Wholesale Buffalo Sabres Jerseys

Wholesale Buffalo Sabres Jerseys

The Buffalo Sabres announced Thursday that the team has signed goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The 19-year-old was drafted by the Sabres in 2017, with the 54th overall selection.

Luukkonen, 6’4”, 196 pounds, is a native of Espoo, Finland.

He spent most of last season playing with LeKi, where he appeared in 24 games and put up a 2.92 GAA and .909 save percentage. Luukkonen also played for HPK Hameenlinna (1 game) and HPK’s U-20 team.

He also played in the 2018 World Junior Championships in Buffalo, suiting up for his native country. In five games, Luukkonen had a 3.13 GAA and .879 save percentage.

In addition to last year’s World Juniors, Luukkonen has competed several other times internationally for Finland.

Futureconsiderations.ca says Luukkonen’s “wide butterfly stance helps him cover the majority of the low net naturally,” noting he is “fluid in his movements and quick laterally in the crease.”

TSN’s Craig Button called the goaltending prospect a “big, ‘take up a lot of net’ goalie who has good legs and battles to stop the puck. Finds way to make saves.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wholesale Washington Capitals Jerseys

Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson defended his controversial hit on Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault in the third period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, saying it was “a good clean hit” in “playoff hockey.”

Marchessault, as well as Vegas teammates, took offense to the play.

With the score tied 4-4, Wilson laid out Marchessault at open ice, which stirred the Vegas bench. The referees huddled but decided not to issue a major penalty, instead giving Wilson two minutes for interference. Vegas winger David Perron was also given a two-minute minor for offsetting penalties.

Vegas won 6-4 to take a 1-0 series lead.

“I saw the hit. I remember everything,” said Marchessault, who went through the concussion protocol but returned to finish the game. “It was a late hit. I don’t really need to talk more about it. I think the league will take care of it. We know what type of player he is out there. You gotta keep your head up and try to make the play. I didn’t make the play. I was a little late, but whatever.”

Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said the coaching staff was “upset about it. It was a big hit.” Gallant called Wilson an “old-school player” but said, “For me, it was a late hit.”

Golden Knights fourth-liner Ryan Reaves added: “It was a late blindside hit like Wilson always does.”

Afterward, Wilson saw no problem with the play.

“There are going to be hits,” Wilson said. “It’s a contact sport. That’s all that I saw.”

Marchessault described the play from his point of view: “I have the puck, I’m trying to make the play, I see [Reilly Smith and William Karlsson] going through, a couple seconds go by, and I just get blindsided. I’m not a guy that makes those decisions, but I’m sure the league is going to take care of it.”

Wilson’s take: “He’d probably say he shouldn’t admire his pass. I’m just finishing my check. I haven’t slowed it down. I’ve been told that we’re talking tenths [of a second] here. I think it’s game speed, and I delivered it in good time. I think he let up a little bit because he wasn’t aware I was there. I finished him through his body. He might have been a little bit surprised by it, but it wasn’t an aggressive hit. He looked fine at the end when he was yelling at me from the bench.”

Wilson was suspended for three games in Washington’s second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins for a hit that broke the jaw of Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese. Wilson is already considered a repeat offender; he was forced to sit out two preseason games following a late hit on St. Louis Blues rookie Robert Thomas and was suspended for the first four games of the regular season after boarding Blues forward Sammy Blais.

“You always have your reputation,” Wilson said. “When you play my physical style, you’re going to have that reputation. I trust myself. I play the game hard. It’s my job to bring that energy, that physicality. Right after he got up, he said ‘good hit.’ It’s the Stanley Cup Final out there. There are going to be hits. It looked good to me.”

Wholesale Nashville Predators Jerseys

After a deflating Game 5 home loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, the Nashville Predators are down 3-2 and facing elimination in the Stanley Cup playoffs. But instead of a somber Predators postgame locker room, it was one of strong confidence and promises.

Predators defenseman P.K. Subban is calling his shot, guaranteeing a Game 6 win on Monday in Winnipeg and a return to Nashville for Game 7.

“We’re going to wake up in the morning, and that page is going to be turned. We’re gonna go to Winnipeg. We’re gonna win a game,” Subban said after the 6-2 loss. “We’re going to come back here. It’s that simple.”

This isn’t the first time Subban has made a guarantee in the playoffs. Last season after the Predators went down 2-0 to the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final, Subban told reporters, “There’s no question. We’re going to win the next game.”

The Predators won the next two games at home to tie the series before losing the final two games. The Predators will need to win the next two games against the Jets to reach the Western Conference final.

“There’s no group I’d rather be with to win one hockey game than this group,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “This group has been built, it’s been built for a game like the one is coming up.”

The Predators went 2-1-1 against the Jets in Winnipeg during the regular season and playoffs.

“We’re a character group. We have a ton of experience in here. We’ve had our backs against the wall before,” Subban said. “Like I said, we’re going to go to Winnipeg. We’re going to win a game, and we’re going to come back here. Every single guy in here believes that.”

Wholesale Toronto Maple Leafs Jerseys

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri has been for suspended three games for his hit on Boston Bruins forward Tommy Wingels.

Kadri was assessed a major penalty for charging and a game misconduct in the Maple Leafs’ first playoff game Thursday night against the Bruins. The incident occurred at 8:14 of the third period, while the Bruins were leading 4-1. Boston went on to win the game 5-1.

“Kadri sees Wingels has fallen, and, with sufficient time to adjust his course or minimize the force, instead drives recklessly into the defenseless Wingles, causing his head to dangerously impact the boards,” a narrator explains in a Department of Player Safety-produced video posted to the NHL’s website. “It is important to note that Kadri is in control of this hit at all times.”

The suspension is the fourth of Kadri’s career. Most recently, he was suspended four games in April 2016 for cross-checking. His other suspensions have included four games for an illegal hit in 2015 and three games for goalie interference in 2013.

“I certainly wasn’t trying to hit him while he was down like that,” Kadri told reporters after the game. “I was already committed to the hit. If he’s still standing up, there isn’t anything wrong on that, but he fell.”

Kadri tied his career-high with 32 goals this season. His 32 goals were also third most on the team during the regular season, behind James van Riemsdyk (36) and Auston Matthews (34).

This is the second suspension in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was suspended for one game for a hit to the head of Vegas Golden Knights forward William Carrier. Doughty had never previously been suspended.

Game 2 of the Maple Leafs-Bruins series is Saturday night in Boston.

Wholesale New York Rangers Jerseys

The New York Rangers were without assistant coach Lindy Ruff for the team’s Wednesday night game after he suffered a concussion during Tuesday’s practice.

Ruff was injured when he fell and hit his head on the ice. In addition to the concussion, the veteran coach had a large cut on the back of his head.

“We’re not sure if he stepped on a puck or a puck hit him, but he hit his head on the ice,” Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said. “We had to take him off the ice. He went to the hospital. He’s got a pretty big gash with some stitches in the back of his head. He’s been diagnosed with a concussion, so he’s going to be out for a couple of days. He should be back [Thursday] and fine. I talked to him [Tuesday] night. I talked to him again [Wednesday].

“He’s back to his perky self. He was just a little dazed yesterday. It was just an unfortunate accident.”

Ruff, a defensive assistant with the Rangers, had previously spent 15 years as the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres and four years as the Dallas Stars’ head coach.

The Rangers lost at the Washington Capitals 3-2 in overtime.

New York will return home for Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning before closing out the regular season on a four-game road trip.

Wholesale Boston Bruins Jerseys

The bad news keeps coming for a Boston Bruins team that is having a surprisingly good season. Defenseman Charlie McAvoy will miss at least four weeks because of a sprained MCL in his left knee, the team announced.

McAvoy, 20, suffered the injury Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens and will be re-evaluated in four weeks.

McAvoy, who made his NHL debut in last season’s playoffs and more than held his own, has seven goals and 25 assists in 59 games this season.

Coming into the season, the Bruins were thought to be rebuilding around players like McAvoy, but success accelerated the plan. They have the second-most points in the Eastern Conference. At the trade deadline, then, Boston traded for wingers Rick Nash and Tommy Wingels and defenseman Nick Holden and signed Olympian Brian Gionta.

But then center Patrice Bergeron, the team’s leading goal scorer, broke his foot at the end of February. He will be re-evaluated next week. Goaltender Tuukka Rask was a late scratch Saturday with a lower-body injury, and Anton Khudobin started in goal Tuesday against the Red Wings.

Wholesale Arizona Coyotes Jerseys

Arizona Coyotes right wing Tobias Rieder, center, of Germany, is congratulated after his goal by center Derek Stepan, front, and left wing Brendan Perlini in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, in Denver.

The Arizona Coyotes have traded forward Tobias Rieder to the Los Angeles Kings, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Craig Morgan.

In return, the Coyotes will receive goalie Darcy Kuemper, with backup goalie Scott Wedgewood going to Los Angeles. Kuemper and the Coyotes have already worked out an extension, per Morgan. Kuemper was set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Kuemper’s extension is for two years with an annual average value of $1.85 million, according to Morgan.

“Darcy is a big, talented goaltender who is having an excellent year,” general manager John Chayka said in a press release. “You need great goaltending in this league in order to be successful and with Antti and Darcy, we are confident that we have an excellent tandem for the future.”

Rieder, a restricted free agent after this season, has eight goals and 19 points this season for Arizona. He was a healthy scratch for the first time this year in early February against the San Jose Sharks.

Head coach Rick Tocchet said earlier this month that he wanted more from Rieder’s intangibles.

“It’s not so much his scoring,” Tocchet said. “He’s got to get inside the dots. He just hasn’t really done much.”

Kuemper, 27, has started 15 games for the Kings. In 19 total appearances, he has a goals against average of 2.10 and a save percentage of .932.

Wholesale Anaheim Ducks Jerseys

Jaromir Jagr was released by the Calgary Flames yesterday. He could be exactly what the Anaheim Ducks need to take their young players to new heights.

Anaheim Ducks General Manager Bob Murray is executing one of the toughest management tasks in all of professional sports, rebuilding on the fly. Veteran stars Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Ryan Kesler are coming into the “back nine” of their respective careers. A young core consisting of players such as Rickard Rakell, Cam Fowler, Brandon Montour, and John Gibson are rising to prominence in the veterans wake.

Getzlaf and Perry had Hall of Famers like Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens, and Teemu Selanne to learn from when they were starting their careers. In Kesler’s case, he had the Sedin twins and Trevor Linden as tutors. The current group of young Ducks could use similar mentoring.

Taking nothing away from the current veteran leadership, Jaromir Jagr is on a different level. He isn’t the same player he was in his prime, or even five years ago. Frankly, he is slow on the ice and appears to be a step behind at times. What he brings to the table at this point in his career, is exactly what the Ducks need.

Any success guru will tell you that all champions, in any endeavor, are constantly learning and adjusting. NHL great Jaromir Jagr is the poster child for those traits in hockey. It would be easy to think after 24 years in the pros, the native of Kladno, Czech Republic would have a been there, done that mentality. Easy? Yes. Correct? Far From it.

Here is an excerpt from a story about Jaromir Jagr, written by Ben Shpigel, that appeared in the New York Times on April 7, 2016:

“… consider this episode from a practice this season. Jagr, embarrassed that Aaron Ekblad had stolen the puck by elevating Jagr’s stick, barged into the weight room afterward and declared, “Nobody will ever take the puck off my stick again.” So he and Powers grabbed one of Barkov’s sticks and attached it to a resistance machine, fashioning a contraption that allowed Jagr to fend off that lifting motion.”

Picture that for a second. Arguably, one of the top 10 players in NHL history, is working on his puck possession. After all his success in the game over more than 23 years and he still hones the little things to make him better.

Jagr’s work ethic and determination are undeniable. Here is another example, in Jagr’s own words, from an article Paul Stewart (one of the greatest referees in NHL history) wrote for the Huffington Post a year before the Times article:

“It’s 11:15 p.m. Most people are asleep and I’m just finishing my last exercise with my 30-pound vest. I sit on the bench to have some rest. I look at myself in the mirror. After a while, I ask myself a question: “Is it really still worth it?” Unfortunately, I don’t think I can answer this question. I really can’t. I keep thinking, “You are alone, no family, you work like a horse, there is no one waiting for you at home.” This doesn’t sound too great, I think. But then another question pops up: “Then why do you keep doing it?” I know the answer to this question without hesitation. “Because I love it.”

Jagr’s quality of play is still better than many NHL forwards. Even if he’s only able to go 12 minutes or so a night and chip in a few goals down the stretch, its worth it for the Anaheim Ducks to have him on the team. The team not only needs his on-ice talent, but also his dedication. Both would leave a lasting legacy.

In two or three years Getzlaf and Perry won’t be standard bearers of the team anymore. Rakell, Lindholm, Sam Steel, and Ondrej Kase will be the ones carrying the load. One way to be great is to learn from the great.