NHL on NBCSN: Unveiling of the 100 greatest players in NHL history

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NBCSN is your home for all things NHL throughout the season and that won’t stop during the All-Star break. On Friday, we’ll provide full coverage of the NHL 100 unveiling, which gets going at 9:00 p.m. ET. You can watch the event online by clicking here

As part of the festivities for the NHL’s centennial season, hockey minds around the league (media, executives and alumni) have help put together a list of the top 100 players of all-time. The panel that came up with this list is made up of 58 people who have over 1800 years of experience in hockey.

Earlier this month, the NHL gave us a preview by naming 33 of the 100. Included on the initial list (in no particular order) were Jean Beliveau, Gordie Howe, Tim Horton, Johnny Bucyk, Doug Harvey, Maurice Richard and many others.

Every hockey fan can immediately point to players they know will be on the list. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mark Messier (I can keep going and going) will be on the list. But how about the great players that don’t make it?

The actual list will be the most interesting part of the night, obviously, but when you’re looking over 100 years of hockey history, it’s inevitable that there will be snubs. Analyzing which players failed to make the list will almost be as interesting as seeing the names on it.

Also, how many active NHLers will hear their names announced tonight? Jaromir Jagr, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin should be slam dunks, but it’ll be interesting to see if names like Jarome Iginla, Evgeni Malkin, Carey Price, Erik Karlsson, Jonathan Toews and other current players find themselves receiving this great honor.

Islanders agree to terms with Mathew Barzal on 8-year extension

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Mathew Barzal has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders on an eight-year extension, a move that keeps the franchise’s top forward under contract for the balance of his prime.

The deal is worth $73.2 million with an annual salary cap hit of $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.

Barzal has led the team in scoring, or been tied for the lead, every season since he became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18. He has 349 points in 411 regular-season and playoff games for the defensively stingy Islanders, who qualified for the postseason three consecutive times before an injury- and virus-altered last year.

“We feel recharged,” Barzal said recently. “We feel like everybody had good summers and worked hard, and we got that excitement back.”

Barzal, now 25, is coming off putting up 59 points in 75 games. The offensive star will now be asked to round out his game.

“I’m a fan because Mat has the ability to raise his game and to be a special player,” general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters at the team’s practice facility on Long Island. “And now, with this contract and our faith in him, (it) puts that responsibility on him. We’re trusting that. It’s up to him to respond to that.”

Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.