Leafs ink Zach Hyman to a two-year, entry-level deal

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have inked forward Zach Hyman to a two-year, entry level contract the club announced on Tuesday.

Hyman was acquired by the Leafs from the Florida Panthers last week along with a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017 in exchange for Greg McKegg.

With Hyman signing, the Panthers retain the seventh round selection.

It’s not too surprising that the Leafs were able to come to terms with Hyman. As Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News notes, Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas was an agent with Uptown Sports, the agency, which currently represents Hyman.

The 23-year-old had 22 goals and 54 points in 37 games with the University of Michigan during the 2014-15 season.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Hobey Baker finalist was the Panthers’ fifth round selection (123rd overall) in 2010.

The Leafs also announced the signing of defensemen Petter Granberg and Tim Erixon to one-year contracts on Tuesday.

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Erixon’s deal is a one-way contract worth $600,000 while Granberg’s extension is a two-way, $600,000 deal.

Erixon dressed in 15 games with the Leafs during the 2014-15 season scoring a goal and registering a minus-5 rating while averaging 15:48 a night in ice time.

The 24-year-old started the season in Columbus appearing in 19 games for the Blue Jackets before being dealt to Chicago in December. Erixon played eight games for the Blackhawks prior to being claimed off of waivers by the Leafs in March.

Granberg appeared in seven games for the Leafs during the 2014-15 season registering a plus-1 rating while averaging 11:27 in time on ice. The 22-year-old also played in 53 AHL games with the Marlies scoring one goal and 15 points to go a long with a plus-14 rating.

He was originally the Leafs fourth-round selection (116th overall) at the 2010 NHL Draft.

Photo courtesy of Uptown Sports

Related: No GM, no problem for the Maple Leafs?

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.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

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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.