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 Posted: Fri Jul 26th, 2013 07:26 pm
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clawmaster
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http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/26/will-toronto-be-forced-to-trade-franson/

Will Toronto be forced to trade Franson?

Mike Halford

Jul 26, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT

On Friday, TSN’s Darren Dreger took time away from his summer vacation to suggest the Toronto Maple Leafs may be forced to deal defenseman Cody Franson.

Franson, 25, was one of the NHL’s better bargains last year. He led the Leafs in defenseman scoring (29 points) and tied for sixth-most in the league — only Keith Yandle, Andrei Markov, Ryan Suter, Kris Letang and Norris winner P.K. Subban scored more.

But Franson did it on a one-year, $1.2 million deal.

As such, he’s expected to get a significant raise — Dreger suggests Franson could net $4 million-plus annually — which could be problematic for Toronto.

Leafs GM Dave Nonis has spent aggressively this summer, shelling out $36.75 million to acquire David Clarkson and another $21 million to retain Tyler Bozak (also, nearly $10 million to keep Carl Gunnarson).

While he did get cap relief by buying out Mikhail Grabovski, Nonis doesn’t have much wiggle room for the immediate future.

Namely, the 2013-14 season.

At the time of writing, the Leafs have roughly $6 million in cap space with 20 players on the roster. The biggest x-factor is the new deal needed for Nazem Kadri, the restricted free agent forward that finished second on the team in scoring last season, with 44 points.

There’s also useful defenseman Mark Fraser, who played in 45 games last year and averaged close to 17 minutes a night. He played on a one-year, $600,000 deal last year, and will likely be in line for a small pay bump.

There’s also the question if Toronto can replace Franson internally.

Morgan Rielly, the fifth overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, could challenge for a roster spot. He’s too young to play for the AHL Marlies and probably won’t benefit from another year with WHL Moose Jaw, where he was nearly a point-a-game player last year.

Stuart Percy, the club’s first-round pick in 2011 (25th overall), might also push to be with the Leafs. He’s only had a brief taste of AHL experience, but looked solid with the Marlies last season, scoring three points in four games.

But all those decisions are in the future, and Nonis said he has plenty of time to make them.

“It’s July,” Nonis said on Sportsnet 590 on Thursday. “I’m not surprised that [Franson, Kadri and Fraser] are not signed, and we have a lot of time before we have to start worrying about it.”



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 Posted: Sat Jul 27th, 2013 01:27 am
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clawmaster wrote: http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/25/report-hawks-to-announce-quenneville-extension-friday/

Report: ‘Hawks to announce Quenneville extension Friday

Mike Halford

Jul 25, 2013, 6:18 PM EDT

After leading Chicago to its second Stanley Cup in the last four seasons, Joel Quenneville is going to get rewarded.

According to multiple sources, the club is set to announce a contract extension for Quenneville on Friday, ensuring ‘Coach Q’ won’t go anywhere after his current three-year deal expires at the end of 2013-14.

The Blackhawks have already announced they’ll be holding a “major press conference” tomorrow, though the club didn’t specify what it’d be announcing.

The timing of the move is similar to Quenneville’s last extension, which came shortly after Chicago captured the 2010 Stanley Cup championship.

Though he’s only been with the Blackhawks for five seasons, Quenneville, 54, has emerged as one of the franchise’s most successful bench bosses and one of the most decorated coaches in Chicago history.

He, along with Phil Jackson (Chicago Bulls), George Halas (Chicago Bears) and Frank Chance (Chicago Cubs) are some of the few to win multiple titles with their respective teams.

In terms of Blackhawks success, Quenneville — currently second with 222 — still has a ways to go before catching franchise leader Billy Reay, who coached the ‘Hawks from 1963-76 and racked up 516 career wins.

Now official.

http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/26/chicago-makes-quenneville-extension-official-runs-through-2017/

Chicago makes Quenneville extension official, runs through 2017

Mike Halford

Jul 26, 2013, 4:48 PM EDT

The Chicago Blackhawks made the heavily-rumored Joel Quenneville contract extension official on Friday, inking their head coach to a three-year deal.

“I’m privileged to coach probably the best group in the league,” Quenneville said during today’s presser.

The new contract will kick in at the end of Quenneville’s current deal, set to expire after the 2013-14 season. That means Coach Q will — barring an early dismissal — be in Chicago until 2017.

This new pact has some familiarity to it as Quenneville, 54, also signed a three-year extension in 2010 after winning the Cup snapping the Blackhawks’ 49-year championship drought.

The former St. Louis and Colorado bench boss has achieved huge success in the Windy City since taking over the ‘Hawks head coaching gig from Denis Savard just four games into the 2008-09 season.

This past season, Quenneville earned his first Jack Adams nomination as Blackhawks head coach — he won one in 2000 with the Blues — after leading Chicago to just its second-ever Presidents’ Trophy.

Over the course of his five seasons with the ‘Hawks, Quenneville has racked up 222 wins — second most in franchise history.

That said, Coach Q still has a ways to go before catching franchise leader Billy Reay, who coached the ‘Hawks from 1963-76 and racked up 516 career wins.



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"We are the priests
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We are the priests
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 Posted: Sat Jul 27th, 2013 10:15 am
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http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/26/blackhawks-handzus-had-two-surgeries-expects-to-be-ready-for-camp/

Blackhawks’ Handzus had two surgeries; expects to be ready for camp

Cam Tucker

Jul 26, 2013, 9:35 PM EDT

Michal Handzus paid a heavy price to win a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks, but he should be healthy for training camp.

According to Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago, the 36-year-old Handzus required not one, but two surgeries following the Stanley Cup Final, after playing the championship series against the Boston Bruins with a broken wrist and a torn MCL.

“I had two surgeries, but I’m healing and it’s coming along,” Handzus told ESPN Chicago.

“Right now, wrist, I still can’t do anything. It’s in a cast for one more week. After four weeks, I’m going to start to do something. It’s a little bit slower. My knee, it’s pretty much I’m rehabbing right now.

“[The doctors] are saying [I’ll be ready for training camp.]”

The Blackhawks picked up the veteran center prior to the NHL trade deadline in a deal with the San Jose Sharks.

His contributions – at least what we saw in the stats column – to the Blackhawks championship playoff run includedthree goals and 11 points in 23 games.

He also stepped into a second-line center role, with Dave Bolland injured in the post-season.

The Blackhawks, based on his performance during the playoffs, re-signed Handzus earlier this month.



____________________
"We are the priests
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Our great computers
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We are the priests
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All the gifts of life
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 Posted: Sat Jul 27th, 2013 10:16 am
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http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/26/report-jets-rfa-wheeler-agree-to-terms-on-new-contract/

Jets re-sign Wheeler to six-year, $33.6 million deal

Cam Tucker

Jul 26, 2013, 10:16 PM EDT

The Winnipeg Jets and forward Blake Wheeler have agreed to terms on a new contract.

News of the deal broke Friday evening. The Jets have made it official, announcing the deal on Twitter and again in a press release.

It is a six-year contract for Wheeler, worth $33.6 million.

“Blake is very comfortable with the direction (general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff), ownership and his staff is taking the organization,” Wheeler’s agent Matt Keator told Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun.

“It’s a very good core that will keep growing together in the years to come.”

Wheeler, 26, is coming off a deal with Winnipeg that paid him a total of $5.1 million over two years, according to Capgeek.com.

This season with the Jets, Wheeler had 19 goals and 41 points in 48 games played.

His 19 goals led the Jets in that department, while he finished second overall on the team in points.

Wheeler is scheduled to speak to media on Saturday morning.

Thrilled to be a Jet for 6 more years—
Blake Wheeler (@BiggieFunke) July 27, 2013



____________________
"We are the priests
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Our great computers
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We are the priests
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All the gifts of life
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 Posted: Sat Jul 27th, 2013 11:14 pm
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http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/27/schroeder-ahead-of-schedule-after-shoulder-surgery/

Schroeder ahead of schedule after shoulder surgery

Ryan Dadoun

Jul 27, 2013, 2:12 PM EDT

The Vancouver Canucks were happy enough with forward Jordan Schroeder‘s performance during his 31 NHL games last season to hand him a one-year, one-way contract. If he wants a longer term deal though, he’ll have to prove his worth in 2013-14.

That task will be made all the more difficult after he underwent shoulder surgery in May, although the hope is that he’ll be ready for training camp.

“My physiotherapist says I’m way ahead of schedule,” Schroeder told the Vancouver Province. “I’m skating again, though I haven’t been doing any shooting yet.”

He’s probably going to serve as a bottom-six forward and under new coach John Tortorella, the 5-foot-9 skilled forward will be asked to add more of a physical element to his game.

“I’ve got to find a way to be scrappier,” Schroeder admitted. “That’s something I want to add.”

The 22-year-old was selected with the 22nd overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. In addition to recording nine points with Vancouver last season, he had 12 goals and 21 assists in 42 AHL contests.



____________________
"We are the priests
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Our great computers
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We are the priests
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All the gifts of life
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 Posted: Sat Jul 27th, 2013 11:14 pm
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http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/27/armstrong-signs-with-swedish-team/

Armstrong signs with Swedish team

Ryan Dadoun

Jul 27, 2013, 3:11 PM EDT

Colby Armstrong was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft and after some seasoning in the minors, he broke out with 40 points in 47 games as a rookie.

He’s had some solid seasons in the NHL since then, but has never been able to relive that initial success. Now, after two rough seasons, he’s taking his services to the Vaxjo Lakers of the Swedish League.

The 30-year-old forward announced the move on Twitter and was extremely positive about the news and what he’s accomplished.

“Honestly gotta say it’s been a great ride over here,” Armstrong tweeted. “What a life. Thanks to all the fans in all the cities I’ve played in here.

“I grew up like any kid dreaming to play in the NHL I got to do it and also Montreal was my favorite team growing up and I got to wear the CH.

“Honestly though, this has been a great journey so far. My family and I are so thankful and now making this move to Sweden is so amazing.”

Armstrong signed a three-year, $9 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the summer of 2010, but he was bought out after recording three points in 29 games in 2011-12. He then went to the Montreal Canadiens where he had five points in 37 contests.



____________________
"We are the priests
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Our great computers
Fill the hollowed halls
We are the priests
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 Posted: Sun Jul 28th, 2013 02:50 am
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http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/27/kanes-summer-plan-stay-out-of-trouble/

Kane’s summer plan: stay out of trouble

James O'Brien

Jul 27, 2013, 8:25 PM EDT

At 24, Patrick Kane has already experienced some of the most dramatic highs and lows that a pro hockey player can go through.

He’s one of the faces of American hockey, a two-time champion and the reigning Conn Smythe winner, but there’s no doubt that he’s drawn some negative attention off the ice. With that in mind, he told the Chicago Tribune that he’s having fun this summer … but not too much of it.

“Just try to relax, try to enjoy it,” Kane said. “You know, try to keep myself out of trouble.”

He understands that his past experiences can make him an easy target for candid cell phone photos and tabloid-style headlines.

“It’s hard to the point where there’s so much social media and so much cameras and people who want to take pictures where anything you do is going to be under the microscope and people are going to record it,” Kane said. “Something even minor I do is going to be reported because of things that have happened in the past. You have to be aware of that.”

The young forward already sounds like he’s developing some veteran savvy, noting that he’s getting more adept at avoiding trouble.

“It seems to be easier these days as you get older,” Kane said. “You’re obviously going to have your fun. You still feel like a young kid, but with what has happened in the first six years of my career, I still can prove a lot more as a player and maybe accomplish some more things with this team.”

Kane notes that he’s skated about five times so far this summer, so it sounds like he’s starting to shift from play to work mode.

(Not that he can’t mix a little of both.)



____________________
"We are the priests
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Our great computers
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We are the priests
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All the gifts of life
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 Posted: Sun Jul 28th, 2013 02:50 am
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http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/27/recovering-hawks-sharp-bickell-are-healing-up/

Recovering ‘Hawks Sharp, Bickell are healing up

James O'Brien

Jul 27, 2013, 9:45 PM EDT

The Chicago Blackhawks must recover from the wounds of their 2013 Stanley Cup run in an unusually short offseason, but so far, it looks like the team should be pretty healthy at the beginning of next season.

On Friday, it was revealed that Michal Handzus‘ two surgeries went well. The Chicago Tribune reports that Patrick Sharp is recovering nicely from his shoulder injury while Bryan Bickell is healing up from thumb surgery.

Bickell, 27, said he played through the pain during the playoffs, but things didn’t get truly gruesome until after the season was over, as trainer Mike Gapski witnessed.

“I picked up my hockey bag and it just popped,” Bickell said. “Gapski was right there and he was like, ‘Uh oh, this is not good.’ I couldn’t move my thumb. They had to take a tendon out of my finger to put in my thumb. I’m just recovering now.”

Yeah, that’s pretty gross. Bickell said he should be ready for the start of the 2013-14 campaign.

Sharp, 31, doesn’t expect to undergo surgery on his banged-up left shoulder. He’s getting it checked this weekend.

“No surgery,” Sharp said. “Just some rehab to strengthen it and fix it up. Everything is on schedule.”



____________________
"We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
Our great computers
Fill the hollowed halls
We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
All the gifts of life
Are held within our walls" 2112 By Rush!!
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 Posted: Sun Jul 28th, 2013 11:01 pm
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http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/28/report-board-of-governors-may-approve-coyotes-sale-this-week/

Report: Board of Governors may approve Coyotes sale this week

Joe Yerdon

Jul 28, 2013, 4:50 PM EDT

There are just a couple of hurdles left to clear in the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes, but a big one may be out of the way this week.

Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona reports NHL Deputy Commissioner will seek approval of the Board of Governors this week for the sale of the team.

As you know, the deal to sell the team to Renaissance Sports and Entertainment was approved by the Glendale City Council and now it’s just a matter of the final paperwork and procedure being completed. Getting approval of the Board of Governors is a big one as far as the league is concerned.

As for the completion of the sale, Daly says they’re still moving forward with that. There are only baby steps left in ending this saga.



____________________
"We are the priests
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 Posted: Mon Jul 29th, 2013 10:41 pm
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WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets have signed defenceman Zach Bogosian to a seven-year, $36-million contract.

Bogosian was the Jets' final restricted free agent who needed a new deal. He'll count just over $5.14 million against the salary cap.

"I made it clear since obviously my first time being in Winnipeg it was obviously a place that I wanted to be for a long time," Bogosian said on a conference call Monday. "It was definitely a no-brainer for me to want to stay there for a long time."

The 23-year-old has 34 goals and 69 assists in 297 games, all with the same franchise, beginning with its days as the Atlanta Thrashers.

"I'm just real happy that Winnipeg believed in me and kind of gave me another chance to kind of prove myself, he said. "I didn't exactly have the best start of my career in Atlanta, and obviously moving up to Winnipeg gave me a new chance to play in a hockey market and play in a hockey town that really I enjoyed playing in front of."

Bogosian was invited to U.S. Olympic orientation camp that will take place next month.

Last week the Jets signed right-winger Blake Wheeler to a six-year, $33.6-million contract. They also gave restricted-free-agent centre Bryan Little a five-year, $23.5-million deal.

Bogosian wasn't sure why he was last in line for a new contract but didn't care about the timing as long as it got done.

"I guess it probably just worked out that way," he said. "I didn't really think too much into it. I think (general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff) and the whole group there did a great job signing all of us and doing other things, too, to make our team better."

At no point in the process did Bogosian worry that he wasn't going to get a long-term deal before an arbitration hearing.

"I was pretty confident it was going to get done," he said. "Obviously I don't know that much about arbitration. I've heard it's not the greatest thing to go to. I was just happy to get it done. It was very, I guess, humbling to know that Winnipeg wanted me to stay there for a long time as much as I did. It was mutual that both sides wanted to do a long-term deal from the get-go."



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 Posted: Tue Jul 30th, 2013 11:37 am
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http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/29/plenty-of-key-rfas-left-to-sign/

Plenty of key RFAs left to sign

Jason Brough

Jul 29, 2013, 5:38 PM EDT

As we noted in the post about Zach Bogosian signing with the Jets, only two restricted free agents that filed for arbitration remain headed for a hearing — Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello (hearing Wednesday) and Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser (hearing Tuesday).

However, there remains a lengthy list of noteworthy RFAs without arbitration rights that still don’t have a contract for 2013-14 — a list that includes Alex Pietrangelo, Derek Stepan, Adam Henrique, Marcus Johansson, Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson, Cody Hodgson, Jared Cowan, Magnus Paajarvi, and Chris Tanev.

It’s no huge surprise that any of the above players remain unsigned. There’s still plenty of time before training camp starts and the real poker game begins.

This past season, Montreal defenseman PK Subban didn’t agree to a new contract with the Canadiens until he’d missed four games of the regular season. Subban went on to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best blue-liner.

The year before, it was Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings that engaged in a prolonged negotiation. The Kings, of course, went on to win the Stanley Cup.

That’s not to say every negotiation will end up with the two sides coming to an agreement. The Leafs, for example, could reportedly be forced to trade Franson.

There also remains the possibility of an RFA signing an offer sheet, as Nashville defenseman Shea Weber did last year with the Flyers before the Predators matched.

Granted, offer sheets aren’t typically presented unless there’s a reasonable chance of actually landing the player. And with that in mind, there doesn’t seem to be a prime candidate for one this summer.

But if we had to pick a vulnerable team, it may be the Toronto Maple Leafs, with both Franson and Kadri still unsigned (plus Fraser) and not a ton of cap space with which to work.

The Rangers are another team that’s close to the cap; however, the chances of New York allowing Stepan to get signed away are practically nil.



____________________
"We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
Our great computers
Fill the hollowed halls
We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
All the gifts of life
Are held within our walls" 2112 By Rush!!
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 Posted: Tue Jul 30th, 2013 09:28 pm
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http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/30/fraser-leafs-agree-to-one-year-1-28-million-contract/

Fraser, Leafs agree to one-year, $1.28 million contract

Ryan Dadoun

Jul 30, 2013, 10:18 AM EDT

The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t have to engage in an unpleasant arbitration battle with 26-year-old defenseman Mark Fraser. The two sides made the hearing scheduled for today moot by agreeing to a one-year, $1.28 million contract, according to CBC’s Tim Wharnsby.

