Cody Eakin has cashed in on the best offensive season of his young career.
On Friday, Dallas announced it had signed Eakin to a four-year contract extension which, per the Dallas Morning-News, is a $15.4 million pact with a $3.85M average annual cap hit.
Eakin, 24, is coming off a solid season in which he posted career bests in goals (19) and points (40). He’s making $1.9 million annually on his current deal, which has one year remaining.
It’s a nice payday for the former Washington draftee and good value for Dallas. It stands to reason that, at a relatively young age, Eakin has yet to reach his ceiling; this spring, he joined fellow Stars teammates Jason Spezza and Tyler Seguin on Team Canada’s gold medal-winning side at the 2015 Worlds and had a strong tournament, scoring four goals and six points in nine games.
It’s also worth noting that, along with top-two centers Spezza and Seguin, the Eakin extension now puts all three of Dallas’ top pivots under contract through 2018.
Seguin, Giroux highlight Team Canada roster for Worlds
Canada won’t be lacking for offensive weapons at this year’s World Hockey Championships.
Two of the league’s top-12 scorers — Dallas’ Tyler Seguin and Philly’s Claude Giroux — will wear the red and white in Prague from May 1-17, Hockey Canada announced on Tuesday. Seguin and Giroux were part of the original 19-man roster set for the tournament; Canada can register up to 25 players as teams are eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Much like playoff berths, the Art Ross Trophy came down to the last minute. Actually, it was the last second, as Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn barely won it on a Saturday.
The 25-year-old generated a four-point night to hit 87, edging John Tavares’ 86 and Sidney Crosby’s 84. Benn came into the night tied with Tavares at 83, so it was a brisk final chase.
Benn’s third point on Saturday was a pretty fluky empty-net goal:
Tavares would have taken the scoring title in a tie since he had the goals tie-breaker, so Benn made sure that happened by assisting on a Cody Eakin with just nine seconds remaining against the Nashville Predators:
Benn needed a ridiculous finish to jump up the points leaderboard, and he did it. He scored a ridiculous 10 points in a three-game span, and it’s almost as impressive when you go back further (including 16 points in seven contests). Really, Benn has been on fire since the middle of January.
Barely edging Tavares in such dramatic fashion makes this photo from the 2014 Olympics that much more fun to deploy:
Tavares can one-up Benn in future conversations since his New York Islanders made the playoffs this season, but his Stars counterpart takes home the hardware.
Update: The NHL released details on the other award winners based on regular season results (rather than any form of voting). Along with confirming Benn as the Art Ross Trophy winner and Alex Ovechkin as the Maurice Richard champ – he smoked everyone else with 53 goals – it turns out that the William Jennings will be split between goalies Carey Price and Corey Crawford.
Some more details in that regard from the NHL:
The Blackhawks and Canadiens finished the regular season tied with a League-low 189 goals allowed, and Crawford and Price saw the most action for their respective teams. This marks the first time that goaltenders on two teams claimed the Jennings Trophy since 2002-03, when New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur and Philadelphia’s Roman Cechmanek and Robert Esche captured Jennings honors after the Devils and Flyers tied for the League’s lowest goals-against total.
Stars will scratch Seguin over late arrival to practice
Ruff was asked on Friday about the possibility of Seguin being scratch and at the time he responded with, “We’re going to deal with that internally.”
This move certainly isn’t unprecedented. Roughly a month ago Toronto’s Nazem Kadri found himself out of the lineup after missing a team meeting and Stars forward Cody Eakin was also scratched in March for disciplinary reasons.
Dallas won’t make the playoffs either way, so in that regard this might be a good opportunity for Ruff to send a message to Seguin and his teammates. At the same time, it will deny Seguin an opportunity to set a new career-high in goals as he’ll now finish with 37 for the second straight season. It also takes away Jamie Benn’s regular linemate as the Stars captain battles for the Art Ross Trophy.