The Detroit Red Wings went into this offseason needing to secure deals for three key restricted free agents.
On Monday, they locked down No. 2.
Detroit agreed to a three-year extension with forward Tomas Tatar, the club announced. Tatar, 23, is coming off a breakout campaign in which he posted career highs for games played (73), goals (19), assists (20) and points (39), all while averaging 14:21 TOI per game. Tatar then led all Detroit skaters with 19 shots on goal during an opening-round playoff loss to Boston (during which, it should be mentioned, he struggled, going scoreless with a minus-3 rating and a team-high eight PIM.)
UPDATE: Per TVA, Tatar signed for $8.25 million over the three years, good for an average annual cap hit of $2.75M — a really nice pay bump from the three-year entry-level deal he was playing on, which netted him $630,000 per.
Detroit’s second-round pick (60th overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Tatar — along with Riley Sheahan and Danny DeKeyser — was one of the key RFAs Detroit needed to re-up with this summer. The Red Wings took care of Sheahan early, inking him to a two-year pact on July 1, and now need to turn their attention to DeKeyser.
Over the weekend, the 24-year-old defenseman said there would be “no problems” on reaching a new deal with the Wings, adding that his contractual status would be sorted out prior to training camp. DeKeyser is a key figure for Detroit; he’s the club’s best young defenseman and, despite missing significant time with a shoulder injury, racked up 23 points in 65 games while averaging 21:38 TOI last year.
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, CSNPhilly.com 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 CSNPhilly.com 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.
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.