James O'Brien

Video: Penguins pay tribute to Pascal Dupuis’ career

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Who would have thought that Pascal Dupuis would be the mainstay of the trade that sent Marian Hossa to Pittsburgh, and that he’d enjoy such a fantastic run?

The Penguins provided a video tribute that left the recently retired forward fighting back tears on Monday. You can watch it in the clip above.

Dupuis spent nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, including 452 of his 871 career regular season games (and 81 of his 97 career postseason contests).

Jacob Trouba’s agent denies report about $7M asking price

Justin Abdelkader, Jacob Trouba

Jacob Trouba‘s agent told Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that the Jets defenseman isn’t floating an asking price of eight-years, $56 million as reported by the Winnipeg Free Press’ Tim Campbell.

When it comes to Andrew Ladd (reportedly asking for a six-year, $41 million or more deal) and Dustin Byfuglien (eight year, $55M reported asking price), Friedman reports that their reps are going the “no comment” route.

Here are those two tweets from Friedman, who expanded on the issue:

One important thing Friedman mentions is that, naturally, players are going to ask for a big price off the bat. That’s an essential part of the negotiation process.

Really, though … even if all three players are asking for a combined $152 million, the Jets don’t have to bow down to that price or let them go. There’s a give-and-take to just about all of these processes, and one would assume that the Jets may try to dial down the term for Byfuglien/Ladd and use their leverage advantage with Trouba, who’s a restricted free agent.

Friedman mentions that he doesn’t want to make it “reporter vs. reporter” with Campbell, and that makes sense for a host of reasons. Most obviously, these details rarely become public knowledge, as contract talks can bleed into public relations situations (among other concerns).

Just look at David Price’s agent discussing how much the pitcher loved playing for the Toronto Blue Jays and you’ll see that the spin can even persist after the ink’s already dried on a deal.

Report: Byfuglien, Ladd, Trouba asking for combined $152M from Jets

Winnipeg Jets vs Carolina Hurricanes

It’s one thing to acknowledge the abstract thought that it would be expensive to re-sign Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd and Jacob Trouba. Getting a more concrete idea of the possible costs is downright jarring.

The Winnipeg Free Press cites “league and player sources” in placing their combined starting asking prices at a whopping $152 million.

(Take a moment to read the full article, it’s absolutely worthwhile …)

Update: For what it’s worth, Trouba’s agent denies this report.

It would break down as such:

Byfuglien: $55 million over eight years ($6.875 million cap hit)

Ladd: $41 million, six years ($6.833M cap hit)

Trouba: $56 million, eight years ($7M cap hit)

Here’s a quick way of looking at the raises that would come from these asking prices.

More on the cap impact

When you break down that $152 million into yearly chunks, it’s all a bit more digestible, yet it’s also clear that the Jets would be forced to make enormous decisions about their long-term future here.

If they were to agree to those terms, it would mean a cap hit of about $20 million for those three players.

Looking at Cap Friendly’s estimate of $43.07 million for the Jets’ current 2016-17 cap hit, that would put Winnipeg to more than $63.07 million for just 19 players.

Risk and reward

Byfuglien is 30 right now and would be 31 before that potential extension kicks in. Andrew Ladd just turned 30 himself. Trouba’s the baby of the bunch at 21, though that means there’s also a little more mystery to his ceiling.

(Winnipeg only needs to look to Tyler Myers‘ troubles to see that not every blue chip blueliner justifies a huge raise.)

For a team that’s currently ranked second-to-last in the Central Division, that can’t be an easy rush of information to digest.

Conversely, for a team that struggles to attract free agents to Winnipeg, it might be tough to stomach the departure of key players who still have some years of quality play in them (or potential for even bigger things in the case of Trouba).

So, what would you do if you were Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff? For an executive who draws criticism for perceived inaction, he has some serious work to do during the next several months.

Oscar Klefbom’s injured, but Oilers don’t think it’s major


Good news for the currently feel-good Edmonton Oilers: it sounds like Oscar Klefbom‘s injury is insignificant.

Head coach Todd McLellan seemed upbeat about the young defenseman’s status, even if he’s not traveling with the Oilers for their four-game road trip. At least not yet.

Klefbom suffered a hand/finger injury, but it sounds like things are better than originally feared.

Ultimately, it appears as if one pricey blueliner will be out, and another one will get back in, as Nikita Nikitin or Andrew Ference may re-enter the Oilers’ mix on Sunday.

As well as things are going on this five-game winning streak, Edmonton’s record sits at 13-15-2, so losing Klefbom for an extended amount of time would be a significant blow. These situations can be fluid, yet this is pleasant news so far.

Ouch: Couture to miss next five games (at least) for slumping Sharks

Alec Martinez, Logan Couture

Well, look on the bright side San Jose Sharks fans; at least the Pacific Division’s really bad.

It’s best to keep muttering that in your head if you root for the Sharks, as this next bit of news isn’t going to improve your outlook for a team that’s currently on a six-game losing streak.

Couture’s latest lower-body injury will sideline him for at least the next five games:

Ouch, times five.

All five of those games are on the road, including challenging contests in Montreal, Chicago and Los Angeles.

But yeah, the Pacific’s really bad, so at least there’s that.

(Laughs nervously.)