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NHL Teams Continue Offseason Signings

Most National Hockey League players and coaches might be enjoying their offseason, but front office executives and general managers are busy negotiating new contracts for free agents and players opting to stay with their current team.

St. Louis signed Vladimir Tarasenko on Tuesday to an 8-year contract that totaled $60 million. Tarasenko, who is 23, was one of the top scorers in the league last season with 37 goals in 77 games. He was the youngest St. Louis player with 30 or more goals since 1991 when Brendan Shanahan reached that plateau.

Tarasenko totaled 73 points on the season and finished with a rating of +27. He became the first 23-year old or younger to score 35 goals and add 35 assists with a rating of plus-25 or higher in the NHL since 2007 when Alexander Ovechkin did the same.

Tarasenko tweeted the news of his signing shortly after the announcement was made by the Blue’s organization.

He was drafted No. 16 overall in 2010 by the Blues. He has scored 66 goals and 69 assists in his 179 career games during the regular season with St. Louis over three seasons. He has also scored 10 goals and 1 assist in 13 appearances in the postseason.

St. Louis recently made a trade for Troy Brouwer and Pheonix Copley, while giving up T.J. Oshie. The Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock will return next season and the club hopes to advance deeper in the Western Conference playoffs. This past season, the Blues were eliminated  in the first round by the Minnesota Wild, after posting the team’s third best ever regular season record.

The Washington Capitals have signed center Evgeny Kuznetsov to a 2-year $6 million contract. The Capitals center looks at the contract as a bridge deal giving him two more years to show the organization how good he is.

During his rookie season, Kuznetsov scored 11 goals and added 26 assists in the regular season. He then scored 5 goals and 2 assists during the postseason.

He scored two goals in a big Game 5 win versus the New York Islanders during the first round and the winning goal in Game 7 of that same series. Kuznetsov was picked by Washington during the NHL Draft of 2010 in round one.

As the offseason continues, more and more free agents will sign with new teams and players will re-sign with their currents resulting in a facelift personnel wise for the NHL for its 2015-16 season that begins in October.

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