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Eastern Conference

Islanders, Jordan Eberle Not Talking Contract Extension

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New York Islanders forward Jordan Eberle says that the two sides have not yet discussed a contract extension, as he enters the final year of a six-year, $36 million contract he signed as a member of the Edmonton Oilers back in 2012.

At the conclusion of the season, Eberle is set to become an unrestricted free agent.

“To be honest I haven’t had any conversations with anybody,” Eberle said on Tuesday (h/t NHL.com). “Going into the summer I was trying to focus on me and being the best I can be and come into the camp the best I can be. Once that happens you start trying to fill a role and try to make this team as good as it can be.”

Eberle had 59 points (25 goals, 34 assists) in his first season with the Islanders, who acquired him from the Oilers for forward Ryan Strome in June of 2017.

“Anytime you miss the playoffs there’s always going to be changes,” Eberle said. “I think for me, I kind of just tried to focus on myself and try and get better. I think the game’s really progressed in a way that it’s a lot faster. Even the last three years I’ve noticed the speed of the League is a lot higher than it used to be. In the summer everyone’s focus should be to try to get faster. I know it’s such a cliché, but it really means a lot now just based on how quick the League’s gotten, so that’s something I really focus on.

“I think with the changes that we’ve had, I think it’s always fun to prove yourself. I think there’s going to be some competition in camp and that always makes your team better, and myself included. You want to be a part of that. You want to be able to prove yourself.”

With the loss of John Tavares this offseason, Eberle belives that the Isles still have a chance to make a run.

“It’s obviously a loss for our team, but you’ve got to move on,” Eberle said. “I think we’re kind of put in a category right now where we’re kind of the underdog role, and sometimes that’s good to be. You look at a team like maybe New Jersey last year, who had similar expectations coming in, and look how well they did. Sometimes you play better without that added pressure. We’ve got enough guys to fill depth here and guys are going to fill in and we’ll be fine.”

Eastern Conference

Lightning Shopping Slater Koekkoek

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are shopping defenseman, and former first round pick, Slater Koekkoek, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Tampa Bay is now motivated to trade away their once prized prospect, who is currently playing with the Syracuse Crunch on a conditioning stint.

Koekkoek is waiver eligible and will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer of 2019.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky Will Not Dress Due To Team Incident

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that veteran goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not dress for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators due to what is being described as an “incident”.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen stated the following:

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”

In corresponding moves, the Blue Jackets has recalled Jean-Francois Berube, and placed both Brandon Dubinsky and Markus Hannikainen on injured reserve.

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Eastern Conference

Leafs’ Frederik Andersen Targeting Saturday Return

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Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Frederik Andersen said that he is eyeing the team’s upcoming game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday to make his return to the ice.

Andersen was placed on injured reserve on January 3rd, retroactive to December 23rd, and hasn’t played since December 22nd.

Despite his goal of a Saturday return, Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock is looking towards Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche as the best time for his return.

Babcock pours a little cold water on Andersen’s reveal, saying it might be Monday vs. Colorado. Hmmm…— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) January 9, 2019

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