Penguins acquire Justin Schultz from Oilers for a third-round pick in 2016

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired defenseman Justin Schultz from the Edmonton Oilers, in exchange for a third-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

The much maligned 25-year-old defenseman has been at the center of trade rumors and speculation for some time, and now his time in Edmonton, which started with so much hope, has come to an end.

Parting ways appears to be the best option for both parties.

He’s a pending restricted free agent at the end of the season, with a cap hit of $3.9 million, as per General Fanager.

There was great anticipation when Schultz first joined the Oilers as a free agent in 2012. He chose Edmonton over a whole host of suitors and the hype surrounding the start of his career in that market was considerably high.

(His AHL coach during the lockout compared Schultz with defensemen Drew Doughty and Scott Niedermayer.)

But his development with the Oilers hit numerous snags. He was a minus-78 combined over four seasons on some bad teams in Edmonton. This season, he has the fourth worst goals-against per 60 minutes (2.90) among NHL defensemen with more than 500 minutes of ice time at five-on-five this season, as per stats.hockeyanalysis.com.

He goes to Pittsburgh with the possibility of becoming a reclamation project.

“He’s very good on the offensive side. He still needs some work on the defensive side,” said Penguins GM Jim Rutherford.

“Different teams have different approaches.

“Our approach was to go with more speed, more transition game from our backend. This is a player that will be able to help that.”

In 45 games this season, he’s scored just three goals and 10 points. But he’s still billed as an offensive defenseman with a right shot and perhaps a change of scenery may be the best thing for him.

 

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.