Chayka taps brakes on Doan trade talk

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With his one-year deal set to expire in July and the Coyotes nowhere close to the playoffs, captain Shane Doan has become the subject of trade rumblings. Even Doan himself has indulged them — earlier this month, Sportsnet reported the 40-year-old would be willing to waive his no-trade clause, and Doan confirmed as much.

But hold on a minute.

Doan said the only way he’d leave Arizona was if a “perfect” scenario arose, adding “that just doesn’t happen too often in our sport.” And on Wednesday, Coyotes GM John Chayka threw a bit more cold water on the situation — admitting that, while he’s taken calls on Doan, there doesn’t appear to be any imminent move.

“With me it’s been a bit overblown.” Chayka told Arizona Sports 98.7 radio, per FanRag. “Not in the sense a player who is maybe in the last year of his career would have thoughts that if a team is not trending toward the playoffs, which we don’t appear to be, that maybe there’s another opportunity out there for him. So that part’s not overblown. I think Shane has had some thoughts, and that’s natural and organic for his situation.

“But this kind of narrative that comes out that there’s some issues with how he feels he’s being used or not used, or that we had some long, drawn-out, confrontational-type discussions in the summer – I mean, those are the things that are just frustrating because they’re not true.”

The ‘narrative’ at hand is a pretty typical one. Doan’s the aging veteran, near the end of his playing days, and has yet to win a Stanley Cup. He doesn’t have a contract beyond this season. His current team is in the basement, building for the future, and could probably use the assets it would garner in a trade.

There’s also the Chayka angle to all this. He’s been pretty transparent with the Doan situation and the one involving another pending UFA, Martin Hanzal (in early January, Chayka acknowledged a Hanzal trade could go down.) That’s great for fans and media, but the ramifications can be unpleasant — which is sort of what Chayka’s dealing with right now.

All told, the situation will be worth monitoring as the deadline draws near. It certainly seems like Chayka will be a major player.

Blackhawks F Katchouk will be 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 Sunday.

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.