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.
Since losing to Quinnipiac in the Frozen Four, the Boston College Eagles have also lost a bunch of their best players.
Those who made the decision to turn pro include Alex Tuch (Wild), Adam Gilmour (Wild), Miles Wood (Devils), Steve Santini (Devils), and Hobey Baker finalist Thatcher Demko (Canucks).
The good news for B.C. is that Colin White probably won’t be part of the exodus. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, it “looks like” White will return for his sophomore season after scoring 43 points in 37 games as a freshman.
White, 19, was drafted 21st overall by the Ottawa Senators last summer. He said last month that turning pro had “definitely” crossed his mind, but then he also said, “Definitely, B.C. is a great place.”
Team Canada’s veteran lineup was too much for the young Americans to handle today in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where the Canadians rolled to a convincing 5-1 victory as the preliminary round of the World Championship got underway.
The United States actually opened the scoring, on a first-period, power-play goal by Patrick Maroon. But Taylor Hall quickly tied it, and soon after that, Brendan Gallagher gave the Canadians the lead. Matt Duchene, Boone Jenner, and Brad Marchand added the insurance goals for Canada.
Keith Kinkaid was in goal for the Americans, Cam Talbot for the Canadians.
Auston Matthews logged 16:56 in ice time and registered three shots for Team USA, who play Belarus tomorrow.
The Canadians are off until Sunday, when they’ll take on Hungary.
The New York Rangers announced this morning that forward Oscar Lindberg has undergone a “successful simultaneous bilateral hip labral repair.”
That’s a long way of saying he had hip surgery.
The Rangers say the expected recovery time for Lindberg is six months, meaning the 24-year-old is likely to get a late start to next season.
In 2015-16, his first full season in the NHL, Lindberg had 13 goals and 15 assists in 68 games. However, he was a regular healthy scratch down the stretch.
“I thought Oscar was playing well,” head coach Alain Vigneault said in March. “But when Rick Nash came back, we had 13 healthy forwards. It’s just the way it slotted out.”
In the playoffs, Lindberg dressed for just two of the Rangers’ five contests (Games 4 and 5 versus Pittsburgh).
Related: Rangers sign Lindberg
Of all the available coaching gigs, Minnesota’s seems to be the most muddled right now — there’s still no word on the status of interim bench boss John Torchetti, and GM Chuck Fletcher has reached out to both Randy Carlyle and Bruce Boudreau.
Now, the Star-Tribune is reporting Fletcher has also contacted another pair of veteran coaches: Marc Crawford and Guy Boucher.
Crawford, fresh off a four-year stint in the Swiss League — where he coached coveted draft prospect Auston Matthews in Zurich — is gunning for an NHL return, and would even accept an assistant coaching position to get his foot back in the door.
Related: Marc Crawford coaching in Detroit? Hey, could happen…
Boucher, also coming off a stint in the Swiss League, wants back in the NHL as well. He was in the running for a pair of gigs last offseason — Toronto, which ultimately went to Mike Babcock, and New Jersey, which ultimately went to John Hynes.
An interesting wrinkle with the Wild’s coaching search? Per the Star-Tribune, it sounds like coaches might be asking as many questions of Fletcher as Fletcher is of the coaches. The longtime GM has come under fire recently for the club’s current roster makeup, which forced owner Craig Leipold to give Fletcher a public vote of confidence during the playoffs.