All posts by Josh Wegman

Flyers, Konecny agree to 6-year, $33M contract

The Philadelphia Flyers have agreed to terms with restricted free-agent forward Travis Konecny on a six-year contract with an average annual value of $5.5 million, the team announced Monday.

Philadelphia has secured two of its core players within the past week. It also signed defenseman Ivan Provorov to a six-year contract with an AAV of $6.75 million on Thursday.

Konecny is the 10th RFA to hatch a deal since Sept. 9, but 10 players, including Mikko Rantanen, Matthew Tkachuk, Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, and Brock Boeser, still remain unsigned.

New Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault was critical of Konecny's contract holdout.

"I'm very disappointed that T.K. is not here," Vigneault said Friday, according to NBC's Jordan Hall. "It's the start of a new era, a new group, I felt that it was very important for everybody to be here.

"With my time in the NHL, my experience, anybody that falls behind - whether it's injury or in T.K.'s situation not coming to camp - usually it takes them a little bit of time to get back at it, especially at this time with a new coaching staff and new way of doing things."

Konecny, a first-round pick in 2015, tallied 24 goals and 49 points last season.

The Flyers have $1.17 million remaining in projected cap space, according to PuckPedia.

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NHLPA won’t opt out of current CBA

There's no cause to fear an NHL lockout for at least a few more years, as the NHLPA announced Monday that the union declined its option to reopen the collective bargaining agreement after the 2019-20 season.

The decision means the current CBA will remain in effect through the 2021-22 campaign.

"While players have concerns with the current CBA," NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said in a statement, "we agree with the league that working together to address those concerns is the preferred course of action instead of terminating the agreement following this season. We have been having discussions with the league about an extension of the CBA and expect that those talks will continue."

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Agent: Marner declined 2 offer sheets, wanted to be a Leaf

Mitch Marner's heart was always in Toronto.

According to his agent, the Markham, Ontario, native received a pair of offer sheets while he was a restricted free agent this summer, but declined both in hopes of staying with his hometown Maple Leafs, with whom he signed last week.

"There were two (offer sheets) presented to him in the summer," Darren Ferris told TSN 1050's Michael Landsberg and Carlo Colaiacovo on "First Up" on Monday morning. "Two opportunities, which he declined. He told me 'Darren, I don't want to sign. I want to be a Leaf.' So we declined both those opportunities."

Marner echoed Ferris' comments.

"As soon as Darren mentioned (offer sheets), I told him right away I don't want to explore that option," the forward told TSN's Kristen Shilton. "But I didn't want to miss training camp ... or any games this season, so that's why I really forced the issue with (general manager Kyle Dubas) to get something done and get me here."

The details of the offer sheets are unknown, but Dubas was aware of at least one of them. Ferris also suggested that there would have been more on the way.

"The team had actually told (Dubas) that they had made the overture to Mitch," Ferris said. "There was a very, very strong likelihood there were more being represented once the season started as you know, the cap number gets set and makes it more difficult for a team to match.

"His goal always was to be Leaf and that was the conclusion. The Leaf organization worked hard, especially Kyle working tireless hours. He and I going back and fourth, ups and downs of normal negotiations, finally got the deal done in a timely fashion that he could get to camp, and that's what Mitch wanted."

Had Marner signed an offer sheet, it would've been the second in the NHL this summer after nearly six years without one. Hurricanes star Sebastian Aho signed a five-year offer sheet worth $8.454 million per year with the Montreal Canadiens on July 1, but Carolina wasted no time matching it.

Marner and the Leafs signed a six-year contract with an average annual value of $10.893 million on Friday. Ferris revealed that the final two digits of the AAV were a tribute to Leafs legend Doug Gilmour, who wore No. 93 during his days in Toronto. During his junior career with the London Knights, Marner also wore No. 93.

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Babcock thinks Hyman, Dermott will miss nearly 1st month of season

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock told reporters he believes forward Zach Hyman will miss 14-to-15 games to start the season after offseason knee surgery, according to TSN.

Babcock also added that he thinks Travis Dermott will miss 12-to-14 games to begin the year, according to TSN's Kristen Shilton. The defenseman underwent shoulder surgery on May 10.

Hyman suffered a torn ACL in the club's first-round playoff series against the Boston Bruins. He played through the injury for three games. The 27-year-old was given a six-month recovery period after undergoing surgery on April 29.

Speedster Kasperi Kapanen has been practicing in Hyman's place at left wing on a line with John Tavares at center and Mitch Marner at right wing. Kapanen said he's ready to fill the workhorse void left by Hyman.

"I'll let them do all the nice things and I'll do the dirty work," Kapanen said.

Kapanen, Tavares, and Marner spent just over six minutes together at five-on-five a year ago, but the results were impressive in the short sample size. The trio outscored the opposition 3-1 and held a 12-8 shot-attempt advantage, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Kapanen, a natural right winger, will be playing out of position. The 23-year-old set career-highs with 20 goals and 24 assists a year ago.

Meanwhile, a glut of defensemen, including veterans Ben Harpur, Jordan Schmaltz, Martin Marincin, Kevin Gravel, and Justin Holl, and youngsters Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren, will jostle for minutes in Dermott's absence.

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Bruins sign McAvoy to 3-year bridge deal with $4.9M AAV

The Boston Bruins have re-signed restricted free-agent defenseman Charlie McAvoy to a three-year contract with an average annual value of $4.9 million, the team announced Sunday.

McAvoy's new contract comes in just a hair shy of Zach Werenski's three-year, $15-million deal that the Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman signed Monday. Here are the full details:

McAvoy will have two more arbitration years after his new contract expires before hitting unrestricted free agency.

The 21-year-old tallied 28 points in 54 games last season while serving as half of Boston's shutdown pairing alongside veteran captain Zdeno Chara.

The Bruins now have $3.2 million left in projected cap space to sign their last RFA, defenseman Brandon Carlo, according to CapFriendly. Boston could create additional cap space by assigning players to the minors.

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Report: Canadiens, Hurricanes among teams interested in Stars’ Honka

The Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes are reportedly among the teams interested in Dallas Stars defenseman Julius Honka, according to Sportsnet's Eric Engels and Elliotte Friedman.

The 23-year-old blue-liner requested a trade Friday.

Selected 14th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, Honka is a right-handed shot with elite puck-moving ability but was unable to carve out a full-time role in Dallas. He tallied just 13 points in 87 career games across three seasons, was a healthy scratch for the final 35 contests of the 2018-19 campaign, and didn't appear in the playoffs.

Montreal may be seeking more mobility and offensive upside on the back end, as Jeff Petry and Shea Weber were the team's only rearguards to top 25 points a season ago.

Friedman describes the Hurricanes' interest as dependent on "other things they are considering." The Canes have reportedly been discussing a trade with the Anaheim Ducks involving veteran defenseman Justin Faulk, but it's apparently contingent on Faulk agreeing to an extension beforehand.

If Faulk is dealt for a forward, Carolina's third defense pairing would have an opening for a right-handed shot.

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Laine to train with SC Bern in Switzerland

Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine will train with SC Bern of the Swiss league during his contract stalemate, the team's head coach Kari Jalonen told Sami Hoffren of Finnish outlet Ilta-Sanomat.

Laine is there strictly for training purposes: "He won't play for us this season," Jalonen said.

Jalonen, the former bench boss of the Finnish national team, coached Laine at the 2016 World Championship.

Laine is one of the many restricted free agents around the league without a contract. That list shrunk by one yesterday after Mitch Marner signed his deal, which could provide a ripple effect throughout the NHL.

Laine's countryman and fellow RFA Mikko Rantanen has taken a similar route, skating with Storhamar Dragons of the Norwegian league.

The Jets sniper was inconsistent last year, scoring 18 of his 30 goals during a 12 games stretch in November. He said last month he's "prepared for anything" and will play "somewhere" this season.

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Wild, Spurgeon agree to 7-year, $53M extension

The Minnesota Wild signed defenseman Jared Spurgeon to a seven-year extension with a $7.575-million average annual value, the team announced Saturday.

Spurgeon was set to hit unrestricted free agency after the 2019-20 season. The 29-year-old set career highs in goals (14), assists (29), and points (43) last year.

The new deal will make him the 11th-highest-paid defenseman in the league in 2020-21, just ahead of teammate Ryan Suter.

The 5-foot-9, 167-pound Spurgeon may not have the conventional look of an elite shutdown defender, but that's exactly what he is. Among blue-liners who logged at least 500 minutes at five-on-five last year, Spurgeon allowed the 15th-fewest expected goals and the 11th-fewest high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. And they aren't soft minutes - Spurgeon matches up against opponents' top lines.

The extension marks new general manager Bill Guerin's first major splash with the Wild.

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Marner reveals how hard contract negotiations were on him, family

Mitch Marner can breathe a deep sigh of relief.

The longstanding public contract negotiation between the star forward and Toronto Maple Leafs is now over after the two sides agreed on a six-year, $65.36-million deal Thursday. After it was all said and done, Marner opened up about how difficult the process was in an interview with TSN's Darren Dreger.

"Guys talk about the stress and everything like that, but until you go through it you don't really understand it, but I'm happy it's over with," Marner told Dreger.

Marner said talks really escalated in the last two days.

"(I pushed) pretty hard, I knew we were close so I just wanted to kind of be more a part of it," he said. "In the last 48 hours or so I just made sure that I expressed to Kyle a couple times what the feeling was and what we had and what we wanted to do going forward."

Marner added that William Nylander's contract stalemate a year ago played a part in his decision to get a deal done. Nylander waited until Dec. 1 to sign and when he returned to the lineup, it took him a while to get back into game shape and find his footing. Marner remembers Nylander telling him how much of a grind the whole process was mentally and physically.

However, Nylander was back home in Sweden during his drawn-out negotiation, while Marner, a native of Markham, Ontario - a suburb of Toronto - couldn't escape public scrutiny.

"I was walking my dog and I had like a 13-year-old kid yelling at me from across the park, screaming at me for not signing," Marner said. "That's the Toronto fan base and it's great to be a part of for another six years."

The pressure to sign didn't stop around the neighborhood, as Marner and his family - specifically his father, Paul - took some heat on social media.

"Social media has its benefits, it's good for certain things, but it's also good for a lot of bad things. People express their hate for people on that. It's something that a lot of athletes go through on social media, is the hate," he said.

"It was more so seeing all the stuff said about my family that made me disappointed and mad. I expected stuff to come at (agent Darren Ferris) and myself, but I saw a couple comments about my father and stuff like that that nobody is gonna like seeing or reading. It was pretty disappointing to see people express themselves about my family and my family name."

Many Twitter users were under the impression Paul Marner was a driving force in the negotiations and fed information to Dreger throughout the process.

With the business side of things now in the past, Marner can just focus on hockey.

"I'm super excited," Marner said, who was on his way to the airport to join the team in St. John's, Newfoundland for training camp.

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Top 200 fantasy hockey player rankings

Check out theScore's 2019-20 fantasy hockey draft kit for all the advice you need leading up to the start of the season.

Yahoo fantasy sports (finally) ditched penalty minutes as a category in standard leagues. It's been replaced with hits in head-to-head leagues and blocks in head-to-head points leagues. To account for both styles, these rankings take the following categories into account:

Skaters Goalies
G Wins
A GAA
PPP SV%
SOG SO
Hits
Blocks

These rankings are based on 12-team leagues and factor in positional value. The value of certain positions can change depending on the size of the league. Positional eligibility is courtesy of Yahoo.

