Zach Bogosian

Jets begin contract talks with Bogosian


Talks are underway between the Winnipeg Jets and Zach Bogosian for a contract extension, according to the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe.

The Jets had a “preliminary contract discussion” with Bogosian’s agent, Bob Murray, on Thursday.

This negotiation promises to be an interesting one as Bogosian, a 22-year-old restricted free agent, is about to see his two-year, $5 million deal expire.

He signed that deal after his entry-level contract expired in 2011, and should be in line for a big payday this summer.

Though he’s dealt with health issues over the last two years (missing 32 games with wrist, lower- and upper-body injuries), the former No. 4 overall pick has been a solid producer when healthy.

Bogosian had 14 points in 33 games this year, but averaged 23:07 TOI — second only to fellow Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.

Last year, he posted a career-high 30 points in 65 games.

The Jets are in a unique position when it comes to re-signing Bogosian. They’re roughly $28 million under the cap for 2013-14, but only have 12 players under contract.

On the blueline, they’ve already got big money locked into Byfuglien ($5.2 million per until 2016) and Tobias Enstrom ($5.75 million per until 2018) and it’s expected that highly-touted 2012 first-rounder Jacob Trouba will have a shot at making the roster next year.

The Jets also have RFA defensemen Zach Redmond, Paul Postma and Arturs Kulda to sort out, and it’s anybody’s guess what becomes of UFAs Ron Hainsey and Grant Clitsome.

An added element is the potential of an offer sheet.

At 22, Bogosian has a lot of hockey still to play and an aggressive team could put Winnipeg in a financial bind — if the offer sheet was big enough.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: