Tag Archives: Hockey

Tavares in no rush to sign extension

John Tavares says he's no longer in a hurry to agree to a contract extension with the New York Islanders.

"For me, there's really no rush," Tavares told Newsday's Arthur Staple on Wednesday. "I'm trying to determine things, let the process run its course, keep the lines of communication open, keep it all internal and it's been good so far."

The Islanders captain said back in April that he'd like to get a new deal done "as soon as possible," and while he is under contract with the Islanders for one more season, he's been eligible for an extension since July 1.

Tavares told Staple he's waiting to see how the club's potential bid for a new arena in New York's Belmont Park plays out. The state issued a request for proposals for development of the area on July 30, and while the Islanders are expected to propose building a new facility there, the bids aren't due until late September.

Newsday reported back in the spring that the club was likely to offer the star forward an eight-year extension worth upward of $10 million per season, and Tavares essentially confirmed Wednesday that an offer of that length is on the table.

"The possibility with Belmont and that RFP coming out, there's great potential there," he said. "We'll see where it goes. A lot of those things are out of my hands. Some things I don’t try to worry about them too, too much. I'm just a hockey player. I try to be as best prepared as I can be. It's a big decision obviously because it's eight years of my career, really entering into my prime years and a great opportunity for myself to achieve what I set out to achieve when I was a kid, making it to the NHL, wanting to win a Stanley Cup and wanting to do that with the Islanders."

Tavares will become an unrestricted free agent if he's not signed to an extension by next July 1.

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Odds: McDavid, Crosby, Matthews pegged as early Hart Trophy favorites

Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, and Sidney Crosby are the faces of the NHL. They also happen to be the front-runners to capture the 2017-18 league MVP award - if you ask Las Vegas oddsmakers, anyway.

All three players had exceptional years last season, earning the right to be called Hart Trophy favorites.

Crosby is coming off his third Stanley Cup win in nine years, Matthews buried 40 in his rookie campaign, and McDavid led the league in scoring with 100 points. And the list is stilplenty impressive below the trio, with more than a few others considered legitimate contenders for league's most prestigious award.

Here's how the odds shake down for the 2017-18 Hart winner:

Player (Team) Odds to Win
Connor McDavid (EDM) 3/2
Sidney Crosby (PIT) 5/2
Auston Matthews (TOR) 17/2
Alex Ovechkin (WSH) 9/1
Patrick Kane (CHI) 14/1
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL) 15/1
Evgeni Malkin (PIT) 16/1
Carey Price (MTL) 20/1
John Tavares (NYI) 20/1
Jamie Benn (DAL) 25/1
Steven Stamkos (TB) 25/1
Erik Karlsson (OTT) 33/1
Nikita Kucherov (TB) 33/1
Jack Eichel (BUF) 50/1
Patrik Laine (WPG) 50/1
Brad Marchand (BOS) 50/1
Tyler Seguin (DAL) 50/1
Nicklas Backstrom (WSH) 60/1
Brent Burns (SJ) 60/1
Braden Holtby (WSH) 60/1
Phil Kessel (PIT) 60/1
Artemi Panarin (CBJ) 60/1
Joe Pavelski (SJ) 60/1

(Odds courtesy: Bodog)

There's obvious value in laying wagers on guys like Benn, Malkin, and Tarasenko. But, if you ask us, no player outside the top five has a real shot at bringing home the award in 2017-18.

Good luck!

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Cullen: Difficult to call Pens GM with decision to join Wild

While Matt Cullen will be coming home, having signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Wild, deciding to leave the Pittsburgh Penguins was far from easy.

The 40-year-old opted to against chasing a third straight Stanley Cup with the Penguins, and Cullen admitted Wednesday it was difficult to call Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford with the news because he owes him a lot, according to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.

In the end Cullen insists it was a family decision, but it was still diffcult.

"It was not an easy decision. Minnesota is home and a special place for me," Cullen said. "It's not easy to say goodbye."

That said, Cullen is excited to re-join Eric Staal - with whom he won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 - per Russo.

