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Kessel Traded To Penguins

KesselThe Toronto Maple Leafs have finally moved Phil Kessel. It was announced earlier today that the Maple Leafs sent Kessel, Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon, and a 2016 second round pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Nick Spaling, Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington, a 2016 first round pick, and a 2016 third round pick. As part of the deal Toronto will retain 15% of Phil Kessel’s salary.

Free Agent Frenzy 2015: Live Blog

MGreen

Sunshine State Hockey will be live blogging from 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM EST during the first day of NHL free agency. Stick with us all day for updates on the biggest signings and possible trades.

11:32 AM – We are officially live and just 28 minutes away from the start of free agency. Some early reports indicate that more than eight teams are interested in Joel Ward, including his current team, the Washington Capitals.

11:40 AM – David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that the Bruins and Red Wings are in the mix for Mike Green. On the trade front, it seems Calgary and Toronto have talked about a deal for Phil Kessel, but nothing incoming yet.

11:45 AM – The Calgary Flames have re-signed goalie Karri Ramo to a one year contract. That takes him off of our top 30 UFA list.

11:52 AM – A highlight reel of the good and bad free agent signings from 2014 is being shown on the NHL Network. Dave Bolland was the first player shown on the bad list.

11:57 AM – The Penguins are currently the front runners for Phil Kessel.

12:00 PM – Free agent frenzy begins now!

12:02 PM – Blackhawks have signed newly acquired forward Artem Anisimov to a five year contract. Anisimov was traded to Chicago in the seven player deal for Brandon Saad.

12:10 PM – Toronto signs Matt Hunwick

12:11 PM – The signings are rolling in. Colorado signs Beauchemin to a three year contract. Goalie Thomas Greiss has signed with the Islanders for two years, $1.5 million per year.

12:14 PM – Adam Pardy re-signs with Winnipeg for one year while Washington signs Taylor Chorney.

12:21 PM – Just a reminder for Panthers fans. Scottie Upshall, Tomas Kopecky, and Brad Boyes are all free agents and will not be brought back to Florida.

12:27 PM – Hearing both Mark Letestu and Andrej Sekera are close to signing with the Edmonton Oilers.

12:38 PM – Paul Martin inks a four year deal with the San Jose Sharks.

12:41 PM – Andrej Sekera and Mark Letestu have signed with the Edmonton Oilers. Sekera will receive $5.5 million per for six years.

12:45 PM – Forward Blake Comeau goes to Colorado for three years. Chicago brings Viktor Tikhonov back to the NHL.

12:47 PM – TSN’s Bob McKenzie reporting that Michael Frolik might be heading to Calgary, nothing official yet but it seems to be a long term deal.

12:48 PM – David Pagnotta reporting that Michal Neuvirth has signed with Philadelphia.

12:49 PM – Brad Richardson and Steve Downie have signed with the Arizona Coyotes.

12:51 PM – Panthers seem to be searching for a backup goalie. That market is shrinking fast.

12:54 PM – Phil Kessel has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Kasperi Kapanen, Harrington, and a first round pick.

12:58 PM – Michael Frolik to Calgary is now official.

1:02 PM – Goalie Anders Lindback signs a one year contract with Arizona.

1:05 PM – Panthers quiet so far today. George Richards reporting that Tallon is working on a new contract for Huberdeau.

1:13 PM – Vancouver signs Matt Bartkowski to a one year contract worth $1.75 million.

1:16 PM – Barret Jackman moving from the Blues to the Predators for two years, $4 million per year.

1:19 PM – Florida Panthers sign three minor league players, goaltender Mike McKenna, forward Shane Harper, and defenseman Sena Acolatse.

1:21 PM – Zbynek Michalek is heading back to Arizona on a two year deal.

1:29 PM – Another backup goalie off the table as Jhonas Enroth signs a one year deal with LA.

1:31 PM – More pieces to that Phil Kessel deal. Details still coming in but Nick Spaling is heading to Toronto as part of the trade.

1:37 PM – Alex Burmistrov is coming back to North America, and back to the Jets on a two year contract.

1:51 PM – Rangers sign Diaz.

1:53 PM – Tampa Bay Lightning sign Eric Condra to a three year contract.

