Brayden Schenn

Brayden Schenn deal is Philly’s ‘first priority,’ says Hextall


Ron Hextall was part of the Kings managerial group that took Brayden Schenn fifth overall at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, so it’s no surprise that, five years later, retaining Schenn’s services is at the top of Hextall’s to-do list.

“Schenn would be our first priority,” the Flyers GM said, per CSN Philly. “But he’s restricted, so there’s not a timeline there where you say, ‘It’s going to be done by this time.’

“Brayden’s a good young player, and we’d like to get him under contract as soon as possible. But again, there’s timelines there. It might be training camp, it might be July. I really can’t say. But obviously he’s a priority.”

Schenn, 22, appeared in all 82 games for the Flyers this year and posted career highs in goals (20) and points (41). One of the key pieces that came to Philly in the Mike Richards trade — Hextall was the assistant GM in L.A. at the time — Schenn just wrapped the last of his three-year, entry-level deal (a complex one, laden with bonuses) and will now go into what’s usually a tricky negotiation as a first-time RFA.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of deal Schenn gets. One comparable would be fellow ’09 draftee Nazem Kadri who, after scoring 44 points in 48 games during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, scored a two-year, $5.8 million extension with the Leafs.

Another comparable? Schenn’s teammate, Sean Couturier, who signed a two-year, $3.5 million extension that kicks in next season. In fact, the Couturier deal might be more applicable because the Flyers think there’s still plenty of maturation still to come for Schenn — much like they did with Couturier upon extending him last July.

“There’s a lot more room for growth. I think Brayden’s defensive game has gotten better,” Hextall explained. “Numbers wise, he’s gotten better, there’s room for growth there. This year, he was a little all over the place, he was on the wing, he was in the middle, he was with different players.

“I’d kind of like to try to stabilize that a little but, but we’ve got to find the right fit there, and easier said than done.”

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: