Lee Stempniak

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Bruins sign NHL journeyman Stempniak to one-year contract

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Journeyman forward Lee Stempniak is getting another shot at extending his NHL career after signing a one-year contract with the Boston Bruins.

Under league rules, the Bruins were required to place the 13th-year player on waivers Sunday before he can be assigned to Providence, their AHL affiliate. The move comes some 10 days after Stempniak signed a tryout contract with Providence, where he had two goals and four points in four games.

The 36-year-old has played for 10 teams since breaking into the NHL with St. Louis in 2005-06. He played 19 games for the Bruins in 2015-16, and spent last season with the Carolina Hurricanes, where he had three goals and nine points in 37 games.

Overall, Stempniak has 203 goals and 469 points in 909 games.

The Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and Florida Panthers made similar moves in shoring up their goalie depth.

Buffalo placed Adam Wilcox on waivers after signing him to a one-year contract with the intention of returning him to AHL Rochester, where he has a 9-7-3 record. Florida waived Chris Driedger after signing him to a one-year contract with the intention of returning him to AHL Springfield, where he has a 7-6-1 record.

The Islanders waived Jeremy Smith upon signing him to a one-year contract. He has a 16-9-1 record with AHL Bridgeport.

The New Jersey Devils waived defenseman Eric Gryba with the intention of demoting him to AHL Binghamton. The 30-year-old had no points in eight games since being recalled last month.

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UFA of the Day: Drew Stafford

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Check PHT every day until June 30 for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Drew Stafford

Recently, it was reported that the Jets and Stafford were working on a contract extension. No surprise there, after the 29-year-old was traded from Buffalo to Winnipeg and proceeded, according to Jets coach Paul Maurice, to make a “huge impact.”

Stafford finished with nine goals and 10 assists in 26 games for the Jets, an 82-game pace of 28 goals and 32 assists. Even in a limited sample, it reminded everyone that Stafford once scored 31 goals in 62 games for the Sabres.

Still, there are those who think the Jets should move on, perhaps in favor of top prospect Nikolaj Ehlers. Winnipeg also has to be mindful of its spending, considering Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd can become unrestricted free agents next summer.

Which takes us nicely into these tweets, from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:

Besides Stafford, the Jets’ other UFA forwards include Michael Frolik, Jiri Tlusty, Jim Slater and Lee Stempniak.

Click here for more UFAs.

Rangers RFA Klingberg heads to KHL

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Carl Klingberg announced today that he will begin “a great adventure” with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the Kontinental Hockey League.

The move, which confirms an earlier report by Igor Eronko, means that the Rangers have lost the only asset they acquired in the Lee Stempniak trade with the Winnipeg Jets back in March. Klingberg was a restricted free agent this summer after completing his one-year, two-way contract that came with a $650K cap hit at the NHL level.

The 24-year-old forward had 17 goals, 41 points, and 45 penalty minutes in 64 AHL games in 2014-15. He also has a goal in 12 career NHL contests.

The then Atlanta Thrashers selected him with the 34th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

His younger brother is defenseman John Klingberg, who enjoyed a breakout 40-point campaign in 2014-15.

Report: Carl Klingberg to sign in the KHL

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Restricted free agent Carl Klingberg will sign with the KHL club Torpedo according to Igor Eronko.

Klingberg’s NHL rights belong to the New York Rangers.

The 24-year-old was dealt from Winnipeg to New York in exchange for Lee Stempniak ahead of the March trade deadline.

Klingberg struggled to crack Winnipeg’s lineup appearing in just two games during the 2014-15 season registering a minus-1 rating.

In 64 AHL games split between the St. John’s IceCaps and Hartford Wolf Pack, Klingberg registered 17 goals and 41 points.

Originally a second-round pick of the Atlanta Thrashers (34th overall) in 2009, Klingberg signed a one-year, two-way $650,000 contract with Winnipeg last summer.

Video: Jets fans celebrate return of playoff hockey with whiteout in Winnipeg

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It’s been 19 years since a Stanley Cup playoff game was played in Winnipeg. The whiteout returned Monday, when the Jets hosted the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 of that first-round series at the MTS Centre.

Loud enough for you? As expected, the first post-season game in that city since the spring of 1996 brought out a boisterous crowd hoping to see their team get back in the series, after falling down 2-0 in Anaheim.

“It’s a real special day for the people that have been here a long time,” said Blake Wheeler, as per the Canadian Press, which noted that snow fell in Winnipeg during the day. “Losing the team a number of years ago, it’s kind of come full-circle. I think it’s a great day for people of Winnipeg.”

And, as expected, the crowd erupted when Lee Stempniak opened the scoring for the Jets before the midway point of the first period.