Blackhawks Pad Their Center Depth, Sign Brad Richards –

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Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Hitting free agency after being amnestied, Brad Richards inked with a contender in Chicago. While Richards was still a productive player for New York, scoring 20 goals last season, he was slated to make $24 million over the next three years, with another six years total on his deal, a number Glen Sather and New York couldn’t afford sitting to close to the cap ceiling. So after hitting free agency following a buyout, the Blackhawks have come to terms with the veteran center, who can still be a difference-maker in the NHL. 1 year, $2 mil for Brad Richards to Chicago. Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2014 Chicago continued the trend of teams bulking up at the center position, as the Blackhawks were already strong down the middle with Jonathan Toews as their man in the middle. It’s not clear where Richards will slot inhe finished his time in New York on the Rangers second line, before getting demoted to the fourth during the Stanley Cup Final . The Blackhawks learned how important center depth is when they were eliminated by the Kings in the 2014 Western Conference Final. With Los Angeles rolling out Anze Kopitar , Jeff Carter , Mike Richards , and Jarret Stoll , many teams have attempted to follow suit and stack their rosters at the center position. Anaheim added Ryan Kesler to compliment Ryan Getzlaf. The Stars similarly acquired Jason Spezza to play behind Tyler Seguin . More from source:

NHL 2014 Free Agency Frenzy Guide: Which players are actually worth it? | Puck Daddy – Yahoo Sports

Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) July 1, 2014 Brodeur likely isn’t a starting goalie anymore. His save percentage dropped off big time last season, and, at 42, he’s a liability between the pipes. He’s not a bad option as a second goaltender, however, so I expect teams with holes on the depth chart to go hard after him. Given the lack of cap flexibility the Blackhawks and the Bruins have to deal with, I think the Penguins and the Maple Leafs have a better shot at grabbing him. Prediction: PittsburghPenguins Dany Heatley Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press A former 50-goal scorer, 33-year-old Dany Heatley is now an unrestricted free agent the Minnesota Wild likely won’t look to re-sign, reports Chad Graff ofthe Pioneer Press : Several players have said they interested in looking into offers from other teams. And the Wild have decided not to offer new contracts to several others. Among the latter group is Dany Heatley. After three seasons with the Wild, his time in Minnesota is over. Heatley scored just 47 goals during his three-year tenure in Minnesota, but in the latter stages of his time there, the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2000 NHL entry draft served as a mentor for the team’s younger players. source:

NHL Free Agency 2014: Latest Rumors on Mike Ribeiro and More Available Assets | Bleacher Report

The deal is reportedly worth $2 million. Brad Richards going to Chicago as per source. Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 01, 2014 1 year, $2 mil for Brad Richards to Chicago. Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 01, 2014 Richards recorded 20 goals and 31 assists in 82 games last season for the Rangers. Richards will have an early opportunity to fill the second-line center spot for Chicago, a position in which consistent production has eluded the franchise. Youngster Teuvo Teravainen also figures into the mix there, but he probably needs some more seasoning in the NHL first. Richards was bought out of a nine-year, $60-million deal after he underperformed in the postseason and fell to New Yorks fourth line. Even at 34, he was remarkably durable, playing in every regular-season game and leading New York forwards with 18:41 of ice time per game. The move sends the Blackhawks over the salary cap as they currently sit, so theyll have toshed money at some point. source:

NHL Free Agents 2014: Latest Rumors, Predictions for Top Available Players | Bleacher Report

Cory and Dana will ride the light-rail train from Hopkins and sit in the stands. Ryan Lefebvre, the former Gophers center-fielder, was in town last week in his 16th season as broadcast voice of the Kansas City Royals. Lefebvre, 43, works 95 games on TV, 65 on radio. He’s in the last year of his contract. It will be a full house at the Minneapolis Club on July 14 at a Dunkers breakfast when former Twins Rod Carew, Jim Kaat and Mudcat Grant discuss their days with the Twins. By the way, Carew, an 18-time All-Star who will make the ceremonial first pitch at the July 15 All-Star Game at Target Field, has accepted an offer to work full-time for the Twins from January through December.Carew, 68, had been working for major league baseball at various instructional academies overseas but tired of the travel. Carew, Mauer and Tony Oliva — the trio has a combined 13 batting titles — will discuss hitting on a Wednesday Fox Sports North TV show. Happy birthday: Hall of Fame former Minneapolis Lakers-Gophers coach Johnny Kundla, who resides in northeast Minneapolis, turned 98 last week. Bloomington Jefferson grad Cole Aldrich, 25, will return for a fourth NBA season with a $915,243 contract with the New York Knicks. Hall of famer Cal Ripken Jr., who got his 3,000th hit against the Twins at the Metrodome in 2000, will be a Turner Sports analyst for Sunday’s Twins-Yankees game at Target Field. source:

Charley Walters: Thomas Vanek signing is big; so is new Xcel scoreboard –

Minnesota Wild forward Thomas Vanek spoke during a press conference at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, after Vanek signed with the Wild for $19 million for

Why Hes Not: Hes 38 years old and looking for a 2-year deal. Also, you might get the same production out of cheaper labor. Possible Destinations: Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs. Best Guess: Detroit. Hes been their focus since the free agent derby began, and two years at $11 million should be enough to get it done. Christian Ehrhoff, Buffalo Sabres Why Hes Worth It: Younger than Boyle (32), a great puck-moving defenseman and power-play quarterback who can eat up minutes. Hes also good in his own zone. Why Hes Not: The bidding war should drive his price up to around five years and $5.5-$6 million. Possible Destinations: Anaheim Ducks , Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning Best Guess: Its beginning to sound like Ehrhoff might be too rich for the Wings, which means Steve Yzerman gets him instead. Matt Niskanen, Pittsburgh Penguins Why Hes Worth It: Good skater and a very solid possession player on the back end who had 46 points in 81 games last season. Why Hes Not: Last season was his coming out party, and it happened to be a contract year. Weve also yet to see what he can do with a primary role on a power play that didnt have Malkin and Crosby on it. source:–which-players-are-actually-worth-it-142638748.html

Blackhawks Sign C Brad Richards To 1-Year Deal « CBS Chicago

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Since then his play has dropped off markedly. He scored just 16 points this past season, which was split between the Rangers and Nashville Predators. He’s still just 24, which leaves plenty of time for him to bounce back. A lot depends on being able to find the right fit. David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports there are options on the table, but the decision-making process is still ongoing: Michael Del Zotto has attracted interest from multiple teams. Continuing to dissect options and offers. David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 3, 2014 The best fit for Del Zotto would be a team that’s going to give him the freedom to play the puck-moving defenseman roll. He can also be an asset on the power play. He can be exposed defensively at times, so he needs the opportunity to make up for it with his offense. Nikolai Khabibulin Khabibulin is now 41 and no longer the player he was during his prime. That said, he did have a couple solid seasons in a limited role with the Edmonton Oilers before a disappointing 2013-14 campaign with the Chicago Blackhawks that was cut short due to injury. Now the veteran netminder is back on the market and could be an option for a team looking for an experienced backup. source:


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