Archive for the ‘NHL’ Category

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are inching closer to signing Auston Matthews to a contract extension.

On Tuesday, general manager Kyle Dubas said that the two sides have made progress on a new deal, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. Dubas added that he’d like to get an extension done as soon as possible for long-term clarity before the Feb. 25 trade deadline.

Contract talks between Matthews and the Leafs began last July.

The 21-year-old is a pending restricted free agent in the final year of his entry-level pact. He ranks second on the club in goals (20) and fourth in points (42) despite being limited to 34 games this season due to injury.

Fellow Leafs forward Mitch Marner is also a pending RFA, but Dubas said the club isn’t negotiating with Marner at the request of the winger’s agent, Darren Ferris, who told The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun earlier this month that his client “100 percent” doesn’t want to engage in contract talks until season’s end.

Dubas insisted Tuesday that he isn’t pressuring Matthews or Marner to sign quickly, but said that’s his preference.

“Yes, it would be selfishly for me beneficial,” the GM told reporters, according to Johnston. “But for the players, I think they have to make sure they’re fully comfortable in going into any arrangement.”

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It appears Andre Burakovsky‘s time in D.C. could potentially be nearing its end.

The Washington Capitals are listening to offers for the Swedish forward, according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun.

Burakovsky possesses a rare blend of size (6-foot-3), speed, and skill, but has apparently fallen out of favor with the Capitals. He’s posted just 11 points in 42 games this season, is averaging a career-low 11:32 of ice time per contest, and has been a healthy scratch on multiple occasions.

The 23-year-old was selected 23rd overall by the Caps in the 2013 draft. He’s shown flashes of promise, scoring 17 goals as a 20-year-old during his second NHL season in 2015-16.

Many expected Burakovsky to break out following the departures of top-six forwards Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams before last season, but he couldn’t carve out a prominent offensive role and was eventually passed by rookie Jakub Vrana in the pecking order.

Burakovsky’s currently in the final year of a contract with a $3-million cap hit and will become a restricted free agent on July 1.

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The Edmonton Oilers signed rookie goaltender Mikko Koskinen to a three-year extension worth an average of $4.5 million per year, the team announced Monday.

The contract includes a 15-team no-trade list, according to Cap Friendly.

The 30-year-old Koskinen has made quite the impression since joining Edmonton on a one-year, $2.5-million deal last May. In 27 appearances for the Oilers this season, the Finn owns a 14-10-1 record with a 2.78 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage.

The netminder’s latest flash of brilliance came Saturday night against the Calgary Flames when he put forward a candidate for save of the year.

Koskinen made four appearances for the New York Islanders during the 2010-11 season. Eight years later, he’s officially found a home in the NHL.

NHL: MAR 24 Hurricanes at Senators

The Carolina Hurricanes signed forward Teuvo Teravainen to a five-year contract extension Monday with an average annual value of $5.4 million, the team announced.

Teravainen’s been a reliable offensive contributor for the goal-starved Hurricanes this season. He ranks second on the team in points with 39 in 48 games – 12 points more than the team’s third-leading scorer, Justin Williams.

He had a breakout 64-point campaign a year ago, and the crafty Finn has built nice chemistry with countryman Sebastian Aho during his time in Raleigh.

Teravainen gained prominence during the 2015 playoffs, where he posted 10 points in 18 games for the Chicago Blackhawks en route to their most recent Stanley Cup victory.

A little over a year after his stellar postseason performance, the Blackhawks traded Teravainen, along with Bryan Bickell, to the Hurricanes in exchange for a second- and a third-round pick. The trade turned out to be one of former Carolina general manager Ron Francis’ best moves.

Teravainen, 24, was set to become a restricted free agent July 1. With his deal taken care of, GM Don Waddell will likely turn his attention to Aho, the club’s leading scorer, who is set for restricted free agency this summer.

USP NHL: STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS-NEW YORK RANGERS AT S HKN USA FL

The Columbus Blue Jackets are adding a legend to their organization.

Martin St. Louis will serve as a special teams consultant for the Blue Jackets, the team announced Monday.

The 43-year-old Hockey Hall of Famer scored 101 of his 391 career goals and notched 216 of his 642 career assists with the man advantage.

The Blue Jackets have the fourth-worst power play in the NHL, with a success rate of 14.6 percent. Columbus’ penalty kill ranks ninth at 82.9 percent.

St. Louis played for current Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella for seven seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, capturing the Stanley Cup in 2004.

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New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist made history on Saturday night when he recorded his 446th career win in a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins, passing Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk on the NHL’s all-time wins list.

Lundqvist now ranks sixth all-time.

Lundqvist achieved the feat in his 840th start, and he can move ahead of Curtis Joseph and into the top five with 10 more victories.

Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs

William Nylander knows he’s mired in a funk, and on Friday night he said his lack of production is weighing on him.

“It affects you,” the Toronto Maple Leafs forward told reporters after a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. “Obviously, you want to score and you want to produce, that’s why you’re here. You’ve just got to dig deep and work harder and harder. Do all the little things you can do to get better.”

Nylander, who has recorded only one goal and two assists in 18 contests this season after posting 61 points in each of his last two campaigns, added that his struggles so far in 2018-19 are unprecedented for him.

“I think the chances have been there throughout a lot of the games and I just haven’t been able to find the net,” he said. “(Friday night) was a little tougher. I’ve never had a slump like this in my life. I’m just trying to find a way to work through it. I’ve just got to work harder and harder.”

The 22-year-old held out until Dec. 1, when he and the Leafs came to an agreement on a six-year deal just minutes before the 5 p.m. ET deadline to sign restricted free agents.

Nylander downplayed the notion that his poor season so far has been tougher to deal with because of his new $45-million pact with the Leafs.

“I don’t know if it’s necessarily because of the contract,” he said, according to TSN’s Mark Masters. “It’s more because of the missed time and being out of it for a while … (the) past couple games have been getting better, but now it’s time to score some goals.”

Nylander isn’t the only struggling Leafs player lately, as the team has now lost three of its last four games.