Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner (53) joins center Elias Lindholm (16) and Lucas Wallmark to celebrate a goal. The Hurricanes could be under new ownership soon. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
The Carolina Hurricanes are on the brink of being sold, but they will not be relocating.
Chuck Greenberg, a former managing partner and CEO of baseball's Texas Rangers, is "close" to a deal to purchase the Hurricanes for $500 million, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., subsequently reported the Hurricanes signed a letter of intent to sell the team to Greenberg, with a stipulation that he keep the team in Raleigh.
Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has been considering options to sell the team for some time. Recently some reports indicated that Karmanos, who had moved the team from Hartford in 1997, might be willing to sell the Hurricanes to someone who would move the team.
However, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman suggested several times that the team would not be moved.
--Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andrew Ference officially announced his retirement after 16 seasons in the NHL.
Ference spent the last four seasons with the Oilers and served as the team's captain from 2013-15. The 38-year-old Alberta native recorded six goals, 26 assists and 108 penalty minutes in 147 career games with Edmonton.
Ference played just six games in 2015-16 before undergoing season-ending hip surgery, and he did not play any games for the Oilers this past season.
--New York Rangers first-round pick Lias Andersson agreed to a three-year, entry-level contract.
The 18-year-old Andersson, who was the seventh overall pick of the 2017 draft, registered 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) and a plus-21 rating in 42 games this past season with HV71 of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).
--The San Jose Sharks signed forward Rudolfs Balcers to an entry-level contract and re-signed forward Chris Tierney to a one-year contract on Thursday.
Balcers collected 77 points (40 goals, 37 assists) in 66 games with the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League. The 20-year-old Latvian ranked first in goals, third in assists, second in points and tied for first in rating (plus-26) among all WHL rookies.
Tierney, 23, scored 11 goals while adding 12 assists in 80 games with the Sharks last season. In 202 career NHL games, all with the Sharks, Tierney has registered 24 goals, 40 assists, two shorthanded goals, and five game-winning goals.
--The Winnipeg Jets signed restricted free-agent forward Andrew Copp to a two-year, $2 million deal, the team announced on Thursday.
In 64 games for the Jets last season, the 24-year-old scored nine goals and added eight assists. In 142 NHL games over the past three seasons, all in Winnipeg, the 6-foot-1, 206-pounder has 16 goals, 15 assists and a plus-18 rating.
--The Vancouver Canucks re-signed center Michael Chaput to a one-year, one-way contract at $687,500.
Chaput, 25, recorded nine points in 68 games in his first year with the Canucks. He set career highs in goals (4), assists (5), points (9) and games played (68) last season. He also hit the 100 career NHL game milestone on Feb. 9 at Columbus.
Prior to joining the Canucks, Chaput played three seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He has six goals and 11 assists in 126 career NHL games with Vancouver and Columbus.