Gaudreau leaving Flames, joins deep free agent class

A disappointed Brad Treliving spoke with reporters for more than 15 minutes Tuesday night via Zoom after revealing that unrestricted free agent Johnny Gaudreau would not be returning to the Calgary Flames despite hopes to the contrary.

Malkin signs 4-year extension with Penguins; Sens acquire Talbot in goalie swap

Flames general manager Brad Treliving said winger Johnny Gaudreau "agonized" over his decision and said the reason for moving on from Calgary, in the end, was a "family decision" and not about dollars. (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

A disappointed Brad Treliving spoke with reporters for more than 15 minutes Tuesday night via Zoom after revealing that unrestricted free agent Johnny Gaudreau would not be returning to the Calgary Flames despite hopes to the contrary.

The Flames' general manager said the 28-year-old winger "agonized" over his decision and said the reason for moving on, in the end, was a "family decision" and not about dollars.

Gaudreau, a fourth-round pick by the club in 2011, put up a career-high 40 goals, 75 assists and 115 points in 2021-22, becoming a more well-rounded player in the process.

Treliving, who had remained optimistic until Tuesday that a deal could be reached with Gaudreau, said he will make some calls Wednesday morning and check what's available, but that he wasn't going to spend recklessly to replace his star player.

"You're not going to just go out and sign someone to replace Johnny. The wrong move right now, I can tell you, is to knee-jerk reaction and just try to rush out and replace the player with the wrong response. We just have to take a deep breath. It's been a long process," added the GM.

Malkin reaches deal with Penguins

Evgeni Malkin, meanwhile, reached an 11th-hour deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night. Malkin has signed a four-year, $24.4 million US contract extension that runs through the 2025-26 season and has an average annual value of $6.1 million.

"Evgeni is a generational talent who will be remembered as one of the greatest players in NHL history," said Penguins' GM Ron Hextall. "His hockey resume and individual accomplishments speak volumes about him as a player, and we are thrilled to watch him continue his remarkable legacy in Pittsburgh."

The 35-year-old won three Cups with the franchise that selected him No. 2 overall in 2004, but played just 41 games in 2021-22 due to injury.

Sens acquire Talbot in exchange for Gustavsson

The Ottawa Senators have acquired Cam Talbot from Minnesota for Filip Gustavsson in a swap of NHL goaltenders.

Talbot had a record of 32-12-4 with the Wild last season, with a 2.76 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage while being named an NHL all-star for the first time.

The trade comes a day after the Senators dealt veteran goalie Matt Murray to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Talbot, a 35-year-old native of Caledonia, Ont., has a record of 201-142-34 over nine seasons with the New York Rangers, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Calgary and Minnesota.

He has a career goals-against average of 2.63 and a .915 save percentage over 396 NHL games.

Talbot is entering the last year of a three-year, $11-million US deal.

"Cam is experienced and provides us with greater goaltending stability heading into next season," Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in a release. "He was instrumental in helping Minnesota reach the playoffs in each of his two seasons with the Wild. The tandem of he and Anton Forsberg sets us up nicely for the upcoming year."

Gustavsson, 24, is coming off his sophomore season in the NHL. He was 5-12-1 last season with a 3.55 goals-against average and .892 save percentage.

Ex-Red Wings coach Blashill joins Lightning as assistant

Former Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill is joining the Tampa Bay Lightning as an assistant.

Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois announced the move Tuesday, selecting Blashill to replace Derek Lalonde on coach Jon Cooper's staff. Lalonde was hired to replace Blashill in Detroit.

Blashill, 48, coached the Red Wings the past seven seasons, compiling a 204-261-72 record. Detroit missed the playoffs in six of the seven seasons.

With the Lightning, Blashill joins a staff that includes assistant coaches Jeff Halpern and Rob Zettler, goaltender coach Frantz Jean and video coaches Nigel Kirwan and Brian Garlock.

The two-time defending champion Lightning were dethroned last month by the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup final.

Oilers' Duncan Keith calls it a career

Family brought Duncan Keith to Edmonton after a stellar run as the backbone of Chicago's defence.

And following one solid season with the Oilers, family is why Keith feels he's in a good place to end his NHL career after 17 seasons, three Stanley Cups and two Norris Trophy awards as the league's top defenceman.

Keith announced his retirement Tuesday, at times fighting back tears during a press conference as he thanked teammates, coaches and family members for helping him along the way of his Hall of Fame-calibre career.

