AP Photo/Alex Brandon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The Calgary Flames will use a compliance buyout on 30 year old defenseman Shane O’Brien.

O’Brien’s contract had 1 year left with a cap hit of $2 million. The Flames placed O’Brien on waivers back in January and he passed through without getting claimed, with the extra year likely being the killer.

In 45 games with the Flames last year, O’Brien only had three assists to go along with zero goals. In the AHL, he had 8 points in 31 contests with the Abbotsford Heat in his first time in the AHL since 2006. O’Brien, standing at six-foot-three and 230 pounds, knew a while back that he didn’t fit in with the team’s system, despite fitting in size wise.

“It is what it is with Bob (Hartley),” said O’Brien, who averaged roughly around 11 minutes a night as a bottom pairing defenseman. “You could tell by the ice time where I stood in their minds. I don’t think it’s anything personal. I don’t think Bob thinks I’m a bad guy, but, obviously, he didn’t think I was a good player. Same with (associate coach) Jacques Cloutier. From Day 1, they didn’t think I could play on their team.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press
Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

The Washington Capitals have acquired the 159th pick in the draft and goalie Edward Pasquale for No. 164, No. 192 and a 7th-round pick in 2015.

Pasquale was selected by the Atlanta Thrashers in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. An RFA on July 1st, Pasquale posted a 17-13-1 record during the regular season and would later go on to see some Calder Cup action from the bench during the AHL final series between St. John’s and the eventual champions Texas.

At 23 years old, Pasquale has yet to prove he’ll ever make it past the AHL. With Philipp Grubauer, Sergei Kostenko and Brandon Anderson already in the system, it will be interesting to see if he’s even offered a contract for the upcoming season.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

lowtide.ca
lowtide.ca

Edmonton Oilers goalie prospect Tyler Bunz has announced via his twitter page that he will participate at the 2014 Douglas Webber Cup in Australia with Team Canada.

Bunz was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the 5th round (121st overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Considered one of the best Canadian goalies his age during his time in the WHL, Bunz has yet to prove himself at the professional level, but at 22, there is still time to turn that around. In 2012-2013, Bunz made one AHL appearance with the Oilers affiliate Oklahoma City and spent the bulk of his first pro season with the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder. This season, Bunz went 5-2-3 in 13 starts for the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL, while recording a 2-1-1 record with the Barons in limited action.

Currently, Bunz is the only goalie to be confirmed for either team. With the tournament beginning on July 11th, you can expect to see more names added to the roster in the next coming days. To take a look at the rosters to date, check out what Canada and USA have announced so far.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America
Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America

After posting his third best AHL numbers to date despite starting off the year on a PTO, JF Jacques has signed with Klagenfurter AC of the Austrian league for the upcoming season.

The long time AHLer (187 points in 315 games) signed a professional try-out contract with the Springfield Falcons earlier this year on his second stint with the club. In 52 games with the team, Jacques found the net 15 times and finished with 32 points in 52 contests.

Drafted in the second round, 68th overall by the Oilers in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Jacques is known more for his grinding ability then his scoring chances. He’ll likely never find his way back into an NHL spot in the near future, but if he does, it will be in a fourth line role just like in his first 166 NHL contests.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars
Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars

Just a few days after winning the AHL’s Calder Cup Championship with the Texas Stars, Christopher Nilstorp has signed with the Vaxjo Lakers of the Swedish Hockey League.

Nihlstorp signed a one year, two-way contract with the Dallas Stars back in 2012, but wouldn’t see much time as a backup goalie in the NHL. Nilstorp, who appeared in just six NHL games, finished with a 3.26 GAA and .890 save percentage. The 30 year old goaltender, who finished his AHL tenure with a 13-5 record in 19 playoff games and had a 2.17 GAA, stepped into the Texas Stars number one role when highly touted Jack Campbell went down with an injury in a prior series against Grand Rapids.

“He wants to play, participate and have the chance to win something, and he gets it with us,” said Vaxjo sports director Henrik Evertsson. “He likes our focus and see that we are going to do any good. But just because I am sure he has not given up his NHL dream.”

The Texas Stars now have a few options for the upcoming season. Campbell could potentially find his way up to the big squad, but if not, it could be him starting with either Philippe Desrosiers or Josh Robinson as a backup, but Robinson is currently not signed so it will be interesting to see what happens.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

Paul Bereswill/Getty Images North America
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images North America

According to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, tough guy Cam Janssen has been given a two-way deal worth $575,000 to stay with the New Jersey Devils for another season.

Jannsen had a career high three goals and 22 penalty minutes in 24 games with New Jersey in 2013-14 despite not playing past January. In 27 games with the Devils’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Albany Devils, he had three assists.

Overall during his career, that has seen him solely in a bottom line role, Janssen has six goals, 14 points and 774 penalty minutes in 336 NHL games with New Jersey and the St. Louis Blues, whom he had a four-year stint with from 2007-11. It’s likely Janssen will see more time in the AHL during the upcoming season, with some more spot duty to throw a few punches when push comes to shove.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

thereuschblog.com
thereuschblog.com

The Montreal Canadiens have traded forward Louis Leblanc to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

The 23-year-old from Pointe-Claire, Que. was selected by Montreal in the first round (18th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, but never really got a chance to prove himself with the big club. Considered a long shot to ever make the team the past couple of seasons, Leblanc had 10 points in 50 career games with Montreal.
“After three seasons with the Canadiens organization we felt that moving forward the best option for Louis and our organization was to give him the opportunity to pursue his career with another team,” Bergevin said a statement on the team’s website. “Throughout his entire stay with our organization Louis showed great professionalism and a constant desire to improve. We thank him for his contribution and wish him success for the continuation of his career.”

A high-ankle sprain slowed his progress during his time in Hamilton, and his attitude towards playing in a bottom six role didn’t appear to help his cause. Leblanc recorded 68 points in 163 American Hockey League regular season games with the Bulldogs didn’t also give the team any reason to give him an extended look in the National Hockey League.

Leblanc is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1st.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

The Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate, formerly called the Abbotsford Heat, have had a league-low attendance rate in British Columbia since they moved to Abbotsford in 2009, and have finally reached the end of their lease with the City of Abbotsford. Predictably, the team will not be staying in the city, and will move across borders to Glenn Falls, New York, who’s current Adirondack Phantoms team will be relocated to Allentown, Pennsylvania next season.

You’re probably asking yourself… “so the AHL is relocating a team to a place they just relocated a team from?” And the answer is yes, they are doing exactly that. Why? Because the Adirondack Phantoms had a solid increase in attendance this year, which tends to happen when your team is about to leave. Remember all those sad Thrashers fans who suddenly sprouted up when the team was moving to Winnipeg? Yeah, this is basically the same situation, except in this situation, the league moved another team to Glenn Falls to replace the Phantoms.

Any avid AHL follower knows how this will end up. After the initial buzz of a relocated team followed by a new team coming in dies down, Glenn Falls will again stop attending games, and we’ll see another relocation whenever this team’s lease ends. It’s the never-ending story of second-tier professional hockey, there’s always fans when something’s happening, and there’s never fans (in most places) when nothing’s happening. Take the Toronto Marlies, who have seen a significant increase in attendance since winning the first of their three straight North Division titles in 2011-12.

Long story short, The Abbotsford Heat are moving to Glenn Falls, whos Adirondack Phantoms are moving to Allentown. AHL teams keep relocating, the world keeps turning.

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The Montreal Canadiens have announced the signing of goaltender Dustin Tokarski to a two year contract extension.

In three games with Montreal this season Tokarski posted a 2-0-0 record with a fantastic .946 save percentage and a 1.84 goals against average. Tokarski was just as great in the American Hockey League, recording a 20-15-3 record and an .920 save percentage while also being named an AHL All-Star due to his play with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Tokarski was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning last year, coming over in exchange for career AHL goaltender Cedrick Desjardins. With Peter Budaj already signed for another season in Montreal, it’s unlikely that he’ll see much time with the team unless they end up trading the highly reliable backup. Regardless, expect Tokarski to have a big impact with the team behind Carey Price in two 2015-2016 when his contract becomes a one-way deal.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

Photo from Lightning Website
Photo from Lightning Website

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Adam Erne to an entry-level contract.

Erne was selected by the Lightning in the second round, 33rd overall, at the 2013 NHL Draft. While playing  in 48 games with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season, Erne potted 21 goals and 41 assists while also seeing time with the American World Junior club back around Christmas.  The left wing only saw action in one playoff game with Quebec during the QMJHL playoffs, recording a goal in the process.

