<span class="vcard">Cam Tucker</span>

Report: Prospective Seattle owner will not submit expansion bid Monday

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There is now yet another twist when it comes to the possibility of NHL expansion to the Seattle market.

According to King5.com, Victor Coleman, a prospective Seattle NHL owner who wanted to work out a deal for a team to play at the “potential” arena in the SoDo district, will not submit an application by the July 20 deadline for the first phase of the expansion process.

From King5.com:

A source involved from the Seattle effort said Friday the Coleman group had told the NHL it wanted to finalize the arena site before submitting an application. The same source also indicated Vancouver, B.C., native Coleman hoped to “fast track” the expansion process once a land deal is completed. Coleman’s camp, according to sources, also indicated it is still committed to bringing an NHL franchise to Seattle.

The expansion process began earlier this month, and it was previously reported that the league was expecting one, or perhaps multiple applications from prospective owners or groups in Seattle.

Last month, there was a report that a Seattle group led by Ray Bartoszek was going to apply for an NHL expansion team in Tukwila, Wash., however according to King5.com on Friday, it’s no longer clear if Bartoszek plans to submit an application Monday.

Las Vegas, Quebec City and Toronto have also been mentioned as markets with groups showing particular interest in NHL expansion.

The cost for simply applying for a franchise is $10 million, with $2 million of that being non-refundable, according to the Seattle Times.

Related: Seattle group to apply for NHL expansion team

Report: Kopitar contract extension now the Kings’ ‘highest, most forefront priority’

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L.A. Kings center Anze Kopitar will turn 28 years old toward the end of next month, so could he be celebrating his birthday with a contract extension?

According to LA Kings Insider, negotiations between the Kings and Kopitar on an extension have only just started but are expected to pick up as the summer continues. The report also mentions optimism that an extension could be finalized by the end of the summer.

From LA Kings Insider:

One of the reasons for the timing of the current contract push is that the Kings needed to finalize new contracts for a heavy crop of restricted free agents. That had been communicated to Kopitar and his representation, and because the final six RFAs signed contracts with the Kings over the previous two days, Kopitar’s extension now becomes the club’s highest and most forefront priority. Because he would be resigning with Los Angeles, he would be eligible to sign an eight-year contract extension.

Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career to date with the Kings, winning two Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014. In both runs to the championship, he had a point-per-game pace. He recorded 64 points last season, but finished ninth in the league with 48 assists.

He was also a dominant force as far as puck possession goes, with the second-best Corsi For rating on the Kings at 59.2 per cent at five-on-five, according to stats.hockeyanalysis.com.

Kopitar is entering the final year of his current seven-year contract worth a total of $47.6 million. He would be eligible for unrestricted free agency at the end of the 2015-16 season.

Report: Sabres sign Larsson to one-year deal

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The Buffalo Sabres have reportedly signed left winger Johan Larsson to a one-year, one-way deal worth $800,000, according to a report out of Sweden.

From the Buffalo News:

“Sure it is good money, but for me this is mainly that I will now be able to continue playing hockey with a very exciting team with new players and new coach,” Larsson said, in the Google translation of Gotland Newspapers. “It will be an exciting season.” 

The Sabres have yet to officially announce a deal.

Now 22 years old and a former second-round pick of the Minnesota Wild, Larsson scored six goals and 16 points in 39 games with the Sabres last season. He split the 2014-15 campaign between Buffalo and the AHL Rochester Americans.

He scored 15 goals and had 40 points in 44 games with Rochester.

Capitals owner Leonsis has a message: ‘Don’t take Alex Ovechkin for granted’

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Alex Ovechkin will turn 30 years old in September. He started his NHL career in 2005-06 when the league came out of its second lockout and posted 52 goals and 106 points.

He’s coming off another 50-plus goal season in 2014-15. It’s the sixth time in his NHL career he’s accomplished the feat, including his 65-goal season in 2007-08. But the one thing that has eluded him in his time with the Washington Capitals is a Stanley Cup, much to the lamentation of the club’s owner Ted Leonsis.

“He’s a fantastic player. I think all of you in this room, don’t take Alex Ovechkin for granted. I think that happens sometimes. You see him all the time and there’s this repetitiveness about his greatness,” said Leonsis, as per CSN Washington.

“But when people from outside the organization come in, I think you heard that with Justin Williams, this is the best player in the league. He’s been that for the last 10 years. And the consistency that he has brought is really historical.

“He doesn’t miss games. He plays hard all the time and I feel I haven’t met my commitment to him, that we would build a team that would be able to win Stanley Cups. That we’re in it together.”

Eliminated by the New York Rangers after a seven-game, second-round series that went the distance in May, the Capitals have had a busy off-season trying to bolster their club to take a run at the Stanley Cup next year.

They signed unrestricted free agent forward Justin Williams, known for his penchant of scoring important goals in Game 7s, and then acquired T.J. Oshie from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Troy Brouwer, Pheonix Copley and a 2016 third-round pick the following day.

Oshie admitted in an interview with Mike Vogel of the Monumental Network that he’s unsure at this point in the summer of where he will fit into the Capitals lineup.

 

Report: Ducks sign Stewart to one year, $1.7 million deal

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The Anaheim Ducks have inked winger Chris Stewart to a one-year contract worth $1.7 million, according to a report Saturday evening from John Shannon of Sportsnet.

The Ducks have yet to officially announce any deal for the 27-year-old Stewart.

It’s worth noting that enforcer Brian McGrattan announced his deal with the Ducks via Twitter well before the club did.

Stewart spent last season with the Buffalo Sabres and then the Minnesota Wild following the NHL trade deadline.

Stewart scored a combined 14 goals and 36 points last season with both the Sabres and Wild, and he also brings size on the wing at 6’2″ tall and 231 pounds and an element of toughness.