This should be interesting. For the past month or so, word has been that the Dallas Stars and Steve Ott were nowhere close on contract-extension talks, as Ott wanted something close to Sean Avery money (four years, $16 million). With the Dallas financial situation the way it is, it was questionable whether they could sign Ott for the price he was asking and still manage to hang on to the players they’ll need to sign this summer.
From Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, it appears that both sides came together over the weekend.
Ott, 27, is in the final year of his deal. He can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, and the NHL trade deadline Wednesday has pushed the Stars to get something done. The Stars would have to have considered a trade for Ott had they not been able to hammer out an extension.
That forced some serious talk, and the Stars apparently worked to get it done.
Heika mentions that the contract has not actually been signed, but the terms have been agreed upon. The chance that the Stars could have traded Ott on Wednesday if a deal wasn’t reached had many fans worried, but I’ve been told by some that were in attendance at Stars practice on Saturday that Ott maintained he wasn’t going anywhere.
Heika suggests the deal may be in the $12 million range, which is what was speculated Ott wanted in the first place.
It’s a good thing he’s staying Dallas, because it would be interesting to see what sort of reception he’d get elsewhere. I’m guessing that the Ducks would not have been interested.
No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.
Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.
They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.
On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.
Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.
Perhaps some of that has to do with health?
Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.
The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.
“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”
He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.
You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.
Here are the handy links for the two contests.
First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.
Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.
“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”
Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.
Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.
Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.
Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer