Tue Jun 18 04:45pm EDT
The Los Angeles Kings announced Tuesday that they've locked up defenceman Slava Voynov for the next six seasons.
It's a deal worth $25 million over six years, which is great value for the Russian blueliner, especially when it was speculated back in late May that the extension might come in closer to $5 million a year. Voynov's great playoffs certainly had the look of an extension-inflating run.
Instead, the Kings have Voynov for $4.16 million per year.
The Kings, on what Voynov gave them this season:
Voynov, 23, shared the Kings postseason leadership in both goals (six) and total points (13), and he also co-led the Kings in plus-minus rating (plus-9) while appearing in all 18 postseason games for the Kings during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The 6-0, 190-pounder from Chelyabinsk, Russia also established new Kings playoff records for most goals scored by a defenseman in one playoff year (six), and most game-winning goals scored in one playoff year (four), while finishing third on the team in average time-on-ice per playoff game (21:54).
Voynov skated in all 48 games with the Kings during the 2012-13 regular season, totaling new career highs for points (25) and assists (19), and two of Voynov’s six regular season goals served as game-winners (tied for sixth among NHL defensemen). He also hit a career milestone by appearing in his 100th career NHL regular season game at Minnesota on April 23.
Voynov's deal is only slightly more than Roman Josi received from Nashville, and for one year fewer. Voynov certainly seems like a more complete defenceman than Josi, so this is a favourable comparable for LA.
Even more favourable: it's still a smaller cap hit than Jack Johnson, who Voynov rendered expendable late in the 2011-12 season.
If there's a concern at all here, it's on term. Voynov and Drew Doughty's contracts now expire at the same time. That should be a fun year.
Tue Jun 18 03:55pm EDT
Thanks to Daniel Paille's overtime goal, the majority of Chicago Blackhawks fans at the Saturday night's Game 2 left the United Center in a sour mood. But not so for the family of Sergeant Dale Dick.
Sgt. Dick had been away on deployment with the National Guard in Afghanistan for nine months, and nothing could spoil the evening for his wife and two children after they were surprised to see him standing next to Jim Cornelison during the national anthem.
What followed, as you can imagine, was a tearful and emotional reunion in the concourse:
Like many soldiers returning home from deployment, Sgt. Dick wanted to make the moment extra special for his family, so he reached out to the Blackhawks to see if they could make it happen. They did. His wife and children were called and invited to the game without being told what was in store for them.
Making the moment even more special: just before leaving for the Middle East, Sgt. Dick and his wife conceived a son. Saturday night marked the first time that he got to hold his newest child.
Appropriately, Father's Day was Sunday.
Tue Jun 18 03:18pm EDT
Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• Credit to Getty Images photographer Harry How for this incredible picture of Tuukka Rask, who looks about as heavenly here as he's been playing through the first three games of the Final.
• Doc Emrick's terms for "pass" get the Daft Punk treatment. This is incredible. [Deadspin]
• "Before this Stanley Cup Final is over, the Bruins will be our Boys of Summer — on skates. And at this hour they are a feel-good team on a par with the 1967 Red Sox, the 1970 Bruins, and the 2001-02 Patriots." [Boston Globe]
• Justin Bourne wasn't a big fan of how Jonathan Toews was used last night. "It’s pretty clear in hindsight that the idea was to trade Toews’ minutes as a wash versus Chara’s (anything gained is a bonus), and leave the rest of the talent to try to beat the Bruins. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong." [Backhand Shelf]
• Tim Hunter is unlikely to return as an assistant coach for the Washington Capitals. He's been given permission to seek employment elsewhere. [Washington Post]
• The Calgary Flames acquire prospect Corban Knight from the Florida Panthers. [Flames]
• If you're wondering how Martin St. Louis can be so effective at 38 years old, consider the dude's commitment to fitness: he started his offseason workout plan back in May after taking just two weeks off. [Tampa Bay Times]
• The New York Islanders are in the mix for Jonathan Bernier. [Newsday]
• Nine guys that might be paid to go away next month. [Last Word on Sports]
• Speaking of buyouts, Dany Heatley's injury troubles may make him ineligible for one.[Star Tribune]
• Is the branding for the AHL's Utica Comets too derivative of their parent club? I think it is. I'm not a fan of AHL teams looking like the baby version of another club. [PITB]
Tue Jun 18 01:59pm EDT
"A man is just flesh and blood and can be ignored or destroyed. But as a symbol... as a symbol, I can be incorruptible, everlasting." -- Bruce Wayne.
BOSTON – The Boston Bruins are a franchise drenched in symbolism. The spoked-B for unity. The ferocious bear. The flags waved and passed around in the pregame. The fist-pump from the anthem singer. The novelty jackets handed out to playoff heroes. The ribbons on uniforms.
It was inevitable Gregory Campbell, or rather his broken right fibula, would become another one, after the Bruins forward stood on his busted buttress and finished killing a Pittsburgh Penguins power play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Not just because it was an unforgettable moment of valor from a grunt in the lineup -- the kind whose limited minutes are designed to inspire -- but because it’s the epitome of what hockey players are supposed to embody.
“It might sound naïve of me, but I was just trying to do whatever I could to kill the penalty,” said Campbell on Tuesday, crutches by his side.
“There are a lot of guys that play through pain. I don’t see myself as different than anybody else in this League,” he said. “I was just trying to finish the play. Do my job.”
So Campbell, like Nathan Horton before him in 2011, has become the broken body the Bruins have rallied around – a player who had his playoff dream ended abruptly, but whose spirit continues to motivate his teammates.
“I think same thing, a couple of years ago happened to [Nathan Horton] and every time that someone goes down you always want to play for that player. Right now, Soupy, we know he’s done everything he did to help us get to where we’re at and we always want to make sure that it wasn’t for nothing. So, you want to leave it out there and make sure you give it everything,” said Daniel Paille, Campbell’s former linemate who scored the opening goal in their Game 3 victory.
