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Blues sign Gunnarsson to three-year, $8.7M contract extension


The St. Louis Blues have re-signed defenseman Carl Gunnarsson to a three-year extension worth $8.7 million.

According to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, this deal also includes a no-trade clause.

Traded from Toronto to St. Louis in June of 2014, the 29-year-old Gunnarsson was slated to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, according to General Fanager. His previous deal with Toronto was for three years at $9.45 million and cap hit of $3.15 million.

In 62 games this season, he’s scored twice with seven points while averaging 17:35 of ice time per game.

Nash skates on line with Staal, could return to Rangers lineup versus Red Wings

New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs
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It’s possible Rick Nash could be in the New York Rangers lineup versus the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, and it’s possible that if he does play, it could be on a line with newcomer Eric Staal.

Nash, who has missed 20 games with a bone bruise, took part in Friday’s practice and, based on reports, was on the wing on a line with Staal, who the Rangers acquired from Carolina, and Viktor Stalberg.

“We’ll see how he responds. Today was his first practice. He’s been skating a lot on his own there and skated with half the team (Thursday),” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault told reporters.

“If he responds well to today’s practice, I would say there’s a very good chance that he’d be in the lineup tomorrow.”

Here’s a glimpse of the Rangers’ forward combinations:

The combination of Nash, Staal and Stalberg is a big line for the Rangers. Or at least, it could be. And Vigneault referenced how it could present difficulties for opposing teams.

“I find me and Eric to be pretty similar players, and I remember playing with him (as teenagers) way back in the day, so it’s fun whenever you get a chance to play with a guy like him,” said Nash.

“I think with Stalberg, he brings so much speed, one of the best skaters in the league, and hopefully that opens things up once we get playing.”

A minor penalty for an unsuccessful coach’s challenge? One GM is reportedly mulling over the idea

Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators
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The coach’s challenge has been under scrutiny in its first season of implementation, and it’s a topic general managers from around the league could bring u when they meet next week.

According to a report from hockey insider Pierre LeBrun on TSN’s Insider Trading, one NHL general manager has considered suggesting that teams that lose a coach’s challenge then receive a minor penalty for delay of game.

As it stands now, if a coach is unsuccessful with their challenge, that team only loses its one timeout.

“He thinks that would cut down on the number of 50-50 calls that coaches are going for, especially in the third period,” said LeBrun.

Last month, Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella, never one to shy away from offering an opinion on something in the game — remember his comments on the shootout? — ripped the coach’s challenge, saying the league should get rid of it.

“Just get rid of the coach’s challenge. Just get rid of it,” said Tortorella, per The Columbus Dispatch.

“The whole (reason for) being of the coach’s challenge is to get it right. If we can’t get it right on that call, then get rid of the coach’s challenge. All I did was waste a timeout. It’s discouraging. That is a no-brainer call. If they vote again for it, no coach’s challenge as far as this organization is concerned.”

Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa . . . also not a fan of the coach’s challenge.

The coach’s challenge and three-on-three overtime were both introduced for this season.

Related: The NHL’s new coach’s challenge and timeouts

Another game, another career achievement for Jaromir Jagr

Ottawa Senators v Florida Panthers
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The Florida Panthers defeated the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, and 44-year-old Jaromir Jagr scored twice to hit another achievement in his long career.

Jagr is now up to 23 goals on the season, with 51 points in 64 games. The Panthers earned a 6-2 win to move one point back of the Boston Bruins for top spot in the Atlantic Division.

Jagr hit the 50-point mark in a season for the 20th time in his career, which — surprise, surprise — puts him into some elite company, according to the NHL.

Just another multi-goal game for No. 68.

Here is goal No. 1 for Jagr versus Ottawa:

And goal No. 2 for Jagr versus Ottawa:

It also appears Jagr lost a tooth in this game after another errant high stick. You’ll recall that back in December, Jagr lost four teeth in a game versus the Senators.

P.K. Subban suffered a neck injury but has ‘normal movement in extremities,’ say Canadiens


P.K. Subban suffered a neck injury, say the Montreal Canadiens, late in the third period of Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres and needed to be taken off the ice on a stretcher.

In a brief update on Twitter, the Canadiens said Subban was taken to hospital for further testing but he has “normal movement in extremities.”

Subban, Montreal’s star defenseman, and teammate Alexei Emelin collided in the corner along the boards. Subban was in immediate pain as he fell to the ice, grabbing his head.

“Every time the doctors rush onto the ice, we’re worried. When it takes a long time and the player ends up leaving on a stretcher, there’s always worry,” said Habs coach Michel Therrien, as per the club’s website.

“When I went to see him, he was with the doctors. I had a good talk with them and they assured me that he had movement in his extremities, which is a good thing given the circumstances.”

The Habs held on for a 3-2 victory.