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Wayne Gretzky

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Wayne Gretzky (CP)

Quebec City will return to NHL fold, Great One says

MAPLE, Ont. -- The Great One firmly believes the NHL will return to Quebec City.

The Quebec capital has been without an NHL franchise since the Nordiques left for Denver in 1995.

But hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said Tuesday his gut feeling is Quebec City will again have its own pro hockey franchise that will be as successful as the Winnipeg Jets.

The NHL returned to Manitoba in 2011 when the Atlanta Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg and were renamed.

The original Winnipeg Jets operated in the NHL for 15 seasons before the franchise moved to Phoenix.

 

Mark Streit

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Mark Streit (CP)

Streit signs in Philly

DEFENCEMAN Mark Streit is staying in Philadelphia

Less than a week after Streit was acquired by the Flyers in a trade with the New York Islanders, the 35-year-old defenceman agreed to a four-year, $21-million contract, according to a person familiar with deal.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Flyers had not announced the move on Tuesday, a day after Canada's TSN first reported the deal had been reached.

The deal prevents Streit from entering free agency on July 5. And it proved to be a calculated gamble that paid off for the Flyers in making the trade to acquire the rights to the Islanders captain.

In exchange, Philadelphia gave up minor-league forward Shane Harper and a fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft.

Streit has 65 goals and 288 points in 491 career games. And he's coming off a solid season, in which he had six goals and 27 points to lead Islanders defencemen. He also had three goals and five points in a six-game, first-round loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

 

Slava Voynov

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Slava Voynov (CP)

Voynov treated like a King

LOS ANGELES -- Defenceman Slava Voynov agreed to a new six-year, $25 million contract Tuesday with the Los Angeles Kings, who signed yet another young cornerstone to a long-term deal.

The 23-year-old Siberian would have been a restricted free agent this summer after his breakout playoff performance for the Kings, whose Stanley Cup title defence ended in the Western Conference finals against Chicago.

Voynov cemented his reputation as one of the NHL's top young puck-moving defencemen with 13 points during the post-season, tying for the club scoring lead. He set single-season franchise records with six playoff goals by a defenceman and four game-winning goals.

Voynov also set career highs with 19 assists and 25 points during the lockout-shortened regular season, his first full NHL campaign. Last summer, the former second-round pick played in every post-season game during the Kings' run to their first NHL title after bouncing between the AHL and Los Angeles during the regular season.

 

Logan Couture

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Logan Couture (CP)

Couture swimming with Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Sharks agreed to a contract extension with star centre Logan Couture to keep him off the market next summer.

A person familiar with the deal confirmed the extension, which was first reported by Comcast SportsNet California. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the contract can't be signed until the free agency window opens July 5.

Couture is owed $3 million next season in the final year of a two-year, $5.75 million contract. Couture would have been eligible to be a restricted free agent next summer. The person would not say how long Couture's new deal would last but Comcast reported it was expected to be for five more seasons.

The 24-year-old Couture has emerged as one of the Sharks' top players the past two years in all facets of the game, becoming the team's most reliable goal-scorer, drawing the toughest defensive matchups and becoming a leader in the locker room. Couture is expected to become part of the formal leadership group next season, replacing the departed Ryane Clowe as an alternate captain.

 

New name for Sens' home

OTTAWA -- The home of the Ottawa Senators is getting a new name.

Scotiabank Place will be renamed the Canadian Tire Centre, the team announced Tuesday.

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said the new strategic partnership between Senators Sports & Entertainment and the Canadian Tire Corporation included, but is not limited to, naming rights for the arena.

Melnyk said the agreement had been in the works for the past two months and will officially take effect July 1, 2013.

The Senators signed a 15-year, $20-million agreement with Scotiabank in 2006, but certain parts of the agreement were set to expire which included an opt-out by the Senators on the naming rights. With this in mind Melnyk approached Duncan Fulton, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Canadian Tire Corporation.

 

Datsyuk signs in Motown

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings accomplished their No. 1 goal of the off-season Tuesday by agreeing to a $22.5 million, three-year deal with Pavel Datsyuk.

"It's a great day for the Red Wings," general manager Ken Holland said in a telephone interview. "He's is a world-class player and there are no moves I can make to find players like Pavel Datsyuk."

Datsyuk and the Red Wings reached the deal two days before his 35th birthday, keeping the Russian superstar with the franchise through the 2016-17 season.

 

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 19, 2013 D3

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