Carolina Hurricanes

NHL Notes: Sabres star Jack Eichel focused on hockey, not contract talks

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NHL Notes: Sabres star Jack Eichel focused on hockey, not contract talks

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Sabres star center Jack Eichel is focused on taking on a larger leadership role, and not concerning himself with contract talks -- even it means waiting until next year to sign a new deal.

"I have no problem playing the season out and just trying to earn whatever," Eichel said Tuesday. "We know where we stand. We know where the Sabres stand. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen."

Eichel also reiterated his commitment to staying in Buffalo on a long-term basis. He spoke after taking part in his first on-ice session with numerous teammates in Buffalo a little over a week before the Sabres open training camp.

The 20-year-old is entering the final season of his three-year rookie contract, and in line for what is projected to be a lucrative contract extension.

A person with direct knowledge of talks told The Associated Press last month that both sides have discussed a contract spanning an NHL-maximum eight seasons . The same person told The AP on Tuesday that negotiations haven't stopped since the two sides formally opened talks in June. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because negotiations have been private (see full story).

Hurricanes: New-look team ready to snap postseason drought
RALEIGH, N.C. -- There's plenty new for the Carolina Hurricanes these days.

They picked up a new starting goalie, gave big new contracts to some young defensemen and brought in a splashy free agent. There also might be a new team owner signing their paychecks.

With a little over a week until preseason camp begins, there's also a new feeling of justified optimism surrounding an organization that owns the NHL's longest active postseason drought.

"I can't wait," defenseman Jaccob Slavin said Tuesday. "I'm so excited for it, and I can't wait to see what this season has and what the future holds as well -- but more importantly, the season right here" (see full story).

Sabres: Healthy Okposo eager to look forward
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo happily looks to the future now that he's fully recovered from concussion-related symptoms which nearly derailed his career in March.

Saying he's not dwelling on the past, Okposo was eager to rejoin the Sabres after skating with numerous teammates for practice a little more than a week before the team opens training camp. Though he's has been skating for much of the summer, Tuesday marked his first time on the ice in Buffalo since being hospitalized late last season.

"It was obviously a tough situation, a tough road," Okposo said. "I'm just happy to be back and happy to be able to play again, and play at a high level."

He acknowledged questioning if he would ever get better before he started feeling "clear" in May.

"It was definitely a scary thing," Okposo said. "Your mind starts to question a lot of things" (see full story).

Rangers: Leetch, Richards hired as advisers
NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers have hired former players Brian Leetch and Brad Richards as advisers.

General manager Jeff Gorton announced the hires Tuesday. Leetch and Richards will work on prospect development and assist with on-ice development for the Rangers and their top affiliate, the American Hockey League's Hartford Wolf Pack.

These are the latest moves in an offseason that already included former captain and assistant general manager Chris Drury taking over GM duties in Hartford and New York hiring longtime NHL head coach Lindy Ruff as an assistant on Alain Vigneault's staff.

Leetch played parts of 17 seasons with the Rangers during his Hall of Fame career and was the top defenseman on the team that broke the franchise's Stanley Cup drought in 1994. Richards played three seasons in New York from 2011-2014, helping the Rangers reach the 2014 Cup Final.

NHL Notes: Wild agree with Mikael Granlund on 3-year, $17.25 million deal

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NHL Notes: Wild agree with Mikael Granlund on 3-year, $17.25 million deal

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Wild have agreed to terms with standout forward Mikael Granlund on a three-year, $17.25 million contract.

The Wild announced the deal Tuesday with the restricted free agent, whose 69 points last season ranked tied for fourth in franchise history. The 25-year-old Granlund led the Wild in points, assists and multi-point games. He set career highs in nine statistical categories.

Granlund scored 17 points in a 12-game point streak from Jan. 12 through Feb. 4, the longest point streak in Wild history and tied for the second-longest point streak in the NHL last season.

The 5-foot-10, 184-pound native of Finland has collected 201 points and 80 penalty minutes in 321 games with the Wild. He was selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 2010 draft.

