While the Anaheim Ducks didn’t have to discuss a long-term extension with goaltender John Gibson this summer, the team wanted to get their 25-year-old netminder signed as quickly as possible, according to The Athletic’s Eric Stephens (subscription required). They did that Saturday when they signed him to an eight-year, $51.2MM signing with an AAV of $6.4MM.
One of the key reasons general manager Bob Murray and the Ducks negotiated the deal now was the team wanted to avoid the possibility that Gibson would have an even greater year than what he had, which would have driven up the price even more. The team now expects Gibson to raise his game anyway as he must improve his playoffs stats and attempt to remain healthy, which has occasionally been a problem, because eight years is a long ways down the road.
- In an interview with Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman (subscription required) asked several questions about Ryan Kesler, who missed the first three months of last season after undergoing hip surgery in the offseason, and really struggled after returning. With rumors of Kesler potentially missing more time or sitting out an entire season this year, Carlyle said everything will come down to training camp. “His body will have three months of rest and rehabilitation,” said Carlyle. “Now here we go, training camp is going to be another test. What he went through last year wasn’t what he envisioned or we envisioned. He’s a guy who is very determined. I don’t think it’s about excuses. It’s about finding the right fit. It’s hard to point a finger in any one direction when you’ve got people that are not 100 percent. We’ll support the players and try to find the right combination. But we went through this once. I’m sure we’re not going to take the same route as we did the last time. There’s going to have to be a different approach taken.”
- Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Ed Graney wonders whether the Vegas Golden Knights should be worried about their backup goaltending situation. The team had issues with 33-year-old starter Marc-Andre Fleury in the past as he missed two months earlier in the season due to a possible concussion. The team has 24-year-old Malcolm Subban as the backup, but he also dealt with numerous injuries throughout the season and then the playoffs. While Subban finished the season with 13 victories in 22 appearances, his numbers weren’t that good as he posted a 2.68 GAA and a .910 save percentage. Is he the goaltender of the future? Most don’t think so.
- The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa (subscription required) featured veteran minor league defenseman Tommy Cross, who didn’t want to leave the Boston Bruins. However, with a goal to become an NHL-level defenseman and time running out, the 28-year-old blueliner opted to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Cross has played 279 games with the Providence Bruins in the AHL after signing out of Boston College, but has managed to appear in just six NHL games so far and been passed over by so many prospects that the three-year AHL captain felt it was time to move on.