Tue Jun 18 01:41pm EDT
It's a Tuesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Stars: KING 5 News (Seattle) reporter Chris Daniels, who broke the Coyotes-to-Seattle stuff this week. How close is it?
• Reviewing Game 3 between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks.
• The Gregory Campbell-as-Messiah complex.
• Pavel Datsyuk's big deal
Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above! Click here to download podcasts from the show each day. Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or Feedburner.
Tue Jun 18 11:34am EDT
Great news for Detroit Red Wings and fans of highlight compilation videos on YouTube: Pavel Datsyuk and the Detroit Red Wings have agreed to a 3-year extension, according to the dazzling centerman himself:
— Pavel Datsyuk (@Datsyuk13) June 18, 2013
Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News reports that the deal is worth $23 million, with Datysuk earning $10 million in 2014-15; $7.5 million in 2015-16; and $5.5 million in 2016-17. His cap hit will be $7.667 million, highest on the team. The deal can't be officially announced until July 5 due to the fact that Datsyuk has one year at $6.7 million remaining on his current contract.
According to the Free Press, Datsyuk's agent met with Red Wings general manager Ken Holland Tuesday to finalize the negotiations.
Four more years of Datsyuk means four more seasons of this kind of greatness:
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy
Tue Jun 18 10:56am EDT
BOSTON – They could have declined the penalties and opted to skate 5-on-5. They could have simply handed the puck over to the Boston Bruins on every faceoff, rather than attempt to win possession.
Either option would have been a more honorable choice than the putrid displays on the power play and in the faceoff dot for the Blackhawks in their Game 3 loss to the Bruins on Monday night.
The score was 2-0; the disparity in those areas was significantly starker.
“You can talk about [faceoffs] and our power play. Those were basically the differentials in the game,” said Coach Joel Quenneville.
The faceoff picture was particularly gruesome. After losing in the dot in Game 1 by just a 51-49-percent margin and Game 2 by a 54-to-46-percent count, Game 3 saw the Boston Bruins win 71 percent of their faceoffs, going 40-for-56.
Patrice Bergeron, considered the best faceoff man in hockey, was 24-of-28 in the dot. Dave Bolland and Michal Handzus – two of the Blackhawks’ faceoff aces – were a combined 1-for-18.
“Definitely something that we take a lot of pride in and we talk about a lot, and we have some really good centermen. It’s not just about the four centers. It’s about everyone on the ice chipping in and helping to win those battles,” said Bergeron.
The Blackhawks love to possess the puck. When they do, good things happen. When they don’t, they allow the Boston Bruins to carry the play, set the tone, pin them inside their own zone like a voodoo doll. The pathetic display on faceoffs was an invitation for the Bruins to dominate the game. The shot attempt differential that was so stark in previous games was cut down to just 56-51 in favor of Chicago.
What happened on the draw in Game 3?
"I don't know, you tell me," said Jonathan Toews.
These were all new headaches for Chicago. The constant lingering migraine of their postseason remains the power play.
Tue Jun 18 09:44am EDT
The morning after every Stanley Cup Final game, Puck Daddy takes an expanded look at the race for playoff MVP. Here’s the one from after Game 2.
1. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
Rask was the top star in Game 3, posting his third shutout of the playoffs. He leads the postseason in goals-against average (1.64) and save percentage (.946), playing well enough to make fans ask “Timmy who?” (Which, incidentally, is the same question the IRS asked after Thomas snubbed the White House, we imagine.)
2. David Krejci, Boston Bruins
Krejci leads the NHL with 23 points in 19 playoff games, and is a plus-15. He went scoreless in Game 3, which makes him an honorary Blackhawk.
3. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks
Crawford was the Blackhawks’ best player in Game 3, and couldn’t be faulted on either goal. He has a 1.74 GAA and a .946 save percentage, and if Chicago pulls itself out of this spiral it could be Crawford that reaps the benefit.
Tue Jun 18 08:59am EDT
BOSTON – The yellow cloth towels twirl in the air after goals or when the TD Garden asks Boston Bruins fans to get loud. Sometimes they’re thrown on the ice in protest or taken home as souvenirs. Sometimes they end up on the concrete floors, soaking up spilled beer after the game.
And sometimes they’re meticulously stitched together by crazed Bruins fan into a full business suit that he wears to playoff games.
If the ‘rally towels’ contain some mystical powers of encouragement, then Ken Cruise is their living totem. The 21 year old Bruins fan from Rhode Island attended Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night and was an inescapable sight in Section 4: Cheering on the Jumbotron in a bright yellow suit constructed entirely from used rally towels.
Why create it?
“I get asked that a lot. I don’t know,” he said, with a smile. “Big fan of the team.”
Tue Jun 18 12:43am EDT
Not long after Boston Bruins fans were in jovial spirits with the 2-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, San Jose Sharks fans joined in the happiness when news leaked that forward Logan Couture had agreed to a long-term extension.
No term or dollar amount have been released yet. (UPDATE: TSN's Bob McKenzie reports the deal is five years for $30 million.) Couture cannot sign the deal until July 5, so there won't be an official announcement from the Sharks' side for a while. CSN Bay Area's Kevin Kurz Tweeted he expects the deal to be five years.
Couture was scheduled to become a restricted free agent after the 2013-14 season, where he'll make $3 million in salary. Over the past three seasons, he's averaged 29 goals and 55 points.
With Couture locked up, that leaves Sharks general manager Doug Wilson with one less question going forward. His long-term plans for Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Dan Boyle, who will enter next season on the final years of their deals barring an extension, still remain to be seen.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy