Visnovsky fined for slamming KHL officials

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New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky — currently plying his trade with KHL side Slovan Bratislava — has been fined 300,000 rubles for “a slur on the honor and integrity of the League and its referees.”

The fine (roughly $9,800) was levied following Saturday’s game between Slovan and Ak Bars, in which a late third period goal underwent a lengthy video review process because the Slovan goal camera wasn’t working properly.

That forced Slovan’s goal judge to contact the video monitoring room in the KHL office — which took a long time, and apparently drew Visnovsky’s ire:

The incident has landed [Visnovsky] in trouble with the League, after he criticized the referees after the game.

The League notes that no official complaint about the standard of refereeing has been submitted by Slovan, and the commission which monitors the performance of the officials considered their performance satisfactory.

Furthermore, the lengthy delay in awarding Slovan’s equalizing goal was entirely due to a technical fault in Slovan’s video equipment.

According to the KHL Regulations, the officials are under no obligation to explain their decisions to any player other than team captains and alternate captains.

The weird part is that Slovan — y’know, Visnovsky’s team — benefited from the drawn-out review. The goal was awarded, the game was tied, and Slovan went on to win in a shootout.

Maybe Lubo was still hot and bothered about the tripping penalty he took in the first period.

Anyway, this isn’t the first time the KHL’s review process has come under scrutiny. In late October, a video goal judge was relieved of his duties after blowing a call between Amur and Salavat Yulaev.

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:

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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.

“I have no disappointment, no discouragement,” said Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello. “I think that he’s earned every right to make whatever choice he has. The most important thing is we hope is the decision is to be an Islander.”

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 Lamoriello was brought in. 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.”

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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.

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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