The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed defenceman MacKenzie Weegar to an eight-year contract extension worth an AAV of $6,250,000.
Weegar, a native of Ottawa, Ontario has spent six seasons with the Florida Panthers where he scored 27 goals and 94 assists for 121 points along with 259 penalty minutes in 306 career games. Last season, Weegar was 26th in NHL defencemen scoring with eight goals and 36 assists for 44 points in 80 games. The 2013 Memorial Cup Champion was originally drafted by the Florida Panthers in the 2013 NHL Draft.
PRAGUE -- When the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks appear at O2 Arena on Friday and Saturday (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, BSSO, NBCSCA) in the 2022 NHL Global Series, they will not play preseason games. They will open the 2022-23 NHL regular season.
These games will count.
But the Predators and Sharks are keeping in perspective that each of these games will count for more than two points in the standings. They're balancing business with the bigger picture.
Instead of closing their practices to the public Thursday, the Predators and Sharks opened them. Music played while they skated before a few thousand fans at the arena, including many kids in NHL, Czech and youth jerseys.
"We were all those kids at some point," Predators center Ryan Johansen said, "and it's just cool with our platforms to inspire and encourage and just kind of make their days and show them that their dreams, if they want to play in the NHL, they can reach them."
A week out from their opener, the Detroit Red Wings are figuring out who their third defense pairing will be.
The top four is set, with newcomers Ben Chiarot and Olli Mäattä pairing with Moritz Seider and Filip Hronek, respectively. The big question on the last pairing is whether 2021 first-round pick Simon Edvinsson will make the team. The Wings wrap up their preseason with a pair of games against the Toronto Maple Leafs, at home Friday and on the road Saturday. Edvinsson is expected to play Friday, and could play both games.
"We're just getting him minutes and time," coach Derek Lalonde said Thursday. "He’s been in our top four, he’s been in that 5-6 role. Just want to get him minutes. He’s been on the penalty kill, he’s been on the power play.
"I think he’s progressed on both. Penalty kill, he’s shown a really long stick. He’s shown an ability to be a little harder than I may have anticipated. He’s shown good anticipation on it. Power play, same thing — I just think it’s typical growth for him. Some games, you can see him good in all areas, and then there’s other games, you can see the areas he needs to develop in. I’m excited about both of them for him."...
In the majority of his four appearances, Edvinsson has been paired with Gustav Lindstrom. The 23-year-old has 92 NHL games to his credit over parts of three seasons — including 63 with the Wings last season — and is hoping a summer of working on his strength and skating will pay off with greater consistency.
"I hope to take some more steps this year, be better over 82 games," he said.
The Crosby-McDavid TSN Top 50 Dynasty has reached 13 years.
Connor McDavid is No. 1 in the TSN pre-season player rankings for a sixth straight season after a seven-year reign by Sidney Crosby.
And it wasn’t close, even though Toronto centre Auston Matthews and Stanley Cup-winning Colorado defenceman Cale Makar had sensational 2021-22 seasons.
No. 2-ranked Matthews was the NHL’s uncontested premier regular season performer, winning the Rocket Richard Trophy, Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award. Matthews received four times as many first-place votes in Hart voting as defending MVP McDavid.
No. 3-ranked Makar, meanwhile, won the Norris Trophy and was the unanimous choice for the Conn Smythe Trophy, becoming just the third defenceman in league history to win both honours in the same season. The other two? Eight-time Norris winner Bobby Orr and seven-time Norris winner Nicklas Lidstrom.
Still, McDavid received all 20 first-place votes, earning unanimous status as TSN’s projected No. 1 player for the 2022-23 season.
Players on the bubble include prospects Simon Edvinsson, Elmer Soderblom and Jonatan Berggren, young players with limited NHL experience in Joe Veleno and Givani Smith, and veteran Steven Kampfer.
All practiced Thursday with the main group ahead of weekend games against Toronto, Friday at Little Caesars Arena (7:30, Bally Sports Detroit) and Saturday at Scotiabank Arena (7 p.m.).
Rosters must be set by 5 p.m. Monday. The Red Wings might reveal their decisions on Sunday.
Lalonde said players battling for jobs all have had their ups and downs in camp.
“It’s going to be difficult,” Lalonde said. “But I think that’s a step in the right direction. Steve (general manager Yzerman) and his group have drafted well, had a good offseason. We have the luxury of some depth. I’m happy that we’re having these tough conversations.”
We are addressing the slowness of KK 2.0. It will be right soon.
From our developer,
As we talked about pre-launch, your new site has some performance issues due to the sheer volume (100k+) of entries, which is stretching the limits of both Craft and the database itself. Every time we pull a listing page that huge number (or the 80k+ in KKH alone) makes the queries drag. It's one of the issues you had in the old EE site as well (although ancient code was a bigger one) because of that huge size.
Our hope was that caching would provide enough of a cushion to the site to make performance stable, but after pushing to production today it became clear pretty quickly that we were maxing out available resources. It's gotten a bit better as the cache has filled out and fewer uncached pages are being hit, but not good enough.
One solution, and the one we were using with the old site, is to throw more power at the problem. That gets expensive though - the host recommended moving to their Pro plan (+$50/month) or adding a dedicated database instance (+$125/month), or maybe both, to add more power to the server. I don't want to run up your monthly costs though and the web server load aside from database access is actually quite low.
We also looked into static caching, where pages are turned into flat html by the cache tool and then represent almost no load on the server, but that has 2 problems - it can't easily be used on listing page, and we can't use it on individual pages because of comments.
Current KK/A2Y members need to log in (top right of page) and you will need to change your password. You will get a confirmation User Saved in the bottom left corner. Take note all email addresses are now verified. New members can just hit the same top right button to register.
Check out the comments below. You will find the ability to embed videos, embed tweets and edit your comment.
You can also flag a comment, a popup flag will appear on the top right of the comment.
Note you can reply to a specific comment which will create a chain for that comment.
Right now the newest comment appears first, as opposed to the newest comment appearing last in the original KK.
There is about a 20 second delay for the comment to appear but that is being worked on.
FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed forward Jason Robertson to a four-year contract, which will run through the 2025-26 season. The four-year contract is worth $31 million and has an average annual value (AAV) of $7.75 million.
“Jason is an integral part of the present and future of our team and we’re thrilled to have him for the next four years,” said Nill. “Since he was drafted by our organization, he has worked tirelessly to become a better player every day. His knack for scoring goals and seeing plays develop on the ice are just some of the tremendous assets that he brings to our team. He is one of the best young players in the NHL and we look forward to seeing him continue to progress.”
The Detroit Red Wings face their sixth preseason game Wednesday at the Washington Capitals, with a home-and-home against the Toronto Maple Leafs still on the horizon this weekend. It was, therefore, a welcome distraction to end Tuesday's practice with both nets in the same zone and facing the same way, rather than face one another....
Groups of three players aside competed against one another. The nets were minded by Ville Husso and Alex Nedeljkovic, both of whom had a good laugh afterwards about the unusual placement of the nets.
"You have to be really aware of what's going on around you," Nedeljkovic said. "It's a tricky one if you're in the high net.
"It's good for competitiveness. Nobody wants to lose. Newsy's bag skates have been pretty tough if you lose. It's great. It's been a good camp so far, all around."
With the season opener still a ways away Oct. 14, adding something lighthearted to practice delighted players.
Congrats to Mathew Barzal on his gleaming 8-year, $73.2 million contract extension with the New York Islanders. But I’m having difficulty believing it will be looked upon favorably when completed in 2031.
To put it bluntly: I think Barzal’s new contract is a bad deal. Not for the player, mind you. Good for Barzal. But I believe the Islanders will feel the sting of that $9.15 million salary cap hit for years to come.
It’s not a question of whether Barzal is a great hockey player. He absolutely is. I think he’s the most electrifying player on the Islanders. But what troubles me is that the Islanders are the definition of a lunch pail team.
New York has a lot of good players that work hard. But there’s simply a dearth of elite talent. Ever since John Tavares left the Islanders in 2018, I don’t think Barzal has played alongside anyone truly capable of unlocking his offensive potential.
With each passing day, two factors are becoming abundantly clear in regards to Red Wings rookie defenseman Simon Edvinsson.
Firstly, he’s getting better all the time. Secondly, where he’ll continue that upward trend once regular-season play gets underway is entirely going to be a decision made by Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman.
“Steve’s job is the big picture,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “I’m the coach, I want to win every game. Steve’s probably got to protect the big picture.”...
The read from talking to people in the game is that the Red Wings probably came into camp leaning toward Edvinsson going to Grand Rapids. Then again, the same could’ve been said a year ago of Lucas Raymond, and that plan didn’t take long to be changing.
Where is Edvinsson going to be playing on opening night? At this point, it’s anyone’s guess. Even the Red Wings decision makers are admitting that right now, they can’t be certain of anything.
“We have a couple more games,” Lalonde said. “I’m not being guarded. I really couldn’t tell you how this is going to play out next week.
“The fact we’re going to have some of these tough decisions is certainly a positive going forward.”
One of 2021-22's biggest breakout seasons belonged to Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson. The 23-year-old from Arcadia, California, exploded for 41 goals and 79 points and even earned some MVP votes for his efforts in helping the Stars get to the postseason.
Conveniently enough for him, that monster season occurred in the final year of his entry-level contract, and although the Stars' season begins on Oct. 13, Robertson is still unsigned....
One of the most aggressive teams during the offseason was the Detroit Red Wings. General manager Steve Yzerman has guided the organization through its rebuilding years, and with many of their up-and-coming prospects are either in the NHL or ready to make an impact there soon, Yzerman sprang into action to give them veteran depth.
After all, with Moritz Seider, Filip Zadina and Lucas Raymond playing alongside Dylan Larkin and Jakub Vrana, adding Ville Husso in goal and Andrew Copp and David Perron up front made a ton of sense to give the Red Wings more pop in the lineup. Adding Robertson on the wing would rightfully start making people think about the Red Wings of recent history.
