The Calgary Flames on Wednesday signed goaltender Jon Gillies, a South Portland native, who just led Providence to its first NCAA title over the weekend.
The Flames also assigned goaltender Joni Ortio to the Adirondack Flames of the American Hockey League.
Gillies, 21, stopped 74 of 78 shots in Frozen Four wins over Nebraska-Omaha and Boston University. He was named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Calgary’s third-round pick in 2012, Gillies recorded 60 wins, 13 shutouts, a 2.08 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage in 108 games for Providence. In 38 games last season, he was 24-13-2 with a .930 save percentage and a 2.01 GAA.
General manager Brad Treliving said the Flames appreciate the size, athleticism and maturity of the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Gillies.
“Obviously, the first thing you notice with Jon is his size, but he’s not just a big body,” Treliving told the Calgary Sun. “He’s a big body who has tremendous athletic ability. It’s a real rare combination, quite frankly, in terms of a guy that big and that athletic.
“There’s a real poise to him. He has a mature game. As big as he is, as athletic as he is, there’s a quiet maturity to his game. He’s not somebody who overworks or overdoes it in terms of his movements. And he has hockey sense. Some people, sometimes, don’t think that hockey IQ is important in goaltenders. It’s really important, in terms of being able to read plays and those types of things.”
Ortio was 4-2-0 with Calgary and gave up 2.52 goals per game, with a .908 save percentage.
He has played in 35 games with Adirondack, tallying a 20-12-1 record with four shutouts, a 2.64 GAA and .914 save percentage.
Preview: Red Wings at Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning recorded franchise bests in both wins and points this season, but the agonizing memory of last season’s first-round sweep is a strong enough reason not to rest on their laurels. With a club-best 32-8-1 mark at home, the Lightning look to get off on the right foot when they open their Eastern Conference first-round series against the visiting Detroit Red Wings at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Steven Stamkos scored four of his team-leading 43 goals this season against the Red Wings, helping Tampa Bay post a 3-1-0 mark versus its Atlantic Division rival. The vaunted second line of Tyler Johnson (29 goals, 43 assists), Nikita Kucherov (28 goals, 36 assists) and Ondrej Palat (16 goals, team-high 47 assists) amassed 73 goals for the Lightning, who look for a longer stay after being brushed aside by Montreal last year.
Detroit is making its 24th consecutive playoff appearance, but enters this postseason on the heels of losing 13 of its final 20 contests (7-10-3). The Red Wings need veteran Pavel Datsyuk (26 goals, 39 assists) to remain both productive and healthy if they wish to subdue the Lightning.
Flu sidelines Rangers’ Nash
New York Rangers forward Rick Nash missed practice because of the flu, but coach Alain Vigneault said Nash should be able to play Thursday night in the opening game of the Eastern Conference first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden.
Nash missed the final two games of the season with an undisclosed injury. He finished with a career-high 42 goals. He has only five goals in 41 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs, including four in 37 games with the Rangers in the past two seasons.
Goalie Allen to start for Blues
St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said goaltender Jake Allen will start Game 1 of the Western Conference first-round series against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.
Allen has one minute of playoff experience and that came during the 2011-12 season, but the 24-year-old played well down the stretch. He finished 22-7-4 with a 2.28 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and four shutouts in his second season.
Brian Elliott will serve as the backup. He was 26-14-3 with a 2.26 goals-against average and .917 save percentage.
Kings sign Kempe
The Los Angeles Kings signed forward Adrian Kempe to a three-year entry-level contract.
The 18-year-old Kempe is a 6-foot-1, 187-pound native of Kramfors, Sweden, who has appeared in 95 regular-season games with Modo of the Swedish Hockey League, totaling 28 points (18 assists) and 54 penalty minutes. In six postseason games, he has recorded four points (one goal, three assists), a plus-4 rating and two penalty minutes.
Two Oilers out of world tourney
Edmonton Oilers forward Nail Yakupov will not attend Russia’s training camp for the upcoming World Hockey Championship due to a hip injury, the Oilers announced.
The team also said forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will not play for Canada in the tournament because of a broken right foot.
The Oilers just signed Yakupov to a two-year, $5 million contract extension Monday.
The World Hockey Championship includes teams from 16 nations and runs May 1-17 in the Czech Republic.