As the 2016-17 season gets underway, many teams are starting to address their biggest names that are set to hit unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2017. Teams will not want players like Brent Burns to make it to the summer without a new contract in place.
Talking on TSN’s Insider Trading, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun says that Burns and the San Jose Sharks are not currently close to getting an extension done. “They’re not close at this point and I think the reason for that is Brent Burns isn’t ready to make the biggest decision of his NHL career,” said LeBrun.
“There have been talks, it’s been very cordial, but nothing imminent,” said LeBrun. “Brent Burns wants the year to start and go from there.”
The gap doesn’t appear to be contentious at this point. But it could be tricky since Burns is coming off a career-high 27 goals, 48 assists and 75 points.
He also hit a career-high with 353 shots. That total is an incredible amount and led all NHL defense. In fact, no one was even close. Erik Karlsson finished second among defensemen with 248 shots. That total was second only to Alex Ovechkin among all NHLers and was 50 more than Max Pacioretty logged in third place.
2016 Calder Trophy winner Artemi Panarin is in the final year of his entry-level contract. He’s looking to get a new deal done as well. A report from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune indicates that Panarin is looking for something in the neighborhood of a $6 million AAV over six years.
Panarin’s agent said contract discussions began last week and general manager Stan Bowman has been optimistic about getting a deal done. “We’re always confident,” Bowman said. “You go into a negotiation expecting to get a deal done. That’s the way I’ve been in the past and that’s the way I am now.”
Panarin thrived on a line with Patrick Kane last year, putting up 30 goals and 77 points in his rookie campaign. Putting together a long-term deal like he’s reported to be asking for is going to be tricky with the NHL’s two highest-paid players on the team already. Kane and Jonathan Toews are both lacing up with a $10.5 million AAV. It’s far from impossible, but Chicago is constantly balancing salary cap issues.
And Also Elliott
The Calgary Flames aren’t going to waste any time trying to lock up their recently acquired goaltender Brian Elliott. Andy Strickland of Fox Sports Midwest reports that the two parties have already started negotiations on an extension.
The 31-year-old played 42 games for the St. Louis Blues last season, putting up a .930 save percentage and a 2.07 goals-against average.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) September 23, 2016
Elliott currently has one year remaining on a deal that carries a $2.5 million AAV and will enter the organization as the team’s lead netminder, backed up by Chad Johnson.
Andrew Shaw made his debut with the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night. He made quick work of showing what he brings to the table by getting ejected from his preseason debut after running Washington Capitals prospect Connor Hobbs from behind.
Washington’s Nathan Walker immediately asked Shaw to answer the bell. During the ensuing fight Shaw tried to hype up the crowd and made a show of the situation. All told, Shaw got 30 minutes of penalties for the scene, including a game misconduct.
Early Save of the Year Candidate
The Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche played their first-ever preseason game Tuesday and former Buffalo Sabres prospect Nathan Lieuwen made an early bid for save of the year.
Minnesota’s Jason Pominville tipped a puck toward the net and even started to celebrate before he realized Lieuwen had spun himself in a circle and caught the tipped puck behind his back. That save contributed to a disappointing 4-1 loss for the Wild.
Lieuwen came into the game late and saw just 20 minutes of action the whole game. The 25-year-old spent all of last season playing for the Rochester Americans in the AHL where he posted a .909 save percentage through 28 games.
Pominville on robbery: "I thought that was going in. I actually raised my hands." #mnwild
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) September 28, 2016
Odds and Ends
– Despite a load of rumors to the contrary — including a period where he said it himself — Vladimir Sobotka will not be joining the St. Louis Blues this season. According to a report, the transfer has not happened and he will be staying in the KHL.
– Tuesday, the Ducks released Alex Dostie and Jack Kopacka from training camp, as well as invitees Zack MacEwen, Antoine Samuel and Darian Skeoch. Their training camp is now down to 59 players.
– The Detroit Red Wings released Luke Kirwan from his amateur tryout. He returns to the OHL’s Flint Firebirds and the Red Wings training camp roster is now down to 55 players.
– The San Jose Sharks released Manuel Wiederer from training camp back to his junior club and released Jalen Chatfield from his amateur tryout. The Sharks training camp roster is down to 53 players.
– Boston University announced a partnership with Campus Insiders that will have them broadcast 32 men’s and women’s hockey games online for free this season. Games will be available to watch for free worldwide.
Marvel now sending The Avengers to try and stop Team Canada .
— Tyson Barrie (@tysonbarrie) September 28, 2016
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.