Philadelphia Flyers

Briere talks broadcasting, future with Flyers

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Briere talks broadcasting, future with Flyers

Danny Briere may have a future in broadcasting, but it's not something he wants to think about just yet.

"Hopefully I have a couple more years to play," the Flyers' center said Thursday when he joined the panel of "Philly Sports Talk."

During the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Briere has served as a guest player analyst on TSN, afforded the opportunity because the Flyers missed the playoffs for the first time since he joined the team in 2007.

"It's a lot of fun," he said. "Obviously, I'd rather be playing but I guess it's the second-best seat."

Briere is entering a crucial offseason in his Flyers career. Following his least productive year with the orange and black and sitting at age 35, Briere could find himself with a new organization next year if the Flyers choose to amnesty his contract.

It's known that Briere wants to stay, but the team also has to clear space as the salary cap decreases going into next season.

So what does Briere make of the whole situation?

"I think I'm at the same stage as I was when we cleaned out our lockers at the end of the year," he said. "I still don't know. Like I said at the time, it's out of my control at this point.

"I'm hoping that I'll still be around come next season, but I don't have any more control over it."

Briere tallied just 16 points on six goals and 10 assists in 34 games in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. He's always been a better performer with the club in the postseason than in the regular season, but he didn't have the chance to prove he can still get it going in the playoffs this past year.

Another amnesty candidate for the club is goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who was unspectacular in net and shared time with newcomer Steve Mason at the end of the season.

Briere was positive in hoping that Bryzgalov wants to remain with the Flyers -- an issue on which not everyone agrees.

"I have to believe [he wants to be here]," Briere said. "There's a reason he signed with the Flyers. I know it was two years ago, but at the same time he's a competitive guy.

"I would certainly hope being a teammate of mine that he wants to be [here] and he wants to help our team get to the next level."

NHL Notes: Devils lose Travis Zajac for 4-6 months with pectoral injury

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NHL Notes: Devils lose Travis Zajac for 4-6 months with pectoral injury

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils have lost top center Travis Zajac for four to six months with a pectoral injury.

Devils executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero announced that Zajac had surgery to repair the pectoral muscle on Thursday.

Shero said the Zajac was hurt last week during offseason training.

Dr. Jonathan L. Glashow performed the surgery and estimated that Zajac's recovery time could last until February. The season starts in October.

The 32-year-old Zajac had 14 goals and 31 assists last season. He has 155 career goals and 280 assists. He has played for the Devils since the 2006-07 season.

The 20th overall pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, Zajac signed an eight-year, $46 million contract in 2013.

Sabres sign Zemgus Girgensons to 2-year deal

Sabres: Team signs forward Girgensons to 2-year deal
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres have signed forward Zemgus Girgensons to a two-year contract.

The team announced the deal Thursday that carries an average value of $1.6 million.

Girgensons, from Latvia, is the last of the Sabres' restricted free agents to sign with the team. Buffalo's first-round pick in 2012 has 37 goals and 49 assists in 277 career games over four seasons.

He skated in a career-best 75 games last season after signing a one-year extension last September.

NHL Notes: Oilers sign star Leon Draisaitl to mega 8-year contract

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NHL Notes: Oilers sign star Leon Draisaitl to mega 8-year contract

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers have signed center Leon Draisaitl to an eight-year contract extension with an average annual value of $8.5 million.

The extension runs through the 2024-25 season, similar to the eight-year, $100-million extension superstar captain Connor McDavid signed with the team in July.

With the signings, the Oilers are banking on McDavid and Draisaitl providing a potent one-two punch for the team as it looks to build on last season's return to the playoffs after a decade of futility.

Draisaitl, a 21-year-old German, had 77 points (29 goals, 48 assists) last season, his third in the NHL.

He finished eighth among NHL scorers, and second on the Oilers behind McDavid.

He led the Oilers in scoring during the 2017 playoffs, posting 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 13 games.

Draisaitl was selected third overall by the Oilers at the 2015 draft (see full story).

Avalanche: Hobey Baker winner Butcher now free agent
College hockey's top player is an NHL free agent after former University of Denver defenseman Will Butcher allowed a deadline to pass without signing with the Colorado Avalanche.

The Avalanche selected Butcher in the fifth round of the 2013 draft and had until Tuesday to sign the Hobey Baker Award winner who led Denver to a national championship in April.

A person with direct knowledge of the discussions told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Butcher already has had discussions with the Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils and NHL-expansion Vegas Golden Knights. The person said Butcher has not yet narrowed his list, and is also talking with other teams.

The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the talks are private.

The Denver Post first reported the three specific teams expressing interest in Butcher (see full story).

Wild: Cullen comes home for 21st NHL season
The Minnesota Wild and center Matt Cullen have agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract, bringing him back to his home state for a 21st season in the NHL.

The Wild announced the deal, which includes $700,000 in potential performance bonuses, on Wednesday.

Cullen played the last two years with Pittsburgh, winning consecutive Stanley Cups with the Penguins. He played three seasons for the Wild from 2010-13, his first return to Minnesota since launching his career at Moorhead High School and St. Cloud State.

Cullen, who will turn 41 on Nov. 2, had 13 goals and 18 assists in 72 games in 2016-17 for the Penguins, plus two goals and seven assists in 25 playoff games. He has played in 1,366 career regular season games, the sixth-most among active players (see full story).