Tag:Zdeno Chara
Posted on: September 15, 2011 9:52 am
Edited on: September 15, 2011 11:36 am

Sabres' Myers gets 7-year, $38.5M extension

By Brian Stubits

Yesterday the news came down that an extension for Tyler Myers was close in Buffalo. Today the deal is done after Myers and the Sabres reached a seven-year deal.

"We had two sides that wanted to stay together," Myers' agent, J.P. Barry, told the Buffalo News on Wednesday. "Tyler wanted to remain a Sabre, and having this done at an early stage was something that he wanted. He's happy that the club approached him about wanting to do this early."

A short while after the team announced the seven-year deal, the numbers on the contract slipped out. From Darren Dreger at TSN: "Myers 7 years, $38.5. $10M signing bonus July 1, 2012, the first day of ext. That means over a quarter of the contract is paid on day one." The Associated Press confirmed the value of the contract.

That part about the signing bonus and so much being paid on the first day is bound to raise some eyebrows. The contract is incredibly front-loaded, somewhat similar to many of the contracts that have drawn criticism in recent years, most notably Marian Hossa's and Ilya Kovalchuk's. But moreover, many are viewing it as an indication of the labor situation in the NHL.

From TSN's Bob McKenzie:

"Myers' $10M SB amounts to lockout protection. IF there were, say, season-long lockout, he'd still get his $10M, only lose $2M in salary."

With the length of the contract, it will take Myers until he is 28 and if an extension isn't signed before then, he will be eligible for unrestricted free agency. Of course, with the way things are starting to go in Buffalo with new ownership, I'm not too sure why he would be interested in leaving if the future really is as bright as it seems.

Myers, one of the biggest players in NHL history at 6-feet-8, won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie two seasons when he scored 11 goals with 37 assists and a plus-13. A debut season like that had people envisioning the next Zdeno Chara, a mountain of a man with a massive shot on the blueline. But he regressed some last season, seeing his point total dip by 11.

I must admit, I'm leery of such a long contract. There are very few players that I'd be comfortable signing to such a long deal and they are of the Alex Ovechkin/Steven Stamkos mold. It's just a risky proposition, you never know what could happen.

But of course the other side of the coin is that it gives the Sabres long-term stability at an important position with a potential perennial all-star.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 8, 2011 6:55 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 7:04 pm

More on Drew Doughty and the Kings

Doughty1By: Adam Gretz

There are still a small number of restricted free agents yet to sign a new deal with their respective clubs, and perhaps none are bigger than Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Training camp is just around the corner, and with each passing day it's looking more and more likely that the young standout may not be signed on time, a situation that was discussed back in early August.

Earlier on Thursday Helene Elliot of the Los Angeles Times tweeted that Kings general manager Dean Lombardi and Doughty's agent, Don Meehan, have agreed that they won't publicly comment on the negotiations (with no deal appearing imminent), while it's also expected that the 21-year-old defenseman will not attend the team's hockey fanfest this upcoming weekend.

That news was eventually followed by Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos asking where the Kings go now that Doughty has reportedly turned down multiple offers, including a potential nine-year, $61.2 million contract.

Assuming that offer was on the table, it would have matched Anze Kopitar for the largest average annual salary ($6.8 million) on the team. It also would have put him in the top-20 among all NHL salary cap hits, and fourth among defensemen for the 2010-11 season, trailing only Nashville's Shea Weber, Florida's Brian Campbell and Boston's Zdeno Chara

Doughty, who turns 22 in December, is coming off a season that saw him score 11 goals and 29 assists in 76 games, a decent drop from the previous season when he recorded 59 points from the blue line.

When you're talking about a contract, especially with a player as young as Doughty, you're not just paying for what the player has done (and when you're looking at a player like Doughty you're dealing with a player that's already a bright young star in the NHL) but also what the player will do in the future. There's projection involved, and for as good as Doughty already is, he's likely to get better for at least a couple of more years.

Is that worth making him one of the five-highest paid defensemen in the NHL at this point?

The Kings were willing to go to nearly $7 million on a contract for Kopitar after three seasons (the same point in his career that Doughty is) when Kopitar probably wasn't held in as high a regard among other forwards across the league as Doughty currently is among other defensemen. So it shouldn't seem that outrageous that numbers like this are being kicked around.

In the end, I still think something that falls somewhere between the cap hit Keith Yandle received earlier this summer, and the $7 million mark that has been topped by a small handful of defensemen is a more than fair average annual salary for what Doughty has already accomplished, and what he should accomplish in the near future.

There is still time to work something out and get Doughty signed before any of training camp (or worse, actual regular season games) is missed, but it does appeare to be running out.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 25, 2011 10:32 am
Edited on: July 25, 2011 3:13 pm

Daily Skate: Jets donate to Air Force; Sir Chara

By Brian Stubits

CO-PILOTS: When the Winnipeg Jets released their long-awaited new logo, it was met with plenty of mixed reactions with a lot of people pointing out how similar the design is to the Canadian Air Force's design. Turns out, that was part of the plan. The CBC shared that the Jets and the Air Force struck a partnership in which the Jets will donate $1 million over 10 years to Air Force family charities.

JUST CALL HIM SIR: Zdeno Chara got not one, but two days with the Stanley Cup when his turn came. Spending the weekend back in his home country of Slovakia, Chara was very busy signing autographs, snapping photos, arm wrestling (where he lies down) and even being knighted. What I want to know is if they could find armor big enough for him to fit in. After visiting the Czech Republic (Thomas Kaberle and David Krejci) Slovakia and Finland (with Tuukka Rask), the Cup comes back to North America for some visits in Ontario.

OH, OVIE: Alex Ovechkin didn't exactly get knighted in his recent trip back to Russia, he was awarded in another way. The Russian Machine Never Breaks has photos of Ovechkin being feted at halftime of a soccer match where he was bestowed with the traditional Dagestani burka and papakha, which is a wool hat. Just take a look at the pictures. Ovechkin looks more like Cher from the 70s than anything else. Nonetheless, it's an honor for the Capitals star.

GETTING OUT THE VOTE: As we have shared, August 1 will be a monumental day in New York Islanders history as that's when the proposal for a new arena goes to the public for vote. If the vote passes, the team will stick on Long Island, if it fails then the relocation talk will get real. Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank shares what some displaced Islanders fans are doing to contribute to the effort, starting chain emails encouraging people to go out and vote yes.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 2:36 pm

Yashin's KHL contract will not be renewed


By: Adam Gretz

Alexei Yashin has spent the past four years playing professional hockey in Russia with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv and (most recently) St. Petersburg SKA. It was announced by SKA general manager, Alexei Kasatonov, that Yashin's contract will not be renewed by the club so it can "embark on the road to a younger squad," according to Sport-Express.

The 37-year-old Yashin scored 15 goals in 52 games with SKA this past season, and added another goal and four assists in four postseason games.

The reports that his contract won't be renewed in Russia has, naturally, sparked discussion as to whether or not he could make an attempt to return to the NHL. James O'Brien at Pro Hockey Talk outlined the positives and obvious red flags that Yashin would present to a potential NHL roster, while Dmitry Chesnokov also passed along the word that Yashin's agent, Mark Gardner, told Sovetsky Sport that he has already received an offer from one NHL team.

He hasn't played a game in the NHL since the 2006-07 season with the New York Islanders when he registered 18 goals and 32 assists in 58 games. In the past, Yashin has publicly stated a desire to return to the Islanders.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 1992 entry draft, Yashin spent seven seasons with the Ottawa Senators, many of them tumultuous, before finally being traded to the Islanders prior to the 2001-02 season for a package that included future Norris Trophy winning defenseman Zdeno Chara, forward Bill Muckalt and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2001 draft, which Ottawa used to select Jason Spezza.

From there, Yashin signed what was one of the first contracts to reach 10 years in length in the NHL, agreeing to a 10-year deal worth more than $87 million.

Considering what the Islanders surrendered to Ottawa, the amount of money they invested in Yashin, and the return they received on that investment (his offensive production declined from where it was with the Senators) it turned out to be a terrible deal for the Islanders in hindsight, even though they did qualify for the postseason in three of his four years with the club (never advancing past the first round) -- something they hadn't done in the seven years before acquiring him.

The Islanders bought out his contract back in June of 2007, and he still counts for more than $2 million against their salary cap, and will continue to do so through the 2014-15 season.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 14, 2011 5:41 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 5:56 pm

Adam McQuaid signs 3-year extension with Bruins

By: Adam Gretz

The last time Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid had his name in the news he was taking part in a dragon boat race with Kate Middleton, which came just weeks after he lifted the Stanley Cup. Not a bad start to the summer, and it ended up getting a little better on Thursday when he signed a three-year contract extension through the 2014-15 season.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the 24-year-old defenseman made $550,000 last season and is set to make $600,000 this upcoming season.

Originally a second-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, McQuaid has spent the past two seasons with Boston, appearing in 86 games and scoring four goals. He played in 23 of Boston's 25 postseason games on its way to the Stanley Cup, only sitting out when he was injured after flying head first into the boards when attempting to take a run at Philadelphia's Mike Richards.

