Jeremy K. Gover reports that Mike Fisher signed a two-year, $8.4 million contract extension during the Nashville Predators’ pun-tastic “Skate of the Union” convention.
Fisher is in the final year of a contract with an annual cap hit of $4.2 million, so apparently that’s the magic number for Mr. Carrie Underwood (or a very good two-way center, if you want to be fair).
Gover also points out that Fisher’s salary next season is $3 million, quite a bit less than his cap hit. That’s certainly relevant since Shea Weber’s signing bonus towers over the team’s finances.
(Not to mention Pekka Rinne’s raise.)
Gover captures Fisher’s impact since the Predators acquired him via a trade in 2010-11:
Fisher was third on the team in scoring last year with 51 points, battled back-and-forth during the month of March with Patric Hornqvist for the team lead in goals, came just three points shy of a new career high and is considered one of the leaders both on and off the ice. Since coming over in a trade from the Ottawa Senators in February 2011, he has 63 points in 99 games.
The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.
“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.
“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”
While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.
“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”
Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?
News and notes from around the crease…
Jones goes for San Jose
Martin Jones, acquired by the Sharks this summer, will make his first regular-season start for the club tonight against his old team — the Los Angeles Kings.
Jones, 25, spent the last two years in L.A. as Jonathan Quick‘s understudy. He was flipped to Boston at the NHL Entry Draft, then shipped to San Jose. Sharks GM Doug Wilson wasted little time locking Jones in — signing him to a three-year, $9 million extension — and Jones wasted little time locking up the No. 1 gig, putting together a stellar preseason.
For the Kings, Quick will get the start in goal.
Markstrom out for Vancouver
Jacob Markstrom wasn’t scheduled to start for the Canucks tonight — No. 1 Ryan Miller is getting the call — but the Swedish ‘tender won’t even dress when his club takes on the Flames in Calgary.
Markstrom suffered a lower-body injury at practice this week and is being held out of tonight’s action. In his place, the Canucks called up AHL netminder Richard Bachman, who’ll serve as Miller’s backup.
For the Flames, Karri Ramo is the opening-night starter.
Habs at Leafs: Carey Price vs. Jonathan Bernier
Rangers at ‘Hawks: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Corey Crawford