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Cole’s Notes From Around the League: 9/19/22-9/25/22

The latest in transaction news from across the NHL.

Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks signed right winger Rocco Grimaldi to a professional tryout contract. They signed goaltender Daniel Mannella to a professional tryout contract.

Arizona Coyotes

The Coyotes re-signed centre Barret Hayton to a two-year contract.

Boston Bruins

The Bruins signed defenceman Anton Stralman to a professional tryout contract.

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres made no moves this week.

Calgary Flames

The Flames signed left winger Sonny Milano to a professional tryout contract. They signed goaltender Brad Ivanitis to a professional tryout contract. They re-signed centre Adam Ruzicka to a two-year contract. They re-signed right winger Brett Ritchie to a one-year contract.

Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes signed defenceman Grigori Dronov to a professional tryout contract.

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks made no moves this week.

Right winger Kurtis Gabriel has retired from pro hockey. Drafted in the third round, 81st overall, in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild, Gabriel has five points (2G, 3A) in 51 games, as well as zero points in four playoff games, for Minnesota (2015/16-2016/17), New Jersey (2018/19), San Jose (2020/21), and Chicago (2021/22). Gabriel was always a primary call-up option, as evidenced by him playing in NHL games for four franchises, but never turned into a full-time NHLer. He leaned closer to the waning pugilist archetype, as evidenced by the fact that among the penalties he took to contribute to his 153 PIMs at the NHL level, 15 were fighting majors. His career highs were four points, two goals, and two assists, all achieved in 2018/19 with the Devils. Gabriel finished his final pro season with zero points for the Chicago Blackhawks and six points in 52 games between AHL Toronto and AHL Rockford. Gabriel, 29, announced his retirement on Twitter.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche signed centre Alex Galchenyuk to a professional tryout contract. They signed centre Nathan MacKinnon to an eight-year contract extension.

Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets signed centre Liam Hawel to a professional tryout contract. They signed centre Samuel Huo to a professional tryout contract.

Dallas Stars

The Stars acquired defenceman Nils Lundkvist from the Rangers. They signed centre Logan Morrison and defenceman Jacob Murray to professional tryout contracts.

Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings made no moves this week.

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers signed right winger Jake Virtanen and defenceman Jason Demers to a professional tryout contract. They re-signed centre Ryan McLeod to a one-year contract.

Florida Panthers

The Panthers signed right winger Patrick Giles to a two-year entry-level contract.

Los Angeles Kings

The Kings signed defenceman Cameron Supryka to a professional tryout contract.

Minnesota Wild

The Wild made no moves this week.

Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens signed right winger Pierrick Dube to a professional tryout contract.

Nashville Predators

The Predators signed right winger Cam Hausinger to a professional tryout contract.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils made no moves this week.

Defenceman PK Subban has retired from pro hockey. Drafted in the second round, 43rd overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, Subban has 467 points (115G, 352A) in 834 games, as well as 62 points (18G, 44A) in 96 playoff games, for Montreal (2009/10-2015/16), Nashville (2016/17-2018/19), and New Jersey (2019/20-2021/22). In addition to being one of the best offensive defencemen of the 2010s, and fairly physical to boot, Subban was a flashy star with one of the most exuberant personalities, and the most prominent fashion sense, in the entire NHL, with Subban easily coming closest to matching the charisma of the other major sports’ stars. Subban won the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenceman in 2013 with the Canadiens, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for his leadership and humanitarian contributions in 2022 with the Devils, as well as All-Rookie honours in 2011, Second Team All-Star honours in 2018, and First-Team All-Star honours in 2013 and 2015. He represented Montreal in the 2016 All-Star Game, and Nashville in the 2017 and 2018 All-Star Games. He also helped lead Nashville to a Stanley Cup Final in 2018 and won Gold with Team Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, albeit as an extra who played very little, for some reason * cough * Babcock * cough *. His career-highs are 60 points, and 45 assists with Montreal in 2015, and 16 goals with Nashville in 2018. Subban was never beloved by all, between his flashy style of play being perceived as not good hockey and his extroverted personality not jiving with the “aw shucks” “act like you’ve been there before” “canned responses about getting pucks in deep” hockey culture. To hear people talk about it, even his massive $10M pledge to Montreal Children’s Hospital was somehow a problem because he made the team look bad or something. I personally have nothing but respect for him and think more of him is exactly what the NHL needs. I would go so far as to say that, despite his only Norris Trophy coming during the lockout season (I wouldn’t hold that against anyone else either) and a lack of championships and personal awards, what he accomplished, and how he accomplished it make him deserving of induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Not necessarily first-ballot of course, but definitely deserving of induction. In his last NHL season, Subban scored 22 points (5G, 17A) in 77 games for the New Jersey Devils. Subban, 33, announced his retirement over Instagram, and will likely remain a very visible presence in hockey if his stint after the end of the regular season as a TV analyst is anything to go by. I wish Subban the best of luck.

New York Islanders

The Islanders signed right winger Nikita Soshnikov to a one-year contract and re-signed defenceman Parker Wotherspoon, and goaltender Cory Schneider to one-year contracts.

