Jared Cowen

Cowen contract talks hit ‘stalemate,’ says Sens asst. GM

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Jared Cowen has already missed the first few days of Ottawa’s training camp and, by the sounds of it, he’s in line to miss many more.

That’s what Senators assistant GM Tim Murray told the Ottawa Sun on Friday, saying talks between the club and Cowen, the prized RFA defenseman, have stalled.

“We both made proposals a day apart. They turned down ours and we turned down theirs. I guess we’re at a stalemate,” Murray explained. “We’ve talked a lot. I have to say we’ve closed the gap a little bit but it seems to me we’re at a stalemate.”

The Cowen negotiations have been acrimonious for a while.

Last week, reports from the Sun claimed Ottawa tabled an eight-year, $28 million deal similar to the one Isles defenseman Travis Hamonic (seven years, $28 million) signed in July.

It seemed as though Ottawa wanted to lock up Cowen for as long as possible, to avoid him going to arbitration (he has rights next year) or losing him as a UFA.

While intriguing, a long-term deal failed to gain traction and now appears off the table.

The new focus is on a four-year pact.

Here’s more, from the Sun:

While Murray and Cowen’s agent Rick Valette held talks as recently as Tuesday, neither is willing to budge. Sources told the Sun the Senators have offered Cowen a four-year, $11.2 million deal while he is seeking $12.2-to-$12.6 million on the same term.

“They felt they were leaving too much money on the table,” said Murray. “We’ve been talking four year deals. I have no problem saying that.

“Four year deals is fair to both sides. He gets to establish himself as a top player.”

Murray added he doesn’t “know what [Valette] is thinking on this,” and that “it has taken us two months to get in the same stratosphere on a four-year deal.”

Cowen — a towering presence at 6-foot-5, 230-pounds — missed almost all of last year recovering from hip surgery, part of why he’s yet to cement himself as a “top player.”

The hulking rearguard did play all 82 games in 2011-12 (his rookie campaign) scoring 5G-12A-17PTS while leading all Sens defensemen in hits.

In the ’12 postseason he upped the ante in a seven-game loss to the Rangers, leading all skaters with 28 hits.

Matt Niskanen injured by Patrice Bergeron boarding hit

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Patrice Bergeron doesn’t have a reputation for dirty hits, but he drew the Washington Capitals’ ire for a hit on Matt Niskanen.

The Capitals consider Niskanen “probable” to return to Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins with what they’re calling an upper-body injury. Bergeron received a two-minute boarding penalty for the infraction.

(Check out video of the hit above.)

The Capitals’ Twitter acknowledged the brewing bad feelings.

Does Bergeron deserve supplemental discipline for that boarding hit?

Washington currently leads the game 3-2.

Ouch: NHL official helped off ice after puck to knee (Video)

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There are plenty of hazards on an NHL rink even if you’re not a player.

Barry Trotz ranks among the coaches who’ve been hit by pucks, though he’s one of the tiny sliver of humans who would shake off a puck to the forehead. It can be dangerous for officials, too, whether it means a wayward puck or wayward player.

The latest example comes in the form of linesman Steve Miller needing help off the ice after a puck hit him in the knee area. As you can see from the video, it looked like he was in serious pain.

Yikes:

Video: Tyler Bozak with some saucy moves on this goal

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It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.

The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.

Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?

(If you’re into that kind of thing.)

Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form:

WATCH LIVE: Bruins at Capitals – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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Even with two games in hand, some might be surprised to see the Washington Capitals tied with the Boston Bruins in standings points in early December.

That’s the case on Wednesday Night Rivalry, as a somewhat up-and-down Capitals team (which is glad to welcome T.J. Oshie back) hosts a Bruins squad that’s riding a three-game winning streak.

It should be an interesting matchup on NBCSN, which you can also watch online or via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.