Kings plan “serious” extension talks with Quick — so, how much is he worth?

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Over at ESPN (paywall), Craig Custance took an in-depth look at the LA Kings roster and had an interesting sidebar on goalie Jonathan Quick:

Quick is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2013. When I spoke with his agent, George Bazos, from Edge Sports Management, I was told the plan is for extension talks to get serious this summer. He can sign an extension any time after July 1 under the rules of the current CBA.

“We’re certainly open to talking to them,” Bazos said. “I think they’re going to want to know from their end if indeed they can have him locked in.”

Quick’s a franchise goalie that L.A. will want to sign long term. Don’t think there’s any question there. Aside from earning a Vezina nomination and posting arguably the greatest goaltending season in franchise history, Quick’s also backstopped the Kings to within a game of the Cup final (and barring a meltdown of epic proportions, their first finals appearance since 1993.)

Soooooo….what kind of numbers will keep in him Hollywood?

Bazos could use Pekka Rinne’s seven-year, $49 million deal as a starting point. It’s an absolute monster of a deal, but in line with what Rinne means to the franchise — more than just a good goalie, or a Vezina-worthy goalie, but a team MVP and possible Hart Trophy candidate, which is what Quick is to the Kings.

(Note 1: Quick is 26, Rinne is 29.)

(Note 2: The Kings could go risky and give Quick a Luongo/DiPietro/Bryzgalov special — you know, a super-long-term contract that minimizes the annual cap hit. Get one more in there before the new CBA arrives.)

The only foreseeable issue is L.A.’s long-term financial outlook. While GM Dean Lombardi was lauded for bringing in Jeff Carter at the trade deadline, present day success could be costly down the road. Carter ($5.27 million annually) joined the likes of Drew Doughty ($7 million), Anze Kopitar ($6.8 million) and Mike Richards ($5.75 million) as well-compensated Kings.

That said, Lombardi can’t risk losing Quick or even flirt with the notion of letting him go to market — he’d be 27 by the time he’s a UFA, smack in the midst of his prime.

In closing: There’s a chance Quick could get Rinne money, but also a chance he’ll get more.

Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)

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Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.

Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.

McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).

Islanders grab precious points by beating Rangers

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The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.

They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.

The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.

Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.

The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.

The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.

Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style

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Rick Nash has his critics stemming from his playoff struggles in the past, but for those who support him, moments like these are satisfying.

Why? Because you’d be absurd to discredit how hard he tries when Nash scores goals like he did for the New York Rangers against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

Nash went all-out for his 20th goal of the season, sprawling after scoring against Thomas Greiss. It’s quite a sight, and Getty Images really was on top of that one.

via Getty Images

The Rangers may need more from him tonight, however, as the Islanders just went up 3-2. Watch the remainder of the contest on NBCSN.

Leafs pass Bruins for third in Atlantic after gutsy win against Columbus

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It wasn’t pretty – especially if you’re disgusted by that Roman Polak hit – but the Toronto Maple Leafs keep generating big wins as a playoff return looks increasingly likely.

Toronto managed a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, passing the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division:

Maple Leafs: 83 points in 72 games
Bruins: 82 points in 73 games

This leaves the currently in-action New York Islanders four points behind the Bruins for the final wild card in the East.

The Maple Leafs aren’t just grabbing key points; they’re doing so against some strong opponents who’ve had plenty on the line, too.¬†They beat a Metro contender in Columbus tonight, the Bruins on Monday, grabbed an OT point against Chicago on Saturday and handled the desperate Lightning last Thursday.

This game was all about William Nylander‘s brilliant start:

And also Toronto surviving a long penalty kill after that Polak hit:

Nazem Kadri‘s 30th goal really put the game out of reach, helping Toronto nab a significant victory.

The Blue Jackets can wallow in this defeat and Oliver Bjorkstrand‘s injury, either, as they turn around to face the Washington Capitals in a big one tomorrow.