Patrik Berglund

Berglund, Blues agree to one-year, $3.25 million deal


The St. Louis Blues have agreed to a one-year contract extension with restricted free agent Patrik Berglund, True Hockey’s Andy Strickland reports.

The deal, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch, is for $3.25 million.

Strickland reports the contract has been agreed to in principle (Berglund can’t officially sign until July 5) and, as expected, falls between the $3 million David Perron made in the first year of his deal, and the $3.375 million TJ Oshie made in the first of his.

Berglund, 25, was St. Louis’ first-round pick, 25th overall, at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

After posting career highs in goals (22) assists (30) and points (52) in 2010-11, he was rewarded with a two-year, $4.5 million deal, which will expire in 10 days.

This year, Berglund showed excellent finish around the net — he scored 17 goals in 48 games, which works out to 29 over a full NHL season — and finished fourth on the Blues in scoring, with 25 points.

His postseason, though, was disappointing.

The Swedish center was a non-factor for the Blues in their opening-round loss to the Kings, scoring just one goal in six games while finishing with a minus-3 rating. What’s more, he only put 11 shots on goal over the course of the series.

The slump was frustrating for both team and player, especially after Berglund had a good 2011-12 playoffs, scoring 3G-4A-7PTS in nine games.

The move to lock up Berglund is the first of many RFA deals for St. Louis. Chris Stewart, Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk and Kris Russell are all restricted as well, and still need to have their new deals sorted out.


Blues: We’ll match any offer sheet to Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Stewart or Berglund

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?