Jared Cowen

Done deal: Cowen signs four-year, $12.4 million extension with Sens

1 Comment

The Ottawa Senators and Jared Cowen have managed to find common ground after all.

The Ottawa Senators announced they’ve come to terms with their restricted free agent defenseman on a four-year deal. As Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun initially reported, the deal is worth $12.4 million over the term and good for a $3.1 million cap hit.

Cowen played in just a handful of games last season thanks to offseason surgery, but two seasons ago he had a major breakout with the Senators playing in all 82 games of the 2011-2012 season.

In the seven games he played in last year, he had one goal and averaged over 20 minutes of ice time per game. At 22 years old he’s got a lot of time ahead of him.

Now that Cowen is locked up, that leaves just two more major restricted free agents left to be signed.

New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson need to sign deals and both players’ teams have cap issues. Cowen’s new deal may not do much to help Franson get what he’s seeking from the Leafs.

After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
Leave a comment

Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”

Virtanen to make NHL debut tonight versus Kings

Jake Virtanen
1 Comment

Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.

“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”

Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.

The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.

If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.