NHL notes: 'Canes lock up GM Rutherford

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:35 PM ET

The Carolina Hurricanes locked up president and general manager Jim Rutherford for another four years Thursday.

Rutherford, entering his 18th season as Hurricanes general manager, signed a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2015-16 NHL season.

"Jim is one of the premiere general managers in all of sports," Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos said in a statement. "In the 14 years since the Hurricanes arrived in North Carolina, his leadership has allowed our franchise to host two Stanley Cup finals, the NHL all-star game and the NHL draft, bringing tremendously positive attention to the team and the area. This contract will take him through his 30th year with our hockey organization, and I am proud to have been associated with Jim for that long."

Rutherford is the league's second-longest tenured GM. Only New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has been at his position longer, taking over the franchise for the 1987-88 campaign.

With Rutherford as GM, the Hurricanes have gone 482-428-136-20 after moving from Hartford to North Carolina before the 1997-98 season. The club reached the Cup final in 2002, then won the Stanley Cup four years later.

JERRY, AGAIN?

Jerry Reinsdorf's name is again being connected to the purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes.

According to the Arizona Republic, Reinsdorf and Arizona lawmaker John Kaites are part of a group interested in buying the Coyotes. Tony Tavares, the interim president of the Dallas Stars, is also part of the group, Glendale Hockey LLC, according to spokesman David Leibowitz.

Reinsdorf, who owns the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox, walked away from negotiations to buy the Coyotes in 2010, when it looked like Ice Edge was going to get the team. The Ice Edge deal later fell apart, as did talks with Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer.

Another potential ownership group led by former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison has surfaced in recent weeks.

NOT NEARLY ENOUGH

Calgary businessman Max Chambers' offer of $167 million for the St. Louis Blues was rejected, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Chambers made the all-cash offer for the Blues in early July but it wasn't enough. Blues owner Dave Checketts is thought to be asking about $190 million for the franchise, which was valued at $165 by Forbes magazine in 2010.

"I think $190 (million) is a little aggressive with the value of the franchise," Chambers told the Post-Dispatch. "We felt $167 was aggressive, so their counter at $190 was real aggressive in our view. The offer of $167 was my maximum. We think that's the most they've been offered."

Chambers, CEO of Sonoma Equities and Great Northern Capital Partners, has put together an ownership group that includes former NHLers Bryan Trottier and Bernie Nicholls. He said they are still interested in buying the team.

"I don't know what state the process is in right now. Does anyone?" Chambers said. "I mean, I can't get an answer from Game Plan what the number is. What is the real number? You guys are throwing $190 (million) out. You got $167 (million) from us and I think the next bid is what ... $120-130 (million)?"

CANUCKS SIGN JENSEN

The Vancouver Canucks signed 2011 first-round pick Nicklas Jensen to an entry-level contract Thursday.

Jensen, 18, had a goal and assists in his NHL pre-season debut Tuesday. He was the 29th overall pick in last summer's draft.

The Danish forward had 29 goals and 29 assists in 61 games with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL last season.

BRIEFLY

The Vancouver Canucks signed an affiliation agreement with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. The Canucks' previous ECHL affiliate, the Victoria Salmon Kings, folded after the 2010-11 season ... The NHL is set to announce, finally, that the Philadelphia Flyers will be host to the New York Rangers Jan. 2 at Citizens Bank Park. The annual Winter Classic outdoor game will be unveiled Monday in Philly ... The WHL will honour four fallen alumni this season. All players and officials will wear a decal on their helmet to remember ex-WHLers Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, Wade Belak and Brad McCrimmon ... Montreal Canadiens forward Scott Gomez, who is nursing a minor injury, is expected to play his first pre-season game Friday or Saturday. The Canadiens also said prospect Brendon Nash had shoulder surgery Wednesday and is out indefinitely ... The Flyers were interested in signing undrafted winger Tomas Hyka of the Gatineau Olympiques to an entry-level contract before learning it wasn't possible. The league's CBA prevents teams from signing undrafted European players under the age of 22. Hyka will be eligible for the 2012 draft.


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