Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 hrs ago
Vladimir Tarasenko’s newly signed 8-year, $60-million contract is a blockbuster contract. But unlike most blockbusters, its director had a firm handle on the budget.
GM Doug Armstrong made the restricted free agent the team’s priority, and paid him as such: Tarasenko’s $7.5 million cap hit makes the 23-year-old the highest paid member of the Blues, eclipsing Paul Stastny’s free-agent bonanza ($7 million) and Alex Pietrangelo’s own second-contract jackpot ($6.5 million).
According to Andy Strickland, the Tarasenko deal breaks down as follows, starting in 2015-16 through 2022-23: $8 million in the first two years, $7 million in the next two, $9.5 million, then $5.5 million, then $9.5 million and then $5 million. Fun!
(Interesting dips around the 2021-22 season, after which the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires. He makes $5.5 million the year before the next lockout and then $9.5 million during the lockout!)
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 3 hrs ago
Every movement needs a visionary. Travis White may be that visionary.
White is a city councilor in Proctor, Minnesota. It’s a city in the northern part of the state whose population was just over 3,000 people in the 2010 census; but it’s located just outside of Duluth and roughly four and a half hours away from Grand Forks, North Dakota.
And Travis White believes it should be home to a National Hockey League expansion team.
“Hockey is the number one sports in northern Minnesota,” said White, via the Grand Forks Herald. "With the window of opportunity here where the NHL is looking at expanding and the history that we have up here of hockey, it would be a no-brainer.”
The NHL team is the latest part of a sports Mecca plan for the area from White. His resolution to support an NFL team returning to the area – the Duluth Eskimos were a thing from 1923-27 – was approved in May. He has designs to build a minor league baseball stadium as well.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 5 hrs ago
Let’s say you’re one of the 7,300 fans that watched an Edmonton Oilers intrasquad scrimmage in which No. 1 overall pick Connor McDavid made his debut.
Let’s say his team scored eight goals in the 40 minutes of 4-on-4 (no hit) hockey and then seven minutes of 3-on-3. What did you expect from him?
To better understand McJesus’s debut in front of his parishioners, we’ve created a handy chart:
Yes, five goals. Good to see McDavid is setting the bar rather low for his rookie season.
Here’s a look at his performance in the annual Billy Moores Cup at Rexall Place. You’ll have to suffer through the eight goals he didn’t score to see the ones he did.
Gotta love fans that’ll toss their caps on the ice for an intrasquad scrimmage hat trick.
"It was fun. Anytime you get a chance to play in front of fans like that, it's always exciting," McDavid said. "It was pretty competitive, just with the guys that we had, and they made a lot of great plays out there."
Yeah, here are two: Connor and McDavid.
Might as well raise No. 97 to the rafters now. He’s going to be legend wait for it dary…
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 6 hrs ago
The Chronicles of Stanley is an occasional series this summer that tracks the Chicago Blackhawks as they each get their special alone time with the Stanley Cup.
Kate Cleaver was on the shore of Roblin Lake in Ontario, preparing for her wedding with some photographs with her bridesmaids. Suddenly, an unexpected guest arrived on a boat:
The Stanley Cup.
Oh, and its chaperone: Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw, clad in his red home jersey, shorts and sandals.
"How many people can say they got at picture with the Stanley Cup in their wedding gown with their favorite player?" wrote Cleaver in an email to Justin Breen of DNAInfo.
“I've dreamed of my wedding day since I was a little girl! It turned out to be all I ever dreamed of and MORE thanks to Andrew! Having the Cup there took my mind off of how nervous I was to walk down the aisle. I was so excited to be taking a picture in my wedding gown with the Stanley Cup!"
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 21 hrs ago
The Summer of 2015 will be remembered as the Summer of the Offer Sheet Threat, which in turn made it the Summer of the RFA Long-Term Deal, as evidenced by the trade-and-sign journeys of Dougie Hamilton and Brandon Saad.
Does that mean that the bridge contract – short-term, lower cap hit than if the contract gobbled up unrestricted years – is on the wane? As James Mirtle of the Globe & Mail wrote on Monday:
“The landscape is shifting rapidly in the favour of players such as Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis), Derek Stepan (the Rangers) and Braden Holtby (Washington), who can all make a case they deserve to be paid like stars.”
