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, Cam Ward and Brandon Manning on Sunday, addressing their depth in every position group after missing the playoffs for the first time in a decade.Kunitz got a one-year deal worth $1 million, and Ward’s one-year contract is for $3 million. Manning received a two-year deal.The 38-year-old Kunitz gives Chicago another experienced forward, Ward adds to the Blackhawks’ depth in goal after Corey Crawford missed most of last season, and Manning joins a mix of aging veterans and intriguing prospects on defense.”The main thing for us is that we’ve been able in the past couple of years to accumulate a lot of really good young players who are on the cusp of breakout status,” general manager Stan Bowman said in a conference call with reporters. ”In the process of turning it over to the young guys, you still have to mentor those young guys.”Kunitz had 13 goals and 16 assists in 82 games with Tampa Bay last season. He also had an assist in 17 playoff games with the Lightning. The four-time Stanley Cup champion – with Anaheim in 2007 and Pittsburgh in 2009, 2016 and 2017 – also won gold with Canada at the 2014 Olympics.”The goal from an organizational standpoint is to win a Stanley Cup,” Kunitz said. ”That’s what they’re looking to do every single year.”He joins a Chicago team looking for a comeback after finishing last in the Central Division. Crawford got hurt in December and the Blackhawks tumbled to 33 wins and 76 points, their lowest totals since they went 31-42-9 during the 2006-07 season.Upgrading its situation in net was one of Chicago’s top offseason priorities. Bowman said last month he expects Crawford ”to be back and ready to go in training camp www.officialstarsproonline.com
,” and the goaltender is among the listed players who will attend Blackhawks Convention July 27-29, an annual event where current and former players meet fans and speak with reporters.Anton Forsberg was acquired in the Artemi Panarin trade with Columbus last June, but he struggled in his first year as Crawford’s backup and his status is up in the air with the addition of Ward.”We felt that was an area we wanted to get better at,” Bowman said. ”Anton had a great season for us the first few months when he was getting his feet under him as a NHL goalie, with Corey sort of carrying the load. … I think Anton can work his way to (being No. 1 guy) over time, but Cam has the long-time pedigree of being able to handle that.”The 34-year-old Ward was selected by Carolina in the first round of the 2002 draft and spent his first 13 seasons with the Hurricanes. He went 23-14-4 last year with two shutouts, a 2.73 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.Ward also has 41 career playoff appearances. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2006 as playoff MVP when Carolina beat Edmonton for its only Stanley Cup title.Ward noted the Hurricanes did not contact him during the week leading to the start of free agency.”I understand they’re going in a different direction and that’s their idea,” he said. ”I always imagined myself retiring as a Hurricane and playing my whole career there. That being said, this has opened the door for a new opportunity and a new challenge for me. I’m excited to see what comes out of it.”The 28-year-old Manning set career highs with seven goals and 12 assists in 65 games last season with Philadelphia. He also played in six postseason games.Chicago also announced it had agreed to a three-year contract with defenseman Adam Boqvist. The Blackhawks selected the 17-year-old Boqvist with the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft.— UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — The New York Islanders were energized by a boisterous home crowd as they rallied for a win in their first regular season game at Nassau Coliseum in more than 3 1/2 years.Casey Cizikas scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and the Islanders beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Saturday night.“It’s incredible Dallas Stars T-Shirts Authentic
, I got goosebumps going down my body right now,” Cizikas said. “It was an emotional game today. From the goaltender out, I thought we played one of our best games of the year. We were physical, we were fast, making smart plays.We had the crowd behind us all night.”Anders Lee and Anthony Beauvillier scored in the second period to tie the score after the Islanders fell behind, and Thomas Greiss stopped 28 shots. Scott Mayfield and Jordan Eberle each had two assists to help New York improve to 10-2-0 against Metropolitan Division opponents this season.Ryan Pulock set up Cizikas at 7:09 of the third period to give the Islanders their first lead of the game and send the sell-out crowd into a frenzy. The right-handed shooting defenseman froze several Blue Jackets skaters as he circled the net and eventually found Cizikas all alone in front.“This is Islanders country plain and simple,” New York coach Barry Trotz said. “(The fans) are extremely passionate about their team.”It was the Islanders’ first regular season game at the Coliseum — the team’s home for 43 years from its inception in 1972 — since April 11, 2015. This was the first of 21 games at the arena as part of a unique arrangement with Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the Islanders’ home since the 2015-16 season.The Coliseum underwent $165 million in renovations that included; an upgraded locker room, brand new seats throughout the arena Dallas Stars Hoodies Authentic
, and a modernistic metallic look to the exterior part of the building. Despite all of the changes, the intimacy and infrastructure of the building helped the crowd create a playoff-like atmosphere as chants of ‘Let’s go Islanders’ reverberated throughout the venue.“It was an amazing feeling,” forward Matt Martin said. “We didn’t want to let the fans down — not an easy hockey team to come back against — our fan base was a big reason why we were able to come back. We were able to use them to our advantage the whole night.”Markus Hannikainen and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for Columbus, which had won two straight. Cam Atkinson had an assist for his 300th career point and extending his point streak to 10 games. Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 26 saves.“A couple of small mistakes when the game was on the line that we need to be better at,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. “It’s just so frustrating the two mistakes that caused that third goal.”Columbus capitalized on two New York turnovers in less than two minutes early in the second period to earn a 2-0 advantage.After Josh Bailey’s floating outlet pass could not be controlled by Beauvillier, Seth Jones launched a slap shot which forced a big rebound opportunity. Hannikainen found the loose puck and got his fourth of the season at 6:46.The Blue Jackets doubled their advantage shortly after when Dubois wired a wrist shot off the crossbar and into the back of the net at 8:33. Atkinson got his milestone point on the play.Lee cut the Blue Jackets’ lead in half with eight minutes remaining in the middle period. The goal was initially waived off by the referee because the puck went off Lee’s hand and then his body as he fell toward the goal, but after a video review the call on the ice was overturned.“When we scored that first goal, you could hear the fans and it carried us the rest of the game,” Mayfiled said. “You could really tell the energy in the building flipped to our side and we held it the rest of the game.”Just 2:25 later, Beauvillier made up for an earlier mistake Dallas Stars Hats Authentic
, finishing his own rebound to knot the game 2-2. Beauvillier skated up the ice with Mathew Barzal creating a 2-on-1 opportunity, but kept it himself while the Blue Jackets defenseman guarded against the cross-ice pass.NOTES: During the first television timeout in the opening period the Islanders displayed a video tribute to their late owner, Charles Wang. He repeatedly tried to keep the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum throughout his ownership, but the arena was never upgraded with modern amenities. … Four-time Stanley Cup Champions Clark Gillies and Bobby Nystrom were in attendance along with the franchise’s first captain, Ed Westfall. … Islanders scratched forwards Stephen Gionta and Ross Johnston and defenseman Lucas Sbisa. .., Columbus skated in the final regular-season game at Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders played three more playoff games here that year, losing a seven-game series to Trotz and the Washington Capitals. New York also faced Philadelphia in two preseason games, in September 2017 and September 2018. … Blue Jackets scratched forward Anthony Duclair and defenseman Dean Kukan.UP NEXT:Blue Jackets: Host Calgary on Tuesday night.Islanders: Host Winnipeg at Barclays Center on Tuesday night.