NHL notes: Blue Jackets sign Bobrovsky to extension
Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky gloves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nationwide Arena. (Russell LaBounty/USA TODAY Sports)
Former Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky signed a four-year contract extension through the 2018-19 season with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team, but The Columbus Dispatch reported the contract to be worth $29.7 million.
The 26-year-old Russian has a 68-41-13 record with a 2.34 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 123 games with the Blue Jackets since the 2012-13 season. His career record is 110-64-23 with a 2.50 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 206 games with the Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers.
Bobrovsky would have become a restricted free agent in July.
"A common thread of every successful team in our league is outstanding goaltending and we believe we have one of the best at the position in the world in Sergei Bobrovsky," Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "He is a tremendous person and a very talented player whose work ethic sets the tone for our team. We are very happy to have him signed for the next four years."
Bobrovsky had a 15-10-2 record with a 2.75 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and one shutout in 27 games this season entered Friday night's matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"This is a very exciting day for me and I am very happy knowing that I will continue to be a Columbus Blue Jacket and be able to play with the guys in this room, to work to get better every day and help the team achieve our goals together," said Bobrovsky, who won the Vezina award in 2013.
LAVIOLETTE, SUTTER ALL-STARS
Peter Laviolette of the Nashville Predators and Darryl Sutter of the Los Angeles Kings were named head coaches for the 2015 NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio.
The NHL announced Friday that under the All-Star selection process, the head coach of the team with the highest points percentage (points earned divided by total possible points) through games of Saturday -- the halfway point of the regular season -- earns the right to lead one of the All-Star teams.
Laviolette's Predators have recorded a league-leading points percentage of .725 (27-9-4) and are assured of retaining the top spot through Saturday's games. Joining Laviolette will be members of his Nashville coaching staff.
Sutter, as head coach of the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings, will direct the other All-Star team and be accompanied by members of his Los Angeles coaching staff.
Laviolette will be making his second career NHL All-Star appearance, having shared coaching duties with Vancouver's Alain Vigneault for Team Nicklas Lidstrom in their 11-10 win over Team Eric Staal at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, N.C. Sutter will be making his All-Star debut behind the bench.
The Columbus Blue Jackets and city of Columbus will host the 2015 NHL All-Star festivities, Jan. 24-25, marking a first for the city and club.
The league's midseason showcase will include the Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday, Jan. 24 and the Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 25.
PARISE REJOINS WILD
It's been a tough week for Zach Parise.
The Minnesota Wild forward skated with his teammates at practice on Friday, two days after his father passed away from lung cancer.
J.P. Parise, a former NHL player who suited up for Team Canada during the 1972 Summit Series against Russia, died Wednesday following a year-long battle with the disease. He was 73.
"Not only the last few days, but the last month has been really hard," Zach Parise told NHL.com. "Last night, watching the game, finally my wife told me, 'You have to go to the rink. You have to go and practice and get away and try to get back in the groove of things.'"
Parise said he received a lot of messages of support and stories about his dad from current and former NHL players and coaches.
Wild defenceman and longtime friend Ryan Suter was especially supportive after he lost his dad, Bob, in September due to a heart attack.
"It was a different scenario," Parise said of his father's condition. "We knew it was coming. Ryan told me things he wasn't able to do because he lost his dad so suddenly. All the time he'd say, 'Stay home from practice. Spend as much time with him as you can.' The whole team was incredible. With him having gone through it he was very supportive, calling all the time when he knew what were the last couple days. It meant a lot to us."
Parise said the funeral for his father will be Jan. 16.
GROSSMAN OUT 3 WEEKS
Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Nicklas Grossmann will miss the next three weeks because of an upper-body injury suffered in a game Thursday night.
The Flyers made the announcement Friday after Grossmann was injured with 1:41 left in the first period of the Flyers' 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals.
Grossman was hit into the boards by Capitals right winger Tom Wilson and remained down on the ice for several moments, but was able to skate off with help. He did not return to the game.
In 41 games this season, Grossmann has a career-best three goals and also has five assists while averaging 18:10 of ice time per game. His plus-5 rating is second among Philadelphia defencemen.
BECK, CULLEN RETURN
The Nashville Predators activated forwards Taylor Beck and Matt Cullen from injured reserve Friday.
Beck missed the Predators' recent road trip because of an illness. He has four goals and four assists in 28 games this season.
Cullen has missed the last six games with an upper-body injury. He has four goals and five assists in 25 games.
The Predators also reassigned forward Miikka Salomaki to Milwaukee of the AHL.
Salomaki, 21, scored a goal, put four shots on net and dished out a game-high seven hits in his NHL debut, a 3-2 overtime victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.
CAPS SWITCH BACKUPS
The Washington Capitals recalled goaltender Pheonix Copley from the Hershey Bears on Friday and reassigned goalie Justin Peters to the American Hockey League club for conditioning purposes.
Copley, 22, posted a 6-3-1 record with two shutouts, a 2.00 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in 11 games with Hershey this season. The North Pole, Alaska, native earned his first career win in his AHL debut on Oct. 13 at Norfolk, stopping 29 of 31 shots. The 6-foot-4, 196-pound Copley signed with Washington as a free agent on March 19, 2014.
Peters, 28, registered a 2-3-1 record with a 3.28 goals-against average and a .872 save percentage in seven games with Washington this season. The Blyth, Ontario native made his Capitals debut on Oct. 14 against San Jose. He stopped 20 of 21 shots on Oct. 18 against Florida to earn his first Washington win.
Peters has posted a 24-34-9 record with three shutouts, a 3.07 record and a .901 save percentage in 75 career NHL games with Carolina and Washington. He signed with Washington as a free agent on July 1, 2014. The 6-1, 210-pound Peters played in six games with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL in 2013-14, posting a 4-1-1 record with a 2.14 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.
BRIEFLY: Free agent veteran forward Todd Bertuzzi signed a professional tryout with Binghamton of the AHL, the minor league affiliate of the Ottawa Senators ... The Minnesota Wild reassigned defenceman Stu Bickel to Iowa of the AHL on Friday. Bickel, 28, totaled one assist and led Minnesota with 46 penalty minutes in nine games.