Sauve, Canucks reach extension

Yann Sauve has come to terms with the Vancouver Canucks, and will suit up for the AHL’s newest franchise next season.

Sauve, 23, spent last season split between the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings and AHL’s Chicago Wolves — the Canucks affiliate during the 2012-13 campaign. A second round pick of the Canucks in 2008, Sauve came to the organization after a stellar junior career with the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs. While with the Sea Dogs, Sauve suited up in 290 games, and tallied 26 goals and 96 assists.

At 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds, the young defenceman has NHL size, but has yet to be able to make an impact in the big leagues. In his first professional season, Sauve was given a cup of coffee with the Canucks, but failed to turn it into anything consistent, failing to register a point in five games with the club. Since 2010-11, Sauve has spent the bulk of his time in the AHL, suiting up in 102 AHL games, and tallying three goals and 10 assists.

The Canucks seemingly have interest in watching how Sauve develops, but so far the second rounder doesn’t look like he’s lived up to the expectations the organization had.


Asselin gets try-out deal with Phantoms

Guillaume Asselin has landed himself a chance to suit up in the AHL next season.

The 5-foot-10, 170 pound forward has been invited to the Adirondack Phantoms camp on a try-out deal, and will be given a shot at making his professional debut as a member of Philadelphia’s top affiliate.

Asselin, a native of Quebec City, joins the Phantoms camp after wrapping up his QMJHL career. In five seasons between the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and Montreal Juniors, Asselin racked up 340 points (146-194) in 376 career games. In his past three years, Asselin was over a point-per-game player, and had career highs in 2010-11 with 35 goals, 47 assists, and 82 points.

Asselin was passed over in the entry draft, but the Phantoms will give him a shot to make his professional debut. If he is passed over, chances are the Quebec native will suit up with the Greenville Road Warriors.

Winchester back to NHL with Blackhawks

Brad Winchester had a tough time finding an NHL deal when his contract with the Sharks was up in 2011-12, but he’s back in the big leagues.

Winchester, who spent 37 games with the Milwaukee Admirals in 2012-13, has signed a one-year, one-way deal with the Chicago Blackhawks that will pay the gritty forward $725,000 next season.

In the role of agitator and trouble maker, Winchester has found a career. However, last season was his first since 2004-05 when he couldn’t turn it into some playing time in the NHL. In 414 career NHL games, Winchester — a 32-year-old from Madison, Wisc. — has amassed 578 PIM while adding 71 points (38-33). At the AHL level, Winchester’s dressed in 237 contests, scoring 74 goals and adding 59 assists on top of his 464 PIM. 2012-13 was his first full year in the AHL since breaking into the NHL in 2005-06 as a member of the Edmonton Oilers.

Raedeke signs two-year deal in DEL

Just three months removed from watching the Grand Rapids Griffins win a Calder Cup Championship without him on the ice, Brent Raedeke has signed a two-year deal with the DEL’s Iserlohn Roosters.

Raedeke, who had spent most of the last three years as a member of the Griffins, watched from the sidelines last season as the Griffins made their way to their first Calder Cup in team history. In the two seasons prior, Raedeke had suited up in 131 games and registered 19 goals and 15 assists, but saw himself lose his spot — however briefly — with the Griffins last season.

Only suiting up in 38 games with the Red Wings top affiliate in 2012-13, it became clear that Raedeke’s role on the Griffins had diminished. With only nine points last year, it seems the change of scenery might just be what the 23-year-old forward needs.

A member of the Brandon Wheat Kings and Edmonton Oil Kings while in the WHL, Raedeke signed an entry level deal with the Wings in 2008 after being passed over in the draft.

Lalonde leaves IceHogs, heads to DEL

After spending the last three seasons with the Rockford IceHogs, Shawn Lalonde has decided to ply his trade elsewhere.

Lalonde, a third round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2008, was expected to be able to eventually crack the roster in the Windy City, but it never quite came to fruition. The 23-year-old from Ottawa, Ont. instead spent the last three full years — sans a single game with the Blackhawks — with their minor league affiliate in Rockford.

In his three seasons, Lalonde suited up for 207 games in the ‘A’, and talled 13 goals and 57 assists.

Lalonde’s contract, a one-year deal with Eisbaren Berlin of the DEL, will see the defenceman join former AHLers Matt Foy and Casey Borer in Germany.



Mannino signs deal with the Pens

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they’ve come to terms with goaltender Peter Mannino on a one-year deal which will see the netminder suit up with the Pens next season.

Mannino, a 29-year-old native of Southfield, Miss., is coming off of a season in which he backed up the Manchester Monarchs and Martin Jones. In 20 appearances in net for the Monarchs last season, Mannino posted a 2.47 GAA and .919 SV%.

