The Blues re-sign Jay Bouwmeester, the Red Wings to honor Nicklas Lidstrom, updates on Evgeni Malkin, Teemu Selanne, Toni Lydman, Brian Strait and more.
STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues last night announced the re-signing of defenseman Jay Bouwmeester to a five-year, $27 million contract effective 2014-15. He’s entering the final season of his current contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bouwmeester’s new deal is worth a annual cap hit of $5.4 million, a significant drop from the $6.6 million per season he earned on his current contract. He cited the Blues willingness to give him a five-year deal and the club’s nucleus of talent as factors behind his re-signing, which also must have served as incentive for accepting a pay cut.
It’s a smart move by Bouwmeester, as the Blues are the best NHL team he’s ever played for, one which seems poised for bigger and better things over the next five years.
It’s also a good move by the Blues, locking up an experienced, well-rounded defenseman who’ll play a key role on their blueline. As the report noted, they never saw Bouwmeester as a rental player, and he obviously wanted to stay. It’s a good fit for both sides.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings will honor former captain Nicklas Lidstrom by retiring his number 5 during a ceremony on March 6, 2014.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved honor for one of the greatest players in NHL history.
RIANOVOSTI: Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin doubts Ilya Kovalchuk’s decision to retire from the NHL to play in the KHL signals a trend. Malkin also dashed speculation he would follow Kovalchuk’s example one day. ““A lot can happen, but as long as I feel comfortable in America I might as well leave well enough alone,” he said. ““Why would I look for something else? I have everything.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Russian NHL stars could follow Kovalchuk’s example, but it’s clear Malkin isn’t among them.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray would welcome back Teemu Selanne if the 43-year-old winger is 100% committed to playing this season. Selanne has yet to tip his hand as to his intentions, but Murray said adding him to the Ducks roster wouldn’t be a problem.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Selanne returns for another season, it’ll only be with the Ducks.
TSN.CA: Veteran NHL defenseman Toni Lydman could soon announce his retirement. Lydman rejected two contract offers, both for two years and $5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lydman, 35, has played 12 NHL seasons split between Calgary, Buffalo and Anaheim.
NEWSDAY: Defenseman Brian Strait is finally healthy and is ready to make an impact on the NY Islanders.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning GM Steve Yzerman intends to fill his final roster spots with call-ups from his farm team in Syracuse.
NHL.COM: Former LA Kings defenseman Sean O’Donnell has joined the club as their maanager of Fan Development and Alumni Relations.