Morozov, C, Russia
    62. Edmonton (from WSH/MTL) Olivier Rodrigue, G, QMJHL

    Round 3

    63. Minnesota (from BUF) – Jack McBain, C, OJHL
    64. Colorado (From, Pittsburgh, from OTT) Justus Annunen, G, Finland
    65. Arizona – Jan Jenik, W, Czech
    66. Montreal – Cameron Hillis, C, OHL
    67. Detroit – Alec Regula, D, OHL
    68. Vancouver – Tyler Madden, C, USHL
    69. Chicago – Jake Wise, C, NTDP
    70. NY Rangers – Jacob Ragnarsson, D, Sweden
    71. Montreal (from Edmonton) Jordan Harris, D, USA
    72. NY Islanders –   Jakub Skarek, G, Czech
    73. Arizona (from CAR) – Ty Emberson, D, NTDP
    74. Chicago (From Arizona/CGY) – Niklas Nordgren, W, Finland
    75. Dallas – Oskar Back, C, Sweden
    76. Toronto (From St. Louis) – Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, C, Russia
    77. Boston (from FLA) – Jakub Lauko, C, Czech
    78. Colorado – Sampo Ranta, W, USHL
    79. Anaheim (from NJD) –  Blake McLaughlin, W, USHL
    80. Columbus – Marcus Karlberg, W, Sweden
    81. Detroit (from PHI) – Seth Barton, D, BCHL
    82. Los Angeles – Bulat Shafigullin, W, Russia
    83. Toronto (from SJS) – Riley Sotts, C, WHL
    84. Detroit (from PIT) – Jesper Eliasson, G, Sweden
    85. Anaheim – Lukas Dostal, G, Czech
    86. Minnesota – Alexander Khovanov, C, QMJHL
    87. San Jose (from Chicago/TOR via NJD and WSH) – Linus Karlsson, C, Sweden
    88. NY Rangers (from BOS) – Joey Keane, D, OHL
    89. Florida (from Nashville) – Logan Hutsko, C, Boston College (HE)
    90. Tampa Bay – Dmitri Semykin, D, Russia
    91. Winnipeg – Nathan Smith, C, USHL
    92. Minnesota (from VGK) – Connor Dewar, C, WHL
    93. Washington – Riley Sutter, W, WHL

    Round 4

    94. Buffalo – Matej Pekar, C, USHL
    95. Ottawa – Jonathan Gruden, W, NTDP
    96. Carolina (from ARI) – Luke Henman, C, QMJHL
    97. Montreal – Allan McShane, C, OHL
    98. Detroit – Ryan O'Reilly, W, USHL
    99. Vegas (from VAN via PIT) – Stanislav Demin, D, BCHL
    100. Dallas (from CHI) – Adam Mascherin, W, OHL
    101. New York Rangers: Nico Gross, D, OHL
    102. San Jose: Jasper Weatherby, C,BCHL
    103. New York Islanders: Jacob Pivonka, C, NTDP
    104. Carolina: Lenni Killinen, W, Finland
    105. Calgary: Martin Pospisil, C, USHL
    106. Dallas: Curtis Douglas, C, OHL
    107. St. Louis: Joel Hofer, G, WHL
    108. Calgary: Demetrios Koumontzis, W, Edina (HS)
    109. Colorado: Tyler Weiss, LW, NTDP
    110. New Jersey: Xavier Bernard, D, QMJHL
    111. Nashville: Jachym Kondelik, C, USHL
    112. Philadelphia: John St. Ivany, D, USHL
    113. Los Angeles: Aidan Dudas, C, OHL
    114. Arizona: Ivan Prosvetov, G, USHL
    115. Vegas: Paul Cotter, C, USHL
    116. Anaheim: Jackson Perbix, W
    117. Buffalo: Linus Lindstrand Cronholm, D, Sweden
    118. Toronto: Mac Hollowell, D, OHL
    119. Boston: Curtis Hall, C, USHL
    120. Chicago: Philipp Kurashev, C, QMJHL
    121. Tampa Bay: Alexander Green, D, Cornell (ECHC)
    122. Calgary: Milos Roman, C, WHL
    123. Montreal: Jack Gorniak, LW, West Salem (HS)
    124. Washington: Mitchell Gibson, G, NAHL

