Jeff Skinner

It’s official: ‘Canes ink Skinner to six-year, $34.35 million extension


Last night, we passed along word (well, tweet) from Carolina GM Jim Rutherford hinting at a contract extension for Jeff Skinner.

Today, Rutherford made it official.

The ‘Canes announced they’ve signed the 20-year-old to a six-year, $34.35 million deal that will pay him $4.35 million in 2013-14 and $6 million per from 2014-19.

The deal has an average annual value of $5.725 million.

“Jeff is a cornerstone player for our team, and his long-term commitment to the Hurricanes is great news for our franchise and our fans,” Rutherford told the Hurricanes website. “At 20 years old, he is still in the very early stages of his career, and we felt it was important to ensure he would be spending much more of it in Raleigh.”

Skinner won the Calder Trophy in 2010-11 and has scored 107 points in his first 146 career games with the ‘Canes.

The signing caps off what’s been a whirlwind — and spendy — summer in Raleigh.

Rutherford broke the bank and the ‘Canes have become the Eastern Conference’s most dramatically altered team in the process. Had it not been for Minnesota signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, that statement could’ve been applicable for the entire NHL.

The trade-and-sign of Jordan Staal, the acquisition of Alex Semin and the Skinner extension cost the club over $100 million.

If you go back to January, you could lump in the Tim Gleason extension ($16 million) and Tuomo Ruutu extension ($19 million)…bringing Rutherford’s grand total to $136 million.

Of note, Carolina now has its core group of Staal, Skinner, Ruutu, Gleason, Cam Ward, Jay Harrison and captain Eric Staal locked up through 2016.

PHT Morning Skate: Beat writers survey predicts Ducks will win Cup

Corey Perry, Frederik Andersen
AP Photo
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

In a survey of 29 beat writers, the Anaheim Ducks emerged as the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If you’ll recall, they have that in common with the EA Sports simulation. (Boston Globe)

Alex Ovechkin would pick an Olympic hit against Jaromir Jagr as the biggest check of his life. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Here are the highlights from Minnesota’s 5-4 victory over Colorado:

The Montreal Canadiens seem committed to using Alex Galchenyuk as a center throughout the 2015-16 campaign. (The Canadian Press)

The NHL recently enlisted its players to read off some not so mean tweets. (USA Today)

Bills coach Rex Ryan talked about the Sabres in Thursday’s press conference. (

Frederik Andersen may have the Anaheim Ducks’ starting job for now, but with John Gibson still a big part of their plans, Andersen has to keep proving himself. (Orange County Register)

Niemi blanks Pens, notches two assists in Stars debut

Antti Niemi, Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist

DALLAS (AP) — Antti Niemi recorded his 33rd career shutout and assisted on two goals in his Dallas debut, as the Stars beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 on Thursday night in the season opener for both.

Ales Hemsky had a power-play goal and an assist.

Rookie Matthias Janmark scored on his first shot on his first shift in an NHL game to make it 1-0. The Stars acquired Niemi and Janmark in trades earlier this year.

Dallas scored on two of five power plays. Jamie Benn, the NHL’s leading scorer last season, had a power-play goal in the third period.

Niemi made 37 saves to improve his career record against the Penguins to 5-1-1. He withstood a flurry in the final minute after Pittsburgh pulled goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for an extra skater.

Fleury had 21 saves.

The Stars are 4-0-1 in their last five home games against Pittsburgh, and have won three in a row overall.

Janmark skated down the slot, took a pass from Hemsky and shot between Fleury’s legs at 1:39 of the first.

The Penguins dominated the latter half of the period, but couldn’t score. Niemi’s best stop was a reaching glove save of Rod Scuderi’s drive from the blue line with less than 3 minutes remaining. Pittsburgh outshot the Stars 10-4 in the first.

Hemsky scored at 5:42 of the second on Dallas’ first power play. His shot from the top of the right faceoff circle went in over Fleury’s right shoulder.

The Penguins again had an advantage in shots, 13-11. Pittsburgh had chances in close, but Niemi turned those away. Midway through the second, John Klingberg cleared away a loose puck from in front of the net.

Seven seconds into the Stars’ fourth power play of the third period, Jamie Benn tipped in Jason Spezza‘s shot from the right point.

NOTES: Dallas acquired Janmark as part of a March trade that sent Erik Cole to Detroit. The rookie had been playing in the Swedish Hockey League. . San Jose traded Niemi’s rights to the Stars in June for a seventh-round draft pick. Also making their Dallas debuts were LW Patrick Sharp and D Johnny Oduya, teammates with Chicago’s Stanley Cup champions last season. . In his first game for the Penguins, Phil Kessel played in his 447th straight game. . Pittsburgh was 0 for 3 on the power play.