Cole suspended, Weegar and Hague extended, PTOs turned into contracts: NHL Notebook

Cole suspended, Weegar and Hague extended, PTOs turned into contracts: NHL Notebook

The regular season is finally here but the biggest news in hockey continues to cause a stir. Lightning defenseman Ian Cole has been suspended pending an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse involving a minor.

In a detailed post on Twitter, a woman accused Cole of grooming and sexual abuse. The alleged conduct appears to have taken place years ago, possibly while Cole was playing for the St. Louis Blues from 2010 to 2015.

A high school student at the time, the victim claims Cole’s teammates and others in the organization knew about it and turned a blind eye.

It seems like every week there’s a new story involving a hockey player and a sexual assault. Cole has been suspended by the Lightning until the investigation is complete. In a statement via his agent, Cole denied all charges and said he would cooperate fully with the investigation.

Other NHL news this week includes two Western Conference contenders locking up the defenseman and a few veterans earning PTO contracts.

Weegar Contract

MacKenzie Weegar has agreed to a contract that will keep him with the Calgary Flames for eight more seasons. The deal starts in 2023-24 and will net him $50 million.

It carries a cap of 6.25 million and has a no-trade clause for the first four seasons, then switches to a modified no-trade clause (list of ten no-trade teams) for the last four.

An undrafted defenseman, Weegar (28) was acquired by the Flames this summer as part of Matthew Tkachuk’s package. He set career highs in goals (8), assists (36) and points (44) for the Florida Panthers last season.

The Golden Knights sign The Hague

One of the last remaining RFAs, Nicolas Hague agreed with the Vegas Golden Knights on a three-year contact at a 2.294M AAV.

Drafted 34e overall in 2017, Hague is a member of the first draft class in Golden Knights history.

He’s been a key part of the Knights’ blue line for the past two seasons. In 142 career games, he scored 42 points.

PTOs transformed into contracts

Three veteran players have made their way onto NHL rosters and earned one-year contracts over the past week. Anton Stralman joins the Boston Bruins on a 1 million contract, the Carolina Hurricanes signed Derek Stepan for 750,000 and Michael Stone is back with the Calgary Flames on a 2-way contract of 750,000.

A seventh-round pick of the Maple Leafs in 2005, Stralman joins his seventh team in a 16-year career. He spent last season with the Arizona Coyotes, scoring 23 points in 74 games. If he can play 70 games this year, he will reach 1000.

Although she played 58 games for the Hurricanes and scored 19 points last year, Carolina only offered Stepan a PTO. However, it seems to have worked for both parties. At 32 it will be his 13e NHL season.

Michael Stone has been a member of the Calgary Flames organization since 2016-17, although he struggled to stay in the roster. In six seasons, he played just 180 NHL games, including 82 in 2017-18.

Last season he had two goals and four assists in 11 games. Calgary has one of the deepest blue lines in the NHL, Stone plans to be its seventh defenseman.

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