Tampa Bay Lightning v Winnipeg Jets

Jets hand Jim Slater a three-year deal

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The Winnipeg Jets re-signed forward Jim Slater to a contract extension on Wednesday. Ken Wiebe reports that it’s a three-year deal worth $4.8 million.

The American-born winger was a first-round pick (30th overall) by Atlanta/Winnipeg in 2002. He’s been a fairly consistent fixture with the organization since the 2005-06 season, typically producing about 12-20 points per season. He achieved a modest career-high in 2011-12, scoring 13 goals and 21 points in 78 games. He also shot at a career-high 11 percent, so even a 15-goal output might be a bit much to ask in the future.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is wise to get this decision out of the way quickly, because he has bigger ones coming up this summer.

Evander Kane and Ondrej Pavelec are among the team’s most significant restricted free agents. Pavelec might leave for the KHL, so backup Chris Mason’s unrestricted free agent status is that much more relevant. Kyle Wellwood (pauses for fat jokes) was also surprisingly productive, so the Jets might have a tough call to make there.

It’ll be interesting to see if the franchise sticks with smaller, familiar moves like re-signing guys like Slater or if they decide to make a splashy move or two this off-seaosn.

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.