Shea Weber

All’s quiet on the Shea Weber contract front

Now that we’re seeing contracts getting settled out all over the place, there’s a few guys with big names still waiting to be signed by their teams. Zach Parise, Drew Doughty, and Luke Schenn are all still waiting to be signed to new deals as restricted free agents but perhaps the biggest and most important one is Nashville’s Shea Weber.

Weber is the Predators captain and he’s just shy of turning 26 years-old. With his arbitration hearing coming up on August 2, the Predators and GM David Poile would love to get a deal done with him ahead of time and get him locked up to a long term deal. With time ticking down, things aren’t quite moving along fast.

Josh Cooper of The Tennessean has the update on how slowly things are moving with Weber courtesy of David Poile.

There isn’t much to report. We talked with David Poile earlier, and this is what he had to say: “Nothing new. We reached out to his agent yesterday and haven’t heard anything back yet today. We are preparing to go to Toronto (for arbitration). Would I like to sign Shea to a longer-term contract vs. going to arbitration? Absolutely.”

So far this summer, there’s been one case that went to arbitration and that resulted in Chris Campoli getting $2.5 million and being turned down by the Blackhawks. Arbitration isn’t the most fun process as we’ve been mentioning all summer long and having to take your team captain through that doesn’t exactly create warm, fuzzy feelings for everyone. Going to arbitration also means getting just a one year deal done and not the long term deal they’re hoping to get done with Weber.

Given how everything else has played out with other restricted free agents, especially those with potential arbitration cases, we’re not doubting that Weber gets a contract done before August 2. The Predators are trying to do it all right though and get a deal that makes sense all around. While they’re normally a frugal team, going all out to take care of, arguably, their best player wouldn’t be held against them.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”

Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

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Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.