Michael Matheson might not be the definition of a household name, but the Florida Panthers clearly understand what he can bring to the table. The team inked him to an eight-year extension yesterday, which was officially announced earlier today. Panthers’ GM Dale Tallon was complimentary of the young defenseman, and how he went about the negotiating process.
He’s going to skate, carry the puck and log a lot of minutes for us for a long time. The fact that he wanted to be a Panther for life, for us, was really impressive.
Matheson is an elite skater, but hasn’t yet take the next step to being an offensive force for the Panthers. They’ll hope he can find that next level after registering 17 points last season. The 23-year old will see his eight-year, $39MM contract ($4.88MM AAV) kick in next year.
- Ottawa Senators defenseman Ben Harpur has been placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury according to Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia. The Senators have nine defensemen on the roster after the call-up of Thomas Chabot, but both Erik Karlsson and Johnny Oduya are still not locks to get back into the lineup. The team may have to go with seven defensemen anyway in their next game, as they look to rebound from consecutive shootout losses to open the season.
- The NHL released its first “Three Stars of the Week” for the 2017-18 season, and who else but Alex Ovechkin could be number one. Ovechkin scored an incredible seven goals in his first two games, almost as a direct response to all those who doubted his place on the Capitals going forward. After so much was written about how the Capitals may have to break up their core in order to win, Ovechkin came storming out of the gate and helped the club to two wins to start the season. Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, and Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds were the second and third stars respectively.