Going into his 20th NHL season, Cullen expects the 2017-18 campaign to be his last, but joked that he says that before every season.

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Wild, Cullen agree to 1-year, $1M deal

Matt Cullen has decided to give it another go with his hometown Minnesota Wild.

The 40-year-old will return for a 20th season, signing a one-year, $1-million contract with the potential to earn another $700,000 in performance bonuses, the team announced.

Cullen has remained a productive player despite his age, tallying 29 goals and 63 points over his last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sources said Cullen was deciding between returning to the Penguins or the Wild, according to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.

While Cullen could've had the chance at a third straight Stanley Cup with the Penguins, he joins the Wild for a second stint. He played three seasons in Minnesota between 2010-11 and 2012-13 when he scored d 33 goals and added 101 points in 193 games.

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Oilers sign Draisaitl to 8-year, $68M extension

The Edmonton Oilers signed center Leon Draisaitl to an eight-year, $68-million extension Wednesday, the club announced.

Draisaitl is coming off an impressive 2016-17 season in which he announced himself as one of the elite scorers in the NHL, tallying 29 goals and 48 assists for 77 points - good for eighth in the league scoring. He can also score when it matters most

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Watch: Lundqvist shows off fancy footwork

What MCL sprain?

New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist looks to be fully healthy following an offseason spent rehabbing a knee injury suffered at the World Championship in May.

In a workout video posted Wednesday, King Hank shows off some silky footwork while sending a subtle message to his haters that he his indeed healthy and ready to be the Rangers' No. 1 guy in the blue paint next season.

Despite coming off a campaign in which he posted his career-worst save percentage (.910) and goals-against average (2.74), the 35-year-old will be counted on to lead New York back to the postseason for an eighth year in a row.

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Marchenko, CSKA Moscow agree to 3-year deal

Alexey Marchenko has indeed returned to the KHL.

The former Toronto Maple Leafs defender signed a three-year deal with CSKA Moscow, the KHL announced Wednesday.

The news comes after Marchenko's agent confirmed his client would return to Russia after the Maple Leafs placed the 25-year-old on waivers Tuesday.

Marchenko played just 11 games with the Maple Leafs after being picked up on waivers in February. Prior to that, he played three seasons with the Detroit Red Wings who drafted him in the seventh round in 2011.

Prior to be drafted, Marchenko spent four years with CSKA Moscow, tallying four goals and 11 points in 83 games.

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Report: Lightning not among suitors for Will Butcher

Cross the Tampa Bay Lighting off the list of potential destinations for college free agent Will Butcher.

The Lightning are not among the clubs pursuing the 22-year-old defenseman, reports Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.

Butcher was originally drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the fifth round in 2013. After playing out his four years at the University of Denver - capping off his NCAA career by winning the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey - he elected not to sign with the Avalanche and became an unrestricted free agent.

Related: 3 teams that should pursue Will Butcher

Butcher racked up 28 goals and 103 points in 158 games during his tenure with the Pioneers, who won the Frozen Four in his final season.

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Eichel: Sabres ‘think we can be a playoff team’

Jack Eichel believes the Buffalo Sabres are bound to take a big step forward after last season's disappointment.

Despite bringing in Kyle Okposo and Dmitry Kulikov last summer, the Sabres finished with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference. Eichel insists the Sabres are still confident in themselves and expects this offseason's changes at the top to help.

"We think we can be really good," Eichel said, according to NHL.com's Dan Rosen. "We think we can be a playoff team. That's what's important. We have to go into training camp with the right mindset, get the season off and running, put our best foot forward."

The Sabres fired general manager Tim Murray and head coach Dan Bylsma in April, replacing them with Jason Botterill and former Nashville Predators assistant coach Phil Housley, respectively.

"We have a new GM, new coaches, so it's a new situation for all of us and we have to look at it with the right mindset," Eichel said. "No bad relationships. No opinions. It's important for a lot of guys who might have been on the wrong foot."

At the time of the firing, there were reports that Eichel told management he wouldn't sign an extension if Bylsma remained the team's head coach, though Eichel denied the report.

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