Flyers

NHL Notes: Canadiens sign goalie Carey Price to 8-year extension

Carey Price signed an eight-year contract extension Sunday, likely keeping the franchise goaltender with the Montreal Canadiens for the rest of his career.

General manager Marc Bergevin announced the deal on the second day Price was eligible to be extended. Price's new contract begins in 2018-19 and runs through 2025-26.

"I never thought about playing anywhere else," Price said on a conference call. "I never thought about putting on another uniform. I just thought it'd be too weird, I guess."

Imagining Price in any uniform that's not the Canadiens or Team Canada would be difficult given his dominant play over the past several years. So naturally getting him locked up was a top priority for Montreal.

Price won the Hart Trophy as MVP and Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in 2014-15 when he led the NHL with a 1.96 goals-against average and .933 save percentage.

"Nobody has a goaltender like Carey Price," Bergevin said at a news conference in Montreal. "There's a saying we use: `Goalies are not important until you don't have one.' ... It's a position that's hard to find, and we have, if my opinion, one of the best in the business, if not the best."

Price, who turns 30 in August, is 270-175-55 with a 2.40 GAA and .920 save percentage in 509 games over 10 NHL seasons. He bounced back from a knee injury that cost him most of 2015-16 to start 62 games last season, finishing third in Vezina voting (see full story).

Maple Leafs: Marleau comes East on 3-year deal
Patrick Marleau has left the San Jose Sharks to sign an $18.75 million, three-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Marleau will count $6.25 million against the salary cap through the 2019-20 season. General manager Lou Lamoriello announced the signing Sunday, the second day of NHL free agency.

The 37-year-old was considered one of the top free agents available and had been considering his options. Marleau spent his first 17 seasons with the Sharks.

Marleau, the second overall pick in 1997, has 508 goals and 574 assists for 1,082 points in 1,493 NHL games. He had 46 points in playing all 82 games last season.

The signing of Marleau puts the spotlight back on Joe Thornton's status with the Sharks. Thornton is a free agent (see full story).

Capitals: Kuznetsov signs monster extension
ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Washington Capitals have re-signed center Evgeny Kuznetsov to a $62.4 million, eight-year deal.

Kuznetsov will count $7.8 million against the salary cap through the 2024-25 season. General manager Brian MacLellan announced the contract Sunday night.

The 25-year-old Russian, who was a restricted free agent, is now the second-highest paid player for Washington behind captain Alex Ovechkin. Kuznetsov's cap hit surpasses Nicklas Backstrom's $6.7 million.

Kuznetsov had 19 goals and 40 assists for 59 points last season. In 261 NHL games with the Capitals, he has 182 points on 53 goals and 129 assists, and he led the team in points in 2015-16.

MacLellan called Kuznetsov a premier center with "tremendous, skill, speed and tenacity needed to win in the NHL (see full story)."

Golden Knights: Kruger acquired from Blackhawks
CHICAGO -- The Vegas Golden Knights have landed Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger, after all.

Two weeks after not selecting Kruger in the NHL expansion draft, Vegas gave up undisclosed future considerations to acquire the two-time Stanley Cup-winner in a trade with the Blackhawks on Sunday.

Used primarily as a checking-line forward, Kruger had five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 70 games last season. Overall, he has 33 goals and 72 assists for 105 points in 398 games over seven seasons.

Kruger's departure frees up much-needed salary cap space for the Blackhawks a season after signing him to a three-year $9.25 million contract.

The Golden Knights opened up cap space to add Kruger a day earlier when they traded defenseman Alexei Emelin to Nashville (see full story).