Philadelphia Flyers

NHL Notes: Icing crash leaves Canes' Pitkanen sidelined

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NHL Notes: Icing crash leaves Canes' Pitkanen sidelined

As the trade deadline approaches, expect the Flyers to look to build beyond just the remainder or this season (see story).

Here's a look at headlines from around the league:

Nasty crash sidelines Pitkanen
Former Flyer and current Carolina Hurricane Joni Pitkanen crashed violently into the boards on an icing play and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher in a 5-3 loss to the Capitals on Tuesday night.

According to Darren Dreger of TSN, per ProHockeyTalk, Pitkanen is expected to be sidelined for at least three months. It will effectively end his season.

The incident will likely stir the debate on hybrid icing, or no-touch icing, which is currently going on around the league.

Flyers defenseman Kurtis Foster, who was injured on an icing play as a member of the Wild in 2008, texted this to Michael Russo of the Minnesota Star Tribune after the crash: "Now that a star like Pitkanen hurt on icing, when is it enough?? No need for it anymore!!!!!!!!"

Pitkanen, 29, has one goal and eight assists for Carolina in 22 games.

Iginla trade 'shady'?
Jarome Iginla's move to the Penguins instead of the Bruins caused a stir last week, as it was expected the long-time Calgary Flame would be headed to Boston after multiple reports confirming the move.

NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury thinks there's something we don't know about the deal, per ProHockeyTalk.

“It was shady,” Milbury said prior to Tuesday’s Penguins-Sabres game on NBC Sports Network. “There were some things I didn’t like at all about that.

“I think it’s too bad we didn’t find out a lot more about it. [Bruins GM] Peter Chiarelli handled it, I thought, pretty well.”

Iginla netted his first goal as a member of the club on Tuesday in a 4-1 Penguins loss to the Sabres.

Crosby out of hospital
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is out of the hospital after breaking his jaw Saturday.

The Penguins confirmed on their Twitter account Tuesday that Crosby had been released a day earlier. He will be out of the lineup indefinitely after undergoing surgery.

Crosby was hurt in the first period of the Penguins' 2-0 win over the New York Islanders when he was struck in the mouth by a puck from a deflected shot.

The Eastern Conference-leading Penguins, with 15 straight wins, play their first game without Crosby on Tuesday night at home against Buffalo.

--The Associated Press

NHL Notes: Devils lose Travis Zajac for 4-6 months with pectoral injury

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NHL Notes: Devils lose Travis Zajac for 4-6 months with pectoral injury

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils have lost top center Travis Zajac for four to six months with a pectoral injury.

Devils executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero announced that Zajac had surgery to repair the pectoral muscle on Thursday.

Shero said the Zajac was hurt last week during offseason training.

Dr. Jonathan L. Glashow performed the surgery and estimated that Zajac's recovery time could last until February. The season starts in October.

The 32-year-old Zajac had 14 goals and 31 assists last season. He has 155 career goals and 280 assists. He has played for the Devils since the 2006-07 season.

The 20th overall pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, Zajac signed an eight-year, $46 million contract in 2013.

Sabres sign Zemgus Girgensons to 2-year deal

Sabres: Team signs forward Girgensons to 2-year deal
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres have signed forward Zemgus Girgensons to a two-year contract.

The team announced the deal Thursday that carries an average value of $1.6 million.

Girgensons, from Latvia, is the last of the Sabres' restricted free agents to sign with the team. Buffalo's first-round pick in 2012 has 37 goals and 49 assists in 277 career games over four seasons.

He skated in a career-best 75 games last season after signing a one-year extension last September.

NHL Notes: Oilers sign star Leon Draisaitl to mega 8-year contract

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NHL Notes: Oilers sign star Leon Draisaitl to mega 8-year contract

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers have signed center Leon Draisaitl to an eight-year contract extension with an average annual value of $8.5 million.

The extension runs through the 2024-25 season, similar to the eight-year, $100-million extension superstar captain Connor McDavid signed with the team in July.

With the signings, the Oilers are banking on McDavid and Draisaitl providing a potent one-two punch for the team as it looks to build on last season's return to the playoffs after a decade of futility.

Draisaitl, a 21-year-old German, had 77 points (29 goals, 48 assists) last season, his third in the NHL.

He finished eighth among NHL scorers, and second on the Oilers behind McDavid.

He led the Oilers in scoring during the 2017 playoffs, posting 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 13 games.

Draisaitl was selected third overall by the Oilers at the 2015 draft (see full story).

Avalanche: Hobey Baker winner Butcher now free agent
College hockey's top player is an NHL free agent after former University of Denver defenseman Will Butcher allowed a deadline to pass without signing with the Colorado Avalanche.

The Avalanche selected Butcher in the fifth round of the 2013 draft and had until Tuesday to sign the Hobey Baker Award winner who led Denver to a national championship in April.

A person with direct knowledge of the discussions told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Butcher already has had discussions with the Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils and NHL-expansion Vegas Golden Knights. The person said Butcher has not yet narrowed his list, and is also talking with other teams.

The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the talks are private.

The Denver Post first reported the three specific teams expressing interest in Butcher (see full story).

Wild: Cullen comes home for 21st NHL season
The Minnesota Wild and center Matt Cullen have agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract, bringing him back to his home state for a 21st season in the NHL.

The Wild announced the deal, which includes $700,000 in potential performance bonuses, on Wednesday.

Cullen played the last two years with Pittsburgh, winning consecutive Stanley Cups with the Penguins. He played three seasons for the Wild from 2010-13, his first return to Minnesota since launching his career at Moorhead High School and St. Cloud State.

Cullen, who will turn 41 on Nov. 2, had 13 goals and 18 assists in 72 games in 2016-17 for the Penguins, plus two goals and seven assists in 25 playoff games. He has played in 1,366 career regular season games, the sixth-most among active players (see full story).