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Predators Select Defenseman Aaron Ekblad Number One Overall

Predators Select Defenseman Aaron Ekblad Number One Overall Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- With the first pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, the Florida Panthers selected defenseman Aaron Ekblad. He is the first defenseman selected number one overall since the Stl Louis Blues drafted Erik Johnson back in 2006. "I was just sitting there just kind of scared and excited at the same time," Ekblad said after getting drafted. The Panthers had a top-three pick in the NHL draft for the fourth time in the past five years. The team hopes that Ekblad can help take the team back to the playoffs. "You look who they have on their back end, right or left shots, all that kind of stuff," he said. "I was watching to see if Florida would get a new coach. The last little while, it's pretty fun to just follow that after the season." He was arguably the best defenseman in the OHL. ranking first among defensemen with 23 goals and tying for fifth with 53 points. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kings Ink Gaborik to 7-Year Contract

Kings Ink Gaborik to 7-Year Contract Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The Stanley Cup-winning Los Angeles Kings signed winger Marian Gaborik to a seven-year contract Wednesday. The deal is worth an average annual value of $4.875 million, according to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun. Gaborik was acquired by the Kings via a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets in March. The 32-year-old Slovak played a huge role in the Kings winning Lord Stanley's Cup this season, scoring a league-leading 14 playoff goals. Gaborik could have become a free agent on July 1. "All along I wanted to stay here. The organization knew it, the players knew it, everybody knew it, my agent knew it. That was my No. 1 priority, to try to get the deal done here," Gaborik said. "I know I could get maybe more money if I went to UFA, but it wasn't about money. I wanted to stay here and be a part of a great team." Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lightning Strike 6-Year Deal with Callahan

Lightning Strike 6-Year Deal with Callahan (TAMPA BAY) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning signed winger Ryan Callahan to a six-year contract Wednesday. The deal is worth $34.8 million and comes with a full no-trade clause for the first four years and a partial one for the final two, according to ESPN. "We are pleased to announce that we've reached an agreement on a six-year contract extension with Ryan," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said. "He's proven to be a fierce competitor and outstanding leader who fits very well with our team." The now 29-year-old Callahan was acquired by the Lightning in March through a trade with the New York Rangers. In 20 games with Tampa Bay last season, Callahan had six goals and five assists. "I couldn't be happier to be part of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization for the next six years and I am excited for this new chapter of my career," Callahan said in a release. "Tampa Bay has been a great place to live and play from the day I got there. As soon as the season ended I knew it was a place I wanted to be." During his eight NHL seasons, Callahan has played in 470 games scoring 128 goals while dishing out 127 assists. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio    

Flyers Acquire RJ Umberger, Draft Pick for Winger Scott Hartnell

Flyers Acquire RJ Umberger, Draft Pick for Winger Scott Hartnell Bruce Bennett/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Philadelphia Flyers have traded a fan favorite for a familiar face. The team announced on Monday that they traded winger Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round draft pick. Umberger is no stranger to Philadelphia. He spent the first three seasons of his career with the team, but was traded to the Blue Jackets back on June 20, 2008. "He's a versatile player, a good skater, a good two-way player," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. "He plays all three positions and can kill penalties. He is an attractive guy for us moving forward." In 74 games last season, Umberger scored 18 goals and had 16 assists for the Blue Jackets. Hartnell spent the past seven seasons with the Flyers, and was one of their key offensive players on the first line with Claude Giroux. He scored 20 goals and added 32 assists for the Flyers last season in 78 games played. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Rangers Buy Out Brad Richards’ Contract

Rangers Buy Out Brad Richards’ Contract Len Redkoles/NHL via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Brad Richards era is over in New York as the team has decided to buy out the remaining six years of the veteran's contract. The 34-year-old Richards signed a nine-year deal with the Rangers back in 2011 worth $60 million. He will receive two-thirds of the $19 million still owed to him in remaining salary, which totals up to about $12.6 million of the next 12 years as well as the full $8 million signing bonus still owed over the next three summers. "Tough last few days," Richards said in a statement. "I loved being a Ranger and living in New York and playing at MSG in front of great fans. ... (President and GM) Glen Sather, the management and owner, Mr. Dolan, are all class acts. I want to thank them for letting me be a part of New York life and the Rangers family." Richards is a 13-year NHL veteran who scored 867 career points with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, and the Rangers. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Candiens to Retire Guy Lapointe’s No. 5 Jersey

Candiens to Retire Guy Lapointe’s No. 5 Jersey Len Redkoles/ NHLI via Getty Images(MONTREAL) -- Hall of Famer Guy Lapointe will have his No. 5 jersey retired by the Montreal Candiens next season, the team confirmed on Wednesday. Lapointe's jersey will be the second one to hang from the Bell Centre rafters along with Bernie Geoffrion's. Lapointe, 66, was part of six Stanley Cup teams with the Candiens and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993. The defenseman spent 14 seasons in Montreal and played for the Blues and Bruins at the tail end of his career.  He played 894 games in his career and scored 171 goals with 451 assists. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Canadiens Agree To 4-Year Extension With Coach Michel Therrien

Canadiens Agree To 4-Year Extension With Coach Michel Therrien iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(MONTREAL) -- The Montreal Canadiens and coach Michel Therrien agreed to a four-year contract extension, the club announced on Saturday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Therrien had one-year remaining on his current contract. His new deal will take him through the 2018-19 season. Therrien is in his second stint as coach of the Canadiens, having compiled a record of 75-42-13 since taking over in 2012. He previously led Montreal for part of three seasons from 2000-03. The Canadiens advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals this season, where they lost in six-games to the New York Rangers. Therrien led the Pittsburgh Penguins for part of four seasons, highlighted by an appearance in the Stanley Cup finals in 2008, where they fell in six games to the Detroit Red Wings. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kings Win Stanley Cup on Martinez’s Double Overtime Goal

Kings Win Stanley Cup on Martinez’s Double Overtime Goal Harry How/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Alec Martinez netted a game-winning goal in double overtime of Game 5 to win the Stanley Cup, 3-2, for the Los Angeles Kings. It is the second title in three years for the Kings who also won in 2012. Los Angeles won the Cup on home ice in come-from-behind fashion, trailing the New York Rangers 2-1 after two periods. Brian Boyle scored a short-handed goal with less than thirty seconds remaining in the second period to put the Rangers on top. Eight minutes into the third, the former Ranger Marian Gaborik tied the game with a power play goal of his own. Both teams battled through the rest of regulation and one overtime period before Martinez sent the Staples Center crowd into a frenzy. After Tyler Toffoli had his shot saved by Henrik Lundqvist, the puck trickled its way to the stick of Martinez who was able to blast the game-winner into the back of the net. Lundqvist made 48 saves for New York, who was trying to become just the second team ever to win the Stanley Cup after losing the first three games of the series. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 28 shots in the Cup clinching win. Justin Williams, who scored nine goals in the playoffs, was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as the Final's Most Valuable Player. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kings Dominate to Take 3-0 Series Lead

Kings Dominate to Take 3-0 Series Lead Paul Bereswill/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Following three straight overtime games in the playoffs, the Los Angeles Kings made sure there would not be a fourth by defeating New York 3-0 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Kings are now one win away from their second title in three years. "We did a lot of things the right way," said Jonathan Quick, who stopped 32 shots in the win. "Now we get ready for the next one. The fourth one is always the most difficult." Los Angeles had not led once during the first two games of the Final, winning both games in overtime. That changed 0.7 seconds left in the first when Jeff Carter's shot knocked off the skate of a diving Dan Girardi and hit the back of the net. The Kings then added to their advantage in the second period with goals from Jake Muzzin and Mike Richards. Los Angeles has scored 11 goals in the Cup Final, all of which were scored by a different player. New York looked for a comeback but were stonewalled each time they made an attempt on Quick. Chris Kreider had a breakaway chance just eight seconds into the third, but was stopped by the Kings goalie. Henrik Lundqvist made 12 saves for the Rangers in net. Only four teams have ever overcome a 3-0 series deficit in NHL Playoff history. The Kings did it in the first round, rallying against San Jose. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs are the only team to complete the feat in a Stanley Cup Final. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kings Down Rangers in Overtime Again

Kings Down Rangers in Overtime Again Harry How/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The Los Angeles Kings rallied from multiple two-goal deficits before ultimately beating the New York Rangers in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final by a 5-4 final in double overtime. Los Angeles now owns a 2-0 series lead at the Final shifts to New York. Dustin Brown deflected Willie Mitchell's shot just over halfway through the second overtime period, completing another rally by the Kings. Much like Game 1, New York jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period with goals from Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello. Despite a pair of Kings goals in the second, the Rangers held a 4-2 advantage heading into the final frame. Dwight King scored just two minutes in the third before Marian Gaborik, a former Ranger, tied the contest at 4-4 with 12:26 to play in regulation. Both teams had chances in the first overtime, but the goaltenders stood tall and forced a second extra session. Derrick Brassard, who scored New York's fourth goal of the night, had a chance with time expiring in the first OT but was stopped by Jonathan Quick. Quick finished the game with 34 saves while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 39 in the loss. Game 3 will be played at Madison Square Garden on Monday night. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brodeur to Test Free Agent Market

Brodeur to Test Free Agent Market Bruce Bennett/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NHL's all-time winningest goalie is ready to move on, but not from the game. Martin Brodeur says he is ready to leave New Jersey and will test the free agent market. "I've come to the conclusion that I'm definitely going to be available July 1,'' Brodeur told ESPN.com on Friday. "I want to play one more season and I want to see what's out there." While he has not ruled out returning to New Jersey, Brodeur has accepted that both parties are ready to move on. The Devils acquired Cory Schneider, who started 43 games in 2013-14, from Vancouver prior to the start of last season. "I just feel that with Schneids the organization has to move on. Me being around might be tough a little bit for them," said Brodeur. Brodeur has played all 20 of his NHL seasons with the Devils, winning three Stanley Cup titles with the team that drafted him. The 42-year old has won a league record 688 regular season games, recorded 124 regular season shutouts and stopped 28,776 saves in his illustrious career. "I want to challenge myself. It's a different opportunity, I've never experienced this before," Brodeur admitted. "I feel the year I had last season I can still play at a high level. I think I can help certain teams." Brodeur's current contract expires on June 30, making him a free agent when the calendar flips to July. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Former Nets Owner Among Dead in Massachusetts Plane Crash

Former Nets Owner Among Dead in Massachusetts Plane Crash Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former New Jersey Nets owner Lewis Katz was among the dead in a plane crash that claimed the lives of six others in Massachusetts, a business partner confirmed on Sunday. Katz, who also once owned the New Jersey Devils, was 72. Harold H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest said he was informed by the pairs lawyer. Katz's death comes days after he and Lenfest acquired full control of The Philadelphia Inquirer, buying out their co-owners with a $88 million deal. "All of us at the NBA were extremely saddened to learn of the tragic, sudden death of former Nets owner Lewis Katz," a statement released by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. "Lewis was a trusted friend and valued member of the NBA family. He was a visionary businessman who touched the lives of so many with his tireless pursuit of innovation and enterprise, as well as his deep commitment to his family, friends and community." The former Nets owner made his fortune investing in both the Kinney Parking empire as well as the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network. Katz oversaw the most successful period in the Nets franchise, purchasing the team in 1998, and watching them reach the NBA Finals in both 2002 and 2003. He sold the team a year later. A 1963 graduate of Temple University, Katz spoke at the schools commencement ceremony in May and received an honorary degree. Katz is survived by his son, daughter, and several grandchildren. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Martinez’s OT Goal Lifts Kings into Stanley Cup Final

Martinez’s OT Goal Lifts Kings into Stanley Cup Final Justin Heiman/Getty Images(CHICAGO, Ill.) -- The Los Angeles Kings trailed the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 in the first period but battled back to force overtime in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. Less than six minutes into the extra frame, Alec Martinez scored, giving the Kings a 5-4 win and sending them to their second Stanley Cup Final in three seasons. "We've battled back so many times this year and so many times in these playoffs, we said, 'Why not again today?'" said winger Justin Williams. "It was a total team effort, every single guy here giving everything they've got." Williams tied the game at 2-2 in the first period and later assisted on the game-winner, giving him 14 career points in Game 7's, the most all-time. Los Angeles never led until Martinez's tally in overtime. The Blackhawks took a 3-2 lead into the first intermission thanks to Patrick Sharp and again led 4-3 after two periods, courtesy of Sharp's power play goal. Marion Gaborik knotted things up in the third with his 12th goal of the postseason. The Kings will now face the New York Rangers, the team that traded Gaborik at the deadline in the 2012-13 season, in the Stanley Cup Final. Los Angeles won the title in 2012, their only championship in franchise history. Corey Crawford made 27 saves in the loss, as the defending champs were ousted on home ice.  Jonathan Quick stopped 37 shots, including one in the final seconds of regulation. Los Angeles improves to 7-0 in elimination games in the playoffs and become the first team to ever reach the Stanley Cup Final by winning three Game 7's. The Kings and Rangers play Game 1 on Wednesday night in Los Angeles. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Minnesota Wild Sign Coach Mike Yeo To Contract Extension

Minnesota Wild Sign Coach Mike Yeo To Contract Extension Comstock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The Minnesota Wild and coach Mike Yeo agreed to a multiyear contract extension, the club announced on Saturday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Yeo led the Wild (43-27-12; 98pts) to their second straight post-season berth this season and their first playoff series win since 2003. Minnesota was eliminated by Chicago in the Western Conference Semifinals.  “I’m very excited to continue to coach the Minnesota Wild and pursue a Stanley Cup for the State of Hockey,” Yeo said in a statement. “Our fan support has been amazing and it went to a new level during the playoffs this season. We are all motivated to reward them.” In three seasons at the helm of the Wild, the 40-year-old Yeo has compiled a record of 104-82-26. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kane Helps Chicago Force Game Seven

Kane Helps Chicago Force Game Seven Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Patrick Kane scored the game-winning goal with less than four minutes remaining in the third as Chicago forced a decisive Game Seven in the NHL's Western Conference Finals. Kane's second goal of the game gave the Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. "There's still not much room out there in this series," said Kane, who also assisted on Duncan Keith's game-tying tally. "Right now, you have to take advantage of your opportunities when you do get space." Los Angeles took the lead after the first period after a goal from Dwight King late in the frame. The Blackhawks scored two consecutive goals less than three minutes into the second. Kane's first tally helped tie things up when, 1:37 later, Ben Smith gave Chicago their first lead of the game. A frantic third period saw a combined four goals and two lead changes. Drew Doughty knotted up the score for the Kings before Alec Martinez scored on a power play goal with just over 12 minutes to play. That advantage would not hold long as Kane found Keith for the goal that made it 3-3 in the waning moments of regulation.  Kane, last year's Conn Smythe winner, scored his second goal of the game five minutes later and ultimately gave Chicago the win. The Blackhawks have now come back from being down 3-1 in the series to force a decisive Game 7 to be play in Chicago on Sunday.  Corey Crawford made 22 saves for Chicago while Jonathan Quick stopped 25 shots in the loss. The winner of Game 7 will face the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Todd Richards Gets Extension from Blue Jackets

Todd Richards Gets Extension from Blue Jackets Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- The Columbus Blue Jackets agreed to a contract extension with head coach Todd Richards Tuesday that will keep him with the club through the 2016-17 season. “Todd has done an outstanding job for the Columbus Blue Jackets and we’re pleased that he will continue to lead our team,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said on the team's website. “We believe he is one of the top young coaches in the NHL because of his knowledge of the game, work ethic and ability to communicate well and bring out the best in our players. He’s played a significant role in our recent success and we look forward to having him continue to be a big part of our franchise moving forward.”The 47-year-old Richards took over as the Blue Jackets coach interim coach in Jan. 2012 and was named the team's head coach in May 2012. During his time as head coach, Richards has led the team to a 85-70-16 record -- including a franchise-best 43-32-7 mark this past season that took the team to the playoffs, where Columbus won their first postseason games in club history. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Capitals Introduce Trotz and MacLellan

Capitals Introduce Trotz and MacLellan iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Washington Capitals introduced their 17th head coach, Barry Trotz, and new general manager, Brian MacLellan, on Tuesday. Trotz and MacLellan were hired on Monday and will have the task of turning around a team that has failed to bring home a Stanley Cup. MacLellan replaces long-time general manager George McPhee, who spent 17 seasons with the team. "I am a different person," MacLellan said on Tuesday.  "I have different experiences, different education, different playing experience.  I think all of that stuff forms your attitudes and philosophies." Trotz coached in Nashville for 15 seasons, but was fired in April.  Prior to Nashville, Trotz served as Washington’s AHL bench boss in Baltimore and Portland from 1992-97. "I was looking for someone that had those same high standards of qualities," Trotz said.  "When I met this group, I was pretty well sold." Trotz is also looking forward to working with Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who has three league MVP's and led the league in scoring this season with 51 goals.  "My job as a coach is to find a way to allow Alex and the other players to reach their potential as a group and be able to play together," Trotz said. The Capitals finished 38-30-14 this season and missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Early Outburst Leads Kings to 3-1 Series Lead

