NHL three stars of the week, Wild re-sign Jared Spurgeon, Max Talbot suspended and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
Check out the video highlights of last night’s notable NHL action.
Notable NHL Headlines
NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov, Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie and Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu were the NHL stars of the week.
YAHOO SPORTS: Greg Wyshynski examines what Florida Panthers winger Jaromir Jagr’s career NHL stats would look like if he hadn’t spent three seasons in the KHL. While Jagr wouldn’t have come anywhere close to Wayne Gretzky’s all-time points record, the ageless Czech winger would only be 42 goals behind Gretzky’s career goals record of 892.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Still, even with those three missing seasons, Jagr needs only 10 more goals to pass Brett Hull for third all-time on the goalscoring list, and 62 points to pass Gordie Howe for second all-time in points. Those will still be remarkable achievements.
TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild yesterday re-signed defenseman Jared Spurgeon to a four-year, $20.75 million contract extension. The new deal, which is worth an annual average value of $5.1875 million, begins next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Though an undersized defenseman (5’9″, 176 pounds), the 26-year-old Spurgeon has blossomed into a reliable top-four blueliner. He’s reached the 20-point mark three times, and with 17 points in 32 games this season, he’s on pace to exceed 40 points. He also leads the Wild this season in blocked shots, is second in ice time and among their leaders in takeaways. His new annual cap hit is nearly double his current one. It’s a tad pricey, but the term is worthwhile.
SPORTSNET: After defenseman Justin Schultz began his NHL career with much hype when he signed with the Edmonton Oilers, this could be his final season with them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After spending his first three NHL seasons in a poorly-managed and often badly-coached nuthouse, Schultz’s confidence is totally shot. Not even coach Todd McLellan can help him now. A back injury earlier this season has also likely contributed to his tentative play. It’ll cost $4 million to qualify his rights and I don’t see the Oilers doing that. I also doubt another club will do that if his rights are dealt before the trade deadline or at the draft in June. What could happen this summer is the Oilers cut Schultz loose, and he signs a discounted one-year deal as a UFA with another club, where he might have a chance to rebuild his game and confidence.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: Good news for the Canucks, as captain Henrik Sedin is set to return to action after missing the last two games with a lower-body injury.
NEWSDAY: New York Islanders winger Kyle Okposo (lower-body injury) could remain sidelined following the upcoming Christmas break.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Mark Stuart played his 600th career NHL game on Monday.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins forward Max Talbot received a two-game suspension for a hit on New Jersey Devils forward Jiri Tlusty.
THE SCORE: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry is listed as day-to-day after suffering an undisclosed injury in this past weekend’s game against Dallas.