ANAHEIM, Calif. - Forward Tim Jackman has agreed to a one-year, $637,500 contract extension with the Anaheim Ducks for next season.
The Ducks announced the deal Saturday.
Jackman has fit in well in just 20 games with the NHL-leading Ducks, who acquired him from Calgary for a sixth-round draft pick on Nov. 21, 2013.
The rugged right wing has two points and 48 penalty minutes with Anaheim, his sixth NHL team. He has played several roles for the Ducks, filling in on multiple lines and providing physical defensive play.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau also said centre Mathieu Perreault's upper-body injury is likely to keep him out of their home game against Carolina on Sunday night. Perreault was hurt early in the third period of Anaheim's 1-0 win over St. Louis on Friday.
Tomas Plekanec isn’t scoring quite like he used to and that’s an issue with the veteran carrying a $6-million cap hit. Meanwhile, the Wild might be forced to make a hard choice on the blueline with expansion looming.
After putting up 60 and 54 points over the last two seasons, Montreal Canadiens second-line center Tomas Plekanec's numbers are down considerably this season. With only 19 points in 42 games, the 34-year-old's on pace for a 37-point campaign. That would be his lowest in a non-lockout season since his 39-point effort in 2008-09.
That drop in Plekanec's production sparked some questions about his future in Montreal. On Saturday, Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reported “there's a sense” he could be available at the March 1 trade deadline if his production doesn't improve.
Even if the Canadiens opt to move Plekanec by the deadline, his contract is a tough sell. Though he only has one year remaining, the annual average value is $6 million. Not many teams will come calling for a declining center in his mid-thirties carrying that expensive salary-cap hit.
WILD MAY HAVE TO DEAL WITH LOST DEFENDER
The Minnesota Wild possess considerable depth on defense. However, they risk losing a blueliner in this summer's expansion draft.
As per expansion draft rules, veteran Ryan Suter's no-movement clause ensures he must be protected. Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella and Matt Dumba all lack movement clauses. Even if the Wild opted to protect the maximum of four defensemen, one of them could still be plucked away by the Vegas Golden Knights.
Rather than lose a defenseman for nothing to the expansion draft, there's some talk that Wild GM Chuck Fletcher might move one of those rearguards to bolster his depth at center. However, TSN's Pierre LeBrun reports Fletcher won't be moving a blueliner before the trade deadline.
Fletcher could be resigned to the fact he's going to lose a good young defenseman at the expansion draft. He will have a narrow window of opportunity to perhaps trade one of them before he has to submit his list of protected players before 5 p.m. ET on June 17.
After netting a career-high 49 points in 2015-16, Spooner has only 21 points in 43 games this season. Since Dec. 12, his production has shown signs of improvement, netting 12 points in 15 games.
Despite that uptick in his offense, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reported Sunday there's talk the Bruins could shop Spooner for a defenseman. His third-period benching during the Bruins' 4-3 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes won't quell the trade rumors.
Given the Bruins' limited secondary scoring, they could hang onto Spooner for the remainder of the season. If his production keeps improving, he could provide the Bruins with vital offensive depth in their quest for a playoff berth.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
Hayley Wickenheiser’s resume includes four Olympic gold medals, two Olympic MVPs, and seven World Championship titles. She has one of the most decorated international careers of any woman ever, and she’s destined to enter the Hall of Fame.
One of the game’s great international players and a legend of women’s hockey has decided to call it a career.
On Friday evening, Hayley Wickenheiser, who has an international and professional career spanning more than two decades, announced that she has played her final game for Team Canada. The 38-year-old made the announcement on Twitter, saying that it has been “the greatest honor” of her life to play for Team Canada throughout her career. Wickenheiser told the Canadian Press’ Donna Spencer that the decision comes as she gets set to enter into medical school.
Wickenheiser’s career has been nothing short of remarkable. Over the course of her 276-game career, she netted 168 goals and 379 points and stands as Canada’s all-time leading scorer. Wickenheiser won four consecutive gold medals at the Olympics, from 2002 in Salt Lake City to 2014 in Sochi, and captured seven World Championship titles, her first coming in 1994 and final one in 2007. She also added another seven silver medals to her totals along the way.
One of her best international performances for the longtime Canadian captain came at the 2002 Olympics. En route to Canada’s first Olympic gold in women’s hockey, Wickenheiser scored seven goals and 10 points in five games and landing the tournament’s MVP award. Her most impressive performance, however, came at the Turin Olympics in 2006 when she netted five goals and a mind-blowing 17 points in five games, taking home gold and a second-straight MVP award.
Over her entire Olympic career, Wickenheiser scored 18 goals, 51 points and netted nearly two points per game. She’s the tournament’s all-time leading scorer.
Wickenheiser has plied her trade with the CIS’ University of Calgary Dinos and played her final CWHL season with the CWHL’s Calgary Inferno. During her four year tenure with the Dinos, playing against a number of players nearly half her age, Wickenheiser posted an incredible 55 goals and 134 points in 68 games. In the CWHL, she notched three goals and 16 points in 23 games during the 2015-16 season.
Wickenheiser’s impact in the women’s game goes beyond what she did on the ice against other women, however. She broke barriers during her career, becoming the first women’s player in history to suit up in the Finnish third league in 2002-03. During her time with Salamat, she scored one goal and four points in 12 games before netting an additional goal and seven points in 11 total post-season contests. Her play helped Salamat earn a division promotion, and in 2003-04, she stuck with the team and became the first woman to compete in the Finnish second league.
She again tried her hand at the men’s game in 2008-09 when she suited up for 21 games with Sweden’s Linden Hockey. She scored one goal and three points during her stay in the Swedish league.