Hurricanes: Pesce agrees to 6-year contract extension
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes and defenseman Brett Pesce have agreed to a six-year contract extension.

Under terms of the deal announced Tuesday and taking effect in 2018-19, Pesce will make $4.025 million per season.

The 22-year-old Pesce had 18 assists and 20 points last year in his second full professional season.

Both Pesce and his defensive partner -- Jaccob Slavin -- received lengthy extensions from the Hurricanes. Slavin agreed to a seven-year deal last month that will pay him $5.3 million, also starting in 2018-19.

General manager Ron Francis says Pesce "plays a smart defensive game and has good ability to move the puck and contribute offensively."

Pesce will make $892,000 this season, the last of his entry-level contract.

Hurricanes: Owner Karmanos seeking $500M for franchise
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. says he wants to sell his team for about $500 million.

Karmanos told The News & Observer of Raleigh on Tuesday that he and an ownership group led by former Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg have agreed to a term sheet but do not have a purchase agreement.

Karmanos spoke publicly for the first time since club officials acknowledged last month that an offer was made for the team without identifying the buyer or the sale price.

Karmanos says he is giving Greenberg some time to assemble his ownership team. But Karmanos adds that "if we get a few more weeks down the road and he can't raise enough money, I'm going to tell him sayonara."

NHL Notes: Defenseman Brian Campbell retiring after 17 seasons

NHL Notes: Defenseman Brian Campbell retiring after 17 seasons

CHICAGO -- Defenseman Brian Campbell is retiring at age 38 after playing 17 NHL seasons and winning the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.

Campbell announced his retirement Monday. The Blackhawks say he'll join their business operations department, assisting with community and youth hockey initiatives and marketing.

"I'm excited to transition into the next step in both my professional career and life," Campbell said in a statement. "I'm grateful to the countless number of teammates, coaches, team staff and fans that I have crossed paths with throughout my playing career in Chicago, Buffalo, Florida and San Jose. The Blackhawks organization has allowed me to take on this challenge, and I'm thankful for this new opportunity."

Campbell had 87 goals and 417 assists for 504 points in 1,082 regular-season games with the Sabres, Sharks, Blackhawks and Panthers. Buffalo drafted the Strathroy, Ontario, native in the sixth round in 1997, and Campbell appeared in four All-Star Games (see full story).

Senators: Pageau agrees to 3-year, $9.3 million deal
OTTAWA, Ontario -- The Ottawa Senators avoided arbitration with restricted free agent forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau on Monday by agreeing to terms on a $9.3 million, three-year contract.

The 24-year-old center will earn $2.6 million next season, $3.3 million in 2018-19 and $3.4 million in 2019-20.

Pageau had eight playoff goals last spring as the Senators reached the Eastern Conference final. He had 12 goals and 21 assists in 82 regular-season games.

"As an organization we are thrilled that we got this contract done," Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said.

"Arbitration is definitely a path we did not want to go down with Jean-Gabriel, especially the way he's performed over the course of the last few seasons. He showed that he was definitely deserving of this contract.

"Any player that has a history of raising his game, whether it was in junior playoffs or (AHL) playoffs or NHL playoffs, I think you have to give credit for what he's accomplished. We're really happy to have him on board for the next three years" (see full story).

Hurricanes: Williams embraces leadership role in return
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes didn't bring back Justin Williams to be "Mr. Game 7."

Not yet, anyway.

The 35-year-old with the reputation for scoring big postseason goals has returned to Raleigh, tasked with bringing veteran leadership and a voice of experience to a young Carolina team.

But there's a fine line between filling that type of role for the Hurricanes, and commanding control of the dressing room. He brushed aside questions about whether he should wear the "C" for a team that has gone without a captain since February 2016.

"I think the worst thing you can do when you come into a new -- even though it's a team I've been on, it's a new team for me -- is trying to be someone you're not," Williams said Monday. "That's a big mistake, trying to be `the guy.' You just want to be yourself, and that's what I've done throughout my career" (see full story).