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Jets give Maurice, Cheveldayoff contract extensions (Update)

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One of the major questions facing the Winnipeg Jets this off-season appears to now have an answer.

That question had to do with the futures of general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and coach Paul Maurice, as they entered the final year of their respective contracts. 

According to reports on Wednesday, both Cheveldayoff and Maurice have been given contract extensions, with Darren Dreger of TSN adding they were multi-year deals.

Update: The Jets made both announcements official on Thursday morning.

Since moving from Atlanta to Winnipeg for the beginning of the 2011-12 season, the Jets have made the playoffs only once.

Maurice took over from Claude Noel midway through the 2013-14 season and was behind the bench when Winnipeg advanced to the post-season the following year.

Cheveldayoff has been GM of the Jets since their move to Winnipeg.

While the team and its fans have endured missing the playoffs in five of the last six years, the organization has been able to stockpile plenty of young, talented prospects, with the likes of Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Jacob Trouba each making a significant impact on the roster since making it to the NHL.

This summer, the Jets took a step to try to improve their goaltending by signing free agent Steve Mason.

Related:

Winnipeg Jets are finally interesting

Poll: Did the Jets do enough this summer to make the playoffs?

As trade rumors swirl, Landeskog expects Duchene ‘to be here’ for Avs training camp

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Trade speculation involving Matt Duchene has been rampant for months, with Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic recently confirming he’ll continue to listen to trade offers from other clubs.

According to multiple reports, Duchene was absent from a voluntary skate on Tuesday, as players hit the ice for a practice led by Avalanche team captain Gabriel Landeskog.

That has raised the question about whether the 26-year-old center — selected third overall by Colorado in 2009 — will be with the Avalanche when training camp opens next week.

From TSN.ca:

With Duchene languishing near the top of TSN’s Trade Bait board since early last season, the situation has hung over the centre and the Avalanche like a dark cloud.

Now, it seems possible Duchene’s relationship with the Avalanche may not heal with the benefit of a long summer.

When asked Tuesday night by TSN whether Duchene planned to report to Avalanche training camp, Duchene’s agent – Pat Brisson of CAA Sports – responded: “All I want to say is, for the moment Matt is skating in Toronto.”

Duchene did not return a request for comment. He attended a wedding in Vail, Colo., over the weekend, but spent most of the summer training in his hometown of Haliburton, Ont.

Duchene has tried to remain “relaxed” about trade rumors, which have persisted after he struggled offensively last season and the Avalanche suffered an overall embarrassing campaign with just 48 points. Colorado has regressed significantly from that 112-point 2013-14 season, with former coach Patrick Roy calling out the leadership group just a few months before he suddenly resigned.

“I talked a little bit with Dutchy. He’s not here; that’s not a secret,” Landeskog told the Denver Post. “But we’ll have to wait and see. As of right now, he’s a part of the Avalanche organization and we all expect him to be here when training camp starts. I don’t really know what else to tell you right now.”

Hurricane Irma forces Capitals to cancel prospect tournament in Florida

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With Hurricane Irma threatening to hit Florida, the Washington Capitals have cancelled this year’s prospect tournament at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla.

The NHL team made the announcement Wednesday morning.

The tournament featured prospects from four teams — the Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Nashville Predators — and was scheduled to run Sept. 9-12.

A state of emergency has been declared in Florida. Hurricane Irma, which slammed into Caribbean islands, is currently listed as a Category 5 storm.

From NBC News:

In a path projection early Wednesday, the hurricane center estimated that tropical storm-force winds would reach the southern tip of Florida sometime Saturday or Sunday.

With a one-year deal, Duclair out to show he ‘can play at an elite level’

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It’s a well-known point by now that Anthony Duclair‘s 2016-17 season had its share of difficulties.

His production dropped substantially, leaving him with only five goals and 15 points, down from the 20 goals and 44 points he had during his first full NHL season with the Coyotes. He scored on 19 per cent of his shots in 2015-16 and, not surprisingly, that figure fell to 6.6 per cent this past season.

He also spent time in the minors.

On Sunday, the Coyotes and Duclair signed a one-year deal worth a reported $1.2 million. The length of the deal would put the onus on the 22-year-old forward, a restricted free agent this summer, to prove himself this upcoming season. And that is how Duclair sees it, too.

From Arizona Sports:

Coyotes general manager John Chayka said on a conference call that the Coyotes offered Duclair and agent Kent Hughes three different contract options with varying term and average annual value. The dollar amount was lower on the longer-term deals so Duclair chose the one-year option.

“I just wanted to prove myself with this one-year deal,” said Duclair, who is still in Montreal but will arrive in Arizona on Friday. “Obviously, last season was a little rough for myself. It was a good learning experience but at the same time, I just wanted to prove this year that I can play at an elite level like I did my rookie season and hopefully have a better contract next summer.”

Duclair was the last remaining restricted free agent for the Coyotes to get under contract.

Horvat, Pastrnak highlight list of remaining restricted free agents

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The dog days of August are over. The hockey world is ramping up for NHL training camp.

Seems like a perfect time to take a look at the key remaining restricted free agents, per CapFriendly, still looking to sign contracts for the upcoming season.

Josh Anderson, Blue Jackets:

Josh Anderson remains the lone restricted free agent for the Blue Jackets to sign, after they were able to get Alexander Wennberg under contract on Friday. Anderson, 23, finished his first full NHL season — the final year of his entry-level deal — with 17 goals and 29 points. After the Wennberg deal, the Blue Jackets have $7.987 million in cap space. According to the Columbus Dispatch, there had been a report stating Anderson would skate with a team in Switzerland if a deal with Columbus was not reached before training camp.

More from the Dispatch:

His agent, Darren Ferris, said in a text message that he had been misquoted and that Anderson is not set to practice in the Swiss National League.

“That is not the plan at this time,” Ferris said. “It is just an option.”

Earlier Friday, Kekalainen said he wasn’t worried about Anderson’s situation.

“He can skate wherever he wants,” Kekalainen said. “We just want him here when training camp starts, that’s all.”

Andreas Athanasiou, Red Wings:

Andreas Athanasiou is one of the promising young players for a Red Wings team that finished out of the playoffs last season. He scored 18 goals and 29 points in the final year of his entry-level contract. While Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has said the organization has made numerous offers to the 23-year-old forward, Athanasiou is, according to his agent, considering offers from the KHL. There were indications a couple of weeks ago that signing in Russia was a possibility.

“Andreas is evaluating the pros and cons of all the offers,” his agent Darren Ferris recently told MLive.com. “Andreas loves Detroit and especially the Detroit fans but he has to really consider the serious offers from the KHL he has before him. There is a considerable difference in the amount of money.”

Sam Bennett, Flames:

Sam Bennett garnered headlines during the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs, as he entered the league at just 18 years of age. After a 36-point 2015-16 campaign, his first full season in the NHL, Bennett’s production dipped this past season with only 13 goals and 26 points. The Flames have about $7.165 million in cap space, so they certainly have room to get something done, with Eric Francis of Postmedia pointing out that the salary range for comparable contracts for Bennett should be about $2.5 to $3 million per year. With camp approaching, general manager Brad Treliving remained confident a deal would get done.

Marcus Foligno, Wild:

The Wild acquired Marcus Foligno, as well as Tyler Ennis, from the Buffalo Sabres at the end of June. However, they still haven’t signed the 26-year-old Foligno, who scored a career high 13 goals for Buffalo last season. Minnesota has only $2.14 million in available cap space. While he waits for his new contract, the physical forward has made his plans known for this upcoming season, aiming to score 20 goals in his first year with the Wild.

Bo Horvat, Canucks:

Bo Horvat led the Canucks in points last season — the final year of his entry-level contract. He’s due for a sizable raise, and the Canucks, after a busy summer for them, have about $5.3 million in cap space with Horvat still to sign. The biggest question now is whether a new contract will be long-term, or a bridge deal? Jason Botchford of The Province told TSN Radio that he heard Horvat’s new contract is a bridge deal. Team president Trevor Linden, a few hours later, told Ed Willes of The Province that there was “nothing at all” to that.

Petteri Lindbohm, Blues:

The Blues currently have one remaining restricted free agent to get signed for the upcoming season. That would be defenseman Petteri Lindbohm, who has split each of the last three seasons between the Blues and their former AHL affiliate in Chicago. Cracking the lineup full-time next season may be a tall order, given the club’s top-four defensemen are basically set, with plenty of competition for bottom-six and depth roles. Lindbohm’s three-year entry-level deal had an annual average value of $700,000.

David Pastrnak, Bruins:

Negotiations between the Bruins and Pastrnak’s camp were expected to continue Friday, according to the Boston Herald, with Pastrnak’s agent, J.P. Barry, ready to make his client’s case for an eight-year deal. That left Bruins president Cam Neely to discuss the possible impact Leon Draisaitl‘s recently signed eight-year contract in Edmonton may have on these specific negotiations with Pastrnak. Having turned 21 years old in May, Pastrnak enjoyed an impressive offensive surge last season with 34 goals and 70 points.

Robbie Russo, Red Wings:

Robbie Russo, originally a New York Islanders draft pick, has spent the majority of his time in the Red Wings organization with its AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. He’s been productive there, scoring seven goals and 32 points last season on a team that won the Calder Cup. He did break into the Red Wings lineup last season, appearing in 19 games without registering a point. The Red Wings have a pair of RFAs — Russo and Athanasiou — to get signed, but they have salary cap issues. Specifically, they are about $3.02 million over the cap.

Damon Severson, Devils:

Playing in his third NHL season, 23-year-old defenseman Damon Severson reached career highs in games played (80), assists (28), and points (31), emerging as a key piece on their blue line. While the contract situation has dragged into September, NJ Advance Media’s Chris Ryan recently told fans that he doesn’t anticipate it will continue into camp.

“The Devils and Severson have plenty of options for a contract, and they simply haven’t come to an agreement at this point,” Ryan wrote. “Worst case, the Devils and Severson will sign a one-year deal and do this all again next offseason, when Severson would be arbitration eligible. But expect for this to be resolved before camp opens.”

Tyler Wotherspoon, Flames:

Tyler Wotherspoon has been with the Flames organization since the 2011 NHL Draft, but has yet to emerge as a full-time player on their roster. Since turning professional, he has split each of the last four seasons between the NHL club and its minor league affiliate. He is one of two remaining RFAs for the Flames, after the club inked Brett Kulak. Calgary is already set with its top-four defensemen, while Michael Stone should fit in as the No. 5 blue liner. Matt Bartkowski is also on the roster, while Kulak played 21 games for the Flames last season to Wotherspoon’s four. Right now, it would seem the highest priority for Calgary is to get Sam Bennett signed.

Nikita Zadorov, Avalanche:

A recent report from Adrian Dater of BSN Denver stated that Nikita Zadorov and the Avalanche are about $500,000 apart, with the 22-year-old defenseman seeking about $2.5 million annually. Earlier this summer, it was reported that Zadorov had a “mutual agreement” with a club in the KHL but was waiting to receive a better offer from Colorado, which has only three defensemen under contract for the upcoming season.

*All financial figures courtesy CapFriendly.