With everything she has accomplished over the course of her career, and with the impact she has had on the women’s game as a star and role model, the next stop for Wickenheiser is undoubtedly the Hockey Hall of Fame. Four women are currently enshrined in the Hall, and Wickenheiser is sure to join Angela Ruggiero, Geraldine Heaney, Cammi Granato and Angela James in short order.
The Breakaway Challenge is no more, but the often ridiculous event at the skills competition offered up some fantastic moments and great laughs. Take a look back at the five best attempts.
The highlight of the NBA’s all-star weekend, almost without fail, is the Slam Dunk Contest. The event has delivered moments like Michael Jordan’s foul line dunk, Vince Carter’s forearm in the rim jam and last season’s phenomenal showdown between Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine.
It would only make sense then that the NHL would try its hand at imitating the event, creating the Breakaway Challenge as its version of the dunk competition. The goal was simple: wow the crowd with incredible displays of puckhandling or win them over with props and creativity. Most players went for the latter, and it’s been one of the more ridiculous and comical events at the all-star weekend over the past six skills competitions.
However, after its six-season run as one of the weekend’s events, the NHL has decided to do away with the Breakaway Challenge, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos. The news only a couple of weeks before the league is set to head to Los Angeles for the All-Star Game and is at least a slight indication that some new competitions could be part of the format.
With the Breakaway Challenge no more, though, let’s take a look back at five of the very best and most memorable moments from the contest:
5. Johansen gets some help, but Voracek one-ups him
Ryan Johansen had the Columbus crowd in the palm of his hands by using an Ohio State jersey as a prop, and he really got the crowd on its feet by getting a youngster to help bury a shot. It was a great moment, for sure, but Jakub Voracek really got the crowd laughing by stealing Johansen’s idea with the help of another kid on hand: diminutive Flames star Johnny Gaudreau.
4. Ovechkin is the new Captain Canada
If this is the end of the Breakaway Challenge for good, then Alex Ovechkin will go down as the greatest participant the competition has ever had. He won the first ever event in 2008 and with the chance to defend his crown in 2009, he pulled out all the stops, getting a hand from fellow countryman Evgeni Malkin and endearing himself to the Montreal crowd with an interesting choice of headwear.
3. The transformation of Burns
It almost doesn’t matter which team you support when it comes to Brent Burns. He’s an absolute stud on the blueline for the Sharks, he’s one of the most exciting players in the game, he’s got a unique love of animals and he has a Harry Potter tattoo. That last one will only please a certain generation of fan, but it’s indicative of the personality he brings. Burns also isn’t afraid to make light of his grizzled appearance, and he pulled off the perfect gag at the 2016 All-Star Game.
2. SuperKane takes center stage in Ottawa
Ovechkin was the king of the Breakaway Challenge for three straight All-Star Games, and it took a superhuman performance by Patrick Kane for someone to finally take the crown from the ‘Great 8.’ Kane went prop heavy with his attempts, but the clever use of an “exploding” puck was really the topper.
1. Subban pays tribute to greatness
As he continues his career well into his 40s, Jaromir Jagr’s status as one of the game’s most beloved players grows, and that seemingly goes for both players and fans alike. So, how do you win over an entire crowd and one of the greatest players the game has ever seen in one breakaway attempt? Well, you throw on a mullet, a Jagr jersey, some Cooperalls and cap it off with a salute.
The Chicago Blackhawks superstar is climbing up the scoring charts again and his ability to beguile goaltenders with his intentions is helping him get there
Don't look now, but Patrick Kane is gunning for another Art Ross Trophy. The Chicago Blackhawks superstar has 10 points in his past six games and currently sits just behind Edmonton wunderkind Connor McDavid for the NHL scoring lead.
The Blackhawks just dropped a 3-2 contest to Minnesota (no shame there; the Wild are a heavy outfit), but Kane was a terror, throwing two goals past Vezina favorite Devan Dubnyk. What's most interesting about Kane's attack is how he put the shots past Dubnyk. Here's the first one, which admittedly, probably came with some luck:
OK, Kane's not an evil genius for knuckling one under Dubnyk because the puck was rolling, but let's go to the second goal for a better example of his craftiness:
There we go. Firing a rocket that Dubnyk clearly wasn't prepared for, and doing so amidst a bunch of skates when most shooters would have pulled the puck out of the fray first. Few players are as confident as Kane is with the puck and that's a weapon he uses to exploit goaltenders time and again. Historically, just look back to the most famous goal he ever scored, the overtime Stanley Cup game-winner against Philadelphia – as we've all seen countless times, Kane was basically the only person in the arena who knew the puck had gone in. Interesting side note – Colorado's Matt Duchene once told me that he knew the puck had gone in right away because he had been studying the older Kane and seen the trick once before. But for those of us who aren't elite hockey players, Kane's maneuvers are consistently quite impressive.
In an era where goal-scoring is at a premium, there's a reason why Kane has still been successful and his obfuscation is a big part of it. Same goes for Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews – they're thinking about offense on a different level from mere mortals. On the other end of the spectrum, you still have a couple of elite scorers who can overpower netminders with their shots: Patrik Laine and Alex Ovechkin, who are currently tied in both goals and points, which I believe is a nice bit of cosmic alignment.
Last year, Kane won the scoring crown with 106 points and he was the only NHLer to hit triple digits. Right now, no one is on pace to break 100, though Crosby is in the ballpark if he has a hot second half. Defensive schemes and excellent goaltenders are suppressing offense right now, but at least we still have a few artists like Kane working on the assembly line.