NHL Notes: Coyotes won't offer captain Shane Doan a contract

NHL Notes: Coyotes won't offer captain Shane Doan a contract

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Shane Doan was showered with tributes and applause following the final game of the 2016-17 season, the big send-off coming just in case the Arizona Coyotes captain decided to retire.

Doan still hasn't decided if he will retire, but he won't play for the Coyotes if he does come back.

The Coyotes issued a statement Monday saying the team will not offer Doan a contract, ending a 21-year relationship that began before the franchise moved to the Valley of the Sun.

"The time has come for us to move on and to focus on our young, talented group of players and our very bright future," Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway said in the statement. "This was a very difficult decision given what Shane has done for the Coyotes and his unparalleled importance to the organization. With that said, this is necessary to move us forward as a franchise."

The Coyotes have been in rebuilding mode since a run to the 2012 Western Conference finals, a span of five playoff-less seasons that led the franchise to skew toward younger players.

The Coyotes traded 33-year-old Mike Smith, their No. 1 goalie the past five seasons, to Calgary on Saturday and left Doan unprotected in the NHL expansion draft on Sunday. They parted ways -- at least on the ice -- with their 40-year-old captain a day later, leaving Doan to decide whether to retire or join another team (see full story).

Wild: With Dumba exposed, team has a lot to lose
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- There were many years in Minnesota Wild history when assembling a list of their top 10 players would have been a breeze.

That was the biggest challenge this offseason.

The downside to the roster depth the Wild have built has arrived this week in the form of the NHL expansion draft, which will rob them of a valuable player on Wednesday night when the Vegas Golden Knights construct their inaugural team with one player from each of the other 30 clubs.

With defensemen Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella at the front of the queue, the Wild stand to lose as much as any team.

"They paid a large expansion fee, and the rules are set up that they're going to get some tremendous assets out of this process, as they should," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. He added: "It's actually, I think, a compliment to our organization that we have so many tough decisions."

Fletcher and his top lieutenant, Brent Flahr, quickly realized last summer their vulnerability once the NHL revealed the expansion draft guidelines.

"We did the math very quickly, and we were like, `We're going to lose a good player,'" Fletcher said last week, before the lists were submitted to the league (see full story).

Predators: Lyytinen signed to entry-level deal
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Nashville Predators have signed defenseman Joonas Lyytinen to a two-year, entry-level contract.

The Predators announced the deal Monday.

The 22-year-old Lyytinen just played his fourth season with KalPa in the Finnish League where he tied for seventh with eighth goals among defensemen. He helped the team to a silver medal with seven points in 18 postseason games.

He also played for Finland in the 2015 World Junior Championship with current Predators goalie Juuse Saros. Lyytinen was the 132nd pick overall in the fifth round of the 2014 draft.

Flyers trade Nick Cousins, Merrick Madsen to Coyotes

Flyers trade Nick Cousins, Merrick Madsen to Coyotes

Updated: 11:35 p.m.

One day before the Flyers had to submit their protection list to the NHL for next week's expansion draft, they made a minor trade.

Forward Nick Cousins and Harvard goalie prospect Merrick Madsen were sent to Arizona on Friday night for a 2018 fifth-round draft pick and 20-year-old forward prospect Brendan Warren, from the University of Michigan.

This deal benefits both Cousins, who was not a top-six forward for the Flyers, and Madsen, who was part of a deep lineup of goalie prospects, some of whom were well ahead of him.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Warren is a left wing. As a sophomore this past season, he had 10 points (three goals) in 35 games for the Wolverines.

Warren's better season was as a freshman when Michigan won the Big Ten title. That season, Warren had 17 points (five goals) in 38 games. He was a third-round pick by the Coyotes in 2015.

Cousins, who turns 24 in July, had six goals and 16 points, averaging 12 minutes a game for the Flyers in 60 games last season.

A feisty player with good hockey sense, but average speed and hands, Cousins' enthusiasm made him the kind of role player you could use anywhere. Yet, his primary skill set was bottom-six forward.

While Cousins' ice time was up two minutes over last season, it took a nosedive this year in the second half of the season, after he was averaging 15 minutes in February.

He's the kind of grit player who accepts his role without complaining that Vegas might have found attractive in the expansion draft.

It's possible Flyers general manager Ron Hextall moved him in lieu of losing him to Vegas for nothing.

Cousins, who carries an $840,000 salary cap hit, appeared in 107 games for the Flyers over three years with 12 goals and 27 points. He was a third-round selection in the 2011 draft.

The 21-year-old Madsen, who completed his junior year, had a 2.11 goals-against average and .923 save percentage at Harvard this season in 36 games.

He was a sixth-round selection of the Flyers in 2013, but was slotted behind fellow goalies Felix Sandstrom, Carter Hart, Alex Lyon and Anthony Stolarz in the Flyers' farm system.

Best of NHL: Lowly Coyotes damage Lightning's playoff hopes

Best of NHL: Lowly Coyotes damage Lightning's playoff hopes

TAMPA, Fla. -- Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a goal and an assist during Arizona's three-goal third period, Louis Domingue stopped 36 shots and the Coyotes damaged Tampa Bay's playoff hopes with a 5-3 victory over the Lightning on Tuesday night.

Arizona, with the NHL's second-worst record, also got goals from Christian Fischer, Christian Dvorak, Radim Vrbata and Connor Murphy.

Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Lightning, who remained four points behind Toronto for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 30 saves.

Ekman-Larsson and Vrbata scored two minutes apart early in the third as the Coyotes went up 4-3. Murphy had a late empty-netter that went off Hedman's glove (see full recap).

Penguins win to clinch 11th straight playoff berth
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Nick Bonino scored the go-ahead goal with 5:29 left and the Pittsburgh Penguins clinched their 11th straight playoff berth with a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary also scored, and Matt Murray made 29 saves. The Penguins (46-17-9) improved to 8-1-1 in their past 10 and are in the hunt to finish with the NHL's best record.

Sam Reinhart scored for a Sabres team that's sputtering on offense. Coming off a 2-1 win at Detroit on Monday, Buffalo has just five goals in regulation in its past five games, including a 2-0 shutout loss at Los Angeles on Thursday.

The score would've been more lopsided if not for Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner, who made 31 saves. Lehner foiled Tom Kuhnhackl and Chris Kunitz on a pair of breakaways in the opening three minutes of the second period (see full recap).

Blandisi gives Devils OT win over Rangers
NEWARK, N.J. -- Joseph Blandisi scored on an odd-man rush with 54.6 seconds left in overtime and the New Jersey Devils handed the New York Rangers a rare road loss, 3-2 on Tuesday night.

John Quenneville set up Blandisi's third goal of the season, and Quenneville and Taylor Hall also scored for the Devils. New Jersey got just its second win in 14 games (2-10-2) behind 38 saves by Cory Schneider, including a stop on Kevin Hayes in close just before Blandisi's winner.

The win was the Devils' first in four games with the Rangers this season.

Oscar Lindberg and Rick Nash scored for the Rangers, who lead the NHL with 26 road wins. Antti Raanta made 26 saves, but he had no chance on Blandisi's backhander after the forward took a pass from Quenneville and got behind defenseman Ryan McDonagh (see full recap).