It seems like old news by now.
But the San Jose Sharks have officially re-signed 32-year-old center Bracken Kearns to a one-year contract, the club announced Friday.
The Sharks have also re-signed Marek Viedensky to a one-year deal, as per CSN Bay Area.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the Sharks had agreed with Kearns to a one-year, two-way deal worth $550,000 at the NHL level.
This past season with the Sharks, the journeyman forward played in one regular season game and seven games during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Originally from Vancouver, Kearns’ atypical but remarkable journey to the NHL has been well-documented.
He was never drafted and never played a game of major junior hockey.
Instead, he played at the University of Calgary in Canadian Interuniversity Sport, before entering the world of pro hockey in 2005-06. He spent most of that season with the Toledo Storm in the ECHL.
He’s come a long way.
“I can honestly say (quitting) never really crossed my mind,” Kearns told George Johnson of the Calgary Herald and Postmedia News in May, during the Sharks playoff run.
“I’ve never gotten to that point. Some people might find that crazy . . . But I’ve honestly felt I’ve gotten better every year. And that’s been a sign that I should stick with it.
“People always ask me ‘Are you going to Europe to play?’ Well, I’ve never considered it. I’ve always dreamed of playing in the NHL. So I’ve always strived for that.”
You know how goalies claim they prefer to be busy rather than risking rust in seldom seeing shots? If that’s true, Henrik Lundqvist was really, really happy in the first period.
The Ottawa Senators generated chance after chance in a busy opening frame of Game 1, generating a 21-12 shot differential against the New York Rangers. The game remains 0-0 in large part because Lundqvist has carried over his momentum from the Montreal Canadiens series so far.
As you can see from the video above, Lundqvist made some absolutely fantastic saves, especially in somehow stopping Mark Stone.
In a duller game, 21 shots on goal could a team’s entire output.
That’s impressive stuff from what appears to be a “vintage” Lundqvist. We’ll see how much more the Rangers lean on him as this one goes along.
Oh, and here’s a GIF of the best stop of the bunch, because seriously.
The Pittsburgh Penguins get a familiar face back in the lineup, as Chris Kunitz is good to go against the Washington Capitals in Game 1.
The 37-year-old has been sidelined since March 31, ending his regular season with just an assist in his final nine games. His last goal came on Feb. 16.
So, in other words … he’s not quite as big of a deal for this series as he had been in the past.
He’ll draw into a solid fourth line with Matt Cullen and Tom Kuhnackl, while Carter Rowney will be a healthy scratch. Check out the Penguins’ line combos heading into Thursday’s showdown:
The NHL announced the three finalists for the Mark Messier Leadership Award: Nick Foligno (Columbus Blue Jackets), Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks) and Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames).
In case you’re curious about the process, the league explains how it works (and how the buck stops with Messier):
Mark Messier solicits suggestions from club and League personnel as well as NHL fans to compile a list of potential candidates for the award. However, the selection of the three finalists and ultimate winner is Messier’s alone.
So, yes, it might come down to steeliness/60.
Anyway, the most fun part of this award is that Getzlaf and Giordano just engaged in a first-round series, with Getzlaf’s hit on Giordano (see above) being one of the standout moments.
Perhaps Giordano will at least get the best of Getzlaf in this one?
It’s really happening.
For all the griping about having the Penguins and Capitals meet in the second round (again), it’s easy to forget the bright side: upsets didn’t dislodge this juicy matchup from taking place.
The West’s duo of Game 1 matchups kicked into gear last night, and now the East provides that battle between Sidney Crosby‘s squad and Alex Ovechkin‘s loaded team. Don’t sleep on Rangers – Senators, either, though; there should be plenty of intrigue in seeing superhuman Swedes Henrik Lundqvist and Erik Karlsson try to one-up each other.
Here’s what you need to know to follow the action:
New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Network: CNBC (Stream online here)
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)