Early Outburst Leads Kings to 3-1 Series Lead Harry How/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) -- After coming from behind in each of the last two games, Los Angeles scored four straight goals to beat Chicago 5-2 and take a 3-1 series lead Monday night. The Kings, who rallied from 3-0 and 3-1 deficits in their previous matchups, are now one win away from reaching the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in three years. Los Angeles scored three goals in the first period, including power play goals from Jake Muzzin and Dustin Brown to take control over the defending Stanley Cup champions. Drew Doughty then added a fourth goal to the barrage just under 13 minutes into the second frame. "To come into every game with that confidence, to have that mojo that you can win every game, that's the difference," said Marion Gaborik, who scored his 10th goal of the playoffs in the first. "It's great to come to a team like this and be part of a winning culture." The Blackhawks scored two goals, closing the gap to 4-2 halfway through the third, but Jonathan Quick was strong in net and Tanner Pearson added an empty-net goal late to seal the win. Quick finished with 22 saves in the game while four players had multi-point efforts. Los Angeles defeated the Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals back in 2012 before winning their only Stanley Cup trophy. Game 5 will be played Wednesday in Chicago. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

St. Louis Overtime Winner Gives Rangers 3-1 Edge

St. Louis Overtime Winner Gives Rangers 3-1 Edge Al Bello/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Martin St. Louis scored six minutes into overtime, giving the New York Rangers a 3-2 win Sunday and a 3-1 series lead over the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Finals. St. Louis has now registered a point in six-straight playoff games, helping to put the Rangers on the verge of the Stanley Cup Finals. "I just got open,'' said St. Louis. "I tried to trust my instincts. I hit some good shots, he made some good saves. I was fortunate this one got by him.'' Carl Hagelin started the scoring in the first with a short-handed goal and ended up assisting St. Louis on the game winner. The two teams traded goals over the final two periods of regulation with Derick Brassard giving the Rangers a 2-1 lead after the second period. P.K. Subban tied things up on a power play two minutes into the third, helping to send the game in overtime. In the extra frame, the Rangers controlled possession in the attacking zone. As the puck drifted its way along the boards, Montreal turned it over and Hagelin found St. Louis at the right circle. The 14-year veteran sniped one over the right shoulder of Dustin Tokarski, sending the Madison Square Garden crowd into a frenzy. Despite giving the Canadiens six power plays, New York's penalty kill allowed just one goal in the game. The Rangers had not allowed a goal in 27 straight penalty kills prior to Subban's tying tally. Both teams had 29 shots on goal but Henrik Lundqvist made one more save than Tokarski to earn the win. New York can clinch their first berth into the Stanley Cup Finals since winning it all in 1994 on Tuesday night.  Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kings Rally Again to Upend Blackhawks

Kings Rally Again to Upend Blackhawks Jeff Gross/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Jonathan Toews scored twice in the first period, but the Los Angeles Kings found a way to rally again to beat Chicago, 4-3, in Game 3 of their Western Conference Final. The Kings now lead the best-of-seven series two games to one. Los Angeles trailed 2-0 in Game 2, but reeled off six straight goals to rout the Blackhawks and tie up the series. On Saturday, a similar effort was turned in after LA found themselves trailing 2-1 after on period. Toews opened the scoring just over five minutes in before Slava Voynov tied it up less than a minute later. Another Toews tally gave Chicago the lead back heading in to the second period. However, the Kings scored three unanswered goals to gain a 4-2 lead midway through the third. Jeff Carter knotted the score at 2-2 12 minutes into the second. He then assisted on the go-ahead goal by Tyler Toffoli six minutes later. "I'm having so much fun with these guys," said Toffoli, who notched his sixth goal of the postseason. "Getting to play with a guy like Carter is a great opportunity." Drew Doughty would put the game out of reach with his second goal of the playoffs just over halfway through the third. The Blackhawks went more than 46 minutes of playing time without a goal after Toews made it 2-1 in the first. Patrick Sharp scored a meaningless goal with five seconds to play for the final score line.  Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for the Kings while Corey Crawford stopped 28 shots in a loss. Game 4 is Monday night in California. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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