The Stanley Cup was in the building last night in Edmonton, but the Dallas Stars staved off elimination with a double-overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. There will be at least one more game this NHL season, but with the off-season now within reach things are heating up. The trade market and free agent speculation are dominating headlines, but those smaller moves needed to fill rosters are also underway. Follow along here for all of today’s minor transactions:
- The Hershey Bears, affiliate of the Washington Capitals, have announced a one-year extension with winger Kale Kessy. The owner of one of the more fascinating stat lines from 2019-20, Kessy recorded zero points in 24 AHL games, but compiled 102 penalty minutes The physical forward led the AHL with 4.25 PIM per game and continued to earn play time for Hershey despite a lack of any offensive contribution. The former Edmonton Oilers prospect has now earned a new contract and will continue to torment the minors again next year.
- Former University of Minnesota standout Brent Gates is on the move. The Laval Rocket, affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, have announced a one-year, two-way deal with the young forward. An Anaheim Ducks third-round pick in 2015, Gates was never offered an NHL contract but still joined the organization via AHL contract with the San Diego Gulls last season. Gates’ AHL production was minimal, but his ECHL numbers could indicate the potential for offensive growth moving forward. The Rocket hope to capitalize on that upside with this addition.
- David Drake is staying in the Philadelphia Flyers system, but making the permanent move down to the ECHL. After playing the past two seasons on an AHL deal with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms but playing all but two games with the Reading Royals, Drake has signed a one-year deal with Reading, the team announced. The defenseman’s play has improved in each of the past two years, so perhaps he will return to Lehigh via loan at some point this season.