Back in September, Erne was suspended for three preseason games after his high hit on Vladimir Sobotka in a game against the St. Louis Blues. Just before the World Juniors this year, Erne hit fellow Tampa Bay prospect Jonathan Drouin in the head, taking him out with a concussion. Drouin would return to action in time to play for Team Canada in what turned out to be a dissapointing tournament for the 2014 Olympic champions.

Erne will report to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch on a tryout contract.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

Elsa/Getty Images
Elsa/Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers have announced two deals today, signing forward Mark Arcobello and free agent defenseman Jordan Oesterle to contracts.

Arcobello has posted 18 points in 41 games with the Oilers this season, mainly in a limited role. Currently the all time points record holder in Oklahoma City Barons team history, the centreman has managed to record 10 goals and 28 points in just 15 games this season. Arcobello was sent down to the AHL in early February after sitting out three games as a healthy scratch after recording only two points in his final ten games.

During his college hockey career, Oesterle played three seasons with Western Michigan, accumulating 34 points in 113 contests. Last year, Danny DeKeyser a former defense partner of Oesterle’s, was signed by the Detroit Red Wings in what was considered one of the biggest college free agent signings of the year. A few years prior, the Oilers won the Justin Schultz sweepstakes after the defenseman chose not to sign with his draft team, the Anaheim Ducks.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Edmonton Oilers,” Oesterle said in a press release. “It has been a dream of mine and I want to thank everyone involved here at Western Michigan. Without them this couldn’t be possible.”

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

The Ottawa Senators have traded Andre Petersson to the Anaheim Ducks for Alex Grant.

Petersson was selected by the Senators in the 4th round (109th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Petersson started the 2012-2013 season with Binghamton and had 2 goals and 3 assists before injuring his hip and ending his season early. This season has been a little stronger for the forward, posting 40 points in 47 games with the baby Sens before the deal.

Grant was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 4th round (118th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for winger Harry Zolnierczyk after compiling 20 points with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins last season. In two games with the Ducks this season, Grant scored two goals to give himself a perfect scoring record during his NHL career.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

The Boston Bruins have claimed defenseman Corey Potter off of waivers from the Edmonton Oilers.

Potter was drafted 122nd overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers, and after taking five years to get his first NHL appearance, he has moved around a bit. He was signed as a free agent by the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 16, 2010, but after just one game, he found himself in Edmonton.

Rarely used by the Oilers, Potter’s $800,000 salary will give Boston a cheap option on the blue line. He currently sits ninth on the Bruins salary cap and will likely see lots of ice time in the AHL with the Providence Bruins, but don’t count him out to see some action at some point again in the NHL this season.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks acquired defensemen David Rundblad and Mathieu Brisebois from the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday in exchange for the Blackhawks’ second-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

This is the third time Rundblad been traded and he’s played in just 50 career NHL games. After signing his first contract with the St. Louis Blues back on June 10, 2010, he was traded a week later to Ottawa in exchange for the 16th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, which the Blues used to select Vladimir Tarasenko. On December 17, 2011, Rundblad was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes (along with a second round draft pick) for forward Kyle Turris. This season, Rundblad has four assists in six AHL games with the Rockford Icehogs, as well as an additional assist in 12 NHL games with the Coyotes.

Brisebois has one goal and four points in 28 games for the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League this season. He will report to the Rockford Icehogs Wednesday morning and continue his development for the remainder of the season.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America

The Ottawa Senators have acquired defenceman Patrick Mullen from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward Jeff Costello.

In 46 games this season with Vancouver’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Utica Comets, Mullen has registered 20 points, leading the Comets in scoring on the blueline.  Mullen was originally signed by the Los Angeles Kings as a free agent on April 3, 2009 after going undrafted, but has yet to see time in the NHL.

Costello was originally selected by Ottawa with the 146th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, but like Mullen, he hasn’t seen the ice in the National Hockey League. Currently the captain of Notre Dame in the NCAA this season, Costello has 19 points in 34 games, a slight drop from his 30 points a season ago.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

In a matter of moments, Brandon Pirri goes from being on the second ranked Chicago Blackhawks squad to the third lowest ranked Florida Panthers.

Pirri, a 22 year old forward who has split time between the Chicago Blackhawks and Rockford Icehogs this season, was traed for a third-round pick in this year’s draft and a fifth-rounder in 2016.

Pirri has played in 28 games for the Blackhawks this season, recording six goals and five assists. He also played 25 games for Rockford, posting 10 goals and 14 assists.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Unable to get an NHL contract anywhere, Johan Hednerg has signed a PTO with the New Jersey Devils farm team in Albany.

