Adam Henrique

Henrique says ‘no real deadline’ for new contract with Devils


According to Adam Henrique, no new contract is no big problem.

The New Jersey forward, currently a restricted free agent, hasn’t seen any movement on the negotiation front, but insists the lack of progress isn’t a concern.

“I’m not worried about it not getting done or anything like that,” he told “Hopefully it will get done soon. There’s no real deadline or anything.”

A Calder nominee in 2011-12, Henrique suffered through a bit of a sophomore slump in 2013.

His points-per-game average dipped to 0.38 (he posted 0.69 in his rookie year, when he scored 51 points in 74 games). He still managed to finished tied for third on the team in goals (11) and average a career-high 18:19 TOI per game, so it’s not as if he fell off a cliff production-wise.

If anything, the delay in reaching a new deal goes beyond his relationship with the Devils organization and GM Lou Lamoriello.

Across the NHL, clubs are dragging their feet in signing RFAs, preferring to take their time after a busy start to the offseason.

St. Louis still hasn’t reached an agreement with Alex Pietrangelo, nor has Buffalo with Cody Hodgson. The Coyotes still need to reach a deal with Mikkel Boedker, as do the Rangers with Derek Stepan. Other key unsigned RFAs include Kyle Clifford (Los Angeles), Marcus Johansson (Washington), Jared Cowen (Ottawa) and, as mentioned in our comments section, Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson (Toronto).

So it’s no surprise Henrique is relaxed about the situation — so much so that he hasn’t even checked in with his agent about the state of negotiations.

“There’s nothing really holding it up. It’s a matter of time,” he explained. “We want to make sure we get the best deal for both sides.”

Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
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Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

We’ll start to find out tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen