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2011 Offseason News

Tavares commits to Islanders for long term

Thursday, 09.15.2011 / 2:45 PM / 2011 Offseason News

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"I look forward to honoring this long-term commitment. This is an exciting team to be a part of right now. We have a group that I feel will contend every year for a championship, and I'm privileged to be a part of the Islanders' future." -- John Tavares

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Five days before his 21st birthday, John Tavares received one heck of a gift from the New York Islanders.

Not wanting any part of restricted free agency next July, the No. 1 pick in the 2009 Entry Draft signed a six-year extension Thursday with the Isles worth a reported $33 million.

In 161 career NHL games, Tavares has 53 goals and 68 assists, including 29 goals and 67 points in 2010-11. The Oakville, Ont., native has also represented Canada at the last two World Championships, totaling 16 points (12 goals, 4 assists) in 14 games.

Tavares had frequently talked about enjoying Long Island and wanting to stay after his entry-level contract ran out next summer. 
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Ovechkin to throw out first pitch at Orioles game

Wednesday, 09.14.2011 / 6:01 PM / 2011 Offseason News

NHL.com

Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin will throw out the first pitch at Friday's Baltimore Orioles game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Camden Yards.

This won't be the first time Ovechkin takes to the mound prior to a baseball game. In 2006, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch before a Washington Nationals contest.

Washington will play its first preseason game at the Baltimore Hockey Classic on Sept. 20 vs. the Nashville Predators at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore.
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Flyers sign Blake Kessel, Phil's younger brother

Wednesday, 09.14.2011 / 5:47 PM / 2011 Offseason News

NHL.com

Defenseman Blake Kessel, the younger brother of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel, signed an entry-level contract with the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Kessel spent the past three seasons at the University of New Hampshire and was teammates with James van Riemsdyk for one season. Kessel had 5 goals and 22 assists as a junior last season.
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Reports: Myers, Tavares entertaining long-term deals

Wednesday, 09.14.2011 / 9:06 AM / 2011 Offseason News

NHL.com

According to news reports Wednesday, both the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders are poised to make long-term commitments to their future franchise players

According to reports, the Islanders are nearing a deal with young forward John Tavares, while the Sabres are close to signing young Tyler Myers. TSN's Bob McKenzie reported both deals as close to completion and said each is in the six-year range with a average annual salary of $5.5 million.

Both players have one-year remaining on the entry-level deals they signed in 2009.

"It's not something I want hanging over the season and affecting the team," Tavares told Newsday's Arthur Staple after a workout at the Islanders practice facility on Tuesday. "I know I'm going to be here for a long time and I'd like it to get done."
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Jets invite Aebischer, three forwards to camp

Tuesday, 09.13.2011 / 4:19 PM / 2011 Offseason News

NHL.com

Goalie David Aebischer and forwards Troy Bodie, David Koci and Janne Pesonen have signed tryout contracts with the Winnipeg Jets and will attempt to make the team at training camp.

Aebischer, 33, has played the last four seasons with HC Lugano in Switzerland. A sixth-round pick by the Colorado Avalanche in 1997, he has 106 wins in 214 NHL games with the Avalanche, Canadiens and Coyotes. He was a backup to Patrick Roy on the Avalanche's 2001 Stanley Cup championship team.

He was 12-24 in 36 games last season, with a 3.10 goals-against average and .885 save percentage.
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Sykora offered tryout by Devils

Tuesday, 09.13.2011 / 4:11 PM / 2011 Offseason News

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

There will be a familiar face vying for a spot on the New Jersey Devils' roster when training camp begins Saturday.

Petr Sykora, the Devils' first-round selection in the 1995 Draft and a member of their 2000 Stanley Cup team, has been invited to the team's camp on a tryout basis, along with Steve Bernier, Anton Stralman, J.T. Barnett, and Thomas Nesbitt. 
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Sharp undergoes emergency appendectomy

Monday, 09.12.2011 / 9:15 PM / 2011 Offseason News

NHL.com

Just days before the start of training camp, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp underwent emergency surgery Monday night.

Sharp, who signed a long-term contract extension with the Blackhawks this summer, had an appendectomy after feeling pain in his abdomen. Sharp could be back in time for Chicago's regular-season opener at Dallas on Oct. 7.
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Bruins enjoy last Cup celebration

Monday, 09.12.2011 / 2:48 PM / 2011 Offseason News

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOLTON, Mass. -- When a team accomplishes something as historic as what the 2010-11 Boston Bruins did last season, that squad can look forward to numerous reunion celebrations.

The 2011 Stanley Cup champions, however, are about to get a rare jumpstart to that reuniting process much earlier than most teams. Other than three departed regulars from the team that ended a 39-year championship drought in June, the Bruins are reuniting this season to attempt to become the first repeat Cup champion since the 1998 Detroit Red Wings.

That reunion began last week when players started to trickle into the Boston area for informal skates at the team's practice facility. It continued Monday when most of the team was on hand for the club's annual charity golf tournament at The International Golf Club and Resort.
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Six teams still without captains entering training camp

Monday, 09.12.2011 / 12:25 PM / 2011 Offseason News

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The New York Rangers' decision Monday to make Ryan Callahan the 26th captain in franchise history cut the list of teams without a player wearing the "C" to six -- three of them in the Atlantic Division.

Callahan, who succeeded the recently retired Chris Drury and bumps the number of U.S.-born captains to four, joins Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby as the only captains in the Atlantic Division -- New Jersey, the New York Islanders and Philadelphia have not designated a captain.
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Rangers go with Callahan as new captain

Monday, 09.12.2011 / 11:21 AM / 2011 Offseason News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Ryan Callahan signed a three-year contract to stay a Ranger in July and on Monday he got his second big nod of the offseason the club named him the 26th captain in franchise history.
 
Marc Staal and Brad Richards, who signed a nine-year, $60 million contract to become a Ranger on July 2, were named as the alternates.
 
"Ryan Callahan embodies all the leadership qualities we seek from our captain," Rangers GM and President Glen Sather said.  "He leads by example with courage and a tireless work ethic on and off the ice, which is why he is so deserving of this honor."
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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres