Author: Cam Tucker

The futures of four marquee Hurricanes players rest with one agent, one GM

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There is an interesting dynamic brewing with the Carolina Hurricanes when it comes to four of their top players, including Eric and Jordan Staal, Jeff Skinner and goalie Cam Ward.

All four are represented by the same agent in Rick Curran, and Carolina general manager Ron Francis will have some important decisions to make about the futures of all four players, most notably Eric Staal, who is entering the final year of his contract, which includes a no-trade clause.

From the Raleigh News & Observer:

Basically, every high-priced, popular, star player the Hurricanes might even consider trading as part of a rebuilding process has the same agent, and this summer brings a new kind of time pressure.

Both Eric Staal and Ward need to be either re-signed or traded, because their contracts are up after next season. Jordan Staal is signed to a long-term contract but came here to play with his brother and may not want to stay without him. Skinner has three years left on his contract but is one of the Hurricanes’ most marketable assets.

As the NHL Draft nears — it was only two weeks away, as of Friday — the speculation around the future of the elder Staal, the Hurricanes captain, could intensify. It’s worth noting that on Friday, it was reported that Francis is not seeking to trade Staal at this point.

Report: Ducks’ Thompson suffered two labral tears, expected out five to six months

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Surgery performed this week on Anaheim Ducks forward Nate Thompson has reportedly revealed further damage to his injured shoulder.

According to a report from Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register on Friday evening, the operation revealed two labral tears, with a recovery time of five to six months for the 30-year-old Thompson.

The Ducks stated that Thompson would undergo surgery on Thursday. The hard-hitting forward missed the first round of the playoffs because of injury, before returning to the Ducks lineup against the Calgary Flames.

In his first season with the Ducks, Thompson scored five goals and 18 points in 80 games, before scoring twice with six points in 12 playoff games.

Avalanche move Sherman to senior VP of business and team operations

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Once the general manager of the Colorado Avalanche, Greg Sherman has now been named the senior vice-president of business and team operations with the same club, as per an announcement on Friday.

Sherman has spent the last 14 years in the Avalanche front office. That includes the GM role from 2009 to 2014.

Last September, prior to the start of the regular season, Joe Sakic took over the GM job, bumping Sherman to an assistant general manager position.

“Greg’s role with the Avalanche has changed over the years, but his commitment and passion for the franchise has never wavered with different responsibilities,” said Avalanche president Josh Kroenke in a statement, adding there is no change to hockey operations.

Blackhawks’ Kane still searching for his first goal of 2015 Stanley Cup Final

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It’s crunch time for ‘Showtime.’

Four games into this Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning, Patrick Kane has yet to score in this series.

He has one assist, which came in a Game 4 win for the Blackhawks. This series has shifted back to Tampa Bay for Game 5 on Saturday. So far, every game has been decided by just one goal.

Should Kane snap his drought, it could push the advantage closer in the direction of the Blackhawks in a tight series, all even in what is now a best-of-three battle. Maybe, at this point, that means a more long-lasting reunion with Jonathan Toews?

“I think he goes through stretches where he doesn’t produce, but he does a lot of other things that are healthy for our team game,” Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville told reporters on Friday.

“All of a sudden, you know, he hits the scoreboard and then it’s tough to keep him off it.”

Kane enters Game 5 with nine shots on goal in this series. In two of four games, he’s had a Corsi For rating greater than 55 per cent, according to war-on-ice.com. He went through a shorter two-game drought to start the Western Conference Final before erupting for seven points, including five in the final two games.

“We just know you got to keep working, keep finding ways to create chances,” Toews told reporters. “Eventually believe those bounces are going to go your way.”

Capitals GM MacLellan seems optimistic about negotiations with pending RFA Holtby

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This is shaping up to be an interesting off-season for the Washington Capitals and general manager Brian MacLellan, with re-signing pending restricted free agent goalie Braden Holtby among the priorities.

Holtby, 25, is coming off an impressive 2014-15 season, with 41 wins, a .923 save percentage (seventh in the NHL) and 2.22 goals-against average (fifth in the NHL). His Stanley Cup playoff was even better, although it only lasted two rounds after a seven-game series loss to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

Still, he posted a .944 save percentage and 1.71 goals-against average in 13 post-season games, which were both good enough for second amongst all NHL goalies in the playoffs. According to Sportsnet.ca, Holtby had a cap hit of $1.85 million this past season.

“We’re negotiating,” MacLellan told Craig Custance of ESPN. “We’re trying to get a good deal done for both parties. He’s a priority for us. I think we’ll get it done. It seems to be going the proper way in negotiations.”