NHL News: Flames sign Dan Vladar, Wings’ Jakub Vrana gets help, Avs claim Dryden Hunt, and more

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The latest NHL news starts off with a signing as the Calgary Flames and backup goalie Dan Vladar agreed to terms.

Plus the latest on Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana, Avalanche claim Dryden Hunt, and Bruins active Matt Grzelcyk off IR.

Flames sign Dan Vladar

The Calgary Flames signed backup goaltender Dan Vladar to a two-year contract extension worth $4.4 million on Thursday.

Vladar, 25, is 1-0-0 this season after allowing three goals on 29 shots against Edmonton last Saturday.

For his career, Vladar is 16-8-3 in 29 games (25 starts) for the Boston Bruins (2020-21) and the Flames. He has a 2.88 goals-against average and .902 save percentage.

The Flames acquired Vladar from Boston in July 2021 for third-round pick in the 2022 draft.

Vladar appeared in 23 games in 2021-22 backing up Jacob Markstrom.

“This is probably the best thing that could happen to me,” Vladar said. “Obviously, I’m super happy here, so I wanted to stay here as long as I could. It’s a dream come true.”

Avalanche claim Dryden Hunt

The Colorado Avalanche claimed forward Dryden Hunt off waivers from the New York Rangers on Thursday.

Hunt, 26, had one goal in three games with New York this season but was let go Wednesday to clear salary cap space.

He signed a two-year, $1.525 million contract with the Rangers in July 2021. The Avs are now on the hook for the remainder of his $762,500 this season.

Hunt recorded 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) and 52 penalty minutes in 76 games with the Rangers in 2021-22.

He has 41 points (13 goals, 28 assists) in 168 career games with the Florida Panthers (2017-20), Arizona Coyotes (2020-21) and Rangers.

Jakub Vrana enters NHLPA assistance program

Jakub Vrana shoulder surgery
May 8, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Detroit Red Wings left wing Jakub Vrana (15) flips the puck in the air during a stop in play against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 1st period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana was placed in the NHL and NHL Players’ Association player assistance program.

The league and the NHLPA announced the move in a joint statement on Wednesday evening.

Vrana, 26, will be unavailable to the Red Wings for an indefinite period of time. He will continue to be paid while receiving treatment, however.

Vrana missed Detroit’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday and practice the following day for what coach Derek Lalonde said were “personal reasons.”

Vrana has one goal and one assist in two games this season after totaling 13 and six, respectively, last season. His 2021-22 campaign was slow to begin after he underwent shoulder surgery following an injury sustained during training camp.

Vrana has 189 points (98 goals, 91 assists) in 323 career games with the Washington Capitals and Red Wings. He was selected by the Capitals with the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Bruins activate Matt Grzelcyk

The Boston Bruins activated defenseman Matt Grzelcyk from injured reserve ahead of Thursday’s game against the visiting Anaheim Ducks.

He missed the first four games of the season while recovering from a shoulder injury.

Grzelcyk, 28, set a career high with 24 points (four goals, 20 assists) and played a career-high 73 games in 2021-22.

The Massachusetts native and Boston University product has 98 points (19 goals, 79 assists) in 307 games since the Bruins drafted him in the third round in 2012.

Kraken place Michal Kempny on unconditional waivers

The Seattle Kraken placed defenseman Michal Kempny on unconditional waivers Thursday for the purpose of terminating his contract.

The 32-year-old signed a one-year, $750,000 contract in July but did not appear in a game for Seattle. The Kraken optioned him to AHL Coachella Valley ahead of the regular season. He’ll become a free agent again if he clears waivers.

Kempny worked back from three separate lower-body injuries, most recently an Achilles injury, that marred the end of his stint with the Washington Capitals. He played in just 15 games for the Capitals last season, tallying one goal and one assist.

In 247 career games with the Chicago Blackhawks (2016-18) and Capitals (2018-22), Kempny recorded 63 points (15 goals, 48 assists). He won a Stanley Cup with Washington in 2018.

–Field Level Media