Rakell Inks Six-Year Deal With Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks have re-signed Rickard Rakell to a six-year contract, the team announced on Friday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the Ducks, but the contract pays the Swedish forward an average of $3.8 million per year, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) October 14, 2016
Rakell, teammate Hampus Lindholm and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba became the three remaining restricted free agents without a contract after Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov signed a three-year deal on Tuesday.
Rakell, 23, became an RFA on July 1 after posting career-highs in goals (20), assists (23) and points (43) in 72 regular season games with the Ducks in 2015-16.
Although the announcement comes after the start of the regular season, there has never been a doubt about the Ducks’ intention of re-signing Rakell or Lindholm. The issue, however, has been how to sign both players and remain salary cap compliant in the process. As the Ducks entered 2016-17, they reportedly had an estimated $7.5 million in cap space.
The remaining cap room was not enough to re-sign both players and the Ducks have reportedly been in trade talks with an Eastern Conference team to unload a “significant contract” to make space. However, there has not been a trade by the Ducks.
With Rakell signed, Ducks general manager Bob Murray now faces the task of re-signing Lindholm. The 22-year-old defenseman is seeking at least an eight-year deal worth more than $48 million, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
Kane Out Weeks With Cracked Ribs
Evander Kane will reportedly be out weeks with three cracked ribs, according to head coach Dan Bylsma on Friday.
The injury came after Kane was bumped by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin and he lost an edge, crashing hard into the boards and being helped off the ice in immense pain on Thursday.
Kane’s injury is another major blow to a Sabres team that has been dealing with injuries to many key players to start the season.
Jack Eichel will be out weeks with a high-ankle sprain he suffered when he became entangled with Zemgus Girgensons and fell awkwardly to the ice during a team practice on Wednesday.
Kyle Okposo and Dmitry Kulikov each missed Thursday’s game while recovering from injuries. Okposo injured his knee after being struck by a puck during a Sabres practice last week but is expected to return to the team’s lineup on Sunday. Kulikov has been nursing a bruised tailbone injury and is considered day-to-day. He will miss Sunday’s game but could return for the Sabres’ four-game road trip, according to the Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington.
Keon Tops List of 100 Best Maple Leafs of All-Time
As part of the centennial celebration of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team revealed its list of the 100 best Maple Leafs players of all-time on Friday.
Mr. No. 1, Dave Keon reveals who his favourite Maple Leaf was at The One Hundred unveiling today.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 14, 2016
Dave Keon was ranked the number one Maple Leaf of all-time, ahead of legends like Syl Apps, Ted Kennedy, Tim Horton and Darryl Sittler.
The top-10 list included, in numerical order: Keon, Apps, Kennedy, Sittler, Mats Sundin, Horton, Johnny Bower, Borje Salming, Frank Mahovlich and Turk Broda.
Keon spent 15 years as a Maple Leaf, playing in 1,062 games and tallying 365 goals and 493 assists. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1961 and went on to help the Leafs to four Stanley Cups. He was recognized as one of the best two-way players in his era and captured two Lady Byng Trophies and a Conn Smythe Trophy in 1967. The Frank J. Selke Trophy, now given to the league’s best defensive forward annually, did not exist when Keon played.
The highest-ranked active player on the list of 100 greatest Maple Leafs was Phil Kessel (48th). Kessel spent six seasons in Toronto and lead the team in scoring each season before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins before the start of the 2015-16 season.
The only current Maple Leaf that made the list was forward James van Riemsdyk at No. 100.
Jets’ Little Out Indefinitely With Injury
The Winnipeg Jets will be without forward Bryan Little indefinitely with a lower-body injury, Jets head coach Paul Maurice announced on Friday.
The Jets should know more in a couple of weeks, according to the Sun Sports’ Ken Wiebe. Little was injured during the Jets’ 5-4 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
Little missed the last 25 games of the 2015-16 season with a neck injury, but was healthy to start the season. Little scored 17 goals and 25 assists in 57 games.
The Jets will have rookie forward Patrik Laine, who scored his first NHL goal on Thursday, to help aid the offense in Little’s absence.
Steven is a lawyer and writer with a passion for the game of hockey. He’s the Lead Writer covering the Tampa Bay Lightning with THW. He’s also been press credentialed through the Lightning since 2016. His work has been published at The Fourth Period, LightningInsider.com, Bolt Prospects, The Sports Daily Network, U.S. College Hockey Online and College Hockey News. He’s had radio appearances on TSN 690 in Montreal, Lightning Power Play Live and multiple podcasts to give insight and analysis on the team. He can be reached on Twitter @StevenDiOssi and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.