Detroit Red Wings v Anaheim Ducks

Ducks re-sign Koivu: one year, $2.5 million

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Saku Koivu will be back for a fourth year in Anaheim.

On Friday, the Ducks announced they signed the 38-year-old to a one-year, $2.5 million deal (with some performance bonuses.)

The Finnish center had a solid 2013 campaign, scoring 8G-19A in 47 games, racking up another 1G-2A in seven playoff appearances.

He’s been a solid, durable and dependable player ever since coming over from Montreal in 2009. Koivu has played in at least 86 percent of Anaheim’s games every season and is plus-17 since joining the Ducks.

News of Koivu’s signing came shortly after the club dealt Bobby Ryan and his $5.1 million cap hit to Ottawa in exchange for Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and a future first-round pick.

By shedding Ryan’s salary, retaining Koivu was made that much easier — the club also left the option open to bring back Finnish running mate Teemu Selanne and still reach deals with RFAs Kyle Palmieri and Matt Beleskey.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.