St Louis Blues v Nashville Predators

Blues sign Berglund to three-year, $11.1M extension


The St. Louis Blues signed forward Patrik Berglund to a three-year, $11.1 million contract on Thursday. (That salary, which calls for a $3.7 million cap hit, comes from multiple sources but hasn’t been confirmed by the team just yet.)

The 26-year-old forward scored 14 goals and 32 points in 78 games while failing to record a point in four postseason contests. He managed 25 points in 2012-13 despite being limited by the lockout-abbreviated 48-game slate, so some might have been a little bit disappointed by his output this past season.

(His possession stats improved a bit, if nothing else.)

Interestingly, a trade isn’t totally out of the question even after this signing, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

“Yeah, he would have a lot of interest around the league,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said. “But he has a lot of interest with me, too.”

If this were to stand, the Blues covered quite a few of their bases already this offseason, although they have two significant restricted free agents to re-sign in forwards Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Sobotka. Cap Geek estimates St. Louis’ current cap space at about $18 million, so it’s conceivable that they can have leftover money to chase a noteworthy free agent even if they lock up those players.

They also could have some room to make a trade, if there’s a market for him.

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.