Nino Niederreiter

Report: Wild want 2-4 year deal for Niederreiter


Though contract negotiations appear as though they’ll be complex, it sounds like Minnesota knows what it wants to do with current RFA forward Nino Niederreiter.

From the Minnesota Star-Tribune:

As GM Chuck Fletcher told me last week, his preference would be to sign Niederreiter to a two- to four-year deal, although my guess is at the end of the day, it’ll be a two-year bridge contract.

This way, Niederreiter gives himself the ability to pile up numbers the next two years and then tries to hit a homer on his next contract.

The Niederreiter negotiations figure to be difficult. At 21, he’s got huge upside — as evident by his fifth overall selection at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft — but has a limited body of big-league work to bring to the table.

After a nine-game cameo with the Isles as an 18-year-old and a ghastly 55-game stint in 2011-12 (where he infamously scored just one point and racked up a minus-29 rating), Niederreiter broke out in his first season with the Wild this year, scoring 14 goals and 36 points in 81 games.

In the playoffs, he proved to be one of Minnesota’s most dangerous forwards, going for six points in 13 games while notching the Game 7 OT winner against Colorado in Round 1.

So yeah, there aren’t many comparables out there for that.

If Niederreiter does go the way of the bridge deal, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of money he can get out of it. His three-year entry-level deal had an average annual value of $2.795M, but the majority of that was contingent upon performance bonuses. His actual salary averaged out to $870,000 per year.

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: