It’s not often that you see a team throw $28 million at a defenseman that only has 100 games worth of NHL experience.
Roman Josi, 23, took a step forward in 2013, but Nashville inked him to a seven-year contract in anticipation of what he might become as opposed to his past accomplishments.
If he develops as projected, his $4 million annual cap hit will look like a steal in a couple years, especially after the ordeals they went through with defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. But that’s only if he develops as projected.
Most players that get rewarded with this kind of security have a bit more on their resume, but Josi doesn’t think this deal will lead to complacency.
“I’m playing because I’m having fun playing hockey,” Josi told The Tennessean. “I’m excited for next season and the money is one part of the business, but the main (reason) you play hockey is to be successful and have fun with it, and I’m motivated to do the same things this summer and work hard.”
Meanwhile, Josi is in Switzerland with fellow NHL blueliners Mark Streit and Yannick Weber. He’s working on strengthening and his nutritional habits as he gets ready for the first year of his new contract.
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”