At 6-foot-5, 205 pounds he can be an intimidating figure on the blue line and is more than willing to drop the gloves. According to hockeyfights.com he was involved in 12 fights last season, and usually ended up getting the better of his opponent.

With McQuaid signed for another four years (next season, plus the three years on the contract extension) Boston now has four members of its blueline under contract for at least the next two seasons: McQuaid, Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 14, 2011 1:35 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 1:46 pm

Recovering Pacioretty plays in charity game

By Brian Stubits

Max Pacioretty's recovery from his vicious hit into a stanchion last season took another step this week, albeit a "weird" one.

Pacioretty suited up and played all of his shifts in the Big Assist annual charity game (it benefits the Obie Harrington-Howes Foundation, which works to improve the quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries and diseases), skating with Martin St. Louis from the Lightning and Matt Moulson of the Islanders. The Canadiens forward even got on the score sheet, netting a goal and a few assists.

Most importantly, though, it was his first competitive action since he was hospitalized after the hit from Zdeno Chara. A charity game doesn't exactly compare to the rigors of an NHL game, but it's still a step.

"It felt ... I don't know, I guess it just felt weird," Pacioretty said following the game. "It was weird at first, but as the game went on I think I felt a little more comfortable, and I'm looking forward now to gaining some momentum off of that.

"I had a lot of time off since my injury, and now I'm just working on putting on muscle and trying to get as big and as fast as possible,"

The Canadiens would love to have Pacioretty back and fully healthy for next season. The native of Connecticut was enjoying his best season of his young career last year before it ended with just 37 games played. In that time, though, he scored 14 goals and added 10 more assists for Montreal, easily surpassing his totals of 3-11=14 in 54 games two seasons ago.

Ever since the injury, Pacioretty has been vocal about not wanting any more discipline for Chara and that he just wanted to move on. He's sticking by that stance.

"The past is the past, and I can dwell on it as much as I want, but that will do me no good," he said. "So I'm going to do everything I can to work toward the future and get ready for next year."

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: June 21, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 5:43 pm

Crosby beats out Ovechkin for top-selling jersey

So who's the bigger star: Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin? It's an ongoing debate, but you can notch one in The Kid's department. Again.

For the sixth consecutive season, Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins jersey was the highest-selling jersey in the NHL, edging out Ovechkin at No. 2. They were followed up by Blackhawks teammates Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, then Crosby's teammate Evgeni Malkin rounded out the top five.

Both the Blackhawks and Penguins led the way in the top 20 with four players apiece. Joining Crosby and Malkin for Pittsburgh were Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang. Chicago's dynamic duo was joined by Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp.

Somewhat surprising considering the tremendous amount of interest Boston just got done showing in its hockey team, there is only one Bruin on the list -- and it's not Zdeno Chara or Tim Thomas. Nope, checking in at No. 16 is Milan Lucic.

This goes a long way in showing Crosby's star power, if there were any questions left. Despite missing half the season, he was still No. 1 in the merchandise business.

Your move, Ovie.

-- Brian Stubits

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl on Twitter

Posted on: June 21, 2011 2:54 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 5:45 pm

Cup keep up: Bruins rack up one massive bar tab


That is the bar tab the Bruins racked up the night of their Stanley Cup parade in Boston. After being feted in the streets of Beantown, the team trekked to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut and Shrine nightclub where they partied like a franchise that hadn't won the Stanley Cup in 39 years. Oh, that's right ...

I know alcohol is expensive, but how do you rack up a bill that big and not have half the roster getting alcohol poisoning? It's pretty easy; just buy a $100,000 bottle of champagne. The 30-liter bottle -- one of only six in existence -- was twice the size of the bottle the NBA's Mavericks famously got for their club celebration. It was so big, even Zdeno Chara had a hard time opening it. Afterward, the B's all signed the bottle and it will eventually be raffled off with benefits going to the Bruins foundation.

And how exactly does one drink from a bottle that big? Pour it into the Stanley Cup, of course. It's times like this I actually don't envy the Keeper of the Cup. I'd rather have a problem with my credit card than clean that.

In case you were wondering, the tip on a bill like that comes out to $24,869.80 ... as a mandatory gratuity. Danielle (the server's name on the receipt) and staff probably took home more than that. Plus, there's the $7,500 in taxes, too. Can't forget the 136 bottles of Bud Light and all the water.

You can see the whole bill here (courtesy of Boston Globe).

How the players were standing and not hung over -- or at least appearing so -- on Sunday afternoon when they all threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park is amazing. If it were me, I'd probably still have a headache.

-- Brian Stubits

Video courtesy of Boston Globe

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl on Twitter

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com