MacKenzie has spent the last two seasons with the Panthers, primarily in a fourth line/penalty killing role. Last year, the 35 year old played in 64 games, recording seven goals and six assists. In 453 games between Atlanta, Columbus, and Florida, he has 42 goals and 53 helpers.
This offseason, MacKenzie inked a two year extension that locked him up through the 2018-19 season. The deal will pay him an average of $1.35MM per year, a small raise over the $1.3MM he’s set to earn this season.
It was widely anticipated that 2014 top pick Aaron Ekblad was going to receive the captaincy but instead he will be one of the alternate captains along with veteran forward Jussi Jokinen. Presumably, this was done to allow Ekblad to ease into a leadership role instead of putting the extra pressure on him at just 20 years of age.
Only two teams are without full-time captains for the upcoming season, Carolina and Toronto.
Other news and notes from the Atlantic Division:
- The Detroit Red Wings have placed four players on injured reserve to start the season, notes MLive’s Brendan Savage. Most notably among them is right winger Tomas Jurco, who played in 44 games with the team last year and would likely have been in a depth role at the start of the season. Also placed on IR were center Tomas Nosek and defensemen Vili Saarijarvi and Dan Renouf. Earlier in the week, head coach Jeff Blashill told George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press that the team is expected to carry eight blueliners to start the season, in part due to the uncertainty surrounding Niklas Kronwall’s availability for opening night.
- Before cutting him earlier this month, the Montreal Canadiens offered defenseman Yuri Alexandrov a one year, two-way contract, Slava Malamud reports in a column for the Journal de Montreal (link in French). The 28 year old has spent the last five years in the KHL and decided to return there over signing with Montreal and starting the season in the AHL. Alexandrov has already expressed a desire to make another run at an NHL spot next year. It would appear that the Canadiens’ acquisition of Jonathan Racine from Florida on Saturday fills the spot that they had intended to give Alexandrov.