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Stafford Hockey Club • View topic - Tampa Bay Lightning Hats Authentic
1 post Page 1 of 1
Postby officialsbaseball » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:57 am
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Blackhawks agreed to contracts with free agents Chris Kunitz , Cam Ward and Brandon Manning on Sunday, addressing their depth in every position group after missing the playoffs for the first time in a decade.Kunitz got a one-year deal worth $1 million, and Ward’s one-year contract is for $3 million. Manning received a two-year deal.The 38-year-old Kunitz gives Chicago another experienced forward, Ward adds to the Blackhawks’ depth in goal after Corey Crawford missed most of last season, and Manning joins a mix of aging veterans and intriguing prospects on defense.”The main thing for us is that we’ve been able in the past couple of years to accumulate a lot of really good young players who are on the cusp of breakout status,” general manager Stan Bowman said in a conference call with reporters. ”In the process of turning it over to the young guys, you still have to mentor those young guys.”Kunitz had 13 goals and 16 assists in 82 games with Tampa Bay last season. He also had an assist in 17 playoff games with the Lightning. The four-time Stanley Cup champion – with Anaheim in 2007 and Pittsburgh in 2009, 2016 and 2017 – also won gold with Canada at the 2014 Olympics.”The goal from an organizational standpoint is to win a Stanley Cup,” Kunitz said. ”That’s what they’re looking to do every single year.”He joins a Chicago team looking for a comeback after finishing last in the Central Division. Crawford got hurt in December and the Blackhawks tumbled to 33 wins and 76 points, their lowest totals since they went 31-42-9 during the 2006-07 season.Upgrading its situation in net was one of Chicago’s top offseason priorities. Bowman said last month he expects Crawford ”to be back and ready to go in training camp ,” and the goaltender is among the listed players who will attend Blackhawks Convention July 27-29, an annual event where current and former players meet fans and speak with reporters.Anton Forsberg was acquired in the Artemi Panarin trade with Columbus last June, but he struggled in his first year as Crawford’s backup and his status is up in the air with the addition of Ward.”We felt that was an area we wanted to get better at,” Bowman said. ”Anton had a great season for us the first few months when he was getting his feet under him as a NHL goalie, with Corey sort of carrying the load. … I think Anton can work his way to (being No. 1 guy) over time, but Cam has the long-time pedigree of being able to handle that.”The 34-year-old Ward was selected by Carolina in the first round of the 2002 draft and spent his first 13 seasons with the Hurricanes. He went 23-14-4 last year with two shutouts, a 2.73 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.Ward also has 41 career playoff appearances. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2006 as playoff MVP when Carolina beat Edmonton for its only Stanley Cup title.Ward noted the Hurricanes did not contact him during the week leading to the start of free agency.”I understand they’re going in a different direction and that’s their idea,” he said. ”I always imagined myself retiring as a Hurricane and playing my whole career there. That being said, this has opened the door for a new opportunity and a new challenge for me. I’m excited to see what comes out of it.”The 28-year-old Manning set career highs with seven goals and 12 assists in 65 games last season with Philadelphia. He also played in six postseason games.Chicago also announced it had agreed to a three-year contract with defenseman Adam Boqvist. The Blackhawks selected the 17-year-old Boqvist with the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft.— EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) Every time the San Jose Sharks fell behind Wednesday night , they fought right back.Tomas Hertl had two goals, including the game-winner 2:40 into overtime, and the Sharks came back on three occasions to pull out a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.”The mentality all year has just been to stick with it,” said Brenden Dillon, who had a goal for San Jose. ”A big thing for us that we can kind of lean on is that we are a never-quit team and we were able to come back as the game went on.”Logan Couture also scored and added two assists for the Sharks, who have won two straight. San Jose is in second place in the Pacific Division, three points ahead of Los Angeles and Anaheim with 12 games remaining.”We are all watching the standings and there is not much room for error right now,” captain Joe Pavelski said. ”It is tight. We knew how important the points were tonight and it was a great job of the guys continuing to battle back. It was nice to get that extra point in overtime. It is really big for us right now.”Drake Caggiula, Oscar Klefbom and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had the goals for the Oilers (30-35-5), who lost their second in a row.”Just a few individuals with some tough nights that created some turnovers ,” coach Todd McLellan said. ”Our backup goaltender gives us a performance like that, I thought we should be able to close it off.”Zack Kassian hooked a backhand pass from behind the net out front to Caggiula, who slipped a shot past Sharks goalie Martin Jones as Edmonton took the lead 2:39 into the first period.Hertl converted on a 2-on-1 break, beating Oilers backup Al Montoya for his 17th goal of the season to tie it eight minutes into the game.Klefbom put away a long point shot eight minutes into the second. The goal withstood a video review.San Jose tied it a couple of minutes later with Caggiula serving a double-minor when Couture moved in from the top of the circle and beat Montoya with a wrist shot for his 28th.Edmonton made it 3-2 early in the third when Nugent-Hopkins tipped in Klefbom’s shot for his 19th, with Connor McDavid getting his second assist of the night to give him 86 points on the season.San Jose evened it yet again nine minutes into the third on a long shot through traffic by Dillon.”I thought we got a little bit tired at the end,” McLellan said. ”Some guys have played a lot of hockey in the last few days and it showed a little bit at the end.”NOTES: San Jose won the season series 3-1 after losing to Edmonton in the first round of last year’s playoffs. … Klefbom returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games due to exploratory shoulder surgery. He is expected to be shut down for a more thorough procedure soon that will end his season. … Joel Ward (shoulder) and Joe Thornton (knee) sat out for the Sharks.UP NEXTSharks: At the Calgary Flames on Friday, the second stop on a three-game trip through Western Canada.Oilers: Begin a four-game road trip at Florida on Saturday.—
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