Ron Francis’ vision for Seattle’s NHL team

10:48 AM ET Emily KaplanESPN The still-unnamed Seattle franchise is two years away from debuting in the NHL, but the league’s 32nd team has its first GM. That’s Ron Francis, the Hall of Fame player who spent four years as the Carolina Hurricanes GM before being demoted, then fired, under new owner Tom Dundon in 2018. Francis landed a coveted job in Seattle and has about 27 months before the 2021-22 season opener. The biggest challenge for Francis and his new squad? Matching the expectations that the Vegas Golden Knights…

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McDavid’s signature forged on Oilers jerseys

EDMONTON, Alberta — A man has been charged with forging the signature of Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid on team jerseys and then selling them for big profits. Edmonton police say the 23-year-old man in April 2018 contacted several people on Facebook, claiming he was employed by either the Edmonton Oilers Entertainment Group or Pro Am Sports and was selling autographed McDavid jerseys. Chandra Vinesh Singh has been charged with fraud, forging documents and false pretense. Investigators believe he sold two items bearing bogus signatures to someone for $1,400, then…

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Prove them wrong, Ron Francis

9:10 AM ET Greg WyshynskiESPN If I were one of the executives hiring Ron Francis as the first general manager of the Seattle Whatevers — and I’m still all-in on the “Sasquatch” or “Kraken,” for the record — my first question would have been a simple one: “How much of that was your fault?” Under Francis, the Carolina Hurricanes had a record of 137-138-53 with Bill Peters behind the bench, the only coach Francis had the chance to hire in his four seasons as general manager. They were an aggressively…

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Wild re-sign restricted FA Donato, two others

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Wild have re-signed three restricted free agents: forwards Ryan Donato and Nico Sturm and defenseman Carson Soucy. Donato, a natural center who mostly played left wing after arriving from Boston, received a two-year, $3.8 million contract. He had four goals and 12 assists with 64 shots in 16 games for the Wild last season after the trade with the Bruins. The 23-year-old has 15 goals and 19 assists in 68 NHL games. Sturm and Soucy got one-year, two-way deals. Sturm made his Wild debut…

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Athletes join in on the FaceApp #AgeChallenge

11:05 PM ET Kelly CohenESPN If you ever wanted to know what some of your favorite athletes will look like in 50 years, look no further than Twitter and Instagram today. By using FaceApp’s old age feature, anyone can see what they’ll look like decades from now, and everyone from Steph Curry to Dwyane Wade to JuJu Smith-Schuster to Yasiel Puig joined in on the viral craze. Even some teams participated as well, like the Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia Eagles and Vancouver Canucks. Sports power couple P.K. Subban and Lindsey Vonn…

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Suspended Voynov signs 1-year deal with KHL

MOSCOW — Former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has signed a one-year deal in the Kontinental Hockey League as he sits out the final months of his NHL suspension. Russian KHL club Avangard Omsk says it has signed Voynov to a one-year deal. His NHL suspension, imposed after the league determined he committed acts of domestic violence, will end midway through the season. Voynov was suspended indefinitely in October 2014 after being arrested and charged with abusing his wife. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor, left the United…

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2019 NHL free-agency grades – Analysis of every big signing

Welcome to 2019 NHL free agency. We’ll be grading the most notable offseason signings below, so come back for updates as deals are completed. Jump ahead to a signing:Panarin to NYR | Duchene to NSH | Johansson to BUFAho to CAR | Dzingel to CAR | Tanev to PIT | Donskoi to COLBobrovsky to FLA | Lee to NYI | Perry to DAL | Smith to EDMNyquist to CBJ | Talbot to CGY | Zuccarello to MINConnolly to FLA | Myers to VAN | Pavelski to DALFerland to VAN |…

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Blackhawks get Nylander in trade with Sabres

CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks are taking a chance on another underachieving young forward. They hope it goes the same way it did last time. The Blackhawks traded promising defenseman Henri Jokiharju to Buffalo on Tuesday for Alex Nylander, who hasn’t quite lived up to expectations since he was selected by the Sabres with the eighth overall pick in the 2016 draft. “Buffalo, that kind of stuff, that’s in the past. Obviously thought maybe I would be in the NHL sooner than I have been, but I’m just really excited,…

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Stars re-sign center Dickinson to 2-year deal

FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Stars have re-signed center Jason Dickinson to a $3 million, two-year contract, bringing back an emerging leader after he established career highs in scoring and playing time. Dickinson was a solid playoff performer in his postseason debut as the Stars reached the second round before losing a Game 7 to eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis. He had five points (three goals, two assists) in 13 games. The 24-year-old Dickinson had career highs in goals (six), assists (16) and points (22), while averaging the most…

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Holmgren steps down as Flyers president

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Flyers president Paul Holmgren has stepped down to become a senior adviser for the franchise. General manager Chuck Fletcher becomes president of hockey operations in a related move. Fletcher reports directly to Comcast Spectacor Chairman and CEO Dave Scott. Holmgren has been a Flyers player, assistant coach, head coach, general manager and president for 40 years. Scott says Holmgren has earned a place among the organization’s all-time greats. Philadelphia hired Fletcher seven months ago to replace the fired Ron Hextall in the hopes of winning the Stanley…

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