Connor McDavid

NHL Notes: Oilers sign star Connor McDavid to 8-year, $100 million deal

NHL Notes: Oilers sign star Connor McDavid to 8-year, $100 million deal

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers paid a huge price to lock up superstar captain Connor McDavid.

But it could have been even higher.

The Oilers said Wednesday that the team and McDavid have agreed to an eight-year, $100 million extension.

That makes the 20-year-old league MVP the highest-paid player in the NHL on an annual basis ($12.5 million per season), but it's about $750,000 a year less than what reports last week figured he would be getting.

"It easily could have been a lot higher in value and shorter in term," Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said.

McDavid's extension kicks in after he finishes the final year of his entry-level deal next season. If the NHL's salary cap stays at its current level of $75 million, McDavid's salary alone would take up 16.6 percent of the Oilers' cap.

But any cap relief would be welcome to Edmonton. The Oilers are also working to re-sign Leon Draisaitl, who is a restricted free agent after finishing his entry-level deal and due a big raise.

"Part of this partnership was talking about building a team, and Connor was emphatic as was I about keeping this team competitive," Chiarelli said.

"There are challenges at every juncture when you are building a winning team in the salary cap era. Connor recognizes that, Jeff Jackson (McDavid's agent) recognizes that and we're confident we'll be able to ice a winning team, one that can contend and win the Cup" (see full story).

Canadiens: Galchenyuk agrees to deal to avoid arbitration
MONTREAL -- Alex Galchenyuk and the Montreal Canadiens avoided arbitration by agreeing to a three-year, $14.7 million contract Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Galchenyuk was a restricted free agent.

Drafted third overall by Montreal in 2012, the American center had 17 goals and 27 assists in 61 games last season and added three assists in six playoff games. He has 89 goals and 115 assists in 336 career NHL games.

Galchenyuk was born in Wisconsin while his father, Russian player Alexander Galchenyuk, was with the International Hockey League Milwaukee Admirals.

Rangers: Fast re-signs; Desharnais inks free-agent deal
NEW YORK -- The Rangers have re-signed restricted free-agent forward Jesper Fast and signed free-agent center David Desharnais.

General manager Jeff Gorton announced the moves Wednesday.

Fast, who won his second straight Players' Player Award for team play this past season, got a three-year contract worth $1.85 million annually. Desharnais received a one-year contract worth $1 million.

The 25-year-old Fast skated in 68 games this past season, with six goals and 15 assists. The Swede finished third among Rangers forwards in hits (99) and ranked fourth among the forwards in blocked shots (44).

Fast, who is expected to be sidelined for five months after hip surgery in early June, has skated in 216 NHL games and collected 22 goals and 43 assists.

The 30-year-Desharnais gives the Rangers added depth at center behind Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes. He has won more than 50 percent of his career faceoffs.

Desharnais has played in 453 games over parts of eight seasons with Montreal and Edmonton, with 81 goals and 173 assists. The Laurier-Station, Quebec, native split this past season between Montreal and Edmonton, with six goals and eight assists in 49 games.

Desharnais has played in 51 NHL playoff games with four goals and 13 assists. He skated in 13 playoff games with Edmonton, with one goal and three assists.

Ducks: Team signs goalie Berra away from new Swiss squad
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Goalie Reto Berra has signed with the Anaheim Ducks, returning to North America less than three months after agreeing to a three-year deal with Fribourg-Gotteron in his native Switzerland's top league.

Berra used an out clause in his Swiss deal to return to the NHL on Wednesday.

The Ducks gave a one-year deal to Berra, who will provide organizational depth behind John Gibson and new signee Ryan Miller.

Berra played seven games for Florida last year, spending much of the season in the AHL. The 30-year-old veteran has appeared in 71 NHL games over five seasons with Colorado, Calgary and the Panthers.

Berra signed with Fribourg-Gotteron in April after four seasons in North America. Berra played from 2009-13 for Switzerland's EHC Biel, which currently employs longtime Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller.

NHL Notes: Marc-Andre Fleury leads expansion draft selections

NHL Notes: Marc-Andre Fleury leads expansion draft selections

LAS VEGAS -- The Vegas Golden Knights finally have some players to put on the desert ice this fall.

Stanley Cup-winning goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, defensemen Marc Methot and Alexei Emelin, 30-goal scorer Jonathan Marchessault and forwards David Perron and James Neal are among the veterans selected by the Golden Knights in the NHL expansion draft Wednesday night.

Golden Knights owner Bill Foley and general manager George McPhee announced their choices during the NHL's annual postseason awards show at T-Mobile Arena, where Vegas will begin play in the fall.

Fleury took the stage in a Golden Knights jersey to wild cheers from his new home fans. The three-time Cup winner lost his starting job with the back-to-back champion Penguins, but he'll get to start over in the desert with two years on his contract.

The picks included defensemen Trevor van Riemsdyk and Brayden McNabb, forward Oscar Lindberg.

The Golden Knights also announced additional acquisitions of a handful of veterans and free agents, including Anaheim defenseman Shea Theodore and Florida forward Reilly Smith.

The NHL wrote its draft rules to give the Golden Knights more opportunities to compete early in their existence, and their expansion draft choices certainly appear to form a solid core that could make noise in the Pacific Division.

"They're way past getting off the ground," Nashville general manager David Poile said. "I think this is by far the best expansion team ever" (see full story).