    Round 5
    125. Buffalo: Miska Kukkonen, D,(Finland
    126. Ottawa: Angus Crookshank, W, BCHL
    127. Philadelphia: Wyatte Wylie, D, WHL
    128. Montreal: Cole Fonstad, C, WHL
    129. Pittsburgh: Justin Almeida, C, WHL
    130. Vancouver: Toni Utunen, D, Finland
    131. Nashville: Spencer Stastney, D, NTDP
    132. New York Rangers: Lauri Pajuniemi, W, Finland
    133. Montreal: Samuel Houde, C, QMJHL
    134. New York Islanders: Blade Jenkins, W, OHL
    135. Vegas: Brandon Kruse, W, WCHA
    136. New Jersey: Akira Schmid, G, Switzerland-Jr.
    137. Dallas: Riley Damiani, C, OHL
    138. St. Louis: Hugh McGing, W, NCHC
    139. Chicago: Mikael Hakkarainen, C, USHL
    140. Colorado: Brandon Saigeon, C, OHL
    141. New Jersey: Yegor Sharangovich, C, Russia
    142. Arizona: Michael Callahan, D, USHL
    143. Philadelphia: Samuel Ersson, G, Sweden
    144. Los Angeles: David Hrenak, G, NCHC
    145. Arizona: Dennis Busby, D, OHL
    146. Colorado: Danila Zhuravlyov, D, Russia
    147. Anaheim: Roman Durny, G, USHL
    148. Minnesota: Simon Johansson, D, Sweden
    149. Toronto: Filip Kral, D, WHL
    150. Winnipeg: Declan Chisholm, D, OHL
    151. Nashville: Vladislav Yeryomenko, D, WHL
    152. Tampa Bay: Magnus Chrona, G, Sweden
    153. Winnipeg: Giovanni Vallati, D, Sweden
    154. Vegas: Connor Corcoran, D, OHL
    155. Minnesota: Damian Giroux, C, OHL

    Round 6
    156. Toronto: Pontus Holmberg, W, Sweden
    157. Ottawa: Kevin Mandolese, G, QMJHL
    158. Arizona: David Tendeck, G, WHL
    159. Columbus: Tim Berni, D, Switzerland
    160. Detroit: Victor Brattstrom, G, Sweden
    161. Washington: Alex Kannok-Leipert, D, WHL
    162. Chicago: Alexis Gravel, G, QMJHL
    163. New York Rangers: Simon Kjellberg, D, Sweden-Jr.
    164. Edmonton: Michael Kesselring, D, New Hampton School (HS)
    165. Los Angeles: Johan Sodergran, W, Sweden
    166. Carolina: Jesper Sellgren, D, Sweden
    167. Calgary: Mathias Emilio Pettersen, C, USHL
    168. Dallas: Dawson Barteaux, D, WHL
    169. St. Louis: Mathias Laferriere, W, QMJHL
    170. Florida: Justin Schutz, W, Czech
    171. Colorado: Nikolai Kovalenko, W, Russia
    172. New Jersey: Mitchell Hoelscher, C, OHL
    173. Columbus: Veini Vehvilainen, G, Finland
    174. Philadelphia: Gavin Hain, C, NTDP
    175. Los Angeles: Jacob Ingham, G, OHL
    176. San Jose: Zachary Emond, G, QMJHL
    177. Pittsburgh: Liam Gorman, C, St. Sebastian’s School (HS)
    178. Anaheim: Hunter Drew, D, QMJHL)
    179. Minnesota: Shawn Boudrias, W, QMJHL
    180. Vegas: Peter Diliberatore, D, Salisbury (HS)
    181. Boston: Dustyn McFaul, D, Pickering (OJHL)
    182. San Jose: John Leonard, LW, UMass (Hockey East)
    183. Tampa Bay: Cole Koepke, W, USHL
    184. Winnipeg: Jared Moe, G, USHL
    185. Vegas: Xavier Bouchard, D, QMJHL)
    186. Vancouver: Artyom Manukyan, W, Russia

    Round 7
    187. Buffalo
    188. Ottawa
    189. Arizona
    190. Philadelphia (from MTL)
    191. Detroit
    192. Vancouver
    193. Chicago
    194. Ottawa (from NYR)
    195. Edmonton
    196. NY Islanders
    197. Carolina
    198. Calgary
    199. Dallas
    200. St. Louis
    201. Florida
    202. Colorado
    203. New Jersey
    204. Columbus
    205. Philadelphia
    206. Tampa Bay (from LAK)
    207. San Jose
    208. Pittsburgh
    209. Toronto (from ANA)
    210. Minnesota
    211. Toronto
    212. Boston
    213. Nashville
    214. Tampa Bay
    215. Winnipeg
    216. Carolina (from VGK)
    217. Washington