NHL notes: Toews wasn't surprised by riot

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:01 AM ET

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has seen enough of the Canucks fans the past three years that he wasn't surprised at the rioting in Vancouver after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.

After the Boston Bruins defeated the Canucks to win the Cup, violence erupted in downtown Vancouver, causing extensive damage.

"I kind of expected that," Toews told the Chicago Tribune.

"Those fans are crazy. When we beat them the last couple of years they were throwing stuff on the ice. They're crazy fans and obviously passionate about their team. I kind of expected a reaction one way or another."

The Hawks eliminated the Canucks from the playoffs in 2009 and 2010 before Vancouver ended Chicago's quest for a repeat title in Game 7 this spring.

Stamkos deal imminent

Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos appears to be on the verge of a new contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning -- likely a multi-year deal worth $7 million annually.

"I think it's close," the 21-year-old centre told the St. Petersburg Times Wednesday of a new deal.

"I don't think it's far off. As close as we are, it's not something I'm really worried about.

"Tampa is a great organization. With the success we had this year, there are only going to be bigger and better things. You want to be part of that. Whatever happens happens, but I have confidence things are going to get done well before (July 1)."

Stamkos has a league-best 96 goals the past two seasons.

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman was reluctant to comment.

"The more you comment, the more likely one of us can say something that can be misconstrued," he said.

Quebecor has junior hockey stake

Quebecor announced Wednesday that it has acquired 70% interest in the Montreal Juniors of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

A group featuring former NHLer Joel Bouchard, along with current NHLers Daniel Briere, Ian Laperriere and Jean-Sebastien Giguere, holds the remaining shares. Bouchard will serve as president and governor for the team, which is relocating from Montreal to Boisbriand for the 2011-12 season.

"We are very pleased to welcome this group of shareholders led by media mogul Pierre Karl Peladeau; a fine association that will continue to grow with the league for years to come," QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau said in a press release.

The new owners plan to relocate the team to Boisbriand, just north of Montreal, for the 2011-12 season while changing the team name and colours. Last year the Juniors played at the Verdun Auditorium.

Financial details were not disclosed, but several sources have suggested that Farrel Miller sold his organization for $4 million.

New logo for Preds

The Nashville Predators have tweaked their main logo and added a secondary emblam for the upcoming season.

The new logo is essentially the same as the previous version but much of the colour has been removed, with just a yellow slash through the blue highlights.

The secondary logo consists of a blue guitar pick with three blue stars in a yellow circle.

The Predators posted their new logos on their website Wednesday, the same day they unveiled them to reporters at the NHL awards ceremony in Las Vegas.

They will also use new home and away jerseys in 2011-12. The white road jersey will make its debut at the NHL draft Friday in St. Paul, Minn.

Markov re-signing?

Defenceman Andrei Markov may -- or may not -- re-sign with the Montreal Canadiens.

Conflicting reports out of Montreal leave Markov's future with the Habs up in the air. The 32-year-old Russian will become an unrestricted free agent July 1 but seems prepared to stay in Montreal.

The Team 990 reported that the Canadiens will ink Markov, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in November, two a two-year, $11.5 million deal. Markov's agent, Don Meehan, told the Montreal Gazette that a deal was not imminent but said it could be done by next week.

Meehan and Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier are expected to meet in Minnesota during the NHL draft.

Meanwhile, defenceman Roman Hamrlik could sign with the Canadiens in the next week.

Hamrlik's agent, Petr Svoboda, said he was expecting a contract offer during the next few days from Gauthier, according to La Presse.

Hamrlik, 37, had 34 points this past season on a $5.5-million salary. He said last winter that he would accept a pay cut to stay in Montreal.

Blues ink Crombeen

Forward B.J. Crombeen signed a two-year contract extension with the St. Louis Blues Wednesday.

Crombeen, a second-round pick of the Dallas Stars in 2003, had seven goals and seven assists in 80 games with the Blues in 2010-11. He also had 154 minutes in penalties.

"B.J. has been a true professional for the Blues organization on and off the ice," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "His gritty play and leadership qualities fit in well with our mix of players."

The 25-year-old has played 248 games in the NHL, totalling 26 goals and 27 assists.


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