Cam Ward

NHL Notes: Kings hand Anze Kopitar captaincy, stripping Dustin Brown of title

NHL Notes: Kings hand Anze Kopitar captaincy, stripping Dustin Brown of title

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings have named Anze Kopitar their new captain, taking the job away from longtime captain Dustin Brown.

The switch was announced Thursday by Dean Lombardi, the Kings' president and general manager.

Brown had been the Kings' captain for eight seasons since 2008, raising the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014. But the American center's play has dipped markedly in recent years, failing to score 30 points in four consecutive seasons.

Kopitar is the Kings' first-line center and their leading scorer for nine consecutive seasons. The Slovenian playmaker has served as an assistant captain since 2008.

Kopitar is the 14th captain in Kings history. He has an eight-year, $80 million contract with the Kings through 2023-24.

Brown has a $47 million contract through 2021-22 (see full story).

Hurricanes: Extend goalie Cam Ward for two years
RALEIGH, N.C.  -- The Carolina Hurricanes have signed goaltender Cam Ward to a two-year, $6.6 million contract extension.

The team announced the deal Thursday. The deal pays Ward $3.5 million next season and $3.1 million in 2017-18, keeping the 32-year-old netminder with the team that drafted him in the first round of the 2002 draft.

That stay included the Hurricanes' run to the 2006 Stanley Cup, with Ward earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason's most valuable player as a rookie that year.

Ward, the only remaining player from that Cup-winning team, is Carolina's all-time leader with 269 wins and 23 shutouts.

The Hurricanes also agreed a one-year deal with center Derek Ryan worth $600,000 on the NHL level or $300,000 in the American Hockey League with a guaranteed minimum of $350,000 (see full story).

Red Wings: Team inks Riley Sheahan to two-year deal
DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings have signed center Riley Sheahan to a two-year, $4.15 million contract.

The team announced Sheahan signed the deal Thursday.

Sheahan had 14 goals and 25 points in a career-high 81 games last season. The 24-year-old Sheahan has 36 goals and 85 points in his career, which began toward the end of the 2011-12 season. Detroit drafted him in the first round out of Notre Dame in 2010.

Detroit also signed defenseman Brian Lashoff to a two-way contract. He will make $650,000 if he plays in the NHL and $275,000 if he is in the AHL again with the Grand Rapids Griffins. The 24-year-old Lashoff played for the Griffins all of last season after playing in 117 games for the Red Wings the previous three years.