That the Dallas Stars signed Steve Ott to a contract extension
yesterday is not surprising at all. The thought that Ott would be able
to just fit into any other locker room in the NHL is a tad amusing, and
really it seems the only place for him in the league at this point is in
That Ott was able to get just about the $12 million he
wanted and truthfully deserved from the Stars is what was surprising.
Stars are in a tough situation, as Tom Hicks is seemingly in the midst
of preparing the team for sale this season and has put a lock down on
the payroll. The Stars have operated all season long well under the
salary cap, and it appears as if they’d be operating under the same
internal cap next season as well. Of course, an ownership change could
turn things around but since that’s not expected to happen until this
summer at the earliest, there’s a good chance that the finances for the
Stars won’t be freed up for a while.
So how did the Stars afford
to extend Ott?
In a testament to Ott’s loyalty to the team and
Nieuwendyk’s ability to work a contract (something we haven’t seen yet,
really), Ott’s salary breaks down like over the course of the contract:
(via Dallas Morning News)
2010-11: $2.1 million
2011-12: $3.3 million
2012-13: $3.2 million
2013-14: $3.2 million
Next season the Stars have $33
million is salary committed to 13 players, with no goaltenders under
contract. While the difference in a little under a $1 million might not
seem like a lot, that could be what allows the Stars to be able to sign
one of their many restricted free agents this summer. They’ll also
likely be losing Marty Turco, Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen, so next
season could see a completely different Stars roster than we’re used.
the Stars start following the “Nashville
model“? GM Joe is going to have to get inventive with free agent
and contract signings to keep the Stars competitive until a new owner
can free up the budget a bit more.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken out against a late, high hit that Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik threw on Olli Maatta early in the first period of an eventful Game 2 on Saturday.
Maatta left and didn’t return. He played only 31 seconds, and the Penguins were reduced to five defensemen for a large portion of the game. Orpik was given a minor penalty on the play, but the league’s Department of Player Safety may see it differently.
The hit occurred well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck. He struggled on his way to the dressing room for further evaluation.
Based on multiple reports, Orpik wasn’t made available to the media following the game, which went to the Penguins as they earned the split on the road.
But the Penguins have taken issue with the hit.
“I thought it was a late hit,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I thought it was a target to his head. I think it’s the type of hit everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.
Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.
Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.
It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.
It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.
For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.
Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.
Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.
Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.
The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.
Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:
In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.
Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.
Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.