Joe Pavelski

Agent: Sharks, Pavelski ‘haven’t really gotten deep in discussion’ about new deal


When the San Jose Sharks locked up Logan Couture with a long-term deal in June, many expected Joe Pavelski’s extension to soon follow.

But that hasn’t gone exactly to plan.

Pavelski’s agent, Dan Plante, told CSN Bay Area talks haven’t progressed all that much.

“[Sharks GM] Doug [Wilson] and I have spoken but haven’t really gotten deep in discussions,” Plante explained via text message. “More on philosophy but we have spoken a lot.”

Last week, Wilson told Yahoo! Sports Talk Live that Pavelski’s negotiations began around the same time as Couture’s — and Couture inked his five-year, $30 million extension on June 17, nearly a full month ago.

Pavelski, 29, has been one of San Jose’s best forwards over the last three seasons. He posted a career-high 66 points in 2010-11, scored a career-high 31 goals in 2011-12 and led the team in playoff scoring this year, with 12 points.

He’s also heading into the final season of a four-year, $16 million deal.

San Jose’s cloudy financial picture could be playing into the delay for Pavelski’s new contract. The club already has $40 million committed to just 13 players for 2014-15, which includes big-ticket guys like Couture ($6 million), Brent Burns ($5.7 million), Martin Havlat ($5 million) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($4.25 million).

What it doesn’t include, though, are three of the Sharks’ most veteran players.

Dan Boyle, Patrick Marleau and captain Joe Thornton can all become unrestricted free agents in 2014. Assuming Wilson wants to keep them around, he’ll need to be sharp with the Pavelski extension, as that figure will likely play into what the aforementioned trio can be offered.

All that said, Plante is confident that Pavelski will soon get sorted out.

“We will get something figured out I am sure,” Plante said.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: