Victor Hedman's stats might be down this season but one number will be going up soon.
Hedman signed a five-year contract extension Wednesday with the Tampa Bay Lightning, a deal worth a reported $20 million. The Swedish defenceman will earn a bump to $4 million a season when his entry-level contract runs out at the end of this season, according to TSN.
"(Hedman) has shown tremendous growth as a player in just more than two seasons in the NHL while also becoming a key member of our team," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said.
The second overall pick in the 2009 draft, Hedman, has two goals in 20 games this season. Last season, the 6-foot-6 defenceman had three goals and 23 assists in 79 games.
"I love it in Tampa Bay with the Lightning and I will do all I can to help this organization be successful on and off the ice," Hedman said.
MILLER STAYING PUT
Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller denied rumours out of Edmonton that he's looking to be traded.
Miller, out with concussion-like symptoms since being flattened Nov. 12 by Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic, discussed the report after practising with the Sabres for the first time since being hurt.
"For me, it's something you just laugh about," Miller said on NHL.com. "It's something where somebody needs web hits or something for their site or wants to be the person ... if the trade happens two years from now, they broke the story because they threw spaghetti at the wall to see if it would stick.
"There's no reason for me to want to leave the situation."
Pointing to new owner Terry Pegula's desire to ice a winner, Miller said "I want to be a part of it. For me to want to change that situation and get out, I think the grass doesn't get much greener than it is here."
Miller, who has two years left on his contract, says he has never asked for a trade during his time with the Sabres.
NO GRUDGE FOR GABBY
Fired Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau doesn't hold a grudge against his former team.
In fact, it's the exact opposite. He thinks the Caps made the right move.
Boudreau, fired Monday and replaced by ex-Capitals forward Dale Hunter, says he was fortunate to get the chance to coach the Caps in the first place and hopes their fortunes turn for the better.
"All I can do is thank those guys," Boudreau said on the league's website. "They gave me an opportunity that nobody ever gave me before, and I think I ran with it pretty well. There are no grudges whatsoever. I would have loved to have been able to give the city a Stanley Cup."
Boudreau guided the Caps to four consecutive Southeast Division titles during his tenure and won the President's Trophy in 2010. He also hit the 200-win mark faster than any other coach in NHL history.
OVIE ACES IT
Washington Capitals captain confirmed Wednesday he's dating Russian tennis player Maria Kirilenko, tweeting a picture of the two together.
In his Twitter post, Ovechkin says Kirilenko, 24, is "my queen."
Kirilenko is ranked 28th in the world and has won five WTA singles titles during her career.
Ovechkin has struggled on the ice this season and is being blamed, at least in part, for Bruce Boudreau being fired as coach.
STARS STILL SHORT
Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow and defenceman Trevor Daley won't play Thursday against the Ottawa Senators.
And there's a good chance neither will be in the lineup Saturday against the New York Islanders.
The Stars are also missing goalie Kari Lehtonen, defenceman Alex Goligoski and forward Adam Burish, so they're a little thin. Forwards Jamie Benn and Vernon Fiddler also skipped practice Wednesday.
JOSLIN ESCAPES BAN
Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Derek Joslin won't be suspended or fined for a questionable hit Tuesday on Florida Panthers forward Kris Versteeg.
Joslin had a hearing Wednesday with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. Soon after the league announced Joslin would not be punished.
"It really came down to that I felt that Versteeg not only was stumbling forward, but also his head was moving both forward and laterally just prior to contact," Shanahan said. "I think that significantly contributed to the hit. (Versteeg's) head is falling down and out as Joslin is making contact to Versteeg's face."
Joslin, who was not penalized for the hit, has just 43 penalty minutes in 77 career NHL games and has never been suspended.
Calgary Flames defenceman Mark Giordano has been put on injured reserve and is expected to miss at least week with a leg injury. The Flames also put forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond on waivers in the hopes of sending him to Abbotsford of the AHL and assigned defenceman Brett Carson to the minors on a conditioning stint ... Phoenix Coyotes forward Kyle Turris likely will make his season debut Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets. Turris, who was a restricted free agent, recently re-signed with the Coyotes on and has been working his way into game shape ... Russian broadcaster VGTRK bought the rights to air live NHL games for the next five years. Multiple games each week will be broadcast in Russia under terms of the agreement ... Forward Dustin Penner won't play when the Los Angeles Kings take on the Florida Panthers Thursday. Penner is on injured reserve with a hand injury ... St. Louis Blues forward Evgeny Grachev was put on IR Wednesday. Grachev was hurt Monday in practice when a puck deflected into his face ... Montreal Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov didn't play against the Anaheim Ducks. He has missed more than a year after having knee surgery ... Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Zbynek Michalek is experiencing concussion-like symptoms despite passing a baseline test after taking a shot to the head Saturday against Montreal. Michalek returned to Pittsburgh and likely won't play Thursday in Washington ... Vancouver Canucks forward Mason Raymond will play his first game of the season Thursday against the Nashville Predators. Raymond was hurt in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final last season. Cory Schneider will make the start in goal for the Canucks.