• The Canadian Press

    Senators sign veteran forward Alex Galchenyuk to one-year, $1.05-million contract

    OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators' busy off-season continued Wednesday with the signing of forward Alex Galchenyuk. The one-year deal is worth US$1.05 million.  The 26-year-old Galchenyuk was an unrestricted free agent after splitting last year between Pittsburgh and Minnesota. He had eight goals and 16 assists over 59 regular-season games in 2019-20, and was held without a point in four post-season appearances with the Wild. The Senators are Galchenyuk's fifth team since June 2018. Born in Milwaukee to Belarusian parents, Galchenyuk was selected third overall by Montreal in the 2012 NHL draft. He spent his first six NHL seasons with the Canadiens, putting up career highs with 30 goals and 56 points in 2015-16. He was traded to Arizona for Max Domi in June 2018. After one season with the Coyotes, he was shipped to Pittsburgh in the deal that sent Phil Kessel to Arizona. His tenure in Pittsburgh lasted 45 games before he was sent to the Wild, along with Calen Addison and a conditional round first-round pick in 2021, for forward Jason Zucker. Galchenyuk has 135 goals and 185 assists over 549 career NHL games. He joins sniper Evgenii Dadonov, goaltender Matt Murray, forward Austin Watson and defencemen Josh Brown and Erik Gudbranson as new additions to a revamped Senators roster. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020. The Canadian Press

  • The Canadian Press

    Winnipeg Jets lock up homegrown forward Jansen Harkins for two more seasons

    WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets have signed forward Jansen Harkins to a two-year contract with an average annual value of US$725,000. The 23-year-old product of North Vancouver, B.C., made his NHL debut for the Jets last season.  Harkins had two goals and five assists in 29 games for Winnipeg in 2019-20 and seven goals and 24 assists in 30 games for Manitoba of the American Hockey League. He was named team MVP for Manitoba. The Jets picked Harkins in the second round, 47th overall, of the 2015 NHL draft. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2020. The Canadian Press

  • The Canadian Press

    Ottawa Senators sign forward Chris Tierney to two-year deal, avoiding arbitration

    OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators have avoided arbitration with Chris Tierney, signing the forward to a two-year contract with an average annual value of US$3.5 million. Tierney, 26, will earn $2.8 million in 2020-21 and $4.2 million in 2021-22. A native of Keswick, Ont., Tierney ranked sixth among Senators in scoring with 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists) in 2019-20 and was one of four players to appear in each of Ottawa’s 71 games.  In 2018-19, he set career-highs in assists (39), points (48) and games (81). The Senators acquired Tierney in the deal that sent star defenceman Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks in September 2018. Tierney has 189 points (61 goals, 128 assists) in 436 career NHL games with San Jose and Ottawa. “We’re pleased to reach an agreement with Chris that will see him under contract here for multiple seasons,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in a statement.  “He’s a reliable veteran who has very good hockey sense and who is consistently among our best centres in faceoff success rate. That he’s accumulated significant NHL experience in a short period of time is also of considerable importance to our lineup.” Also Tuesday, the Senators signed forward Filip Chlapik to a one-year, two-way contract worth $735,000 in the NHL and $70,000 in the American Hockey League. The 23-year-old Prague native had six points (three goals, three assists) in 31 games with Ottawa last season and 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) over 37 games with the AHL's Belleville Senators. Ottawa selected Chlapik in the second round, 48th overall, at the 2015 NHL draft. He has 11 points (five goals, six assists) over 56 career NHL games with Ottawa and 88 points (37 goals, 51 assists) over 146 contests with Belleville.   This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2020. The Canadian Press

  • The Canadian Press

    Mi'kmaq fisherman intends to fight federal charges alleging illegal lobster catch

    HALIFAX — A fisherman from a Mi'kmaq community in Cape Breton says he intends to plead not guilty to charges of illegal fishing after his lobster traps were seized last year by federal fisheries officers in southwestern Nova Scotia. Ashton Bernard, 30, of Eskasoni First Nation, said in a telephone interview Monday he will rely on the 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Donald Marshall Jr. case. The Supreme Court ruled that East Coast Indigenous communities have the right to fish for a moderate livelihood, citing peace treaties signed by the Crown in the 1760s. A subsequent clarification of the court's decision, however, also affirmed Ottawa's right to regulate the fishery to ensure conservation of the resource. Bernard said he believes the first portion of the Supreme Court decision will prevail. "The highest court in Canada affirmed our treaty rights and we're allowed to fish under a moderate livelihood," he said. "I wasn't going to wait around for the government to tell us when to fish or not. "I told the boys, 'Let's go out and see how it goes,' and now we're into court." Bernard's case is proceeding amid tensions over the launching on Sept. 17 of a livelihood fishery by the Sipekne’katik First Nation, on the 21st anniversary of the Marshall decision. Since the Sipekne'katik fishery began, federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan has confirmed she is committed to respecting the Mi'kmaq treaty right to pursue a moderate livelihood. Her officials have been in talks with the band to define the fishery. The seizures of Bernard's catch occurred Sept. 7, 2019, when Bernard says fisheries officers raided his boat in the early hours of the morning and removed 32 crates of lobster. He said he had caught the lobster after fishing off Pinkneys Point, N.S., about 20 kilometres south of Yarmouth, for two days. He says his boat had a crew of four and was using 80 traps, and he says when he was approached by DFO officers on the water, he informed them he was fishing under provisions of the Marshall case. Meanwhile in Ottawa, the House of Commons fisheries committee delved into the dispute Monday with testimony from Indigenous leaders. Paul Prosper, the Assembly of First Nations' regional chief for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, told MPs it was a rude awakening when he learned the federal government doesn't always uphold treaty rights. "There is no mechanism to force government to, under the laws of this land," he said. Indigenous fishers have been waiting for 21 years since Marshall decision for a mandate to practice their moderate-livelihood fishing rights, Prosper said. Darcy Gray, chief with the Listuguj Mi'kmaq, a First Nation in Quebec, testified that his nation has launched its own fishing management plan but continues to be rebuffed by federal authorities.  "For the last two falls, we have conducted our own self-regulating fishery," Gray said. "Lobster stocks in our fishing area remain healthy." But the Department of Fisheries and Oceans prohibits the sale of his nation's lobster, he said. "Every fall, we are refused. Every fall, the minister insists on prohibiting us from exercising our treaty right." Back in Yarmouth, Bernard was in provincial court on Monday to face charges of fishing outside of the closed federal season, lobster fishing without authorization and possessing lobster in contravention of the Fisheries Act. Two other First Nations fishermen, Zachery Nicholas and Rayen Francis from Pictou Landing First Nation, were also charged with those three offences. Ashton Bernard's younger brother, Arden Bernard, is facing the same charges, and the brothers are also both charged with violating Aboriginal communal fishing licensing regulations. Another man, Michael Surette, is facing the same charges in the matter, and he said in a teleconference with the judge that he intends to hire a lawyer. The lawyer for the Indigenous fishers, Michael McDonald, and the federal prosecutor agreed to set a date of Dec. 1 for election and plea in the case. Before becoming a fisherman, Bernard played major junior hockey for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the Shawinigan Cataractes. He says he entered the fishing industry with a snow crab licence obtained by his band, and shifted into lobster fishing last year. Bernard said he is currently fishing for lobster in St. Peters Bay in another of the recently opened livelihood fisheries. "It's been 21 years since the Marshall decision, and we didn't want to wait another 21 years," he said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2020. Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press