He said a noticeable change in how he's felt in recent post-seasons — Keith turns 39 on Saturday — coupled with the desire to spend more time with son Colton helped him reach a difficult decision.

"I still love the game, always will," Keith said with Colton by his side. "But with getting older … and the thought of being around my son more, and being around him and his hockey — being able to help my brother coach our boys and my niece — the more it got closer to that, the more excited about it I became."

Keith, who was born in Winnipeg and grew up in Fort Frances, Ont., and Penticton, B.C., was selected by Chicago in the second round, 54th overall in the 2002 NHL draft. He went to anchor a blue-line that won the Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

He was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2015 after piling up 21 points (three goals, 18 assists) in 23 games and won Norris Trophy as top defenceman in 2010 and 2014.

Keith finished his career with 106 goals and 646 points over 1,256 regular-season games.

Internationally, Keith helped Canada win Olympic gold at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games.

Flyers donate $100K to cancer organization

The Philadelphia Flyers placed forward Oskar Lindblom on waivers Tuesday with the intent of buying out the final year of the 25-year-old cancer survivor's contract.

General manager Chuck Fletcher called it a "very difficult decision" to free up salary cap space by cutting a player who recovered from being diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma. The Flyers will donate $100,000 US in Lindblom's name to a Philadelphia organization that supports families impacted by cancer.

"No one can question the desire, will and strength to overcome all that Oskar has been through off the ice in order to return to the game he loves," Fletcher said in a statement released by the team.

"Oskar's commitment to his teammates and impact in our room has been immeasurable. He is truly an inspiration to us all and he will always remain a special part of the Philadelphia Flyers family. We wish him all the best as he continues his NHL career."

Unless claimed, Lindblom will become an unrestricted free agent once the NHL's signing period opens Wednesday at 12 p.m. ET. He was entering the final season of a three-year contract, which counted $3 million against Philadelphia's salary cap.

Lindblom was diagnosed with cancer in December 2019 and missed the remainder of the season before returning to play Games 6 and 7 in the Flyers' second-round series loss to the New York Islanders in August, when the Eastern Conference playoffs were played in Toronto due to COVID-19.

He returned the following season, scoring eight goals and 14 points in 50 games and winning the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is presented to a player who best embodies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication.

Senators buy out D-man Del Zotto

The Ottawa Senators waived defenceman Michael Del Zotto on Tuesday for the  purposes of a buyout.

Del Zotto, 32, was set to make $2.25 million US in 2022-23.

He tallied three goals and 13 points in 2021-22, his only season in Ottawa. For his career, Del Zotto has 63 goals and 262 points in 736 regular-season contests with eight teams over 13 seasons.

Del Zotto was drafted 20th overall in 2008 by the New York Rangers, with whom he played four-plus seasons.

Scotty Bowman moves on from Chicago

Scotty Bowman has left his role with Chicago after what he called "a pretty uncomfortable year."

Bowman announced Tuesday he no longer works for the organization as of July 1, saying he decided it was time to move on after 14 years as Chicago's senior hockey operations adviser.

Bowman's son Stan stepped down as general manager in October after an independent investigation into the team's mishandling of sexual assault allegations in 2010 revealed he knew about the situation.

Bowman, who turns 89 in September, said he left the organization on good terms. He's not closing the door on another job in the NHL but isn't looking for work immediately. He plans to continue his routine of splitting time between his homes in suburban Buffalo, New York, and Sarasota, Florida, which allows him to make appearances in the press box at Tampa Bay Lightning games.

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame 31 years ago, Bowman won the Stanley Cup a record nine times as a coach, leading the Montreal Canadiens to the championship in 1973, '76, '77, '78 and '79, the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992 and the Detroit Red Wings in 1997, '98 and 2002. Counting his four titles as a member of a front office, including three with Chicago in 2010, '13 and '15, his 14 are second-most in league history behind Habs great Jean Beliveau's 17.

Another championship seems far away for Chicago.

Kyle Davidson replaced Bowman on an interim basis in the fall and was given the full-time GM job after a lengthy search. Davidson is now in charge of a major teardown of the roster, which has already included trading young forwards Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach and letting Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik leave rather than tendering them qualifying offers to retain their rights.

The big question now concerns the future of franchise cornerstones Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, who have a year left on their respective contracts.

With files from The Associated Press & Field Level Media

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