Here are some news items that may have escaped your attention across the NHL

Published July 25, 2021 at 6:28 PM

The Jake Virtanen case continues to evolve. Implicated in a sexual assault case that allegedly occurred in September 2017, the 24-year-old forward has had his name put on the ballot by the Vancouver Canucks for a contract buyout.

Drafted in the first round (6th overall) by the Canucks in 2014, Virtanen just played his sixth season in British Columbia, collecting five points (all goals) in 38 games during the 2020-21 regular season. He had one season remaining on the two-year, $2,550,000 per year pact he signed last October.

The Langley native will now enjoy full autonomy on July 28, and it will be interesting to see if any team will venture to sign him, despite the accusations against him.

Another year for Marc Staal in Detroit.

For their part, the Detroit Red Wings announced they have agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension with veteran defenseman Marc Staal. A no-movement clause is also included in the deal, which will pay Eric Staal's younger brother a salary of $2 million.

Next season may be the opportunity for Staal to reach the mythical 1,000-game mark in the NHL, having played 948 games in 14 seasons in the National Hockey League. Staal's experience will make him an important piece of the Wings' young defense.

A three-time Stanley Cup champion hangs up his skates

Meanwhile, reporter Craig Morgan reported that now ex-Arizona Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson has ended his professional hockey career, having played 14 campaigns in the Bettman circuit.

However, Hjalmarsson has no intention of confirming the news himself, as he doesn't think it would be his "style".

The 34-year-old Swede played a crucial role in the Chicago Blackhawks' three Stanley Cup victories between 2010 and 2015. Hjalmarsson played more often than not alongside Duncan Keith or Brent Seabrook on the Hawks' top-4 defense.
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