Last week was a busy one around the hockey world. Here are five prominent stories from the week that was.
1) Brent Burns Signs Long-Term Extension: The top unrestricted free agent was taken off the market early as the Sharks inked Brent Burns to an eight year, $64MM contract extension. The contract contains a limited no-trade clause as well. The deal gives him the second highest cap hit amongst defensemen in the league behind Nashville’s P.K. Subban. As for San Jose, they’ll now turn their focus to a pair of key pending UFAs up front in Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.
2) Las Vegas Reveals Team Name: After months of speculation, Las Vegas owner Bill Foley revealed that the expansion franchise, which will begin play in 2017-18, will be called the Vegas Golden Knights. The team also displayed their logo for the first time although their uniforms will be unveiled sometime in the new year. Shortly after that, the NHL released the list of mandatory-protected players for the expansion draft which will take place in June.
3) NHL Announces Changes To All-Star Eligibility: Following last season where fans stuffed the virtual ballot box for seldom-used enforcer John Scott (who was in the minors at the time the game was held), the league made some tweaks to their eligibility rules to prevent a situation like this from happening again. Any player who is assigned to the minors between November 1st and January 26th will not be eligible to be voted into the game. (An exception to this rule will be players on conditioning assignments.) Beyond that, however, fans can vote for any player; the list hasn’t been reduced to only top players from each division.
4) Canucks Sign Ben Hutton To A Two Year Extension: Vancouver locked up one of their core blueliners to a bridge deal that will carry a cap hit of $2.8MM for 2017-18 and 2018-19. He’s in his second NHL season and has five points in 22 games so far this season while averaging over 21 minutes per night. GM Jim Benning noted that they would like to get center Bo Horvat signed to a long-term deal next.
5) Matt Carle Retires: After clearing waivers earlier in the week, Nashville defenseman Matt Carle announced his retirement. The 32 year old finishes his career having played parts of 12 NHL seasons with the Sharks, Flyers, Lightning, and Predators, scoring 45 goals while adding 238 assists in 730 NHL games. He retires as the third highest point getter all-time among Alaskan-born players.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.