Agent: No contract talks between Sabres and McGinn, who ‘loves Buffalo’

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Though he’s only been there for half a year, Jamie McGinn has really embraced playing in Buffalo.

McGinn, a pending UFA, sits fourth on the team in goals (10) and points (21), earning widespread acclaim from teammates for his net-front presence and winning board battles. He says he loves playing for the Sabres, his agent says he loves playing for the Sabres… yet, as the NHL trade deadline draws closer, McGinn’s name continues to pop up as a potential target.

Per the Buffalo News, agent Thane Campbell says there’s been no talks with GM Tim Murray about a new deal for his client.

But that hasn’t stopped Campbell from expressing McGinn’s affinity for the organization.

“He loves Buffalo,” Campbell explained. “He loves the city. He really likes the teammates. He really feels comfortable there. He feels the coaches have respect for his game, and he feels that it’s a good fit for him.”

From Murray’s perspective, hanging onto McGinn might not make sense. The 27-year-old could be a fairly hot commodity at the deadline and, given Murray’s penchant for stockpiling assets to aid in Buffalo’s rebuild, adding more draft picks could be the play.

(Don’t forget Buffalo is hosting the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.)

(But also don’t forget Buffalo already has eleven picks to make.)

In the end, this could all come down to money, as it often does.

McGinn’s making $2.95 million annually on his current deal, but this would be the first time he’s eligible for unrestricted free agency. Hitting the open market could prove too enticing, especially for a hybrid guy like McGinn who’s got some offensive talent, can play the power play, but also provides physicality.

He current sits third on the Sabres in hits, with 98.

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.