Rank Player Pos. Team
1 Alex Ovechkin LW WSH
2 Brent Burns D SJ
3 Nikita Kucherov RW TB
4 Connor McDavid C EDM
5 Nathan MacKinnon C COL
6 Auston Matthews C TOR
7 Sidney Crosby C PIT
8 Steven Stamkos C TB
9 Victor Hedman D TB
10 David Pastrnak RW BOS
11 Leon Draisaitl C/LW EDM
12 Tyler Seguin C DAL
13 Patrick Kane RW CHI
14 Andrei Vasilevskiy G TB
15 Brad Marchand LW BOS
16 Gabriel Landeskog LW COL
17 Blake Wheeler RW WPG
18 John Carlson D WSH
19 Roman Josi D NSH
20 Filip Forsberg LW NSH
21 Aleksander Barkov C FLA
22 Mark Stone RW VGK
23 Sebastian Aho C CAR
24 Timo Meier LW/RW SJ
25 Taylor Hall LW NJ
26 Vladimir Tarasenko RW STL
27 Erik Karlsson D SJ
28 Jake Guentzel LW/RW PIT
29 Jack Eichel C BUF
30 Kris Letang D PIT
31 John Tavares C TOR
32 Evander Kane LW SJ
33 Johnny Gaudreau LW CGY
34 Mika Zibanejad C NYR
35 Patrice Bergeron C BOS
36 Mark Scheifele C WPG
37 Tyson Barrie D TOR
38 Alexander Radulov RW DAL
39 Jacob Trouba D NYR
40 Mathew Dumba D MIN
41 Morgan Rielly D TOR
42 Evgeni Malkin C PIT
43 Mitch Marner RW TOR
44 Ben Bishop G DAL
45 Sergei Bobrovsky G FLA
46 Seth Jones D CLB
47 Andrei Svechnikov LW/RW CAR
48 Josh Anderson RW CLB
49 Jonathan Marchessault C/LW VGK
50 Dustin Byfuglien D WPG
51 Artemi Panarin LW NYR
52 Frederik Andersen G TOR
53 Tom Wilson RW WSH
54 Torey Krug D BOS
55 Mark Giordano D CGY
56 John Gibson G ANA
57 Dougie Hamilton D CAR
58 Claude Giroux C/LW/RW PHI
59 Elias Pettersson C VAN
60 Mikko Rantanen* RW COL
61 Marc-Andre Fleury G VGK
62 Carey Price G MTL
63 John Klingberg D DAL
64 Brendan Gallagher RW MTL
65 Matthew Tkachuk* LW CGY
66 Thomas Chabot D OTT
67 Rasmus Dahlin D BUF
68 Oliver Ekman-Larsson D ARI
69 Tuukka Rask G BOS
70 Matt Murray G PIT
71 Patrik Laine* LW/RW WPG
72 Drew Doughty D LA
73 Jonathan Huberdeau LW FLA
74 Max Pacioretty LW VGK
75 Brady Tkachuk LW OTT
76 Alex Pietrangelo D STL
77 Pekka Rinne G NSH
78 Elias Lindholm C/RW CGY
79 Carter Hart G PHI
80 Dylan Larkin C DET
81 Tomas Hertl C/LW SJ
82 Sean Monahan C CGY
83 P.K. Subban D NJ
84 Jordan Binnington G STL
85 Ryan Pulock D NYI
86 Alex DeBrincat LW/RW CHI
87 Jamie Benn C/LW DAL
88 William Nylander C/RW TOR
89 Robin Lehner G CHI
90 Nino Niederreiter LW/RW CAR
91 Chris Kreider LW NYR
92 Vincent Trocheck C FLA
93 Viktor Arvidsson LW/RW NSH
94 Miro Heiskanen D DAL
95 Ryan O'Reilly C STL
96 Brayden Point* C TB
97 Shea Weber D MTL
98 Kyle Palmieri RW NJ
99 Braden Holtby G WSH
100 Philipp Grubauer G COL
101 Rickard Rakell LW/RW ANA
102 Erik Gustafsson D CHI
103 Keith Yandle D FLA
104 Phil Kessel RW ARI
105 Jeff Skinner C/LW BUF
106 Devan Dubnyk G MIN
107 Petr Mrazek G CAR
108 Evgeny Kuznetsov C WSH
109 Sean Couturier C PHI
110 Logan Couture C SJ
111 Brayden Schenn C/LW STL
112 Ivan Provorov D PHI
113 Antti Raanta G ARI
114 Jakub Voracek RW PHI
115 Cam Atkinson RW CLB
116 Jonathan Toews C CHI
117 Kaapo Kakko RW NYR
118 Martin Jones G SJ
119 Anders Lee LW NYI
120 Cale Makar D COL
121 Rasmus Ristolainen D BUF
122 Jake Muzzin D TOR
123 Charlie McAvoy* D BOS
124 Nicklas Backstrom C WSH
125 Aaron Ekblad D FLA
126 Connor Hellebuyck G WPG
127 Max Domi C/LW MTL
128 Shea Theodore D VGK
129 Josh Morrissey D WPG
130 Nazem Kadri C COL
131 Zach Werenski D CLB
132 Brock Boeser* RW VAN
133 Juuse Saros G NSH
134 Patric Hornqvist RW PIT
135 Darnell Nurse D EDM
136 Pierre-Luc Dubois C CLB
137 Clayton Keller LW/RW ARI
138 T.J. Oshie RW WSH
139 Colton Parayko D STL
140 Alex Galchenyuk C/LW PIT
141 Ryan Getzlaf C ANA
142 David Rittich G CGY
143 Jacob Markstrom G VAN
144 Mathew Barzal C NYI
145 Anze Kopitar C LA
146 Quinn Hughes D VAN
147 MacKenzie Blackwood G NJ
148 Cory Schneider G NJ
149 Alex Edler D VAN
150 Mike Hoffman LW/RW FLA
151 Jaden Schwartz LW STL
152 Evgenii Dadonov LW/RW FLA
153 Teuvo Teravainen LW/RW CAR
154 Shayne Gostisbehere D PHI
155 Nico Hischier C NJ
156 Alex Tuch RW VGK
157 Anthony Mantha LW/RW DET
158 Darcy Kuemper G ARI
159 Kevin Labanc LW/RW SJ
160 Jake DeBrusk LW/RW BOS
161 Henrik Lundqvist G NYR
162 Semyon Varlamov G NYI
163 Thomas Greiss G NYI
164 J.T Miller LW/RW VAN
165 William Karlsson C VGK
166 Bo Horvat C VAN
167 Ryan Ellis D NSH
168 Jonathan Quick G LA
169 Joe Pavelski C/RW DAL
170 Dustin Brown RW LA
171 Corey Crawford G CHI
172 Justin Faulk D CAR
173 Jeff Petry D MTL
174 Micheal Ferland LW/RW VAN
175 Matt Duchene C NSH
176 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C/LW EDM
177 Dylan Strome C CHI
178 Ryan Suter D MIN
179 Nikita Gusev LW NJ
180 Mikhail Sergachev D TB
181 Ryan McDonagh D TB
182 Ondrej Kase RW ANA
183 Nikolaj Ehlers LW/RW WPG
184 Mattias Ekholm D NSH
185 Mats Zuccarello RW MIN
186 Mikko Koskinen G EDM
187 James Neal LW/RW EDM
188 Kyle Connor* LW WPG
189 Jack Hughes C NJ
190 Max Comtois LW ANA
191 Andreas Johnsson LW TOR
192 Eric Staal C MIN
193 Wayne Simmonds RW NJ
194 Adam Fox D NYR
195 Kasperi Kapanen RW TOR
196 Pavel Buchnevich RW NYR
197 Blake Coleman LW/RW NJ
198 Esa Lindell D DAL
199 Corey Perry RW DAL
200 Elvis Merzlikins G CLB

*Unsigned RFA

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