August 1, 2011
NHL notes: Burns signs extension
By QMI Agency
Defenceman Brent Burns got a fresh start when the Minnesota Wild traded him to the San Jose Sharks at the NHL draft.
Now he's got a lucrative, new contract to go along with it.
Burns, 26 signed a five-year, $28.8 million contract extension with the Sharks on Monday, an annual salary cap hit of just under $5.8 million. The deal gives him an average raise of more than $2 million per season over the $3.55 million he'll get in 2011-12.
"After the trade went through we went down to San Jose and it was awesome," Burns said on a conference call. "The city was great and the organization was just unbelievable how they treated us. With that excitement building for our family, it really made getting traded for the first time easier.
"Having the chance to sign the extension, it was a no-brainer for us. We have a little bit of security for our family and now I can just focus on playing hockey."
The seven-year veteran, an all-star last season, had 17 goals and 29 assists in 80 games with the Wild. In 453 career games, all with Minnesota, he has 55 goals and 128 assists.
The Sharks acquired Burns on June 24 in a deal that sent forwards Devin Setoguchi and Charlie Coyle, plus a first-round draft pick to the Wild. Minnesota used the pick to draft Saint John SeaDogs centre Zack Phillips.
Malkin workin' hard
Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin should be ready for training camp.
Malkin, who's season ended Feb. 4 when he tore ligaments in his right knee, hasn't been taking much time off rehabbing the surgically-repaired joint and expects to soon be completely healthy. He's been working out hard in Russia with Penguins strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar the last two weeks.
"It feels better every day," he told NHL.com. "It's good, but not 100% yet, maybe 90. I'm skating it hard, but my knee feels good.
"Soon I will try (full speed). I push it more each day."
Nabokov on Island?
Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov appears set to report to the New York Islanders training camp next month.
After leaving the KHL and being signed by the Detroit Red Wings, Nabokov was claimed on waivers by the Islanders Jan. 22 but never reported. The Islanders suspended him and were allowed to keep his rights for the 2011-12 season.
Now, it would appear, Nabokov has had a change of heart and wants to join the Isles, who already have goalies Rick DiPietro, Al Montoya and Kevin Poulin under contract.
"What I want is to get back to the NHL, whether that's with the Islanders or another team," Nabokov said on newsday.com. "If the Islanders think I can help them, that's fine with me. Last season was a bit of a rollercoaster for me.
"It was tough, I'm not going to lie. Physically and mentally, I'm much better now."
First of summer
Nashville Predators defenceman Shea Weber is set to become the first player to go to salary arbitration this summer.
Weber's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning in Toronto. Although other players had hearings booked, all but Weber signed before they were held.
The Predators filed for arbitration, preventing other teams from signing Weber, a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet. But they also forfeited their walk-away rights, meaning Weber will be in
Nashville one way or another for the 2011-12 season.
The Norris Trophy finalist had 16 goals and 32 assists in 82 games with the Preds last season.
MacTavish gets gig
Former Edmonton Oilers coach Craig MacTavish was hired Monday by the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.
MacTavish gave up his analyst gig with TSN to take the head coaching job with the Wolves, the minor-league affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks. He is the eighth coach in the AHL team's history.
"We are thrilled to have Craig join our organization," Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be invaluable as we continue to develop our players and create a winning environment in Chicago."
MacTavish went 301-252-47-56 in eight seasons with the Oilers.