NHL notes: Boogaard felony charge thrown out

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:51 PM ET

A judge threw out the most serious charge against Aaron Boogaard Thursday in Minnesota.

Hennepin County judge William Howard dismissed the felony charge of sale of a controlled substance Boogard was facing in relation to the death of his brother, New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard. He is still facing a misdemeanor charge of interfering with a death scene.

John Lundquist, Aaron Boogaard's lawyer, said his client was relieved that the most serious charge has been thrown out but added he wasn't sure if a different charge would be filed.

"We obviously hope they leave well enough alone," Lundquist told the Star-Tribune newspaper. Aaron Boogaard was charged in July after his brother died from mixing alcohol and prescription painkillers May 13 in his Minneapolis apartment. Prosecutors alleged that Aaron Boogaard supplied the drugs that killed Derek and flushed what was left over down the toilet before police arrived.

Aaron Boogaard is trying to make the Houston Aeros of the AHL after playing for the Laredo Bucks of the CHL last season.

NEW JET FLIES IN

The Winnipeg Jets claimed forward Brett MacLean off waivers after he was released by the Phoenix Coyotes.

MacLean, a 22-year-old from London, Ont., played most of last season with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, posting 23 goals and 27 assists. He played 13 games with the Coyotes, recording two goals and an assist.

MacLean is a former 61-goal scorer in junior, with the OHL's Oshawa Generals.

To make room for MacLean, the Jets sent Patrice Cormier to St. John's of the AHL. Cormier split time between the Atlanta Thrashers and AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves during the 2010-11 season.

HANZEL EXTENDED

The Phoenix Coyotes signed forward Martin Hanzal to a five-year contract extension worth a reported $15.5 million Thursday.

Hanzal, the Coyotes' first-round draft pick in 2005, had 16 goals and 10 assists in 61 games last season.

"Martin is a big, strong, skilled centre and a core member of our team," general manager Don Maloney said. "He contributes at both ends of the ice and we are confident he will continue to improve to become one of the NHL's best two-way centres."

In other Coyotes news, forwards Patrick O'Sullivan, who has played 311 games with five teams but never really lived up to expectations, and Kyle Chipchura will start the season with the big team.

DREAM COME TRUE

Long after everybody else had boarded the bus back to the hotel, Ottawa Senators centre Mika Zibanejad, the last player off the ice Thursday at the Joe Louis Arena, walked into the nearly empty dressing room.

Most Senators made a hasty exit after their final tuneup for Friday's NHL season-opener against the Detroit Red Wings but Zibanejad was savouring the moment. It was hard for the 18-year-old Swede to wipe the smile off his face as he prepared to make his NHL debut .

"I've been dreaming of this day," said Zibanejad, the Sens' soft-spoken first-round pick in June's draft. "To finally get going, I'm really excited."

Asked if he had any advice for his young linemate, 38-year-old Daniel Alfredsson kept it simple.

"Just play hard. Don't worry about the outcome," Alfredsson said. "Just play like you can. Take it in as well. I'm sure he's excited as well to play against Zetterberg, Lidstrom, Franzen, Kronwall and Ericsson ... It'll be exciting for him."

BRIEFLY

Forward Jason Pominville was named captain of the Buffalo Sabres. Thomas Vanek, Drew Stafford, Paul Gaustad and Derek Roy will serve as assistants ... The Minnesota Wild put centre Eric Nystrom on waivers. If he clears, he'll be sent to Houston of the AHL ... Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Penner has a lower-body injury and will not play in the season opener against the New York Rangers. According to coach Terry Murray, Penner is "about 80%" healthy ... The New York Rangers, short of warm bodies on the blueline, claimed defenceman Jeff Woywitka off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens. Woywitka, who played with the Dallas Stars the last two seasons, gives the Rangers another veteran with Marc Staal on the IR to start the season ... The Dallas Stars signed first-rounder Jamie Oleksiak to an entry-level contract. The big defenceman will remain with Saginaw of the OHL.


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