02-18-2019, 02:08 AM
When John Tavares‘ contract ran out with the New York Islanders San Jose Sharks Hoodies Womens , he took the opportunity to talk with other teams.”I felt like I owed it to myself to see what else was out there,” Tavares said.Tavares’ exploration led him to rediscover his childhood affinity for the Maple Leafs, and his confidence in Toronto’s future led him to sign a monster $77 million, seven-year contract. The Islanders were left with nothing, a mistake other NHL franchises seem determined not to make.Don’t wait. Sometimes not even a day.On Sunday, when Tavares’ departure left a void on Long Island, the Sharks signed Logan Couture, Coyotes signed Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Kings signed Drew Doughty and Lightning signed Ryan McDonagh to long-term deals. None of them would have been free agents until July 1, 2019, and this was the first possible chance to ink extensions that begin more than a year from now.It’s worth every penny to San Jose, Arizona, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay to get those contracts done now rather than risk a key player even exploring unrestricted free agency like Tavares did.”If you wait too long and you get into the situation where they have the potential to walk or explore the UFA market, that can be challenging times,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said.The Ottawa Senators are trapped in such challenging times. They made a contract offer to Norris Trophy-winning captain and 2019 free agent Erik Karlsson, but it’s not a great sign that the real negotiating is only just beginning.”We’re not going there,” GM Pierre Dorion said. ”We don’t really want to talk about roster players, contract negotiations, trades, all these things, but I think we owe it to our fans and we made a promise at the town hall that we would make a contract offer to Erik Karlsson and we’ve done so.”Tick, tick, tick. Even a year away, the pressure is on the Senators to sign Karlsson long term or trade him before the deadline so they don’t end up like the Islanders.The Coyotes made sure they wouldn’t be in that spot by locking up Ekman-Larsson to a $66 million, eight-year deal that the soon-to-be 27-year-old defenseman called ”a no-brainer.” Arizona GM John Chayka calls it ”a huge moment for our entire organization” because there’s now no fear of losing Ekman-Larsson for nothing.”A superstar-caliber player has the option to basically go to any of the 31 teams and felt the loyalty San Jose Sharks Hats Womens , felt the belief in what we were doing enough to sign on long term,” Chayka said, adding that the Coyotes had to convince Ekman-Larsson with actions that they were moving in the right direction.The Kings convinced Doughty of that so much, he knew all season he was going to re-sign. He’s building a new house in the LA area, is getting married this summer and is ready to start a family in a place he wants to stay for essentially the balance of his career.”I never wanted to leave there, to be honest,” Doughty said. ”It will be nice not to answer the question, `Hey are you coming to Toronto? You’re coming to the Leafs, right?’ No, I’m not coming to the Leafs, everyone.”Doughty signing for $88 million over eight years sets the bar for Karlsson, who could face similar questions if he goes into the season without a future contract like Tavares did. Over the past week, Tavares began wondering if he would play for his hometown Maple Leafs, a bond too deep for the Islanders to overcome.Couture grew up not far from Toronto, but he never entertained that possibility because he signed a $64 million, eight-year deal with the Sharks. Couture respected Tavares’ choice and made his own without much difficulty.”We have some very good players: Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Brent Burns, Martin Jones, Evander Kane – very, very good players – Joe Pavelski,” Couture said, rattling off core players all signed long term. ”I want to win. That’s my goal as a hockey player. I believe that San Jose has and will continue to have a very, very good chance at winning in the future. That’s why my decision was so easy.”It was just as easy for McDonagh, who signed a $47.25 million, seven-year deal with the Lightning Custom San Jose Sharks Jerseys , who acquired him at the trade deadline. McDonagh was comfortable with Tampa Bay, which went through an almost-Tavares situation two years ago with captain Steven Stamkos before signing him on the eve of free agency.Days after signing Stamkos in 2016, the Lightning extended top defenseman Victor Hedman at the first possibly moment like they did with McDonagh. GM Steve Yzerman knows how to work ahead, which is often essential in today’s NHL with important players.”(If you wait), you don’t really know how it’s going to go,” Yzerman said. ”We go into next year for both parties, we don’t know, and I think it’s worthwhile exploring the opportunity now.”— ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Nazem Kadri broke a tie with 3:20 to play and Zach Hyman scored twice in the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.Hyman added an empty-net goal in the final minute to seal Toronto’s fourth straight victory and Minnesota’s third loss in a row.The Maple Leafs improved to 19-8-0, a point behind Tampa Bay for the NHL lead.Kadri’s goal bounced off Wild defenseman Nick Seeler, who was on the wrong end of two such plays Saturday. Seeler also had a puck deflect off him and into his own goal when Tyler Ennis scored Toronto’s second goal of the night.Auston Matthews also scored, and Frederick Anderson made 38 saves for the Maple Leafs for his 15th victory of the season. Matthews scored Toronto’s first goal, his third in two games since returning from a shoulder injury that sidelined him 14 games.The win came after news broke that Toronto signed restricted free-agent William Nylander to a six-year extension, ending an impasse with his contract. Saturday was the deadline for a deal to be done.Jason Zucker, Eric Staal and Jordan Greenway scored for Minnesota.LIGHTNING 5, PANTHERS 4, OTSUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Brayden Point scored a power-play goal 3:12 into overtime and Tampa Bay overcame a 4-1 deficit to beat Florida.Point took a pass from Nikita Kucherov across the front of the crease to the left side and flipped it past James Reimer. Tampa Bay improved to 19-7-1, a point ahead of Toronto for the overall NHL lead.Kucherov had a goal and two assists, Cedric Paquette, Mathieu Joseph and Alex Killorn also scored, and Louis Domingue made 24 saves. Evgenii Dadonov and Jonathan Huberdeau each had a goal and an assist, and Frank Vatrano and Aleksander Barkov also scored for the Panthers.SENATORS 6, SHARKS 2OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Ben Harpur scored his first NHL goal www.mapleleafsshoponline.com , Craig Anderson stopped 36 shots and the Senators beat San Jose to spoil Erik Karlsson’s return to Ottawa.The former Senators captain was playing his first game in Ottawa since he was traded to San Jose in the offseason. The team honored the two-time Norris Trophy winner with a video tribute.Ryan Dzingel, Mark Stone, Mikkel Boedker, Magnus Paajarvi and Bobby Ryan also scored tp help the Senators win their third straight. Boedker added three assists for a four-point outing.Joe Thornton and Barclay Goodrow scored for the Sharks. They have lost four in a row.ISLANDERS 3, BLUE JACKETS 2UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Casey Cizikas scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and New York won in its return to the Nassau Coliseum, rallying to beat Columbus.Anders Lee and Anthony Beauvillier scored in the second period to tie it, and Thomas Greiss stopped 28 shots. Markus Hannikainen and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for Columbus.It was the Islanders‘ first regular season game in 3 1/2 years at the Coliseum, the team’s home from its inception in 1972 until 2015. This was the first of 21 games at the arena as part of a unique arrangement with Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the Islanders’ home since the 2015-16 season.COYOTES 6, BLUES 1GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Clayton Keller had a goal and two assists and Arizona scored four second-period goals to rout St. Louis.Richard Panik, Jakob Chychrun, Christian Fischer, Nick Cousins and Alex Goligoski also scored for the Coyotes. Panik added an assist and Nick Schmaltz and Derek Stepan had two each to help Arizona win its third straight. Adin Hill, pressed into service in goal with the Coyotes’ top two goaltenders, Antti Raanta and Darcy Kuemper, out with injuries, finished with 25 saves in his second consecutive start.Robert Thomas scored for the Blues.FLYERS 4, PENGUINS 2PITTSBURGH (AP) — Dale Weise scored in the first minute of the third period and Philadelphia held on to beat Pittsburgh.Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny and Jakub Voracek also scored, and Anthony Stolarz stopped 30 shots.Sidney Crosby scored his 14th for Pittsburgh, and Riley Sheahan added a goal. The Penguins have lost two straight and seven of 10.RED WINGS 4, BRUINS 2BOSTON (AP) — Frans Nielsen scored his first goal of the season to break a tie with 8:07 left, and Jimmy Howard made 37 saves in Detroit’s victory over Boston.Tyler Bertuzzi and Dylan Larkin had second-period goals Toronto Maple Leafs T-Shirts Womens , and Gustav Nyquist added an empty-netter. The Red Wings improved 11-4-1 in their last 16 games after opening the season 1-7-2.David Backes and Ryan Donato scored for Boston.STARS 2, CANUCKS 1VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Alex Radulov scored with 3:23 left to lift Dallas past Vancouver.Jamie Benn had a third-period goal, and Ben Bishop made 24 saves in his return from a lower-body injury. Dallas is 3-1-1 in its last five games.Bo Horvat scored for Vancouver. The Canucks have only one win in their past 12.JETS 4, DEVILS 3, OTNEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Mark Scheifele scored his second goal of the game at 4:43 of overtime, tucking the puck past Keith Kinkaid to lift Winnipeg past New Jersey.Josh Morrissey and Andrew Copp also scored, and Laurent Brossoit made 36 saves. Marcus Johansson, Jesper Bratt and Taylor Hall scored for New Jersey. The Devils have lost five straight.PREDATORS 5, BLACKHAWKS 2NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Eeli Tolvanen scored his first NHL goal and added an assist to lead Nashville past Chicago.Craig Smith, Kevin Fiala and Ryan Johansen also each had a goal and an assist, Austin Watson added an empty-netter, and Pekka Rinne stopped 19 shots.Brandon Saad and Artem Anisimov scored for Chicago.CANADIENS 5, RANGERS 2MONTREAL (AP) — Shea Weber and Artturi Lehkonen each scored twice and Montreal beat New York to snap a five-game losing streak.Tomas Tatar also scored, and Carey Price stopped 20 shots. Jimmy Vesey and Ryan Strome scored for the Rangers.OILERS 2, GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Ryan Spooner scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, lifting Edmonton past Vegas.Connor McDavid also scored as the Oilers won their third straight and improved to 4-1-1 under new coach Ken Hitchcock. Mikko Koskinen stopped 31 shots.William Karlsson scored for the Golden Knights, who snapped a season-high five-game winning streak. Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 32 saves.