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NHL notebook: Preds D Ellis out 4-6 months

(TSX / STATS) -- Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis could be out of action until January, according to the team's website manager Thomas Willis.

"(Predators general manager David) Poile: Ryan Ellis is out for 4-6 months. Doesn't expect him back until around Jan. 1. #Preds," Willis tweeted on Thursday.

The 26-year-old right-shot recorded a career-high 16 goals and 38 points last season, averaging just under 24 minutes per-game. Ellis was tied for third on the Predators and led all of their defensemen with 13 playoff points.

--Former enforcer George Parros was named as the NHL's senior vice president of player safety.

Parros will take the place of Stephane Quintal, who is stepping down to pursue other opportunities within the game. Quintal, however, has agreed to remain with the department through the end of the 2017-18 season to assist in the transition.

The 37-year-old Parros, who served as director of the department under Quintal, racked up 1,092 penalty minutes - including 150 fighting majors - in his nine-year NHL career.

--The Winnipeg Jets reached multi-year contract extensions with both general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and head coach Paul Maurice.

Cheveldayoff has served as general manager of the franchise since 2011, when the Atlanta Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg. The Jets own a 216-191-51 mark under Cheveldayoff, who spent two years as the Chicago Blackhawks' assistant general manager before joining Winnipeg.

Maurice, who replaced the fired Claude Noel during the 2013-14 season, has posted a 136-112-33 record with the Jets.

--The Florida Panthers have chartered a plane to take the team's players, staff members, families and pets out of the state ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Approximately 80 players and staff will take Friday's flight from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) to Boston, including forwards Vincent Trocheck, Aleksander Barkov and Derek MacKenzie as well as goaltender Roberto Luongo, the Miami Herald reported.

The players will be allowed to use the team's American Hockey League facilities in Springfield, Mass., to hold training camp should events warrant.

The Panthers home arena, BB&T Center, will serve as a staging area for emergency equipment ahead of the Category 5 hurricane. Hurricane Irma is expected to hit Florida over the weekend.

--The Edmonton Oilers signed forward Dmitri Samorukov to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Samorukov, 18, scored 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) for Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League last season.

Samorukov has twice represented his native Russia in the world under-18 championships and also played in the under-17 challenge in 2015.

--The San Jose Sharks signed defenseman Jacob Middleton to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Middleton recorded nine points (one goal, eight assists) and a plus-11 rating in 50 games last season with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League. The 21-year-old Alberta native led all team rookies in penalty minutes with 56 in 2016-17.

Middleton spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League prior to joining the Barracuda, collecting 86 points (14 goals, 72 assists) and 219 penalty minutes with Owen Sound and Ottawa.

Updated September 7, 2017

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