Defenceman Zdeno Chara has retired from pro hockey. Drafted in the third round, 56th overall, in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders, Chara has 680 points (209G, 471A) in 1680 games, as well as 70 points (18G, 52A) in 200 playoff games, with the Islanders (1997/98-2000/01, 2021/22), Ottawa (2002/02-2005/06), Boston (2006/07-2019/20), and Washington (2020/21). The big defenceman was someone the Islanders, a very poorly run team at the time he was drafted, took a flyer on in what was admittedly one of the weaker drafts of the past thirty years. While he was a full-time NHLer by the end of the 1998/99 season, Chara wasn’t exactly tearing it up in the NHL, as even in dregs of the Dead Puck Era, when a player of his stature ought to have had the most success, his size was seen mostly as a hindrance, with him not producing points or using his physicality effectively, and him just kind of lumbering around. Then he gets traded to Ottawa in an absolute fleecing for Alexei Yashin and all of a sudden he’s one of the premiere defencemen of the new millenium. He wound up being Ottawa’s first major casualty of the salary cap when the Sens decided to let him walk in favour of keeping the better-skating Wade Redden, seen as the better player to keep in the “new NHL,” only to reach the highest heights of his career, including three seasons topping 50 points, a Norris Trophy in 2009, and a Stanley Cup championship in 2011 alongside two additional appearances in 2013 and 2019. He actually signed a one-day contract with the Bruins to retire with them and will almost certainly have his number retired en route to a first-ballot Hall of Fame induction. He also won the Mark Messier Leadership Award and was the Plus/Minus leader in 2011, earned Second Team All-Star honours in 2006 with Ottawa and 2008, 2011, and 2012 with Boston, and First-Team All-Star honours in 2004 with Ottawa and 2009 and 2014 with Boston. Chara’s career highs are 52 points and 40 assists in 2012, 19 goals in 2009, all with Boston. Even as he aged and his offensive production declined, he remained a greatly effective defenceman and minute muncher thanks in part to his long reach and massive frame. While many may only see him as the player who rammed Max Pacioretty into the stanchions during the 2011 season (Lord knows my Dad does), he was a great player who made an incredible on-ice impact, and teams will be drafting defencemen standing 6’7” or taller for years to come hoping, most likely in vain, to draft the next Chara. In his last NHL season, Chara scored 14 points (2G, 12A) in 72 games for the New York Islanders. He announced his retirement on Instagram. Chara, 45, was the oldest active player in the NHL as of his retirement.

New York Rangers

The Rangers acquired a conditional 2023 first round pick and a 2025 conditional fourth round pick from Dallas. They signed right winger Sam Alfano to a professional tryout contract.

Ottawa Senators

The Senators signed centre Dalyn Wakely, left winger Reid Valade, right winger Kyle McDonald, and defenceman Zachary Massicotte to professional tryout contracts. They signed defenceman Jorian Donovan to a three-year entry-level contract. They signed defenceman Zachary Massicotte to a professional tryout contract.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers signed left winger Antoine Roussel to a professional tryout contract. They signed centre Artem Anisimov and goaltender Tyler Wall to professional tryout contracts. They signed centre Jacob Gaucher, right winger Tye McSorley, and goaltenders Jonathan Lemieux and Nolan Maier to professional tryout contracts.

Defenceman Keith Yandle has retired from pro hockey. Drafted in the fourth round, 105th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Phoenix Coyotes, Yandle has 619 points (103G, 516A) in 1109 games, as well as 36 points (6G, 30A) in 58 playoff games for the Phoenix Coyotes and Arizona Coyotes (2006/07-partway through 2014/15), New York Rangers (partway through 2014/15-2015/16), Florida Panthers (2016/17-2020/21), and Philadelphia Flyers (2021/22). Yandle failed to win any championships or major awards in his career, and the bulk of his playoff success is confined to Conference Final runs in 2012 and 2015, but he was at one point one of the NHL’s top offensive defencemen. His career highs are 62 points and 53 assists in 2019 with Florida, and 12 goals in 2010 with Phoenix. What makes Yandle’s run particularly noteworthy is that he played the most consecutive games in NHL history, with 989, passing previous ironman record holder Doug Jarvis, whose record stood since 1987. Sadly, his run fell 11 games short of the elusive 1000 consecutive games played mark. I am convinced the decision to healthy scratch him so close to that milestone is cut from the same cloth as Mike Modano being healthy scratched to close the 2011 season with only three games to go before the 1100 game milestone, Jason Spezza being healthy scratched during for the home opener of his first season with his hometown Leafs, previous Jets coach Paul Maurice scratching the Jets Finnish stars during a game in Finland, or current Jets coach Rick Bowness scratching Riley Tufte ahead of a game he had paid a lot of money for his family to see. That is to say, a dick move and a power trip on the part of an NHL coach. I am and will remain forever convinced that the Flyers did not do enough prospect developing in the later part of the season and he was not worse than the 6th best defenceman on the Flyers. Now we rely on Phil Kessel, the active ironman leader with 982 games, to play just 18 games, just 18, to be the first to reach 1000 games played. I believe Doug Jarvis should be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame for his record ironman streak, and considering Yandle was more of a star player than Jarvis ever was, I believe Yandle should also be in. Not a first-ballot induction, but I think he should be. Yandle finished his last NHL season with 19 points (1G, 18A) in 77 games for the Philadelphia Flyers. Yandle, 36, announced his retirement on the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins made no moves this week.

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks made no moves this week.

Seattle Kraken

The Kraken made no moves this week.

St. Louis Blues

The Blues made no moves this week.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning signed goaltender Brad Barone to a professional tryout contract.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs made no moves this week.

Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks signed centre Michael Regush to a professional tryout contract.

Vegas Golden Knights

The Golden Knights signed defenceman Will Riedell to a professional tryout contract.

Washington Capitals

The Capitals signed forward Peter Laviolette to a professional tryout contract.

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets made no moves this week.