Fraser was asking for $2 million in arbitration while Toronto had countered with $855,000.

The Ottawa, Ontario-native is a big, physical defenseman that doesn’t do a lot offensively. Toronto now has six blueliners signed to one-way contracts, not including Jake Gardiner or Cody Franson, who remains a restricted free agent.

It’s not clear where Fraser will fit with the 2013-14 Maple Leafs, but it’s doubtful that he’ll start the season as more than a third-pairing blueliner.

This deal also gives the Maple Leafs less than $5 million in projected cap space to re-sign restricted free agents Nazem Kadri and Franson. A recent report suggests that Toronto might trade Franson in light of their cap situation.



____________________
"We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
Our great computers
Fill the hollowed halls
We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
All the gifts of life
Are held within our walls" 2112 By Rush!!
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 Posted: Tue Jul 30th, 2013 09:29 pm
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http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/30/sharks-sign-pavelski-to-five-year-contract-extension/

Sharks sign Pavelski to five-year contract extension

Jason Brough

Jul 30, 2013, 11:16 AM EDT

Big news out of San Jose this morning — the Sharks have signed center Joe Pavelski to a five-year contract extension.

Per ESPN’s Craig Custance, the deal is worth $30 million, garnering a cap hit of $6 million.

“Joe has been an important part of our success over the last several years and we are excited to have him with our club for the next six seasons,” said Sharks general manager Doug Wilson in a release.

Pavelski has one year remaining on his current deal. In 2013, the 29-year-old had 16 goals and 15 assists in 48 regular-season games followed by 12 points in 11 playoff contests (including eight points during the Sharks’ four-game sweep of the Canucks in the first round.)

With both Pavelski and 24-year-old center Logan Couture signed through 2018-19, expect plenty of speculation regarding the future of captain Joe Thornton.

Thornton, 34, has one year left on his contract before he can become an unrestricted free agent. The same goes for two other key Shark veterans, Patrick Marleau, 33, and Dan Boyle, 37.

Will the Sharks be able to keep everyone together under the salary cap?

And even if they can, will they choose to?



____________________
"We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
Our great computers
Fill the hollowed halls
We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
All the gifts of life
Are held within our walls" 2112 By Rush!!
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 Posted: Tue Jul 30th, 2013 11:15 pm
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clawmaster wrote:
http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/29/plenty-of-key-rfas-left-to-sign/

Plenty of key RFAs left to sign

Jason Brough

Jul 29, 2013, 5:38 PM EDT

As we noted in the post about Zach Bogosian signing with the Jets, only two restricted free agents that filed for arbitration remain headed for a hearing — Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello (hearing Wednesday) and Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser (hearing Tuesday).

However, there remains a lengthy list of noteworthy RFAs without arbitration rights that still don’t have a contract for 2013-14 — a list that includes Alex Pietrangelo, Derek Stepan, Adam Henrique, Marcus Johansson, Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson, Cody Hodgson, Jared Cowan, Magnus Paajarvi, and Chris Tanev.

It’s no huge surprise that any of the above players remain unsigned. There’s still plenty of time before training camp starts and the real poker game begins.

This past season, Montreal defenseman PK Subban didn’t agree to a new contract with the Canadiens until he’d missed four games of the regular season. Subban went on to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best blue-liner.

The year before, it was Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings that engaged in a prolonged negotiation. The Kings, of course, went on to win the Stanley Cup.

That’s not to say every negotiation will end up with the two sides coming to an agreement. The Leafs, for example, could reportedly be forced to trade Franson.

There also remains the possibility of an RFA signing an offer sheet, as Nashville defenseman Shea Weber did last year with the Flyers before the Predators matched.

Granted, offer sheets aren’t typically presented unless there’s a reasonable chance of actually landing the player. And with that in mind, there doesn’t seem to be a prime candidate for one this summer.

But if we had to pick a vulnerable team, it may be the Toronto Maple Leafs, with both Franson and Kadri still unsigned (plus Fraser) and not a ton of cap space with which to work.

The Rangers are another team that’s close to the cap; however, the chances of New York allowing Stepan to get signed away are practically nil.


If I was the Flyers, I'd offer sheet the Blues or Senators. Cowen is a very underrated Defensive Defenseman.



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 Posted: Wed Jul 31st, 2013 03:38 am
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Cory17



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I'm not going to do any research, but I bet Philly neither has the picks or cap space to offer sheet anybody. 



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