Oilers: 20-year-old McDavid wins Hart Trophy
LAS VEGAS -- Connor McDavid has won his first Hart Trophy. Hardly anybody in hockey believes it will be his last.

The Edmonton captain claimed the award as the NHL's most valuable player Wednesday night at the league's postseason awards show at T-Mobile Arena, the new home of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.

The league also revealed the results of the Golden Knights' expansion draft to an arena filled with new fans of the NHL's 31st franchise.

McDavid also won the Ted Lindsay Award, given to the league's most outstanding performer in a vote of his fellow players.

The honors capped a remarkable sophomore season for the 20-year-old center, who won the scoring title and led the Oilers back to the Stanley Cup playoffs after an 11-year absence. The former No. 1 pick beat out fellow finalists Sergei Bobrovsky of Columbus and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.

"I'm so proud to be in Edmonton," McDavid said. "I'm so proud to be an Oiler, and so proud to play with the guys."

McDavid is the third-youngest player to win the award. Only Crosby and Wayne Gretzky claimed the Hart as teenagers (see full story).

NHL: Home openers announced; Golden Knights’ 1st game in Dallas
The expansion Vegas Golden Knights will make their regular-season debut on the road in Dallas on Oct. 6 and host the Arizona Coyotes on Oct. 10 in the first home game in franchise history.

NHL teams announced their home openers Wednesday with the full, 1,271-game schedule for the 2017-18 season set to be released Thursday.

Vegas will play its first two games on the road, visiting Arizona on Oct. 7 before the second leg of an early back-to-back for coach Gerard Gallant's club.

The Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins will raise another banner and begin their quest for a three-peat Oct. 4 against the St. Louis Blues. The Penguins visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 5 in a matchup of the only teams to win the Cup three times in the salary-cap era.

The Western Conference-champion Nashville Predators open the season Oct. 5 at Boston. Nashville celebrates the longest playoff run in franchise history at home Oct. 10 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Philadelphia opens Oct. 4 at the San Jose Sharks, who have the longest active season-opener winning streak at seven. The first night of the season also includes the Calgary Flames at the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Winnipeg Jets, a matchup of the top two picks in the 2016 draft, Auston Matthews against Patrik Laine.

The Detroit Red Wings host Minnesota on Oct. 5 in the first NHL regular-season game at the new Little Caesars Arena.

The back-to-back Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington Capitals open their season at Ottawa on Oct. 5 and host the Montreal Canadiens in their home opener Oct. 7

Brandon Manning hopes fight signals end to dispute with Connor McDavid, Oilers

Brandon Manning hopes fight signals end to dispute with Connor McDavid, Oilers

EDMONTON, Alberta — They slashed at him, poked him, even chided him from the bench when he was on the ice.

At some point, you knew Brandon Manning was going to have to do something. Patrick Maroon became his date with destiny.

The 230-pound Maroon, who has 25 pounds and two inches on the 6-1 Manning, jumped on him after a second-period faceoff.

To his credit, Manning took a beating but never went down, answering the many blows he endured (see video).

All of this a final crescendo to the entire Connor McDavid fiasco which began over a year ago, when McDavid fractured his clavicle against the Flyers. The 2015 No. 1 overall pick carried the puck past Manning when he lost a skate edge and fell, crashing into the boards with the Flyers' defenseman on top of him. As a result, McDavid missed 37 games and a chance at Rookie of the Year, while the chirping and nastiness over the hit all continued right into this week.

“It didn’t bother me,” Manning said of his ordeal during the Flyers' 6-3 loss to the Oilers on Thursday night (see game story). “I’m not scared of fighting. It’s just a matter of time. I picked my spot. I wasn’t too worried.”

Manning said he didn’t want to fight at the wrong time. It was a close game early, then Edmonton blew it open at 4-1 (see feature highlight).

Manning and Maroon were talking in the circle when they dropped gloves.

“To go out and fight just for the sake of fighting is not what I’m about,” Manning said. “We’re down 4-1, there’s an opportunity there and Maroon was willing, [so] you take it.”

Is this the end of the McDavid flap?

“Let’s hope so,” Manning laughed. “I’d love that. No, Connor didn’t say a word on the ice today. Even their guys, Patrick said ‘good job’ afterward. We would do the same thing if one our superstars got hurt. I understand it.”

Manning’s teammates gave him praise.

“It happens sometimes,” Wayne Simmonds said. “The way Manning plays, he plays hard. He finishes his checks, he’s a tough player.”

Added Jakub Voracek: “To fight a guy like Maroon, he’s a big boy and [Manning] did a great job.”

Players said the team intentionally did not speak about it before the game. Why? The focus was how important this trip is in terms of playoff standings and getting points, not appeasing the Oilers for a pound of flesh.

From the points standpoint, it’s been a dismal failure as the Islanders pulled ahead of the Flyers, dropping them further out of the wild-card chase. The Flyers only hope to salvage two points Sunday night in Vancouver.

Incidentally, McDavid quietly had a three-point game (one goal), giving him six points in four games against the Flyers.

Power play
Dave Hakstol promised “adjustments” to the power play after Wednesday’s disastrous five-minute power-play meltdown.

Ivan Provorov replaced Voracek on the first unit during one power play but Voracek was on the first unit again for the third power play in which he assisted on Brayden Schenn’s goal.

Matt Read replaced Jordan Weal on the second-unit power play once Weal was injured (see Instant Replay).