Devils GM Lamoriello: “You don’t replace a Zach Parise — you just don’t do that”

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Shortly after ex-Devils captain Zach Parise inked a 13-year, $98 million deal with the Minnesota Wild, New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello spoke with the media about what the future has in store.

Or, more specifically, what it doesn’t.

“You don’t replace a Zach Parise. You just don’t do that,” Lamoriello said. “So we will have to make some adjustments and make some transactions if possible. But we will not turn our heads and not go forward with reference to getting this team to where we feel it should be every year.”

Lamoriello likened the departure to Scott Niedermayer leaving the Devils after the 2003-04 season. Like Parise, Niedermayer was New Jersey’s captain at the time and regarded to be one of the prizes of free agency (he eventually signed in Anaheim, despite the Devils offering to make him the highest-paid player on the team.)

That said, money wasn’t an issue when it came to Parise’s offer.

“Yes, our offer was competitive. We did not, at any time, have a phone call that we needed to change it or that it had to go up. It was competitive,” the GM said. “There was never a talk about money after our initial meeting in Toronto, where we made our offer. The response was the money we offered would not be the issue.

“We did not get a return call saying the number had to go up. The decision, from what Zach told me, was based upon going home and playing with someone he grew up with. Going home was the real focus.”

Parise told Lamoriello if he didn’t  “go home” to play in Minnesota, he would’ve stayed in New Jersey.

Small consolation for the general manager left to fill what’s considered an unfillable void.

“He was our captain. He was our leader, a prototype player,” Lamoriello said. “It’s a loss. That’s an understatement.”

Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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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.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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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.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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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.