There have been a few contract extensions handed out in the NHL recently, topping the list are the Los Angeles Kings, who signed forward Dustin Brown to a 6-year contract extension today.
The former 13th overall pick from the 2003 draft has 4 goals and 4 assists so far in 11 games with the Kings and has been a star on the rise ever since his definitive entry to the NHL in 2005-2006, putting up 14 and 17 goal seasons since then.
His points total have been on a uprise as well...from 28 to 46, and if his current pace continues, he will finish the season in the 70-point area.
Brown is poised to become a 30-40 goal scorer with huge upside, and he's a mainstay in Los Angeles for at least 6 more years.
All this at such a young age, the 22-year old Ithaca, New York native will turn 23 on November 4th.
Kings GM Dean Lombardi on "Brownie":
Dustin is an integral part of what we are building here with the Kings.
We like how he competes; we like his toughness; and we are very pleased with how his overall game has developed.
"An integral part" is not far off with guys like Mike Cammalleri (10 G, 3 A), sophomore sensation Anze Kopitar (4 G, 8 A) and star Alex Frolov (3 G, 7 A) all destined for superstardom (or at least come close to it).
On defence? They're well equiped with former Hurricanes prospect Jack Johnson (1 G, 1 A), veteran goldie Rob Blake (1 G, 4 A), the dangerous Lubomir Visnovsky (1 G, 7 A) to go along with new faces Brad Stuart (1 G, 2 A), Tom Preissing (0 G, 2 A) and another guy who's been around a while, Jaroslav Modry (0 G, 1 A).
On paper? They're awesome...but the defence has had its own problems this year totally a paltry -14 rating with Modry being the only blueliner in the plus column (+4).
Kings fans are calling for Rob Blake's head because of his shoddy defensive work and inconsistent performance on the attack...Stuart and Preissing are off to slow starts...Johnson is still adapting with Visnovsky and Modry leading the way.
The future is definitely bright in sunny LA, but can the Kings finally pull out of their misery with the younglings and big names picked up this offseason?
Their current 5-6 start could be better, but if you look at last year, it could be worse.
They have the talent, time to fully exploit it...look for the Kings to be serious contenders now or possibly in the near future
Draper stays in Detroit:
The Red Wings have retained former Selke winner Kris Draper, signing the 36-year old to a new 3-year contract that will pay him $1.6 million per season.
Kenny Holland calls Draper an essential part of the team's core:
Kris has been such an important part of this organization's success.
We are fortunate to have secured a player with his leadership qualities and work ethic for the next three seasons.
He has 5 assists to start the season and has put up double digits in goals for the past 4 campaigns.
Minnesota locks up Burns:
Brent Burns is only 22 but already a force on Minnesota's blueline.
The Wild locked him up to a 4-year contract worth about $14.2 million or an average payout of $3.55 million per season.
Minnesota's former 1st round pick is +6 this season and hopes to repeat the +16 rating he put up last year.
I like Doug Risebrough's reasoning when it comes to these big long deals being thrown around:
Long-term contracts are about projection now.
Not about what they'll make, but their ability to earn it and make things happen during the length of the contract.
Panthers sign Cullimore:
The Florida Panthers have reportedly signed defenceman Jassen Cullimore to a 1-year contract including a 2-week conditioning stint in the minors, likely to replace the injured Noah Welch as the team's 7-8 defenceman.
Markov to Russia:
The Danny Markov free-agent saga is officially over...the veteran signed a contract to play in Russia with Dynamo for the upcoming season and TSN reports that his deal includes an out clause that would allow him to come to North America and sign with another team next summer.
Markov was rumoured to be seeking between $2.5 and $3.5 million, but teams like the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders backed out because of salary cap constraints.