Konecny, Flyers have 6-year, $33 million deal

The Philadelphia Flyers wrapped up another of their key free agents by signing forward Travis Konecny to a six-year, $33 million deal. “We are happy to have Travis under contract for the next six seasons,” general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a statement Monday. “Travis has shown progression in each of his three seasons and is an integral part of our group of young forwards. His speed, skill and tenacity sets him apart in today’s NHL.” Playing a lot of top-line minutes, the 22-year-old responded with 24 goals and 25…

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Winnipeg grants Byfuglien leave of absence

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Veteran defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has been granted a leave of absence by the Winnipeg Jets and there is no timetable for his return. As expected, restricted free-agent forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor did not show up for the first day of training camp Friday as they seek new contracts, but Byfuglien came as a surprise. “I met with Buff [Thursday] and we had some conversations, and in the conversations he indicated that he needed some personal time,” Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said. “We certainly granted…

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Maple Leafs, Marner agree to 6-year deal

The Toronto Maple Leafs and restricted free-agent winger Mitch Marner have agreed to a six-year deal, the team announced Friday, ending one of the most controversial negotiations of the NHL offseason. Marner’s deal carries a $10.893 million average annual value against the salary cap. That makes the 22-year-old the third-highest paid member of the Leafs via the cap, behind centers Auston Matthews ($11.634 million) and John Tavares ($11 million). Marner’s cap hit is the seventh-highest in the NHL among all players, and is second only to New York Rangers free…

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NHL suspends Capitals’ Kuznetsov for 3 games

Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has been suspended three games for inappropriate conduct, the NHL announced Saturday. Kuznetsov tested positive for cocaine at the 2019 IIHF World Championship on May 26. He will not appeal the suspension. “I am once again sorry that I have disappointed my family, my teammates, and the Capitals organization and fans,” Kuznetsov said in a statement. “I promise to do everything in my power to win you back with my actions both on and off the ice. I also understand that I am fortunate to…

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Grading Mitch Marner’s six-year contract with the Maple Leafs

The wait is over. As the Toronto Maple Leafs begin training camp ahead of the 2019-20 season, the negotiations with restricted free agent Mitch Marner have finally resulted in a new contract: six years, with a $10.893 million average annual value. That gives the Leafs three forwards with AAVs in eight figures (Marner joins Auston Matthews and John Tavares) but ends the drama at a much earlier date than William Nylander, the last RFA with which the Leafs had a sometimes-acrimonious negotiation. Who comes out ahead? Glad you asked. Here’s…

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Flyers sign defenseman Provorov to 6-year deal

PHILADELPHIA — The Flyers have signed defenseman Ivan Provorov to a six-year, $40.5 million contract. The deal on Friday with the 22-year-old restricted free agent from Russia has an average annual value of $6.75 million. Provorov has 30 goals and 97 points in his first three seasons. He holds the Flyers record for consecutive games played from his NHL debut. His first game was in October 2016. Provorov won the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the Flyers’ outstanding defenseman in his rookie season, the youngest Flyer to receive the honor. General…

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10 NHL fantasy players to avoid in 2019-20 drafts

I can’t stand Devonta Freeman. Granted, I’ve never met Devonta Freeman or had a conversation with Devonta Freeman and don’t generally know anything about Devonta Freeman other than that he’s a running back for the Atlanta Falcons. But I have an intense, irrational dislike for another human being because he doesn’t perform up to the standards that I, an unathletic person staring at a browser tab, have established for him. Such is the fantasy sports experience. It’s the second year I’ve had Freeman on my NFL fantasy team, the unfortunate…

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Bruins reward Cassidy with multiyear extension

BOSTON — The Boston Bruins signed coach Bruce Cassidy to a multiyear contract extension Wednesday, a reward for leading the team to the Stanley Cup Final in just his second full season on the bench. “I think it’s a good marriage,” Cassidy said at the team’s training facility the day before training camp begins. “I think it’s worked well for both sides. So, for me, it’s where I wanted to be.” Cassidy took over when Claude Julien was fired during the 2016-17 season and led Boston to an 18-9 record…

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Inside Matt Duchene’s decision to sign with the Predators

When center Matt Duchene signed a seven-year, $56 million contract with the Nashville Predators this summer, the rest of the league barely batted an eye. “Come on,” one prominent agent told me recently. “Everyone knew that was going to happen.” Indeed, the 28-year-old Duchene — who has also played for the Avalanche, Senators and Blue Jackets — has been linked to the Predators for years. In a conversation with ESPN, Duchene addressed why there was so much speculation surrounding the move (country music! property records!) as well as reaction to…

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Big-name free agents unsigned as camps near

P.K. Subban doesn’t want to give advice to all the unsigned young players around the NHL. He just vividly remembers his own experience as a restricted free agent. Before he signed a short, so-called “bridge” contract, he took some motherly advice. “My mom picked up the phone and called me and said: `P.K., listen, you’re young still. You have lots of time. If you’re ready to go and play, go play,” Subban recalled. “And I went and played and won the Norris Trophy.” Almost a dozen prominent restricted free agents…

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