• Russia accepts Voynov can’t play at World Cup, Nesterov named as replacement

    Jared Clinton
    Slava Voynov (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Defenseman Slava Voynov won’t be suiting up for Russia at the World Cup of Hockey.

    The Russian Hockey Federation released a statement Monday acknowledging that Voynov will not participate in the tournament, and named Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov as Voynov’s replacement on the Russian blueline. Switching Nesterov in for Voynov comes after weeks of back and forth between the RHF and NHL centering on Voynov’s eligibility to play at the tournament.

    Voynov, 26, remains suspended by the league following domestic violence charges regarding an October 2014 incident. Voynov has remained suspended by the league since the day of the charge. Voynov pleaded no-contest to the charge in July 2015, resulting in a 90-day prison sentence, after which he was taken in by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Voynov then chose to leave the U.S. willingly and head back to his native Russia.

    However, even amidst the controversy surrounding Voynov’s selection to the World Cup roster, the RHF has been trying to get Voynov cleared to play at the tournament. Read more

  • Jamie Benn’s contract sets the bar for John Tavares’ next deal with Islanders

    Jared Clinton
    John Tavares (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    New York Islanders co-owner John Ledecky has already said GM Garth Snow is going to have no financial restrictions when it comes to making the team a Stanley Cup contender once again, and that seems especially true when it comes to locking up Islanders captain John Tavares.

    Tavares, 25, is currently in the fifth year of a six-year, $33-million deal that could see him become an unrestricted free agent come the end of the 2017-18 season. According to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, when Ledecky was asked how the Islanders would approach things when Tavares is inching closer to free agency, he said plainly that Tavares “is not going to be a free agent.”

    While it’s one thing to say it and another to make the deal reality, it sure seems like Ledecky and Co. are willing to do whatever necessary to get Tavares to sign on the dotted line. And while it’s hard to know where Snow’s starting point will be come July 1, 2017 — the day he can officially submit a contract extension offer to Tavares — the eight-year, $76-million deal inked by Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn offers an almost perfect comparable. Read more

  • Senators’ sniper Hoffman says ‘first priority’ is to get deal done in Ottawa

    Jared Clinton
    Mike Hoffman (Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

    It hasn’t been easy for the Ottawa Senators and Mike Hoffman to find common ground when it comes to contract talks.

    Ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, Hoffman, then 25, and the Senators headed to salary arbitration. The winger was looking for a one-year, $3.4-million deal. The Senators countered with a one-year offer worth $1.75 million. When the dust settled, Hoffman was back in Ottawa for the past season on a one-year, $2-million contract that was handed out in arbitration.

    With the one-year deal up, though, Hoffman and the Senators are headed for arbitration once again unless they can come to terms on a new deal before Aug. 4. But Hoffman said the plan — or at least his hope — is that the two sides can come to terms on a deal that will keep him a Senator.

    “That’s obviously my No. 1 goal,” Hoffman said, via The Ottawa Citizen. “I love Ottawa, I love the fans there. We’re a great team, great guys, so that’s obviously my first priority, to try to get something done with them.”

    However, getting a deal done will almost assuredly mean the Senators are going to have to shell out more cash than they had previously after Hoffman upped his goal and point totals to new career highs on this past season’s one-year pact. Read more

  • ‘Analytics hasn’t reached maturity in the NHL yet': Matt Pfeffer

    Shea Weber and P.K. Subban at the 2016 All-Star Skills Competition (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Matt Pfeffer had made peace with the fact that the Montreal Canadiens were going to trade star defenseman P.K. Subban. But he didn’t think dealing Subban to the Nashville Predators for Shea Weber was a good idea and he made his feelings known to Canadiens management. But Pfeffer is not convinced that is why his contract as an analytics consultant with the Canadiens was not renewed.

    “They didn’t tell me it was over that,” Pfeffer told thn.com. “But I guess everyone knows now where I stood on the Subban-Weber trade. There are times when there’s some possibility that there would be another side to the argument, but this was one of those things where it was so, so far outside what could be considered reasonable. I made a pretty strong case, but I made the case that the analytics made. This wasn’t a personal thing.”

    Read more

  • P.K. Subban arrives in Nashville for the first time, sings Johnny Cash

    Jared Clinton
    P.K. Subban poses with fans in Nashville (via Nashville Predators)

    P.K. Subban touched down in Nashville for the first time as a member of the Predators on Sunday, though it’d be hard to tell because Subban looks like he fit right in.

    Subban, 27, was acquired by the Predators on June 29 — days before a no-movement clause was set to kick in on his contract. The deal was an earth-shaker, one which sent Nashville captain and two-time Olympian Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens, but with the dust finally starting to settle on the trade, Subban took the opportunity to head to his new home and pull on a Predators jersey for the first time.

    “It feels good to be in Smashville,” Subban said. “Wearing this jersey just feels right.”

    His day in Nashville was about more than simply wearing the jersey, though. Subban took to the stage at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge to serenade Predators fans with Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” which the Predators captured for everyone’s viewing pleasure. Read more