The former starter for the NCAA’s University of Denver, Mannino backstopped the team to a Frozen Four victory in 2004-05, and was named the tournament MVP. However, his performance during that tournament was not enough to land him an NHL deal, and Mannino entered the pros as a free agent.

Though Mannino has had a tough time sticking anywhere for an extended period of time, he has shown the ability to be equal to the task when called upon. In 38 games with the Chicago Wolves in 2009-10, Mannino put up career bests in the ‘A’ when he posted a 2.34 GAA and .921 SV%.

Jason Iacona from Chirps From Center Ice (which you should be reading, if you aren’t already) had this to say about the signing:

The signing is an interesting one at best, as Pittsburgh just signed Eric Hartzellto an NHL contract. Unless there’s a competition in camp, one would project that Hartzell starts the season in Wheeling, likely starting every game he possibly can to get pro experience. I can’t see the Penguins carrying three goalies (Jeff Zatkoff being the other goalie not mentioned yet)

However, the move does make some sense in regards to the young, fairly inexperienced Wilkes-Barre blue line projected for the Fall. You now have two veteran goaltenders to backstop all the youth.

Mannino’s contract is a one-year AHL deal.

Ranger signs deal with Leafs, back in NHL

After a mysterious exit from the game nearly four years ago, Paul Ranger resurfaced with the Toronto Marlies last season. Now, the 28-year-old Whitby, Ont. native has signed an NHL deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Though terms of the deal have not been disclosed, it’s believed the contract is a one-year deal worth $1 million a season. Likely, when the details surface, it will be a two-way deal that will allow Ranger to spend a bit of time in the AHL.

Last season, his first back in the professional ranks, Ranger had a stellar year for the Leafs top affiliate. In 60 games (51 regular season, 9 playoff), Ranger potted 10 goals and 19 assists, good for third in scoring by Marlies defencemen.

At only 28, Ranger still has a lot of career in front of him, and it seems the break from the game was what he needed. While the reason for his departure from the NHL — and hockey in general — has never surfaced, it’s nice to see whatever ailed the talented blue liner has subsided and he’s back in the game.

A sixth round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2002, Ranger has played in 281 NHL contests, racking up 20 goals and 79 assists. His AHL career has consisted of 130 games, where he tallied 43 points (14-29).

Cowick signs one-year, two-way deal with Sens

Corey Cowick, who has spent the majority of the past three seasons with the Binghamton Senators, has landed himself a new deal with parent-club Ottawa.

The 24-year-old from Gloucester, Ont., was drafted by the Senators in the sixth round of the 2009 draft, and came to the Binghamton Sens after ending his career with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s.

In his OHL career — Cowick spent 154 games with the Oshawa Generals and 114 with the 67’s — Cowick was a power forward who drove the puck to the net and could contribute, but was never a go-to guy. Though his OHL career, Cowick was able to post 81 goals and 56 assists, and put together a nice junior career.

After coming to the pros, Cowick spent a significant amount of time in his first season playing with the Elmira Jackals, and has developed quite well. Since his 31 game stint with the Jackals in 2010-11, Cowick has only spent another 22 games in the ‘E’ — part of his season in 2012 — and became a full-time member of the Senators last season.

In 75 games with Bingo last year, Cowick buried 16 goals and added 19 assists, a scoring pace he was on back in his OHL days.


O’Dell signs on for another year with Jets

Eric O’Dell has turned a career year into a contract extension with the Winnipeg Jets.

O’Dell, 23, was drafted in the second round of the 2008 draft by the Anaheim Ducks, but he was never able to land a contract with the club. After stellar years with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves, O’Dell inked an amateur tryout with the Chicago Wolves, and turned that into a three-year entry-level contract with the Atlanta Thrashers.

The year after inking his deal, the Thrashers were on their way to Winnipeg, and O’Dell shipped out to St. John’s.

In his past two seasons with the IceCaps, the 6-foot centre has suited up in 101 games, tallying 41 goals and 36 assists. It was last season, however, when O’Dell showed the offensive flair that made him a second round pick. In 59 games with the IceCaps last season, O’Dell potted 29 goals and added 26 helpers — both career highs — making him almost a point-per-game player.

O’Dell’s deal with the Jets is for one-year and is a two-way deal.

Jeff Malcolm lands AHL deal with Wolfpack

After backstopping Yale to an NCAA title, Jeff Malcolm has landed a deal with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack.

The 24-year-old Malcolm has spent the last four years at Yale, and last season was a dream for the netminder. In 30 appearances, the Lethbridge, Alta., native backstopped the Bulldogs in 30 games and posted a 2.24 GAA and .919 SV%. Malcolm was a huge factor in the Bulldogs NCAA Championship, registering a 36 save shutout in the final game of the Frozen Four tournament.

Undrafted, Malcolm will make his professional debut next season with the Wolf Pack. At 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Malcolm has good size and it will be interesting to see if he can challenge for a starting role in the A this coming season.