2:08 PM – Cody Hodgson signs with the Nashville Predators.

2:14 PM – Vancouver trades Kassian and a 5th round pick to Montreal for Prust.

2:19 PM – John Moore heads to New Jersey for three years.

2:26 PM – The finalized Phil Kessel trade can be seen on Sunshine State Hockey by clicking here.

2:27 PM – Senators sign Zack Stortini.

2:33 PM – The Flames sign Derek Grant, former Ottawa center, to a two way deal.

2:40 PM – We lost one in the shuffle of this frenzy. Toronto signed P.A. Parenteau.

2:42 PM – Aside from those minor league trades earlier in the day Florida has been completely silent so far. It is possible that they make no moves this year, which puts pressure on the young guys to carry the Panthers to a playoff berth this year.

2:52 PM – TSN’s Darren Dreger reporting that Viktor Stalberg is now a member of the New York Rangers.

2:54 PM – The Buffalo Sabres have signed 2015, 2nd overall pick Jack Eichel to a three year, entry level contract.

3:01 PM – Ruslan Fedotenko signs a two way contract with the Minnesota Wild.

3:10 PM – Blues LW Vladimir Tarasenko has received an offer sheet from the Dallas Stars for six years, $45 million, reports are that St. Louis will match.

3:11 PM – Carolina inks TJ Hensick.

3:14 PM – Mike Kostka signs a two way deal with the Ottawa Senators.

3:30 PM – We will be live blogging for 30 more minutes. It seems the signings and trades are starting to slow down.

3:31 PM – Former Blue Jackets player Brian Gibbons has signed with the Rangers.

3:41 PM – Penguins sign D-man David Warsofsky to a one year contract.

3:46 PM – George Richards just tweeted this quote from Panthers GM Dale Tallon: “We would have signed someone if it was a bargain. We weren’t going to overpay and block one of the kids.”

3:51 PM – The biggest signing of the day, Detroit inks defenseman Mike Green to a three year contract. Green was listed as our top available free agent.

3:56 PM – We will be live for just four more minutes. There are still plenty of big names available for the taking, such as Martin St. Louis, Justin Williams, and Joel Ward. Be sure to check all the major NHL news networks for any breaking deals after 4:00 PM. If the Panthers make any moves after 4:00 PM we will report them as soon as they happen.

4:00 PM – It is time for us to sign off for the evening. Thank you for joining us today and we hope everyone enjoyed our coverage of the 2015 free agent frenzy.

What To Know Before The Draft

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The 2015 NHL entry draft is just days away, and the Florida Panthers have the privilege of playing host to one of the most anticipated drafts since Sidney Crosby was selected first overall by Pittsburgh in 2005. Another superstar is about to emerge, with center Connor McDavid being touted as the obvious first choice by the Edmonton Oilers. Of course, as most people know, there is a lot more to the draft than just young men realizing their lifelong dream. The following is everything fans need to know to prepare themselves for the festivities that will take place on Friday and Saturday.

The Top 30

First, let’s talk about the prospects. McDavid is already a household name, but what about the other 29 prospects that could hear their names called in the first round? Here is the complete list of the top 30 North American skaters available:

draft rank

To see the full list of skaters and goaltenders from North America and Europe, click here.

Round 1 Draft Order

round1order

Trade Bait

Kessel

One of the most exciting parts of any draft day are the trades. Every year at least one team pulls the trigger on a blockbuster deal in hopes to improve their team. Last year it was Anaheim who bolstered their lineup on draft day by acquiring Ryan Kesler from Vancouver. His contributions helped his new team reach the Western Conference finals before falling to the eventual Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks.

Fast forward to this weekend’s draft and there are plenty of big names available for the taking. The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to unload their two biggest stars, Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf, while the Chicago Blackhawks need to shed salary, and they may look to do so by trading Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell. Other names being mentioned in trade talks include Cam Talbot (NYR), Milan Lucic (BOS), and Eric Staal (CAR). TSN has compiled an entire list of players that are rumored to be up for grabs this weekend, which can be seen here.

Schedule of Events

Finally, the Florida Panthers are doing their best to provide a fantastic weekend for everyone attending the 2015 NHL entry draft. From autograph signings to trading card shows there will be something for everyone on Friday and Saturday. For the entire schedule of events just look below.

DraftSchedule

For any other questions about the draft fans can refer to draft central, a web portal created by the Florida Panthers. Round one of the 2015 National Hockey League entry draft takes place this Friday, June 26th, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL.

Playoff Predictions – Round 2

round 2

With round one of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs in the book it is time to move on to our predictions for the semi-finals, which begin tonight. before doing so, let’s take a look back at our predictions and see just how well we did.

Western Conference

Minnesota Wild vs St. Louis Blues
Marc’s Prediction: St. Louis Blues, 6 games
Ryan’s Prediction: St. Louis Blues, 5 games

Nashville Predators vs Chicago Blackhawks
Marc’s Prediction: Chicago Blackhawks, 6 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Nashville Predators, 7 games

Anaheim Ducks vs Winnipeg Jets
Marc’s Prediction: Anaheim Ducks, 7 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Anaheim Ducks, 6 games

Vancouver Canucks vs Calgary Flames
Marc’s Prediction: Calgary Flames, 6 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Vancouver Canucks, 6 games

Eastern Conference

Montreal Canadiens vs Ottawa Senators
Marc’s Prediction: Montreal Canadiens, 7 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Ottawa Senators, 7 games

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Detroit Red Wings
Marc’s Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning, 5 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 games

New York Rangers vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Marc’s Prediction: New York Rangers, 4 games
Ryan’s Prediction: New York Rangers, 6 games

Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders
Marc’s Prediction: Washington Capitals, 6 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Washington Capitals, 7 games

Marc: 7-1 teams, 3-5 games
Ryan: 4-4 teams, 3-5 games

Round 2 Predictions

Western Conference

DucksvsFlamesAnaheim Ducks vs Calgary Flames
Marc’s Prediction: Anaheim Ducks, 7 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Anaheim Ducks, 6 games

HawksWildMinnesota Wild vs Chicago Blackhawks
Marc’s Prediction: Minnesota Wild, 7 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Chicago Blackhawks, 5 games

Eastern Conference

HabsvsBoltsMontreal Canadiens vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Marc’s Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Montreal Canadiens, 6 games

CapsvsRangersNew York Rangers vs Washington Capitals
Marc’s Prediction: New York Rangers, 6 games
Ryan’s Prediction: New York Rangers, 6 games

Playoff Predictions – Round One

playoffs
Over the next two days 16 teams will begin their quest to be named the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions. This season there are a few teams missing that are usually regulars in the playoffs, such as the Boston Bruins and last year’s champions, the Los Angeles Kings. They can thank the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators, and New York Islanders, all teams that have not frequented the playoff picture in recent years, but have had a change in fortune this season. The 2014-2015 campaign was a tight race to the postseason, so hockey fans are guaranteed tough match-ups throughout the first round and beyond. That is why it will be harder this year than in the past to predict which club will come out on top, but we are going to give it our best try.

Western Conference

WildBluesMinnesota Wild vs St. Louis Blues
Marc’s Prediction: St. Louis Blues, 6 games
Ryan’s Prediction: St. Louis Blues, 5 games

hawkspredsNashville Predators vs Chicago Blackhawks
Marc’s Prediction: Chicago Blackhawks, 6 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Nashville Predators, 7 games

NHL: DEC 07 Ducks at JetsAnaheim Ducks vs Winnipeg Jets
Marc’s Prediction: Anaheim Ducks, 7 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Anaheim Ducks, 6 games

nucksflamesVancouver Canucks vs Calgary Flames
Marc’s Prediction: Calgary Flames, 6 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Vancouver Canucks, 6 games

Eastern Conference

habssensMontreal Canadiens vs Ottawa Senators
Marc’s Prediction: Montreal Canadiens, 7 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Ottawa Senators, 7 games

Tampa Bay Lightning v Detroit Red WingsTampa Bay Lightning vs Detroit Red Wings
Marc’s Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning, 5 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 games

pengsragsNew York Rangers vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Marc’s Prediction: New York Rangers, 4 games
Ryan’s Prediction: New York Rangers, 6 games

capsislesWashington Capitals vs New York Islanders
Marc’s Prediction: Washington Capitals, 6 games
Ryan’s Prediction: Washington Capitals, 7 games