True, but there are some stragglers. We saw Nazem Kadri sign a $4.1 million deal for one year from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, and on Monday the Washington Capitals signed Evgeny Kuznetsov to a 2-year, $6-million deal.
From the Caps:
Because how many guys can do this in a playoff game?
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 22 hrs ago
The Chicago Blackhawks believe they’ve earned a couple of rights after winning three Stanley Cups in six years.
First, they believe they have the right to expect players to play sign deals that are favorable to the Blackhawks’ cap situation. That means veteran players that will take less than market value to play for a chance at the Cup, and that means players that are on the roster signing contracts that won’t blow out the team’s financial structure.
And if a player decided he wants a contract that does blow out the salary structure? Well, we hear Columbus is lovely in the winter.
The Blackhawks also believe they have the right to ask for patience until they get their financial house in order, which is why center Marcus Kruger and defenseman Johnny Oduya – two players bound to have attracted interest as free agents – are biding their time while GM Stan Bowman figures out what to do with either Patrick Sharp ($5.9 million) and/or Bryan Bickell ($4 million). Because both want to remain Blackhawks.
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The Summer of Sweeney continues!
The Boston Bruins announced a trio of signings on Monday, and they all fall in the “yippee, GM Don Sweeney!” category rather than the “Dougie Hamilton debacle” category.
From the Bruins:
Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, July 6, that the club has signed forward Jimmy Hayes to a three-year contract through the 2017-18 season worth a cap figure of $2,300,000, forward Brett Connolly to a one-year contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $1,025,000 at the NHL level and forward Brandon DeFazio to a one-year, two-way contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $575,000 at the NHL level.
Hayes is the type of “on the way up” goal-scorer that Sweeney said the Bruins were seeking this summer. He had 19 goals in 72 games for the Florida Panthers last season and is 25 years old. And of course, his acquisition was a cause for celebration in Dorchester pubs.
If you want to understand how much the Bruins have changed in the last year, give this a look from Nick Goss:
“Talked to my mom and my wife this week: They seem to be in the minority. They don’t think I’m the worst person in the sports world ... Amazing how many fans were offended by my column on the Kessel trade and how many hockey people — coaches, GMs, scouts, media — thought it was dead on.” – Steve Simmons, July 5, Toronto Sun.
If you want to see a textbook example of “oblivious,” read the passage above and then read Simmons’ all-timer on the Phil Kessel trade, which will go down as one of the most pedantic screeds ever written about a player leaving town, one where you can actually hear Simmons’ fingernails clawing at a narrative that had long slipped out of the media’s grasp.
But we should applaud him for holding back from calling Kessel a “cancer” given his medical history, instead opting for the all-too-obvious “infection.”
He couldn’t hold back from turning his column’s lede into a protracted fat joke about Kessel, of course:
Which, it turns out, was pretty easy to do.
Not too long ago, the faithful in Kansas City would get downright indignant if you didn’t include their fair city when discussing expansion and relocation options in the NHL.
And why not? The geography worked for a Western Conference team, with immediate rivals. The Sprint Center was, at the time, a state-of-the-art facility managed by NHL darlings AEG. Plus, exhibition games in KC received high marks from those involved.
Hence, Kansas City was used as a viable relocation bargaining chip by Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins and Charles Wang and the New York Islanders during negotiations with their municipalities.
Lamar Hunt Jr., who owns the ECHL’s Missouri Mavericks, a minor-league hockey team that plays in Independence, called the NHL’s $500 million price tag for an expansion franchise “a ridiculously big fee,” and said that he is not aware of anyone in Kansas City who will make a push for a team.
“You could say that,” he said. “That’s certainly the truth.”
The annual ESPN Body Issue is out, which means another collection of naked athletes that can make us all curse our metabolism and lethargy while marveling at their muscle tone.
As we mentioned earlier, Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars is our hockey representative in this year’s issue, and it’s a little change of pace. Instead of the Adonis poses of Ryan Kesler and Zdeno Chara, ESPN captures the whimsy of being a 23-year-old multi-millionaire hockey player, posing Seguin naked on a machine that is not a Zamboni but an "ice resurfacing machine."
As well as giving him the ultimate goofball sports star pose: Having him hold something in front of his penis. (See also: Gronkowski, Robert.)
This is honestly the most oddly arousing episode of SESAME STREET we’ve ever seen…