Curtis McElhinney, John Tavares

Report: Islanders to sign John Tavares to six-year, $33 million deal

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After the reports surfaced earlier about the Islanders working on a long-term extension with franchise player John Tavares, it didn’t take long for things to get worked out. The Islanders have a press conference called for tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. at Nassau Coliseum featuring Tavares and Isles GM Garth Snow and they’ll be there to announce that Tavares has signed  a contract extension with the team.

Reports out of Long Island say that Tavares’ deal is for six years at $5.5 million per season, good for $33 million over the term of the deal.

Tavares was the first pick overall in the 2009 NHL Draft and is heading into his third year in the NHL. Tavares has seen his numbers increase greatly over his first two seasons and now that he’s just a little bit older, he’s poised to become one of the league’s top players. Last season, Tavares had 29 goals and 38 assists for the Islanders and while he’ll turn 21 during training camp, he’s without a doubt the Isles top center.

The cap hit of $5.5 million might seem a bit large, but should Tavares numbers continue to rise as the years go along, it’ll end up looking like a steal soon enough. The Isles cap situation also isn’t in any sort of dire position. The Islanders now have Tavares, Michael Grabner, Kyle Okposo, and Matt Moulson locked up to deals that will keep all four of them together through until at least the 2013-2014 season when Moulson’s deal expires. Tavares’ deal has him committed to the Islanders through the 2017-2018 season while Okposo and Grabner are set through 2015-2016.

The hype surrounding the eventual rise of the Islanders has a basis in having great young players being locked up for a while and with those four in place, the Isles are going to be a team for opponents to worry about very soon.

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then: