A career comes full circle as former New York Islander, Zdeno Chara, signs back with the team that drafted him in the 1996 NHL Draft. Is Kyle Palmieri an upgrade for Jordan Eberle or a substitute?
These stories and more in today’s daily links!
Zdeno Chara is going back to where it all started. The veteran defenseman signed a 1-year deal with the New York Islanders on Saturday morning. It had been unclear if Chara would return for his 24th NHL season or if he would hang up his skates. Chara was drafted by the Islanders 56th overall in 1996 and played 231 games with the franchise before he was traded by then-general manager Mike Milbury in 2001 as part of a deal to acquire Alexei Yashin from the Ottawa Senators. (NYI Hockey Now)
The New York Islanders lost a top-line forward when Jordan Eberle was selected by the Seattle Kraken in the NHL Expansion Draft, but who could take his spot come the start of the season? Oliver Wahlstrom is the name that comes to everyone’s mind, but more than likely Kyle Palmieri will get a shot at that spot first. It begs the question of whether or not Palmieri will be an upgrade over Eberle or just a substitute. (NYI Hockey Now)
Zdeno Chara is back with the Islanders 25 years after the organization drafted him and 20 years after he was included in one of Mike Milbury’s more regrettable trades. As the 44-year-old Chara noted Saturday: “You never know how your career will evolve and how it will end up, but obviously nobody can really imagine to be kind of finishing where they start.” Saturday’s one-year deal between Chara and the Islanders seemingly finalizes the team’s roster heading into next week’s training camp. We just tried to answer a few questions about the Isles’ somewhat mysterious offseason and what to look for in camp, so let’s follow up with more thoughts on what Chara’s signing means. (The Athletic)
Zdeno Chara agreed to a one-year contract with the New York Islanders on Saturday. Financial terms were not disclosed. The 44-year-old defenseman is the oldest player in the NHL and will play his 24th season. He scored 10 points (two goals, eight assists) and averaged 18:19 in ice time in 55 regular-season games with the Washington Capitals last season. He did not score a point in five Stanley Cup Playoff games. (NHL)
In yet another sign, the 2021-22 NHL regular season is upon us, the Pittsburgh Penguins released their training camp roster on Saturday. The team invited 58 players to camp, including a few players we’ve all been waiting to see. Kasper Bjorkqvist, who is not in rookie camp, will attend training camp next week. Fellow prospects Sam Poulin, Nathan Legare, Filip Hallander, and P.O. Joseph will also be in camp and battle for roster spots. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Washington Capitals hockey is officially underway at Medstar Capitals Iceplex. Top Capitals prospects, including Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre, took the ice. Also joining the mix: 2021 draft picks Vinnie Iorio and Dru Krebs. A handful of free-agent invitees participated as well. (Washington Hockey Now)
The Detroit Red Wings lost 5-2 to the St. Louis Blues in a chippy, physical game at the NHL Prospects Tournament Saturday night. Here are five takeaways from that contest. (Detroit Hockey Now)
The competition for fourth-line center on the San Jose Sharks is heating up. Last night, Jasper Weatherby centered William Eklund and Ozzy Wiesblatt, the top line in an 8-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks in San Jose’s first game of the 2021 Rookie Faceoff Tournament. (San Jose Hockey Now)
The Vancouver Canucks rookie camp continues today (Saturday) but there is no on-hand media coverage outside of the team’s content. Yesterday, the 90-minute session featured group skating instruction, one-on-one puck battles, and then a cross-ice set of two-on-two games. The skill level of 2019 10th-overall pick Vasili Podkolzin was noticeable compared to his fellow campers. (Vancouver Hockey Now)
When the United States opened training camp for the 1996 World Cup of Hockey at Providence College in mid-August of that year, the importance of what everyone there was hoping to accomplish was immediately established by coach Ron Wilson and general manager Lou Lamoriello. (NHL)
Matthew Tkachuk said it’s time for the Calgary Flames “to really do something” and become a consistent presence in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. “It’s kind of enough is enough right now,” the forward said at the NHL/NHLPA Player Media Tour on Friday. (NHL)
Nils Lundkvist said he’s prepared to play for the New York Rangers after being talked about as part of their future for three years. Lundkvist, selected by New York in the first round (No. 28) of the 2018 NHL Draft, is the favorite to be the Rangers’ third right-handed defenseman behind Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba when they begin the season Oct. 13 at the Washington Capitals. (NHL)
The Ottawa Senators have signed to a one-year, two-way contract. The contract carries a value of $750,000 in the NHL and $100,000 in the AHL. (TSN)