Bobby Ryan's agent claims there are 'no discussions' with the Anaheim Ducks

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for BobbyRyan3.jpgDespite signing Andy Sutton yesterday, other events indicate that the Anaheim Ducks are being very tight with their wallets. That’s bad news for their negotiations with budding power forward in the making Bobby Ryan.

Here’s the latest update from Eric Stephens from the Orange County Register.

Bobby Ryan’s agent, Don Meehan, says there’s “no discussions” going on between the Ducks and his client. Looks like it’s still an impasse.

In case you aren’t aware of the situation, the main disagreement is about the length of the possible contract extension rather than the amount of money. The Ducks would prefer a five-year deal because that would allow the team to avoid Ryan’s unrestricted free agent status for two years. Ryan wants a three-year deal so he can cash in on the UFA market immediately. That three-year deal would be especially toxic to Anaheim because their other power forwards Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf will become UFAs that summer, too.

As the two sides continue their staring contest, I’m still not sure why a team won’t at least throw an offer sheet his way.

While it will cost them money, a few draft picks and some awkwardness among other GMs, why wouldn’t the Kings think about sending Ryan an offer that would make things tough for Anaheim? If I were Kings GM Dean Lombardi, I’d send a tough-to-match three-year offer sheet to Bobby Ryan. If the Ducks match it, they’ll have to deal with that aforementioned bottleneck. If they didn’t match it, though, the Kings would steal a young, talented power forward from a division rival. A forward group including Ryan, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Ryan Smyth and a (hopefully healthy) Justin Williams would be very difficult to deal with.

Sure, the Kings will have their own restricted free agents to deal with, but the NHL’s true contenders occasionally make big moves to make “the jump” from a solid playoff team to legitimate Stanley Cup threats.

Either way, it seems like talks are at a standstill. We’ll keep you up to date as the contract negotiations drag on.

Devils unveil ‘The Salute’ statue in honor of Martin Brodeur

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The New Jersey Devils on Monday unveiled ‘The Salute’ — a statue paying homage to one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, Martin Brodeur, who will have his No. 30 uniform retired Tuesday at Prudential Center.

“Looking at the pictures of my career and some of the events that meant a lot to me, I always saluted the fans,” Brodeur, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Devils, told the Fire and Ice blog.

“That picture, at different times, in different jerseys, actually, like with Team Canada, it all came to that same pose.”

More on the statue from the Devils:

The 900-pound bronze statue was created by renowned sculpture and artist Jon Krawczyk, who worked with Brodeur on the design. Krawczyk, a Boonton Township, N.J. native and lifelong Devils fan, who also created the hockey statue on Championship Plaza outside of Prudential Center, personally drove “The Salute” from his Malibu, Cali. studio to the arena late last week.

Video: Panthers furious after Abdelkader ‘cheap shot’ hit on Barkov

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The Florida Panthers are fuming after their skilled 20-year-old forward Aleksander Barkov left Monday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings following a hit from Justin Abdelkader.

Abdelkader caught Barkov with a hard hit near the goal line as the Panthers player tried to move the puck up ice early in the second period.

The only call on the play was to Panthers’ blue liner Alex Petrovic for the retaliatory cross check on Abdelkader. Barkov left the game and didn’t return with an upper-body injury.

Members of the Panthers irate with the hit, and the fact there was no call.

“It was a cheap hit, I don’t know how the ref didn’t call it,” Nick Bjugstad told the Miami Herald. “It was frustrating, the whole bench felt that way. We’re not happy with it. It turned the game around. Barkov has tough shoes to fill. It looked pretty serious. We’ll see how the league handles it and I think they will. I just don’t know how it wasn’t handled on the ice.”

“You hate to lose your top player, but that’s part of the game,” added Panthers’ head coach Gerard Gallant.

“We’re disappointed to lose him. I thought it was a cheap shot but the referees didn’t see it that way and explained to me it was a clean check. It’s tough. It happens quick and we get to see the replay. I think it’ll be looked at. [Abdelkader] left his feet a little and got him in the jaw.”

The Panthers gave up three goals in the third period in a 3-0 loss to the Red Wings.

Penguins thump the Ducks as Crosby’s hot streak continues

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In a meeting between two clubs enjoying hot streaks and their own subsequent climbs through the standings, the Pittsburgh Penguins bested the Anaheim Ducks courtesy another dominant Sidney Crosby performance on Monday.

After that slow start, Crosby has put together a growing number of dominant performances of late.

The latest, a four-point night, helped the Penguins to a 6-2 final over the Ducks, stopping Anaheim’s winning streak at six games.

— He extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games, and did so with two beauty goals versus the Ducks.

— From Dec. 18 to Feb. 8, he’s appeared in 21 games. In that span, he’s recorded 34 points.

— Crosby is now into the top five among NHL players in points, with 53 in 51 games this season.

He wasn’t the only Pittsburgh player to have a big night. Keep in mind, Evgeni Malkin wasn’t even in the lineup due to a lower-body injury.

Ten different Penguins players recorded points. In addition to Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang had multi-point efforts, and four players — Kunitz, Crosby, Olli Maatta and Patric Hornqvist — were plus-four.

The Penguins now move into third in the Metropolitan Division, while the New York Islanders slip into the first Wild Card spot in the East. Pittsburgh’s lead over the Islanders, however, is only one point.

The Islanders also have a game in hand.

Panthers’ Barkov (upper-body injury) leaves game versus Red Wings

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The Florida Panthers will be without Aleksander Barkov for the remainder of their game versus the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

As per multiple reports, Barkov will not return due to an upper-body injury suffered after a hit from Justin Abdelkader early in the second period.

Abdelkader wasn’t given a penalty on the play. Barkov didn’t play another shift after that hit.

In 42 games this season, the 20-year-old Barkov has 16 goals and 35 points.