The last time the Red Wings had a 40-goal scorer was Marian Hossa in 2008-2009 in his one season with Detroit. Bringing in Robertson would give them a perennial threat to score prolifically the way Brendan Shanahan or Sergei Fedorov used to do in Motown in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
It’s been long enough since the Red Wings were any real threat to the rest of the NHL, offensively or otherwise, but acquiring Robertson by using any of the bevy of prospects they’ve drafted over the past few years and using draft picks to sweeten the offer would force Detroit back into the conversation for the postseason once again.
four more teams mentioned to acquire the services of Robertson...
It says a lot about Anze Kopitar — and the Kings — that he has led them in scoring 14 of the last 15 seasons.
“Did he lead it last year too?” longtime teammate Drew Doughty asked. “I thought Phil won it.”
Nope. No. 2 center Phillip Danault made a strong impression in his Kings debut but ranked third with 51 points, behind Kopitar (67) and Adrian Kempe (54).
It was imperative for Kopitar to lead the Kings in scoring as they built up to their 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup championships, as they reached their peak, and then to keep them credible through their painful decline. A No. 1 center must carry his team, and Kopitar has done that at an elite level at both ends of the ice. Only Jeff Carter, in 2016-17, has interrupted the Slovenian center’s dominance since a 20-year-old Kopitar succeeded Michael Cammalleri as the team’s scoring leader in 2007-08.
But as the Kings rise again, they’d be better off if Kopitar doesn’t lead them in scoring this season. At minimum they need him to be seriously challenged for supremacy because that will mean they’ve gathered enough skill and scoring depth to contend for the Cup again.
Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde liked Bertuzzi’s play when he didn’t have the puck as much as the play he made with the puck to set up that goal.
“Impact on the game,” was how Lalonde was assessing Bertuzzi’s performance. “He’s gonna be all over the positives when it comes to the chances for. Obviously made a play on the goalie pull.”
Lalonde also pointed to a play Bertuzzi made early in the third period as a sign of how he’s buying into what the coach is selling to the team.
“Him not being around us a ton, what we’re trying to do away from the puck, kind of take that poach, cheat and lean out of our game, I like that he was committed to some of those things.,” Lalonde said.
“I think his offense happened correctly. It’s a small play but I go to, we’re down 3-0. We get a 2-on-1 our first shift into the third period. It started with a D zone stop which he created. And then the north play ended up with Larks on a 2-on-1 and then a half breakaway there. It started with him being committed in our end.”
As the new season begins, Bettman sat down with Sports Business Journal to discuss what’s next. (Lightly edited for brevity and clarity.)
How does the NHL plan to grow revenue after a record season in 2021-22?
Bettman: We keep it going by continuing to evolve to take advantage of technology. You’ll see digitally enhanced dasherboards this coming season and advertising on jerseys. We keep it going by doing more connectivity using technology with our fans on social media and digital platforms, by using the presence that ESPN and all their platforms and TNT and all their platforms give us and continue to look for new ways to connect our people and our fans to our game.
On the local front, there’s been a lot of change in the RSN landscape. How concerned are you about those deals as a long-term revenue stream for clubs?
Bettman: There will always be a demand for the games, especially locally, in addition to nationally and internationally. We’re monitoring it closely, but over time everybody’s going to have to adjust to the marketplace. Sinclair’s looking at direct to consumer. That’s something that we’re looking at, as well. But we’re trying to be good cooperative partners, to make sure that the regional sports business can be as strong as it can under the circumstances.
We understand that some teams may on their own at some point in time want to go direct to consumers as well. So, we’re making sure we understand all the implications of that so we can help our clubs make those decisions as their agreements expire.
Looking up and down the Red Wings lineup, Smith is one that is likely on the bubble. There’s competition everywhere, from prospects Elmer Soderblom and Jonatan Berggren to veterans Adam Erne and Joe Veleno. So while Smith has showed a knack for goal scoring at times, he’s clearly using his talent to upend and defend as a means to carving out his spot on the final roster.
Detroit is certainly not flush with the physically-minded players. Last season, there was concern about the targeting of the team’s more skillful players by other teams–at times in ways that would warrant punishment if the other way around.
Smith’s role then is no different than a Veleno. Or Erne. Heck, it harkens back to that of former Red Wing Justin Abdelkader, a hard-nosed forward with a penchant to find the net.
It remains to be seen if he’ll have the same output as Adbelkader did earlier in his career. It’s still a question as to whether Smith ends up on the final roster. Pointedly, if exposed to waivers, would another team snag him?
It’s a fact that Smith may end up staying in Detroit due to the requirement of passing through waivers before being being sent down. That being the case, it wouldn’t be surprising for him becoming a rotating forward in the lineup.
Kukla’s Korner is updated around the clock with the work of our own talented bloggers, plus links to the best hockey writing around the internet. We strive to bring you all the breaking hockey news as it happens.
The home page allows you to see the latest postings from every blog on the site. Subscribe here. For general inquiries and more, please contact us anytime.