NHL Notes: Semin, Hurricanes agree to extension

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NHL Notes: Semin, Hurricanes agree to extension

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Alexander Semin has found a home with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The team said Monday that the left winger has agreed to a five-year contract extension that will pay him $7 million per season and keep him with the Hurricanes through 2017-18.

Semin had spent his first seven seasons with the Washington Capitals, who drafted him in the first round in 2002, and became the fifth-leading scorer in club history but appeared to be the odd man out.

He got a fresh start over the summer when Carolina -- which was looking for an elite forward to skate alongside Eric Staal -- took a flyer on him with a one-year free agent deal worth $7 million.

At the time, general manager Jim Rutherford said it was a low-risk, high-reward deal because "we got a very talented player (and) we didn't lock in for a long period of time and then find out it's not working."

It's sure working now.

Skating alongside Staal on the Hurricanes' top line, the 29-year-old Semin has a team-best 22 assists and is second with 30 points while keeping Carolina in contention for its first playoff berth since 2009.

"We're very happy to retain Alex," Rutherford said. "Alex is an elite player and has been a major contributor to the Hurricanes having a very strong top line."

Semin has 205 goals and 233 assists during his eight-season career.

Lightning hire Cooper as coach
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning have hired Jon Cooper as their new coach.

The team announced the move on Monday night.

Cooper had been coaching Syracuse of the AHL, Tampa Bay's top minor league affiliate. He is replacing Guy Boucher, who was fired Sunday after 2 1/2 years with the team.

Cooper will coach his first game for the Lightning on Friday night against the New Jersey Devils.

Dan Lacroix and Steve Thomas will handle coaching duties when the Lightning host the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. The pair will then remain as assistant coaches for Cooper.

The Lightning, at 13-18-1, are in next to last place in the Eastern Conference.

Hossa remains out with injury
CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa has been ruled out for the Chicago Blackhawks' game against the Los Angeles Kings due to an upper-body injury.

Hossa left Chicago's 5-2 victory at Colorado last Monday after he took a hit in the first period. The right wing then missed the Blackhawks' 4-2 loss at Anaheim on Wednesday night, and was sidelined again for the opener of a three-game homestand on Monday night.

Hossa has 13 goals and 10 assists in 28 games this season.

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Former Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn signs 2-year deal with Coyotes

Former Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn signs 2-year deal with Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Coyotes have signed former Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn to a two-year contract.

The 26-year-old defenseman had four goals and 12 assists in 72 games with the Flyers and Los Angeles Kings last season. Schenn and Vinny Lecavalier were traded by the Flyers to the Kings last January in exchange for Jordan Weal and a third-round draft pick in last month's entry draft.

In his career, Schenn has 28 goals and 100 assists in 566 games with the Kings, Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs. In three-plus seasons with the Flyers, Schenn scored 12 goals and added 30 assists.

Schenn was the first-round draft pick - fifth selection overall - by the Maple Leafs in 2008.

Coyotes general manager John Chayka called Schenn "a good, young defenseman" who will be "a solid addition" to the Arizona blue line.

- CSNPhilly.com contributed to this story.

Source: Brayden Schenn spurns Flyers' 2-year offer, wants $5.5 million

Source: Brayden Schenn spurns Flyers' 2-year offer, wants $5.5 million

It looks like the Flyers and Brayden Schenn are heading towards arbitration. 

A source tells CSNPhilly.com Flyers Insider Tim Panaccio that the Flyers and Schenn's camp are at odds over the salary of Schenn's next contract.

Schenn turned down a two-year deal worth $4.25 million in the first year and $4.369 million in the second, according to the source, noting that Schenn is looking for a deal that would pay him $5.5 million this upcoming season.

Schenn is coming off a career year, setting career highs in goals (26) and points (59), and is now looking to cash in on his best season. Last season, Schenn earned $2.75 million.

General manager Ron Hextall has repeatedly said he believes a deal will get done, but at the moment nothing looks imminent.

Schenn's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Monday.

NHL Notes: Chris Kreider, Rangers agree on four-year contract

NHL Notes: Chris Kreider, Rangers agree on four-year contract

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers signed forward Chris Kreider to a four-year contract worth $18.5 million in a last-minute deal that helped the sides avoid arbitration.

General manager Jeff Gorton announced the agreement on Friday.

The deal will pay Kreider an average of $4.6 million and keep him with the team through 2020. It also includes a modified no-trade clause that prevents Kreider from being traded to 11 teams.

The 25-year-old Kreider was a restricted free agent.

"What happens in this type of deal is that both sides have stated positions and when the specter of 'arb' comes, it drives both sides closer," Matt Keator, Kreider's agent, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "For us, the term was the right amount and for the team that amount was the right amount, so we were able to come together on both sides. 

"It worked out fine, and Chris loves New York and wants to be there."

Keator said both sides were ready to present their cases Friday morning before reaching an agreement.

Kreider had 21 goals and 22 assists in 79 games for New York and a plus-10 rating. He established career-highs in even-strength goals (16) and hits (177), and he tied his career-high in goals, set the previous season.

Kreider was one of six NHL players who registered at least 20 goals, 40 points, a plus-10 rating and 50 penalty minutes this past season. Alex Ovechkin, Jonathan Toews, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and James Neal were the others.

He ranked third on the team in power play goals (five), fourth in even strength goals, fifth in goals and even strength points (35), and tied for fifth in points. Kreider also led the Rangers in goals (15) and ranked second on the team in points (26) on the road this past season (see full story).

Sabres: Evander Kane charged with harassment at bar
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Buffalo police say Sabres forward Evander Kane has been charged with four counts of non-criminal harassment and one count of misdemeanor trespass after an incident at a city bar last month.

Police say the 24-year-old Kane surrendered to authorities Friday and was issued a court appearance ticket. Investigators say two women accused Kane of grabbing them at a bar on June 24.

According to the reports, one woman told police Kane threatened her inside the club and when outside, grabbed her throat. The second woman accused Kane of trying to force her from the bar.

Kane's attorney, Paul Cambria, says his client is innocent of all charges.

In March, prosecutors said there was no evidence to support a sexual assault charge against Kane stemming from a December incident. 

Kane has two years remaining on his contract.

Maple Leafs: No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews signs 3-year deal
TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs signed No. 1 overall draft pick Auston Matthews to a three-year, entry-level contract Thursday with the maximum bonuses allowed.

Matthews had 24 goals and 22 assists in 36 games last season for the Zurich Lions in Switzerland and had nine points for the United States at the world hockey championship.

The 18-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona, immediately became the face of the Maple Leafs' franchise when they selected him first in last month's draft. General manager Lou Lamoriello typically refuses to give bonuses to rookies, but agent Pat Brisson confirmed that Matthews' deal includes the maximum entry-level salary of $925,000 per year plus potential bonuses that could add up to an average annual value of $3,775,000.

"There were no issues at all getting it done with Lou [Lamoriello] and the Leafs," Brisson said. "Auston is thrilled (see full story)."

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