Chris Higgins
Canucks' Chris Higgins: Buyout candidate with free agency looming
Chris Higgins, LW, VAN
6/26/2016
News: Higgins is likely to get bought out by the Canucks, Matthew Sekeres of TSN 1040 reports.

Higgins has one year remaining on his four-year, $10 million contract. If the Canucks execute a buyout on the 33-year-old, it will only cost Vancouver $833,333 against the cap in each of the next two seasons. Despite landing on waivers last January, Higgins ended up clearing and stayed in the Canucks organization. Unfortunately, he is often injured. In 2015-16, Higgins was limited to 33 games with his numbers -- there goals, one assist and a minus-14 -- rendering him useless in the majority of fantasy leagues.

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Alexander Radulov
Alexander Radulov: Decides to stay in KHL
Alexander Radulov, RW, NSH
6/26/2016
News: Radulov agreed to terms on a contract Sunday with Salavat of the KHL, Elliotte Freiedman of Hockey Night in Canada reports.

Radulov expressed interest in returning to the NHL for the 2016-17 season, but after he found no team who was willing to meet his contract demands, he elected to stay in Russia. A former first-round pick by the Predators in 2004, Radulov last appeared in the NHL during the 2011-12 campaign. He compiled 23 goals and 65 points in 53 games for CSKA Moscow last season.

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Kerby Rychel
Maple Leafs' Kerby Rychel: Dealt to Leafs
Kerby Rychel, LW, TOR
6/25/2016
News: Rychel was traded by Columbus to Toronto on Saturday in exchange for Scott Harrington and a conditional fifth-round draft pick.

Rychel essentially was a human boomerang between the Blue Jackets and minor-league affiliate AHL Lake Erie last season, serving as a viable replacement when injuries struck among the parent club's more established forwards. The 19th overall draft pick from 2013 recorded 27 points (six goals, 21 assists) in 37 minor-league games last season and helped the Monsters to their first Calder Cup win in franchise history. He joins a rebuilding Maple Leafs team that selected American prospect Auston Matthews first overall during the draft Friday.

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Alex Chiasson
Senators' Alex Chiasson: Teams show mild interest for trade
Alex Chiasson, RW, OTT
6/25/2016
News: Chiasson has received mild interest from multiple teams and could be dealt this weekend -- if not over the summer -- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports.

Chiasson hasn't been able to carve out a meaningful role with the Senators, and with the Monday deadline to extend a qualifying offer approaching fast, the winger could be headed elsewhere. The 2009 second-round pick has spent two seasons with the Sens, totaling 19 goals and 21 helpers over that span, but he's made it know that he doesn't want to be buried on the depth chart moving forward. Ottawa could still retain the 25-year-old and try to trade him over the summer.

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Jamie Benn
Stars' Jamie Benn: Stars want to extend his contract ASAP
Jamie Benn, LW, DAL
6/25/2016
News: The Stars intend to sign Benn to a contract extension after July 1, reports Sportsnet.ca. Benn is considered the best of the 2017 free agent class.

"Jamie's not going anywhere," said general manager Jim Nill. "We'll get something done." Benn is perhaps the eminent power forward in the NHL and would command max dollars on the open market.

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Kyle Okposo
Islanders' Kyle Okposo: Detroit showing interest in pending UFA
Kyle Okposo, RW, NYI
6/25/2016
News: The Red Wings are one of five teams actively pursuing Okposo, a pending unrestricted free agent, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports, citing a league source.

Wings general manager Ken Holland was able to trade Pavel Datsyuk's $7.5 million cap hit to the Coyotes during the first round of the NHL Draft on Friday night, thus giving him a golden opportunity to go after an elite forward on the open market come July 1. Of course, Detroit isn't the only team eyeing Okposo -- Winnipeg, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Minnesota are also said to be in the mix as potential suitors. Remember, Okposo is just 28 years old and in the prime of his NHL career. He's dropped 184 points over the past three seasons, including a career-high 23 power-play tallies in 2015-16. Wherever he lands, Okposo should garner a fat new contract. Islanders general manager Garth Snow looks like a genius for getting him at an average annual value of $2.8 million five years ago.

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Evander Kane
Sabres' Evander Kane: Being investigated on harassment claim
Evander Kane, LW, BUF
6/25/2016
News: Kane is being investigated on allegations he physically harassed two women in a Buffalo bar on Thursday night, reports the Associated Press.

The police are yet to reveal details of the investigation, but this is the second time in six months that Kane has had a brush with the law. In March after a three-month investigation, New York state prosecutors announced he would not face a sexual assault charge stemming from a December incident because of a lack of evidence.

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Beau Bennett
Devils' Beau Bennett: Traded to New Jersey
Beau Bennett, RW, NJ
6/25/2016
News: Bennett has been traded to the Devils in exchange for a third-round pick at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Bennett is talented, but he struggles to stay healthy. It's too early to say his game is on life support, but the former first-round pick just hasn't been able to carve out a role befitting his skillset. He toiled on a checking line in Pittsburgh in 2015-16 and played in just 33 games (six goals, six assists). He got into a single postseason game and while the Pens won the Cup, Bennett might not even get his name engraved on it given his limited ice. The Devils will give him a chance to show off his skills. Otherwise, he's just another journeyman, bottom-six forward.

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J.T. Brown
Lightning's J.T. Brown: Reels in two-year extension
J.T. Brown, RW, TB
6/24/2016
News: Brown received a two-year contract extension Friday, earning $1.25 million annually, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Brown would have become a restricted free agent on July 1st, but with a new deal in place, the Lightning secure the services of one their grittiest players. He only averaged 13:22 of ice time last season, but was efficient in that bottom-six role as he produced eight goals and 14 helpers to complement a gaudy plus-16 rating. Brown will turn 26 years old next week and is in the prime of his career. He could see more minutes next season if the Lightning are unable to retain Steven Stamkos with the free-agent signing period looming.

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Thomas Vanek
Wild's Thomas Vanek: Wild will buy out contract
Thomas Vanek, LW, MIN
6/24/2016
News: Vanek has been informed the Wild will buy out the final year on his contract, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

The move would give the Wild $5 million in salary cap space for free agency. Vanek has been a disappointment since joining the Wild as he scored a career-low 18 goals in 74 games last season. He had just 93 points in two seasons despite signing a three-year, $19.5 million contract.

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