On July 4, 2013, the 40 year old Hedberg was placed on unconditional waivers for the intentions of a compliance buyout. The Devils bought out Hedberg as a result of a trade that sent Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider to New Jersey. Hedberg was given a tryout contract with the New York Rangers when Martin Biron was unable to show up to training camp, but was released shortly after.

Hedberg was drafted in the ninth round, 218th overall, in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers.  He has a 2.82 GAA and .901 save percentage in 373 career NHL games. In two seasons in the American Hockey League, Hedberg has an 18-11-5 record in 35 career games.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images North America
Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images North America

With the NHL trade freeze coming into affect on Friday, the rumors were in good numbers with teams hoping to shed some salary prior to the Olympics.

And of course, the day lived up to expectations. Didn’t you sit by your computer all day to read that the Boston ‪‎Bruins‬ have traded Carter Camper to the ‪Columbus Blue Jackets‬ for Blake Parlett?

All jokes aside, these aren’t a couple of nobodies. In 156 career college games with the Miami RedHawks, Camper had 69 goals and 114 assists for 183 points, ranking him second in the universities’ all time scoring leader board. While he has been unable to translate his minor league success into stellar NHL numbers, Camper has proved that he can put the puck in the net in the AHL, recording 128 points in 171 career games. Additionally, he does have one career NHL goal to his credit, coming against Alex Auld and the Ottawa Senators back in 2012.

Undrafted, Parlett was signed to a two-year entry level contract by the New York Rangers after a short time split between the AHL and ECHL. During the lockout shortened 2012-2013 season, Parlett was included, along with Steven Delisle, in the deadline trade of Marian Gaborik by the Rangers to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore. The defenseman has spent his time with the Springfield Falcons ever since, recording 18 points in 37 games with the club this year.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

The Montreal Canadiens have acquired forward Robert Czarnik from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Steve Quailer.

Czarnik was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the 3rd round (63rd overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Currently in his third professional campaign with the Manchester Monarchs, the Detroit, Michigan native has recorded 34 points in 129 career AHL games. Prior to turning pro, Czarnik attended the University of Michigan where he played two seasons of NCAA Division I college hockey with the Michigan Wolverines.

Qualier was selected by the Canadiens in the third round (86th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. In 76 career AHL regular season games with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the 24-year-old has recorded 15 points in a bottom line role for the club. Once considered a promising power forward in professional hockey, Qualier missed the entire 2009-2010 season with a knee injury, putting his NHL dreams on halt.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

According to Syracuse.com reporter Lindsay Kramer, Riku Helenius has agreed to report back to the ECHL, just days after getting suspended for breaching his contract.

Earlier in the week,Tampa Bay reporter Erik Erlendsson revealed some interesting news:

Riku Helenius, the one-time first round pick, informed the Florida Everblades of the East Coast Hockey League on Wednesday that he was leaving the team to return home to Finland, thereby resulting in a suspension from the Lightning for breach of contract.

With usual Syracuse Crunch goaltender Cedrick Desjardins and Kristers Gudlevskis on their way to Montreal to fill in with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Crunch were forced to sign journeyman AHLer Allen York and Central Hockey League puck stopper Grant Rollheiser to fill in. Rollheiser was unable to make it in time due to travel issues, leaving the team to sign 46 year old emergency backup John Parks to sit on the bench.

But what about Helenius, a long time prospect with the team? Well, on Wednesday, it was reported that the Finnish netminder had left the ECHL’s Florida Everblades without permission, leaving the team no choice but to suspend him for breaching the terms of his contract.

Yikes.

On Monday, Helenius agreed to return to the ECHL for at least the time being, but the Everblades weren’t interested. With the team already committed to former NHL draft picks Connor Knapp and Trevor Cann, the roster spot isn’t available for a third goaltender. Lightning assistant general manager Julien BriseBois said he is trying to find room for the goalie elsewhere, likely in the ECHL, but a team has yet to been found.

When Gudlevskis leaves to play for Latvia in the Olympics later this week, BriseBois said Desjardins will return to Syracuse to team up with York, who will likely get released once the Olympics are over. All this makes a return to Syracuse highly unlikely for Helenius, minus an unforeseen injury. He struggled with the Crunch in an early stint last month, going 2-3-0 with a 3.43 GAA and .875 SP in five games. 

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.