By Ross McKeon Updated 5:20 pm, Sunday, July 1, 2018 The Sharks lost out on the John Tavares sweepstakes, but they still made significant news Sunday by signing Logan Couture to an eight-year extension. The 28-year-old center is set to be paid $64 million from 2019-27 after earning $6 million in 2018-19 during the final year of his current contract. Couture joins wing Evander Kane, defensemen Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Brent Burns and goalie Martin Jones as Sharks with multiyear deals through at least 2024. Sunday was, however, bittersweet for San Jose, which was in the running for Tavares down to the end. The high-profile free-agent center ultimately opted to leave the New York Islanders and fulfill a childhood dream by signing a seven-year, $77 million deal with his hometown team, Toronto. Couture and Tavares grew up within a hour of each other in suburban Toronto, and they played junior hockey at the same time. Couture was the 12th overall pick by Ottawa in the 2005 … [Read more...] about Sharks sign Logan Couture; John Tavares headed to Maple Leafs
Leafs trade deadline
Of all the trades Bill Belichick orchestrated during the 2018 NFL draft, the most intriguing may have been the one he didn’t end up making. In a post-draft interview on Andrew Brandt’s podcast, player agent Jack Mills claimed the Patriots were the “surprise” team trying to trade up to land the Giants’ pick (second overall) in order to draft his client, Baker Mayfield. “We had another team, which is going to surprise you,” Mills said on “The Business of Sports With Andrew Brandt.” “Another team had said, ‘You may get a big surprise on draft day, at No. 2, if he’s available.’ And it was the Patriots. They had (pick No.) 23 and they had (No.) 31 and they had two seconds. We thought, ‘That’s gonna be a heck of a move, to get up that high from where they are.’ And, of course, he wasn’t available, so we never knew if that was a reality or not.” Mayfield was selected first overall by … [Read more...] about Did the Patriots avert disaster by not trading up?
TORONTO (AP) — Brad Marchand scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Tuukka Rask made 31 saves as the Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on Thursday night to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series. Torey Krug and Jake DeBrusk also had goals for the Bruins, who can win the Eastern Conference quarterfinal when they host Game 5 on Saturday at Boston’s TD Garden. David Pastrnak added two assists. Tomas Plekanec scored the lone goal for the Leafs, who got 18 saves from Frederik Andersen. Patrice Bergeron, part of a top line that combined for 20 points in the Bruins’ two home victories to open the series, was a surprise late scratch with an upper-body injury. Riley Nash took his spot between Marchand and Pastrnak. END 2 | #NHLBruins 2, Maple Leafs 1. 🚨 @Bmarch63. pic.twitter.com/pKIKjNgnKE — Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 20, 2018 Marchand snapped a 1-1 tie for Boston with 3:05 left in the second after the Bruins were … [Read more...] about Bruins beat Maple Leafs in Game 4; lead series 3-1
COMMENTARY Of all eight first-round series in the National Hockey League, pundits and fans alike thought the Bruins-Maple Leafs matchup was the most likely to go seven games. Well, here we are after Game 2 and one Original Six organization is already halfway to clinching the series, while the other leaves Boston with more questions than answers. From setting the physical tone early and getting pucks deep to getting quality goaltending when needed, the Bruins find themselves with a 2-0 series lead after a 12-4 aggregate against the Leafs. Here is what we learned following their 7-3 victory Saturday night. The Leafs have no answer for the Bruins’ top line. Auston Matthews may have found some time and space with six shots on goal — the most in the three games he’s played against the Bruins — but he’s been on the wrong end of a historic run for Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak. Through two games, the Bruins top line has … [Read more...] about 4 takeaways from the Bruins’ Game 2 win over the Maple Leafs
Seeding means nothing in the giant game of rock, paper, scissors that is the Eastern Conference playoffs. Top-seeded Tampa Bay lost all three meetings this season against eighth-seeded New Jersey, Toronto beat Boston three out of four times and records don’t matter when Pittsburgh and Philadelphia meet in another battle of Pennsylvania. The Penguins are the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup champions while the Lightning and Bruins are among the best teams in the NHL — and yet there isn’t one obvious team to beat. “In the East, anybody can beat anybody,” said Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy, who won it all with the Penguins in 2016. “When we’re playing our best game, I think we can beat anybody, and I think that the opposite is true. We have to be dialed in no matter who we’re playing, and we’ve done a really good job of that against the best teams in the league this year.” The Devils certainly match up better against the … [Read more...] about Here’s a look at the NHL’s Eastern Conference playoff picture