Trade: Hawks unload Bickell to Carolina, but it costs them Teravainen

Getty Images

The albatross that is Bryan Bickell’s contract has cost Chicago one of its brighter young prospects.

On Wednesday, the ‘Hawks sent Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen to Carolina in exchange for a second-round pick in 2016 and a third-rounder in ’17.

“I would like to thank both Bryan and Teuvo for their contributions to the Blackhawks organization,” ‘Hawks GM Stan Bowman said in a release. “Both players were drafted by our organization and developed to play important roles on Stanley Cup championship teams.

“We wish them the best as they continue their careers with Carolina.”

Chicago has been trying to unload Bickell’s four-year, $16 million contract for quite some time. With a $4 million cap hit, he was a major problem for a team routinely pressed up against the cap ceiling — and even though the club gained some financial relief by sending him to AHL Rockford last season, it was obvious that solution wasn’t ideal for the team or player.

With the NHL’s buyout window opening today, there was some thought Chicago would rid itself of Bickell, and take a reduced cap hit.

But in the end the ‘Hawks got Bickell off the books entirely, though it did cost them a good young talent in Teravainen, who had 13 goals and 35 points in 78 games last year — his first full NHL campaign.

The Finnish center is under contract for one more year and will now join for a pretty intriguing group of centers in Carolina, along with Jordan Staal, Elias Lindholm and Victor Rask.

From the ‘Canes perspective, this is a very nice move from GM Ron Francis, who had an excess of draft picks at his disposal thanks to deadline deals for Eric Staal, Kris Versteeg and John-Michael Liles.

“This deal allowed us to use some of our collected draft picks to improve our group of forwards for the coming season by added two Stanley Cup champions,” said Francis. “Teuvo is a young, highly-skilled player still on his entry-level contract who is coming off of a strong first full NHL season, and Bryan is a veteran who has experienced great success in his career.

“Both players give our organization more options and flexibility among the forward ranks.”

‘Canes fans should be excited about the recent influx of young talent at forward.

As mentioned, Teravainen is only 21, as is Lindholm. Rask isn’t much older (23), and the club also recently signed prospects Aleksi Saarela (19, acquired in the Staal trade) and Sebastian Aho (18, coming off a terrific World Championship performance with Finland.)

Islanders agree to terms with Mathew Barzal on 8-year extension

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Mathew Barzal has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders on an eight-year extension, a move that keeps the franchise’s top forward under contract for the balance of his prime.

The deal is worth $73.2 million with an annual salary cap hit of $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.

Barzal has led the team in scoring, or been tied for the lead, every season since he became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18. He has 349 points in 411 regular-season and playoff games for the defensively stingy Islanders, who qualified for the postseason three consecutive times before an injury- and virus-altered last year.

“We feel recharged,” Barzal said recently. “We feel like everybody had good summers and worked hard, and we got that excitement back.”

Barzal, now 25, is coming off putting up 59 points in 75 games. The offensive star will now be asked to round out his game.

“I’m a fan because Mat has the ability to raise his game and to be a special player,” general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters at the team’s practice facility on Long Island. “And now, with this contract and our faith in him, (it) puts that responsibility on him. We’re trusting that. It’s up to him to respond to that.”

Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

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

Harry How/Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.