There's a couple of notable pieces of NHL news worth commenting upon. Here they are.
First off, some good news from Anaheim. The Ducks are having a very strong season thus far,but heading into this year they had a couple of question marks they had to deal with. Which is to say, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim's two best players, were scheduled to be free agents after the season. Had the Ducks gotten off to a poor start, one of them may have been traded. Now, instead, one of them has a new deal. Getzlaf has signed a new eight-year deal with the Ducks.
The deal is for $66 million, and has a cap hit of $8.5 million per season. It still remains to be seen how NHL contracts look under the new CBA, but on its face this deal works for me. Getzlaf, Anaheim's captain, has 499 points in 534 career games. He's a very talented player who can dish out assists but also score some goals. He takes too many penalties, and his personality on the ice often irks me, but he's one of the best players in the NHL. Combine that with the fact this is an eight-year deal for a 27-year-old player, and it seems fair. Now, the question becomes whether or not they re-sign Perry. Sure, he's no Viktor Fasth, but he's been pretty important to the Ducks.
Only one team out West has been better than the Ducks this season, and that's the Chicago Blackhawks. However, they have gotten a bit of bad news. Well, they actually have gotten some good news and some bad news. First, Marian Hossa is fine. He missed Wednesday's game, which didn't stop Chicago from continuing their streak, but he will be back for Friday's game against Colorado. On the other hand, Patrick Sharp is going to miss 3-4 weeks with an upper-body injury. While the Blackhawks have the depth to deal with such an injury, it still hurts to miss a player of Sharp's caliber. That being said, they don't really have to be concerned. They are essentially a playoff lock already. For the Blackhawks, it's about making it to the postseason healthy now.
Speaking of the playoffs, ESPN.com has run some simulations to generate new playoff odds based on what's happened thus far. So, check that out if you are interested. Things are looking quite good for Original Six teams, less so for the Buffalo Sabres. Also, according to the odds, the top seven seeds in both conferences are, to a degree, comfortable, while the final spots aren't. Of course, the games will actually be played, and the trade deadline will impact things. So, keep watching the hockey.