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Jackets get D Severson, give him 8 years

(AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired Damon Severson from the New Jersey Devils on Friday after the veteran defenseman and soon-to-be free agent signed an eight-year $50 million contract.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen sent a third-round pick, 80th overall, in this month's draft to the Devils for Severson, who will be under contract through the 2030-31 NHL season.

Severson had 58 goals and 205 assists in 647 career appearances with the Devils since making his NHL debut in 2014-15. He scored seven game-winning goals and averaged more than 21 minutes of playing time during his nine seasons. The 28-year-old had seven goals and 26 assists this season, including two game-winning goals, in 81 games.


Maple Leafs hire Doan to front office

TORONTO (AP) Former Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan has been hired as a special adviser to new Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving, the team announced Friday.

The 46-year-old Doan spent his entire 21-year playing career with the Coyotes franchise, starting in its final year in Winnipeg in 1995-96. He was an All-Star in 2004 and 2009.


Vegas still relaxed heading into Game 4

Despite losing Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final in disappointing fashion, the Vegas Golden Knights appear relaxed heading into Saturday's road clash with the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla.

Then again, the Golden Knights still hold a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven series, giving them plenty of confidence even after they squandered a late lead en route to a 3-2 overtime loss that has the Panthers back in the series.


Bedard draws comparisons to McDavid

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The NHL is going to have another Connor to contend with very shortly.

For everything two-time NHL MVP Connor McDavid has accomplished in Edmonton since being selected No. 1 in the 2015 draft, Connor Bedard is on the same trajectory in being pegged as this year's top eligible draft prospect, Central Scouting director Dan Marr said Friday.


Panthers improve to 7-0 in OT during run

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) When the Florida Panthers are headed to overtime in the playoffs, the routine basically goes like this: The horn sounds to end the third period, the team retreats to the locker room for intermission, and the discussion starts.

There's only one topic.


Tkachuk returns from hit with tying goal

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Matthew Tkachuk was down, out briefly and then back with plenty of time to make a difference.

The Florida Panthers star left early in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final after a big hit from Vegas Golden Knights forward Keegan Kolesar, and he missed most of the first period and didn't return immediately following intermission while being evaluated for a concussion. After looking as if he might be lost for the night, Tkachuk returned in the second and then came through with more of his now trademark playoff heroics.


Hawks, Athanasiou agree to 2 yrs., $8.5M

CHICAGO (AP) The rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks locked in one of their top scorers, agreeing to a two-year, $8.5 million contract with forward Andreas Athanasiou on Thursday.

The 28-year-old Athanasiou tied for the team lead with 20 goals and ranked third with 40 points in his first season with Chicago. He matched career highs with four game-winning goals and three power-play goals.


Maurice's matchup moves pay off

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Before the puck dropped Thursday night for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice tipped his hand, at least a little bit.

For the first time since the second round of the playoffs, Matthew Tkachuk's line alongside Sam Bennett and Nick Cousins did not start. Vegas Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy already tabbed his shutdown trio of William Carrier, Nicolas Roy and Keegan Kolesar to open the game - the line that had shut down Tkachuk and Bennett so far.


Missed opportunities doom Knights

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) The power play that had carried the Vegas Golden Knights to a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final wasn't enough to power them to a victory Thursday night.

Florida's Matthew Tkachuk did what he has done all playoffs, and what the Panthers had been missing so far this series, scoring the tying goal with 2:13 left in regulation. Then Carter Verhaeghe ended it 4:27 of overtime, giving Florida a 3-2 victory.


D Montour rushes to attend child's birth

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Brandon Montour took a baby break between the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.

With wife Ryian going into labor earlier than expected, the Panthers defenseman left Las Vegas not long after the series opener and flew back to Florida on a private jet. Montour made it in time to be there for the birth of the couple's first child, a son they named Kai.

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