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Toews, Kane sign eight-year deals with Blackhawks

Wednesday, 07.09.2014 / 1:59 PM / News

NHL.com

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each has agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the Chicago Blackhawks, the team announced Wednesday.

The contracts are worth $10.5 million each per season, according to multiple reports. At this point those contracts would have the highest average annual value in the NHL when they begin in 2015-16.

Toews and Kane were set to become unrestricted free agents after the 2014-15 season but now are under contract through 2022-23.

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Blue Jackets sign Weber to one-year contract

Wednesday, 07.09.2014 / 11:55 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com Staff

The Columbus Blue Jackets signed defenseman Will Weber to a one-year, two-way contract, the team announced Wednesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Ekholm avoids arbitration, signs with Predators

Wednesday, 07.09.2014 / 10:52 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Defenseman Mattias Ekholm avoided an arbitration hearing by signing a two-year, $2.075 million contract with the Nashville Predators on Wednesday.

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Ho-Sang not surprised Islanders picked him at draft

Wednesday, 07.09.2014 / 10:37 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Joshua Ho-Sang met with several teams prior to the 2014 NHL Draft, but he was taken aback following his sit-down with the New York Islanders. That's why he wasn't too surprised when they traded up with the Tampa Bay Lightning to grab the talented (and sometimes outspoken) center at No. 28.

"They were definitely the nicest," Ho-Sang said Tuesday at Nassau Coliseum after the first on-ice session at the team's annual prospect camp. "They just talked to me, they asked me some questions. I mean, the Islanders were one of the few teams, and I heard it with a lot of guys, they were asking me questions outside of hockey, just kind of getting to know them. I think that's unbelievable that they did that, and obviously I ended up here because of that. They took the time to kind of talk to me and I appreciate that very much. And the fact that they traded up for me is unbelievable."

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Pasquale signs two-way contract with Capitals

Wednesday, 07.09.2014 / 9:37 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

Restricted free agent goaltender Edward Pasquale signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. Financial terms were not released.

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Younger Kings give Zykov, Kempe confidence

Wednesday, 07.09.2014 / 8:54 AM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Two years ago the Los Angeles Kings promoted forwards Dwight King and Jordan Nolan from the American Hockey League in the middle of the season and they helped them win the Stanley Cup. This spring that storyline played out again when Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson played prominent roles in the Kings' second championship.

It didn't escape Valentin Zykov and Adrian Kempe, who are years away from the NHL but know how to get there.

"When you see young guys get on the team and help them to win, of course it gives you confidence," Zykov said during Kings development camp. "You just try to follow what they've done … get better every year and try to do the same thing. Everybody wants to make the NHL as fast as they can."

Zykov, 19, and Kempe, 17, are the two biggest names at camp this week, fresh-faced players who might be lining up with Toffoli and Pearson in the coming years. They are big, sturdy power-forward types who fit right in with the Kings' identity.

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Sharks re-sign forwards Wingels, Sheppard

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 8:30 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

The San Jose Sharks signed restricted free-agent forward Tommy Wingels to a three-year contract, the team announced Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed but previous media reports placed the total value at $7.4 million.

Wingels set career-highs in goals (16), assists (22), points (38) and plus/minus (plus-11) in 77 games last season. He was fifth on the Sharks in goals, sixth in points, and led them in hits (218) and game-winning goals (seven).

"I'm very excited about committing to the Sharks organization for three more years," Wingels said Tuesday, according to CSN Bay Area. "I'm humbled by the opportunity that [general manager] Doug Wilson has given me. ... I think this team can do a lot of special things and I look forward to being a part of that."

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Ducks coach pleased with 'great deal' for Kesler

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 8:17 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on Tuesday raved about the trade that landed Ryan Kesler from the Vancouver Canucks last month.

"Obviously, as a coach, you're sitting there saying, 'That's a great deal,'" Boudreau told the Ducks website at development camp.

The Ducks acquired Kesler and a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft on June 27, sending center Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa and a first-round and third-round pick in the 2014 draft to the Canucks.

"I loved Nick Bonino and [Sbisa], but you're getting a top-flight guy that can give [Ryan Getzlaf] a rest every now and then," Boudreau said. "It gives you strength down the middle. I've never coached a team in the NHL that's had a second-line center that you're going to have with Ryan Kesler. It's a great [acquisition], and it gets you excited."

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Stars intrigued by Honka's offensive potential

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 6:41 PM / NHL Insider

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

FRISCO, Texas -- When the Dallas Stars chose defenseman Julius Honka with the 14th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, they did so knowing the 18-year-old's strengths are on offense.

That makes sense considering Honka had some impressive numbers in 62 games with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League last season: 56 points (16 goals, 40 assists) in his first year playing in North America.

It's not surprising to hear him say he models himself after NHL defensemen known for playing a similar game: Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings and Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators.

"Offensive game [is what I bring], absolutely," Honka said at Stars development camp. "I want to be a big part of that game. I like to play on the power play and a lot of offensive game. That's my style of hockey."

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Canadiens' Beaulieu aims to build on playoff success

Tuesday, 07.08.2014 / 5:53 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

Nathan Beaulieu gave the Montreal Canadiens great bang for their buck during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It might have been a glimpse of what kind of value he can provide in 2014-15.

Beaulieu played a shade over 75 minutes in the playoffs, but it could be argued those minutes were a big reason the Canadiens reached the Eastern Conference Final.

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I might have blacked out. I was pretty pumped.

— New Jersey Devils rookie goalie Keith Kinkaid on his first NHL win Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning
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