Ryan Smyth

Ryan Smyth isn’t going anywhere, wants new contract with Oilers

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It’s no secret that Ryan Smyth loves it in Edmonton and now he wants to make sure he stays there for good.

The veteran winger’s name has been bandied about in trade deadline speculation but he tells Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal that he wants a new deal with the team for next season to guarantee that he’s not heading out of town even as a rental.

“My ultimate goal is to sign a new contract with the Oilers, ideally before the trade deadline,” said Smyth, who turns 36 in a week. “Yeah, I want that.”

Matheson says that Smyth hasn’t told Oilers GM Steve Tambellini that he’s not interested in being traded but Smyth believes it to be understood that that’s the case since neither side has talked about being traded this year.

While the floundering Oilers looked like one team that could’ve been busy at the trade deadline, they’ve opted to do things differently by locking up defenseman Andy Sutton and are even in talks with impending free agent Ales Hemsky about signing long-term in Edmonton. If they don’t come to an understanding there, he’s likely to be traded by the deadline.

With the young talent in Edmonton ready to break out in the future and become a force in the West, you can understand why guys want to stick around.

After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.