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Eastern Conference

Penguins’ Jim Rutherford Discusses Roster Changes, Daniel Sprong, Offseason

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The Pittsburgh Penguins are still reeling after their elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs at the hands of the Washington Capitals, and the team faces a big offseason as they hope to recapture the Stanley Cup next year.

Pens’ general manager Jim Rutherford talked about a number of topics as the Penguins approach to offseason, starting off with potential roster changes.

“It’s a little (too) early to tell. It’s obvious that I’m going to keep an open mind to making some changes” Rutherford said, according to NHL.com’s Sam Kasan.

“I will make some changes. I can’t give you a definite answer on who that’s going to be right now and exactly the positions.

“We’re a good team, and we will be a good team going forward. We’ll have a chance to win again. We have the nucleus to do that…We also have the pieces in place that are players that other teams are going to want that we’re going to be able to make those changes. Sometimes you don’t always have those players for cap reasons or for different reasons.

As most teams do, the Penguins will approach this offseason looking to improve and Rutherford says a different team will take the ice next season.

“It’s fair to say that this will be a different looking team by the time we open next season. It doesn’t mean there will be drastic changes or a lot of changes, but there will be changes in the areas that will become necessary…If we can improve at defense or forward and the right deal comes along we’ll do it.”

One change that will be in place is that forward Daniel Sprong will be a regular for the team next season.

“We were very careful with him this year. We develop players in different ways. Certainly he had the ability to come in at certain times and play an offensive role on our team. But he needed to work on his all-around game. He did that.”

Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings’ Anthony Mantha Out Four To Six Weeks

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The Detroit Red Wings will be without bright spot forward Anthony Mantha, who has developed impressively this season, will miss four to six weeks with a hand injury and will undergo surgery today, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.

Mantha injured his hand while fighting with Patrik Nemeth of the Colorado Avalanche, a game that resulted in the two-game suspension of Tyler Bertuzzi.

Mantha has picked up 14 points in 27 games this season.

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Eastern Conference

Flyers Hire Chuck Fletcher as General Manager

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The Philadelphia Flyers have announced the hiring of Chuck Fletcher as the team’s new general manager, according to a team announcement on Monday.

Fletcher, who becomes the eighth man to serve as GM in franchise history, will take over for Ron Hextall who was fired back in November.

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Eastern Conference

Devils’ Steven Santini Sent To AHL On Conditioning Loan

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The New Jersey Devils have sent defenseman Steven Santini to the AHL on a conditioning loan as the 23-year old works his way back from a broken jaw, according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti.

Santini has played in only one game for New Jersey this season, struggling to catch on as a full-time player for the Devils, and has only played in 76 NHL games during his short career after the Devils selected him with the 42d pick in the 2013 NHL draft.

 

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