Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

RNH is RICH: Oilers sign Nugent-Hopkins to $42 million extension

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The Edmonton Oilers are all-in on their young stars.

On Thursday, the club announced it had agreed to a seven-year, $42 million extension for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the club’s first-round (and first overall) pick at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Nugent-Hopkins, 20, will carry an average annual cap hit of $6 million with the new deal, an identical figure to the ones held by Jordan Eberle (signed through 2019) and Taylor Hall (signed through 2020).

The RNH extension kicks in next season t and runs through 2020-21 campaign but, as Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reports, the deal comes without no-trade/movement clauses (Eberle and Hall don’t have them either).

It’s a bold move from Edmonton, banking on Nugent-Hopkins’ undeniable skill and his ability to overcome health issues.

Both of his first two seasons in the NHL have been cut short due to shoulder issues. His rookie campaign was limited to just 62 games after undergoing a season-ending shoulder procedure, yet he still managed to put up 52 points and finish as one of the three nominees for the Calder Trophy.

Last season, he was held to just 40 games — undergoing shoulder surgery in April — and saw his production dip (24 points, a 0.60 points-per-game average).

But there is reason for optimism. RHN recently said he’s “put on a few pounds” and is currently tipping the scales at between 180 and 185 pounds, which could theoretically help in being able to survive the physical rigors of a full NHL season.

In addition, he’s been working on his shot this offseason, with good results.

“My shot feels great,” he said. “It feels probably a little bit better than last year even.”

Of course, the Oilers are going to have to wait a while to see that shot in action. Nugent-Hopkins isn’t expected to make his 2013-14 debut until November.

Related: They said Nugent-Hopkins would get hurt — and so far, they’ve sort of been right

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then: