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Brewin Flames

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  1. Top 10 prospects in Bruins organization entering 2020-21 NHL season The Boston Bruins have an older veteran core that could probably make one or two more runs at a Stanley Cup title. But what happens after that championship window closes? The best teams replace aging veterans with talented prospects who rise up through the organization and become impact players. Many of these prospects are acquired in the draft. The Bruins' prospect pool is not loaded with high-end talent. However, there are a few players in the system with really exciting skill sets and a bright future. Let's take a look at the Bruins' top 10 prospects entering the 2020-21 season. BY NICK GOSS - 23H AGO USA TODAY SPORTS 10Jeremy Swayman Getty Images 1 / 10 Position: Goaltender Age: 21 2019-20 Stats: 18-11-5, .939 SV%, 1.79 GAA (Univ. of Maine) Swayman is coming off a brilliant season for the University of Maine. He won the Richter Award as the nation's top goaltender and also was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. 09Curtis Hall Getty Images 2 / 10 Position: Center Age: 20 2019-20 Stats: 28 GP, 17 G, 10 A, 27 P (Yale University) Hall is an offensively gifted center with good size (6-foot-3 and 197 pounds) and impressive speed. He led Yale in scoring with 27 points, and his 17 goals were 12 more than he scored as a freshman the season before. Hall was a fourth-round pick (119th overall) of the Bruins in 2018. Oskar Steen Getty Images 3 / 10 Position: Center Age: 22 2019-20 Stats: 60 GP, 7 G, 16 A, 23 P (AHL's Providence Bruins) Steen was a sixth-round pick (165th overall) of the Bruins in 2016 who recently completed his first season with the Providence Bruins. He has the potential to be a useful bottom-six forward at the NHL level with a quick shot and crafty hands. He's currently playing in Sweden, where he's scored four goals in his first six games for Bjorkloven IF. Jakub Zboril Position: Defenseman Age: 23 2019-20 Stats: 58 GP, 3 G, 16 A, 19 P (AHL's Providence Bruins) Zboril was the first of three first-round picks made by the Bruins in the 2015 draft. He was projected to be a smooth-skating defenseman who would generate consistent offensive production at 5-on-5 and the power play. But unfortunately for the Bruins, Zboril has been unable to carve out a regular role at the NHL level. He's only played in two games for Boston during that span and he's yet to crack the 20-point mark in three AHL seasons. The Bruins recently signed him to a two-year contract, and the expectation is he'll compete for a spot on the third pairing during training camp. Contract details for Zboril's new deal 06Dan Vladar Position: Goaltender Age: 23 2019-20 Stats: 14-7-1, .936 SV%, 1.79 GAA (AHL's Providence Bruins) Vladar showed tremendous improvement for the Providence Bruins last season -- his second full campaign in the AHL. The 2015 third-round draft pick could be the Bruins' backup goaltender fairly soon, depending on what happens with current No. 1 netminder Tuukka Rask. Rask has one more year left on his contract before free agency. 05Jakub Lauko 6 / 10 Position: Left wing Age: 20 2019-20 Stats: 22 GP, 5 G, 4 A, 9 P (AHL's Providence Bruins) Lauko showed promise during his debut season in the AHL, nearly hitting the 0.5 points per game mark. He recently went back home to the Czech Republic, where he is playing for HC Energie Karlovy Vary. The ideal scenario the Bruins is that he can continue to develop his intriguing offensive game overseas before the next AHL season commences. 04Trent Frederic USA TODAY Sports 7 / 10 Position: Center Age: 22 2019-20 Stats: 59 GP, 8 G, 24 A, 32 P (AHL's Providence Bruins) Frederic projects to be a bottom-six forward at the NHL level. He's already capable of bringing a physical edge to the ice and isn't afraid to drop the gloves and fight if needed. The hope for the Bruins is the 2016 first-round pick continues to develop into a reliable third line scorer. The upcoming season will be huge for his development as he battles for a spot on the NHL roster. John Beecher Position: Center Age: 19 2019-20 Stats: 31 GP, 9 G, 7 A, 16 P (Univ. of Michigan) Beecher is an exciting prospect with an impressive blend of offensive skill, speed and size (6-foot-3 and 210 pounds). The 2019 first-round pick will be a sophomore at the University of Michigan during the upcoming season. Urho Vaakanainen 9 / 10 Position: Defenseman Age: 21 2019-20 Stats: 54 GP, 5 G, 9 A, 14 P (AHL's Providence Bruins) Vaakanainen projects to be a top-four defenseman at the NHL level with his two-way skill set and excellent skating ability. After playing in the AHL the last two years, the 2017 first-round pick should be able to impress enough in training camp/preseason to earn a third-pairing role to begin the 2020-21 campaign. ins in free agency? ADRTISEMENT 01Jack Studnicka 10 / 10 Position: Center Age: 21 2019-20 Stats: 60 GP, 23 G, 26 A, 49 P (AHL's Providence Bruins) Studnicka is the Bruins' top prospect and the one with the best chance to make a meaningful impact for Boston next season. He led the P-Bruins in goals, assists and points in his first full AHL season in 2019-20. His quick shot, smooth skating and versatility -- he can play at center and on the wing -- should help him earn a consistent NHL role pretty quickly. In fact, if first-line wingers Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are unable to play on Opening Night due to injuries, Studnicka is a candidate to slot in alongside Patrice Bergeron to start the season.
  2. Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, voice of NHL on NBC, announces retirement By Sean Leahy, Oct 19, 2020, 9:46 AM EDT Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, among the most acclaimed, respected and beloved sportscasters of all time, announced his retirement today following a 47-year career broadcasting professional hockey, including the last 15 as the lead play-by-play voice for NBC Sports’ NHL coverage. Synonymous with hockey in the United States, Emrick rose from calling college and minor league hockey in the 1970s to voicing the most important hockey games of the past three decades, including 22 Stanley Cup Finals, 45 Stanley Cup Playoffs/Final Game 7s, six Olympics, NHL Winter Classics and All-Star Games. In all, Emrick estimates he has called more than 3,750 professional and Olympic hockey games, thrilling viewers with an unmatched style that blended fevered excitement with an endless vocabulary of words to describe the puck’s movement around the rink. Acclaim for his work is unmatched. In 2011, Emrick became the first broadcaster ever inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. In all, he’s a member of seven Halls of Fame. That same year, Emrick won the first of his eight career Sports Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Sports Personality – Play-by-Play, which is the most ever in the category, including an unprecedented run of seven consecutive in the years 2014-2020. Although retiring, Emrick will remain a member of the NBC Sports family by occasionally writing and narrating video essays for its NHL coverage in the future. “It was 50 years ago this fall, with pen and pad in hand at old Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, I got my first chance to cover the National Hockey League. Gordie Howe was a Red Wing, Bobby Hull was a Blackhawk, Bobby Orr was a Bruin,” said Emrick. “A time like this makes me recall that we have seen a lot together. The biggest crowd ever, 105,000 at Michigan Stadium. A gold medal game that required overtime between the two North American powers in Vancouver. “Things change over 50 years, but much of what I love is unchanged from then to now and into the years ahead. I still get chills seeing the Stanley Cup. I especially love when the horn sounds, and one team has won and another team hasn’t, all hostility can dissolve into the timeless great display of sportsmanship – the handshake line. I leave you with sincere thanks.” “Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick is a national treasure – simply put, he’s one of the best ever to put on a headset in the history of sports broadcasting,” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer and President, Production, NBC and NBCSN. “Doc’s love of the game and his unmatched style produced true artistry, engaged new fans and quickly became the soundtrack of hockey. He lived at the rink on game days, spending countless hours at morning skates to find one more story to seamlessly weave into his frenetic, yet lyrical, call of a game. Doc always found the right words to meet the moment. It’s impossible to put into words the impact Doc has had not only on the game of hockey, but for anyone who has had the distinct pleasure to work with him.” “It has been a privilege and education on hockey’s biggest stage to have sat next to Doc for the last 14 years,” said NBC Sports’ lead NHL analyst Eddie Olczyk, who shared a booth with Doc for the past 14 seasons. “I will miss his stories, his preparation, his play-by-play, his friendship, and our dinners on the road. But most of all, I will miss his trust. My family and I wish him, Joyce, the pups and horses lots of love down the road.” Emrick’s career started during the 1970-71 NHL season, when he covered the Pittsburgh Penguins as a freelance reporter for the Beaver County Times. Emrick is affectionately known as ‘Doc’ because he received his Ph.D. in broadcast communications from Bowling Green State University in 1976. He called college hockey (Bowling Green, 1971-73) and minor league hockey (IHL’s Port Huron Flags, 1973-77; AHL’s Maine Mariners, 1977-80) before moving to the NHL, where he called games for three NHL teams, including roughly 20 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, as well as three broadcast networks over the past four decades. *** Doc ‘By the Numbers’ 3,750 – Professional and Olympic hockey games 100+ – Different verbs used to describe a shot or pass 50 – Seasons covering hockey 1970-71: NHLWA reporter covering the Pittsburgh Penguins 1971-73: Bowling Green State University (play-by-play) 1974-2020: IHL, AHL, NHL 47 – Seasons broadcasting professional hockey 1973-1977: Port Huron Flags (IHL) 1977-80: Maine Mariners (AHL) 1980-83, 88-93: Philadelphia Flyers 1983-86, 93-2011: New Jersey Devils 1986-88: New York Rangers (radio) 1986-88, 2000-04: ESPN/ABC 1995-99: FOX Sports 2006-2020: NBC Sports (exclusive since 2011) 45 – Stanley Cup Playoff Game 7s 22 – Stanley Cup Finals • Most-watched NHL game on record (8.9 million viewers); Blues-Bruins Game 7 (2019) • Most-watched Final on record (5.753 million viewers; 6 games); Blackhawks-Bruins (2013) 19 – NHL Winter Classic and Stadium Series games • First-ever NHL Winter Classic; Penguins-Sabres (2008) • Most-watched NHL regular-season game on record (4.53 million viewers); Capitals-Penguins (2011 NHL Winter Classic) 14 – NHL All-Star Games 8 – Sports Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sports Personality – Play-by-Play • Most ever in the category • Unprecedented seven consecutive from 2014-2020 7 – Halls of Fame 1997: Port Huron, Mich., Sports Hall of Fame 2008: Foster Hewitt Award presented by the Hockey Hall of Fame 2010: Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame 2011: U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame 2019: Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame 2019: National Sports Media Hall of Fame 2020: Fort Wayne Komets Hall of Fame 6 – Olympic Winter Games • Most-watched hockey game in 40 years (27.6 million); Vancouver 2010 USA-Canada Gold Medal Game
  3. A brief history of Flames goaltending (post-Kiprusoff) OCTOBER 14, 2020, 8:00 AM | RYAN PIKE Once upon a time, the San Jose Sharks traded third-string goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a second round draft selection. The draft selection became Marc-Eduoard Vlasic, while Kiprusoff became the best goaltender the Flames ever had. (Sometimes trades work out well for everybody.) But since Kiprusoff hung up his pads in 2013, the Flames have trotted out many, many goaltenders trying to fill the void. This is their story. Since Kiprusoff’s retirement, 13 different goaltenders have played for the Flames – Jacob Markstrom will be the illustrious 14th ‘tender in that lineage. That prior baker’s dozen can be distilled down to eight different pairings. Tandem #1: Joey MacDonald & Karri Ramo [October – November 2013] Bless his heart, Joey MacDonald didn’t have a lot of tread left on the tires when he arrived in Calgary as a waiver claim in February 2013. But considering the Flames were about to wave the white flag and trade Jarome Iginla, leaping head-long into a rebuild, having a 32-year-old journeyman goalie as their top dog made some sense. But it didn’t really work. The story goes that MacDonald was bluntly told by then-Flames GM Jay Feaster to train hard in the summer and he’d have a starting gig waiting for him in the fall. But MacDonald turned up in a condition that suggested that he hadn’t trained hard, then openly criticized his defense after giving up some rough goals to Detroit in an early November game. Feaster waived him and sent him to Abbotsford two days later in a move that basically screamed, “Fine, we’ll see what the new guys can do!” Tandem #2: Karri Ramo & Reto Berra [November 2013-March 2014] You can’t say that Feaster didn’t try to plan ahead. Knowing that Kiprusoff was long in the tooth, he had acquired a pair of “the best goalies outside of the NHL” in Ramo and Berra via trades with Montreal and St. Louis, respectively. When MacDonald sputtered and was sent to the minors, he decided to lean on the new faces. They weren’t amazing, but they weren’t awful either. Both had flashes of strong play, notably Ramo. But Berra garnered some interest at the trade deadline and with the Flames lingering near the NHL’s basement, Berra was sent to Colorado for a second round pick. Tandem #3: Karri Ramo & Joni Ortio [March-April 2014] With Berra gone, Feaster decided to elevate Ortio (a late round pick formerly of the AHL and ECHL farm teams) to try out alongside Ramo. He was fine, but failed to really gain a foothold in the NHL at the time. Tandem #4: Jonas Hiller & Karri Ramo [October 2014-April 2016] (& Joni Ortio) [October 2015-April 2016] One of the first things Brad Treliving did as general manager was sign Hiller, a veteran starter best known for his time with the Anaheim Ducks. Hiller and Ramo proved a capable 1A/1B tandem, with both showing flashes of brilliance (but not consistently enough to cement full-time starting duties). Hiller and Ramo were a good tandem, giving the Flames solid enough goaltending that they won a playoff round in 2015. The following season, though, was mired with injuries and inconsistency – and a weird situation where the Flames were apparently convinced they’d lose Ortio on waivers, so they kept three goalies and lost Paul Byron on waivers instead. (The Ortio three-headed monster isn’t really a distinctly new tandem, as Ortio didn’t really play or dress unless one of the others was hurt.) Ortio struggled throughout the season and eventually passed through waivers unclaimed. Seeking some consistency, Treliving let Hiller, Ramo and Ortio all walk in free agency and went looking for new goalies. This is the goalie version of Craig Button trading Marc Savard (during his feud with coach Greg Gilbert) for an obscure Russian prospect, then firing Gilbert anyway. Tandem #5: Brian Elliott & Chad Johnson [October 2016-April 2017] Treliving went for a wholly new tandem in 2016-17, trading picks for Elliott and signing hometown boy Johnson as a free agent. The duo was good enough to make the playoffs but inconsistent enough to losing during them, with Elliott giving up some rough goals in the post-season. Once again, Treliving changed up his tandem entirely. Tandem #6: Mike Smith & Eddie Lack [October-November 2017] Johnson’s expiring deal, a pick and a prospect were traded for Smith and late picks and depth prospects for Lack. Unfortunately, Lack floundered in a handful of starts and was waived and sent to Stockton, replaced by an obscure Czech goaltender from the minors. Tandem #7: Mike Smith & David Rittich [November 2017-April 2019] Smith had flashes of brilliance over two seasons, but the real story here was the emergence of AHL starter Rittich as “Big Save Dave.” The name was somewhat derisive originally, referencing some rough play Smith had at the time Rittich got a string of strong starts. But playing almost exclusively on the road and on the back half of back-to-backs originally, Rittich thrived. By the second season, Rittich was the starter until a knee sprain saw Smith get all the key stretch drive playoff starts. Tandem #8: Cam Talbot & David Rittich [October 2019-August 2020] Seeking a steady 1B to Rittich’s 1A, Treliving nabbed Talbot from free agency on a team-friendly deal. He was rewarded, as another Rittich injury (elbow this time) slowed the 1A down and allowed Talbot to get tons of starts down the stretch and in the wacky post-COVID-pause mega-playoffs. Tandem #9: Jacob Markstrom & David Rittich [Presumptive 2020-21] Presuming no more big changes, this will be the ninth different tandem for the Flames post-Kiprusoff, and the third different goaltending partner for Rittich in Calgary. (Ramo had four partners.) The Flames are likely hoping that this tandem will last for awhile. Or at least until one of the younger goalies, such as Dustin Wolf, can supplant Rittich. For the curious, since arriving in Calgary Treliving has drafted, signed or otherwise acquired 19 different goaltenders. In order: Mason McDonald (draft), Jonas Hiller (UFA), Brad Thiessen (UFA), Nick Schneider (UFA), Kevin Poulin (trade), Niklas Backstrom (trade), David Rittich (UFA), Brian Elliott (trade), Tyler Parsons (draft), Chad Johnson (UFA), Tom McCollum (UFA), Mike Smith (trade), Eddie Lack (trade), Artyom Zagidulin (UFA), Dustin Wolf (draft), Cam Talbot (UFA), Daniil Chechelev (draft), Jacob Markstrom (UFA) and Louis Domingue (UFA) If you combine all the trades, the Flames spent a second round pick, a third round pick, a sixth round pick, David Jones’ expiring deal, Johnson’s expiring deal, Keegan Kanzig and Brandon Hickey’s rights and received Backstrom, Elliott (for a season), Smith (for two seasons), Lack, Ryan Murphy, a sixth round pick (Matthew Phillips) and a seventh round pick (Dustin Wolf). All-told, they ended up getting decent value even if the process was a tad labourous.
  4. Rangers agree with top pick Alexis Lafrenière on rookie contract Alexis Lafrenière isn’t going back to play junior hockey in Quebec, and the Rangers hope he’s on the ice in New York sooner than later. The Rangers agreed to terms Monday with the No. 1 draft pick on his three-year, entry-level contract that includes the lucrative bonuses typical for a player selected in that spot. Lafrenière as expected won’t return to Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, which has started its season, and general manager Jeff Gorton hopes to get him to the New York area by early November to begin training for next season. “We’re really excited about getting him signed,” Gorton said. “Looking forward to the first time we can actually see him on the ice.” The Quebec-born left winger is expected to play right away in the NHL, which is targeting a Jan. 1 start for the 2021 season. Lafrenière joins a budding young core that includes MVP finalist Artemi Panarin, top center Mika Zibanejad, defensemen Adam Fox and Anthony DeAngelo and goaltender of the present and future Igor Shesterkin. New York signed Panarin to a big-money, long-term contract July 1, 2019, and doesn’t need to spend like that now after winning the draft lottery and stockpiling so much talent. The future may not be now, but it’s not far off. “Keep in mind the big picture,” Rangers president John Davidson said. “We want to play well this season, whenever the season is — whenever it starts and wherever it starts, we don’t have any idea. When you manage a hockey club, we have to think of today, tomorrow and the future and we like some of the pieces that we have that are going to put us into that position.” Lafrenière agreed to a contract a day after turning 19 and less than a week since going first overall. He’s coming off a season in which he put up 35 goals and 77 assists for 112 points with Rimouski and was the MVP of the world junior hockey championship for getting 10 points in five games and leading Canada to the gold medal. The Rangers are hoping for more of that kind of production eventually from their first No. 1 pick since the universal draft was implemented in 1969. They also made a handful of free agent signings since the market opened Friday to improve, especially on defense. They signed Jack Johnson to a $1.15 million, one-year deal after he was bought out by Pittsburgh and added fellow defenseman Anthony Bitetto, a Long Island native. Johnson won’t totally fill the veteran blue line void off Broadway, but he’s a stopgap and a bridge to several young prospects who may not be quite ready for the NHL. “He’s going to help us,” Davidson said. “He’s a big body, he boxes people out, he’s good along the boards. He’s not offensive-minded by any means, but he’s going to help us as we move along here and try to become a better team down the road.” New York also signed veteran Keith Kinkaid to be its third goaltender behind Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev after buying out Henrik Lundqvist, who joined the rival Washington Capitals. “We see teams all around the league, goaltending depth has become a major asset and an issue, really,” Gorton said. “We like Keith and we’ve watched his career over the years, and we think he’s somebody that is a capable NHL guy that we felt like it was the right time to bring him into the organization.” Davidson, who tended goal for the Rangers back in the day and watched franchise legend Eddie Giacomin return to face New York with Detroit after being waved, isn’t concerned about Lundqvist staying in the same division because the team and 38-year-old were each ready to move on. “It’s an ideal situation,” Davidson said of Lundqvist going to Washington. “This is us trying to look to the future. We had to do what we did.” There’s no bigger symbol of the Rangers’ future than Lafrenière, who will get help from the organization finding housing. Davidson said Lafrenière is welcome at his house — which would mimic Sidney Crosby living with Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux early in his pro career — and several other players have offered taking the prospect in. “We’ll find the best-case scenario for him,” Gorton said. “We do have a number of people that have reached out, and there’s no shortage of people that we think can help and put him in the right spot.”
  5. The Vegas Golden Knights have signed defenceman Alex Pietrangelo to a seven-year, $61.6 million contract with an AAV of $8.8 million.
  6. When i watch that interview, it puzzles me, unless i missed something... Says he wanted to remain a bruin, and i am pretty sure that the bruins offering him damn close to what the blues did, if not exact, so when he's asked "how close were you to staying in Boston", and he says "Not Close", that just kind of blows my mind, almost as if he was saying there were no talks/offers. Either way, (imo) he a PP specialist and was never that great at actually playing defense, great skater/puck mover willing to throw a hit or fight if need be, but i'm looking for a guy who's gonna be a rock at the blue line...for what St. Louis gave him, congrats on getting paid, best of luck.
  7. Listening to his interview hurts....
  8. Torey Krug is big free agent D signing for Blues, not Alex Pietrangelo By James O'Brien Oct 9, 2020, 8:41 PM EDT The St. Louis Blues ended up landing one of the most prominent defensemen in 2020 NHL Free Agency, but they signed Torey Krug, rather than retaining Alex Pietrangelo. The Blues announced that they signed Krug to a seven-year, $45.5M contract ($6.5M cap hit). Naturally, there are plenty of fascinating subplots to this. Most obviously, this means that the Blues are all but guaranteed to see Alex Pietrangelo walk away in free agency. It also, interestingly, means the Blues snatched Krug from the Bruins, the team they beat in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. Remarkably, Krug and Justin Faulk will share identical contracts, at least in money and term. Inevitably, Krug will be compared to Pietrangelo. That may not be fair, although there are some pluses. For one thing, Krug is slightly younger (turned 29 on April 12) than Pietrangelo (turned 30 on Jan. 18). So, Krug is younger and almost certainly will be cheaper. But, so far, there’s no denying that Pietrangelo boasts a higher standing in the NHL. Krug probably deserves a little more credit than he receives, though. Cap Friendly basically puts the Blues’ cap space at or around zero. With (also-underrated) defenseman Vince Dunn lingering as an RFA, St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong’s work isn’t done. Even if that means having to move on from Dunn, and maybe shedding some salary elsewhere. Overall, though? If you have to walk away from Pietrangelo, Krug is a nice fit. That said, that term is risky, even for a very valuable player. The Blues are very much built to win now, just with Krug instead of Pietrangelo going forward. Wow, right?
  9. Also means, the are not ready to turn it over full time to Demko just yet, and they still have Dipietro in waiting.
  10. He's only 26, a two time cup winner, and how has a chance to be the undisputed man... Build your team from the netminder out, it's gonna be interesting.
  11. Reports: Ottawa Senators give Matt Murray four-year, $25M deal After acquiring goaltender Matt Murray from the Penguins two days ago, the Ottawa Senators have signed him to a four-year, $25 million deal, according to multiple reports. Ottawa sent forward prospect Jonathan Gruden and a second-round draft pick to Pittsburgh in the deal. The Senators said that they wouldn't be re-signing longtime goaltender Craig Anderson this offseason. It feels like Murray has been around forever, but he is only 26. He started out like a Hall of Famer, winning back-to-back Stanley Cups in his first two seasons in the league. But that was three years ago, and last season, he not only didn't look like a Stanley Cup goalie, but he struggled to be an NHL starter. He had a goals-against average of 2.87 and a career-worst .899 save percentage. He ended up splitting time with fellow restricted free agent Tristan Jarry, who became an All-Star. Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford indicated that he might be shopping Murray. And then he signed Jarry to an extension, likely making Casey DeSmith the backup. Murray is coming off a three-year contract with a cap hit of $3.75 million. In his five seasons in the league, he has a career GAA of 2.67, a save percentage of .914 and, more importantly, those two Cups.
  12. Unable to reach an agreement to stay the starter in Vancouver, goaltender Jacob Markstrom quickly made a deal with the Calgary Flames for six years and $36 million, the team announced Friday. After serving primarily as a backup for most of his career, Markstrom developed into a quality front-line netminder since he turned 28 three seasons ago. Last season, he went 23-16 with a 2.75 goals-against average and .918 save percentage for a surprising Canucks team. Vancouver beat Minnesota in the qualifying round, 3-1, and upset the defending Stanley Cup-champion Blues, 4-2, in the first round before losing to Vegas in seven games in the West semifinals. Markstrom had a 2.85 GAA and .919 save percentage in 14 playoff games. He is coming off a three-year, $11 million contract. Injured against the Golden Knights, backup Thatcher Demko took over for the Canucks and went 2-1. Calgary started David Rittich last season with Cam Talbot as backup, but Talbot took over in the playoffs. He went to the Wild on the first day of free agency. The Canucks moved on by signing former Capitals goalie Braden Holtby to a two-year, $8.6 million deal. Holtby and Demko will likely share time in net for a young Canucks team that finished 36-27-6 last season and in third place in the Pacific Division.

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